Tel: +44 (0)1606 352 527

Translation Rates Per Word – What Do You Get For Your Money?

The fact that you’re reading this page and looking for translation rates per word means that there is a high chance that you could be about to start your first-ever translation project, unless you’re just unhappy with your current language service provider.

Here are a few common questions when approaching your first translation project:

Professional translation seems expensive, so can I just use Google Translate instead?

Google Translate is getting better every day, but it still has a long way to go to replace a human translator.

Aside from accuracy concerns, when it comes to using a tool like Google Translate, you have to think about non-disclosure agreements as well, because who knows where that data or text goes once you hit submit?

If you just want to get a rough idea of what a passage of text means in another language, then it’s fine to use Google Translate, but don’t rely on it for professional purposes because the dangers could be fatal.

We wrote a post on the pitfalls of Google Translate which you can find here:

How much does professional translation cost?

All human translations are carried out by professional native speakers who are paid on a per word basis, and the rates differ usually depending on the language or the skills of the translator rather than the industry; e.g., medical translation rates per word for a document into French would be no different from the rate for a legal document into French.

If you have a lot of words to translate, then the rate per word can decrease because more words carry more repetition (repeated phrases and sentences) and the discount is passed on accordingly.

Also, the more translation projects you do with the same agency, the better, because the rate will lower over time as previous translations will get recycled using CAT tools.

More on CAT Tools here:

What are the average translation rates per word for each language?

The cost of translation can range from £100 to £160 per 1,000 words, which is approximately 2–3 pages of A4 text, depending on your language combination.

Example Quote: if your document has 1,600 words and the rate of translation per 1,000 words is £109 (£0.109 per word), then the total translation cost would be £174.

All translation agencies charge per word because it’s the fairest and simplest way to calculate fees. Translation fees per page wouldn’t work because you could probably get thousands of words on one page if you changed the font size to 1px.

When asking for a quote, make sure the translator or agency you choose for your project doesn’t try to round your project up to the nearest 1,000 words because projects should always be based on the exact word count.

Translation rates per word can vary based on different factors, as discussed above, which means the final rate can be lower, so always use standard rates as a ballpark figure.

Now that you know how translation rates per word are calculated, who do you choose for your project?

Unless you’re in a position where money is no object, you are challenged with getting the best results for the lowest price.

In business, there are only two ways to make more money, and that’s by either cutting costs or increasing revenue.

Many people are often drawn to the lowest price, as translation providers offer wildly different rates for seemingly similar services.

You would think that it’s common sense that making a decision based on price doesn’t work if the services offered are different, but it’s clearly not because most people would opt for the lowest price, no questions asked.

The questions you need to be asking are:

  • Is it translation only?
  • Is editing included?
  • Is proofreading included?
  • Is desktop publishing (DTP) included?
  • Does the translator have experience in your industry?
  • Are the translators qualified?
  • Do the linguists work exclusively in their native language?
  • Are the translators based in the target country?

These questions are important, and if you’re heading into your first translation project, there’s a good chance you won’t think about any of them.

Let’s take ‘Are translators qualified?’ For example, in some countries, the translation industry is not regulated, so anyone can call themselves a translator, making it easy to be misleading.

You wouldn’t want to risk a complete novice working on your legal, medical, or technical document, for example, where errors could cost lives.

Because of low barriers to entry, people who can speak two languages think this qualifies them to be translators.

At Tongue Tied (Manchester) we have over 30 years of experience in the translation industry, so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands, and we will only place your projects with translators that have experience in your industry.

With a network of over 4,000 highly qualified translators, we remove all of the guesswork for you when it comes to choosing the right translator because:

  • Our Linguists work exclusively in their native language
  • Our translators and interpreters are based in the target country
  • We include proofreading as a standard
  • We provide excellent, efficient, and friendly customer service

For our translation rates, including discounts for bulk and repeated text, contact us at

Isabella Fink

Isabella Fink

I am native Austrian and studied Linguistics and Literature at the University of Innsbruck and in Manchester, so language and translation has always been a passion of mine. Before joining Tongue Tied, I have worked as a Translation Assistant and in Customer Services and Purchasing.

Ultimate Buyers Guide To Translation Services

The decision to expand overseas and investing in professional translation services can be stressful but exciting as well.

The translation services industry like most industries has its own terminology and technical jargon, along with a vast amount of options to consider before you can achieve your translation goals...

We have put together a 17 page buyers guide to help you:

  • Choose the right translation agency for your projects – It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring an agency for the first time or considering switching to another agency. You will find the information helpful either way.
  • Make your transition into doing business overseas a straightforward process
  • Save time
  • Save money

What are you waiting for?


PHP Code Snippets Powered By :