Prices for translation services in London, and throughout the world in fact, vary greatly. This is due to several contributing factors; below is a guideline for the translation pricing criteria that we use for all translation projects performed for our clients.
The first criteria considered is the urgency of the translation project. Generally, for most language combinations, a 2-business-day turnaround can be expected for small texts (up to 2,000 words). If the translation must be completed over weekends, or public holidays, and if higher volumes than 2,000 per day are involved then a premium for urgent (or rush) translation may be applied. It is very important to state the timeline required at the time of requesting a quotation.
If the text to be translated is simple or complex can also have a dramatic impact on the price of the translation as well. It is for this reason that most translation companies will request at minimum, a piece of sample text prior to quoting on any translation project. Technical, Legal, Medical, Technological, and many other types of specialised texts carry with them surcharges as specialist translators need to be used. These "specialised" translators not only possess a university degree in translation, they also hold the appropriate credentials of education in the subject matter.
Language Pair (or pairs)
The language pair, or pairs involved in the translation will also have a dramatic impact on the overall cost of the translation. This is relatively easily understood by taking the example of a Spanish to English translation versus that of a Chinese to Estonian translation. At London Translation Services, as with any professional translation company, translations must be performed by an individual whose mother tongue is that of the target language (essentially, the language that the translation is going in to). Additionally, the individual must be qualified and thoroughly experienced in the source language. World-wide there are far more English translators that have studied to university-level translation in Spanish. The same cannot be said for Estonians that have studied to university level in translation in Chinese. For this reason, supply and demand has a dramatic impact on the price. In the event that multiple languages are being translated, discounts can apply.
Depending on how the text is transmitted to London Translation Service and the desired finalised format of the translation will impact the final cost in many circumstances as DTP or typesetting surcharges can be applied. Standard translation is always quoted in plain text format. Microsoft Word, and other word processor files are also accepted as plain text, even if they may have some simple formatting such as bold and underline throughout. Any documents that are provided in image format (e.g. most .PDFs, .JPGs, .PNGs are images) will generally have an additional mark-up if the client requires that the formatting be retained / replicated.
The legalising of a translation is an additional step in the translation process which is provided by registered translators by various governing bodies. These specialist translators complete the translations and then affix a stamp, seal, and/or a signature to each page of the translation "certifying" their accuracy as a start, and then depending on the country where the translation will be used, additional steps (such as notarising the document, acquiring an Apostille, etc..) are required. In most instances, pricing for legalised (certified, sworn, legal, legalised) translations are done on a per-page basis, rather than on a cost-per-word basis.
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