How much does a translation cost?

Many people don’t even know where to begin when they think about translating a document, a website or a book.

  • How much does it cost to translate 1000 words?
  • How much do translators change per hour?
  • How is translation cost calculated?

Today, I’m going to address the elephant in the room and tell you everything you need to know about the cost of a translation.

But before we begin, let me start by sharing some tips that will help you better understand a translator’s work.

Why should I translate my content into Spanish?

I know. You’re probably thinking about how it can even be possible for you to reach a market that you don’t know anything about. I’ve heard these sentences over and over again from my clients when I ask them about the Spanish speaking world.

“It’s far from my language perspective.”

“I’m not able to find collaborations for education because I don’t speak Spanish.”

“I speak Spanish but not confident enough to give a lecture or webinar.”

“You have to find the exact word not to annoy or scare your audience.”

“In general, information is culturally different. “

“Every language has its own way of communicating about so-called taboo topics.”

“People are not thinking clearly with the intent of educating the female Spanish population, specifically. (In USA)”

“It’s hard enough to break the patriarchal medical system in English, let alone in another language.”

This is why you should translate your content into Spanish

Spanish is the official language in more than 20 countries. It is the second language with more native speakers in the world. 

Besides, even though English seems to be the chosen language for international speakers, not many Spanish speakers can understand English. Did you know that Spain is not even within the top 10 countries of Europe with a good level of English?

On the other side of the ocean, Latin American countries rank quite low in the list of countries with good command of the English language. 

In Spain, only 6% of the population can speak English fluently. In Mexico, just 5% of the population can speak English and in Chile, only 2%.

Think about it like this.

If only 0.5% of these people are potential buyers of your book or service, that means 115 thousand potential customers

And again, if only 0.5% of those potential buyers actually buy your book (or online course, or contribute to your blog or social media), we’re still talking about 575 products sold. 

Following these numbers and considering the average price of a book at around €20, 575 books would make a total of €11500.

You can achieve this —and a lot more— without the need to speak Spanish fluently in order to post and publish in it.

Why translation is a great ally

Translation can help you expand to audiences that you haven’t even thought about yet. 

If you decide to magnify your message in different languages, like Spanish, you’ll experience numerous benefits! 

Imagine a world where:

  • You will stand out from your competitors.
  • You’ll be able to expand to foreign markets.  
  • You’ll get to help readers beyond your language scope.
  • You’ll get to become a best-seller in a different language.

Ultimately, you’ll increase your profit.

Now that you are aware of all the benefits of translating your content, let’s talk about the cost (or investment!) of translating into Spanish.

Why I can’t find a straight answer about the cost of translation?

When you’re doing an online research on translation cost, you’ll find out that most translation companies (however big or small) ask you to send your files and they will get back to you with an appropriate cost. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that (I do it and most of my colleagues do it.)

Here’s why.

Normally, translations are charged per source word. This means that if you want to translate a blog post (roughly, 1000 words) from English into Spanish, you will receive a quote on based on the number of words in the English text.

Still, the cost depends on many different variables.

To mention a few:

  • How fast do you need your translation?

You see, translators make a living on different clients (like all businesses). And generally, every client has a different need and urgency. So, translators have to give priority not only to existing clients but also to the deadlines previously agreed.

This means that if you ask a translator or translation company to finish a translation of 1000 words in less than 24 hours, they will probably charge a bit extra for urgency. Why? Well, as you can imagine, they have to push other clients’ deadline in order to meet yours.

  • Are you looking for a certified translation?

Certified translations are legal documents that need to be signed by a professional translator who is a member of a certain translator’s association. Depending on the country where you live in, the law requires certified translations to comply with certain requirements.

Usually, certified translations are charged per page when documents are birth/marriage/death certificates, passports, driving licences, or any other 1/2 page legal document.

If you need to translate a legal contract (B2B or B2C contracts), they can be charged either per page or per word depending on the translator.

  • Are your files editable?

If your file is a scan or a picture of a document, you can imagine that it will be quite challenging to count words. In some cases, professional translators tend to charge a bit extra for having to adjust files into an editable format.

It has happened to me that a client sent me a 40 page, non-editable file and it took me around 3 hours only to be able to quote this job.

Editable files will make your translator’s life easier and will save you a couple of bucks.

Seriously though, how much is it going to cost?

Ok, now that you know some of the reasons behind the famous “well, it depends” I’ll talk about the actual cost.

You see, most professional translators work with suggested prices from the associations they belong to, such as ATAIAPTI or CTPCBA.

According to most professional translators’ associations, prices start from €0.06 per word. This is the fee I normally charge.

With these numbers in mind, if, for example, you have a blog post of around 1000 words to be translated from English into Spanish, it’s going to cost, at least, €60.

However, if you wish to translate a book of around 70 thousand words, you can agree with your translator a fee that works for you both. For example, in my case, I tend to give a discount on my fee: between 5 to 10% depending on the length and complexity of the text.

Hopefully, you could find some clarity now on translation cost and you can calculate yourself, without necessarily asking for a quote, roughly how much your translations from English into Spanish will cost.

If you still have doubts and you’d like to discuss further your specific case, I’m here to help! You can book a 30-minute call, FREE of charge, and we can talk about your texts.

Hi there! I’m Ariadna, from ariadnatranslations.com

I’m here to share some thoughts and ideas about my job as a translator. I love writing about language, women/feminism, health and wellbeing, among other interesting topics. If you liked what you read above, I invite you to comment and share in your social media.