How we price language service projects

stick_figure_qa_pc_2391.pngFor people outside of the language services industry, the methodology for pricing language services isn’t necessarily very intuitive. We have assembled some information below, which we hope will help clarify some of the logic and terms.

Translation

Translation and localization projects are typically priced on a per-word basis with some variable factors including:

  • target language
  • source content complexity
  • coding and graphic design
  • tight deadlines requiring expediting

Another factor in pricing is previously translated content and the possibility of re-utilizing it. Translation Memory (TM) software stores all of your translated content, allowing us to leverage that content for future translations, increasing quality through greater consistency of terminology and also introducing the possibility of potentially significant cost savings by reusing phrases and paragraphs on future projects.

How do we define words?

When we analyze content to be translated, the word count is typically broken into three specific categories:

"New Word" Rate 

All words that are part of any sentence or phrase that has not been previously translated. This content is calculated at our standard translate rate for the given language pair.

"Fuzzy Word" Rate 

“Fuzzy Words” describe the word count for sentences that are very similar to previously translated text, but not identical. There are different levels of “Fuzzy Words” and typically only the top few levels make sense to work with, as “low level” fuzzy matches are better off being re-translated. (Your account manager can help define which levels make the most sense to work with and what the rates should be). Sentences do not require as much time or attention, but still need to be proofread after translation to ensure accuracy and consistency.  

examples:

  • to install version 7.0 of the device driver ‘Click OK to continue
  • to install version 5.0 of the device driver ‘Select OK to continue

This content is billed at a lower rate than New Words for the given language pair.

"100% Match / Repetitive" Rates

The 100% Match, and/or Repetitive Text rate is the highest discount you can receive. The phrases or sentences are either identical to previously translated content (100% Match), or there are multiple instances of the same phrases within the content to be translated and only has to be translated once (Repetitive Text). A good example would be a phrase such as "Click OK to continue" which could be used many times within a corpus of text, but only needs to be translated once.

From a process perspective, all Repetitive or 100% Match text is proofread in context to ensure accuracy.  This content is billed at our lowest rate for the given language pair.

Independent Review

As is required by our ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certified Quality Management System, Dynamic Language has a specific process when it comes to executing translation and localization projects, and a critical part of that is Independent Review.  Translation projects undergo an initial translation by an accredited professional linguist, native to the target language, and usually a subject matter expert for the topic being translated. Subsequently, a review is performed by another translator with the same qualifications, which we call "Independent Review." Like Translation, Independent Review is usually billed on a per-word basis, though at a much lower rate.  

Graphic Design

For projects that require layout manipulation or any editing visual elements (i.e. graphics with embedded text that must be localized, etc.), we bill for that under the line item "Graphic Design," which is priced based on an hourly basis. Depending on the target language, translated text may take up as much as 35% more area than English, and often the layout must be adjusted to accommodate the translated text.

Transcreation

Pricing for Transcreation and Cultural Consulting projects is typically on an hourly basis. The hourly rate varies based on the languages involved, and the specific nature of each project. 

Transcreation is the next step in the process of aligning your brand message with a culturally diverse audience. When working on transcreation projects, the process begins with the concepts that your brand is trying to convey, and from there we develop unique content for the target audiences you've identified that will convey your brand message in the most local way possible.

Since the actual content is developed in the target language, you have assurance that the content will be culturally appropriate, linguistically correct, and on-point with your business objectives. Thus, transcreation provides the best user experience for native speakers in your target markets by conveying your brand message in a way that resonates in their own mother tongue.

Transcreation may also affect the layout of your marketing materials or the images that are used to convey thoughts and ideas. Finding a language service provider that's experienced with transcreation as a service is the best way to ensure that your marketing message is appropriate is consistent with the branding message and user experience you want to convey.

Subtitling

Subtitling and narration projects are priced on a per-word basis. We take into account varying factors specific to your project's needs such as:

  • will subtitles be hard coded?
  • Is a script provided?
  • Will transcription be needed before project can begin?

Interpreting

In-Person Interpreting

Pricing for in-person interpreting is billed on an hourly basis and does vary by language. Additional charges, such as mileage reimbursement and parking for in-person interpreting may also apply.

Court-certified interpreters are available for legal appointments. Court-certified and court-registered languages are also priced on an hourly basis. In some case, there may be a need for a language for which the state courts do not have a certification program in place yet. In these cases, we offer the services of interpreters who do have some level of court/legal experience.

Languages available for legal certified interpreting in the State of Washington include: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, French, Korean, and Mandarin. Registered languages include: American Sign Language (ASL), Amharic, Bosnian, Burmese, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Thai, Ukrainian, Urdu, Tagalog, Samoan and Japanese.

All in-person interpreting requests have a two-hour minimum.

Telephonic Interpreting

Pricing for telephonic interpreting is a per minute flat rate. 

Conference / Simultaneous Interpreting

Pricing for conference interpreting (aka simultaneous interpreting) is typically billed at either a half-day or full-day rate, with the inclusion of equipment rental fees. Other charges such as mileage reimbursement, meal per diem, and parking for the interpreter may also apply.

We hope that this information is helpful in understanding how industry pricing works.  If you would like specific pricing for any kind of language project, please do contact us today to get a detailed quote outlining services, cost, and time-frame.

Download our Human vs. Machine Translation Checklist

Get a Free Quote

Dynamic Language Blog

Is Your Video Game Ready for Market Expansion?

Gaming is a pastime that is almost entirely free of demographic boundaries. While certain groups are more likely to show...Read more

Translation and Localization Tips for the Retail Industry (Including Common Mistakes to Avoid)

Many companies are expanding at incredible rates, increasing the importance of being able to launch their...Read more

28 Boring Words to Ditch and Use These Instead [Infographic]

Bored of using the same words over and over again in your writing? Yes? Then it is likely your readers are bored too....Read more

Supply Chain Danger - Code of Conduct Compliance

To ensure consistent quality and standards, many global companies implement a code of conduct for every member of their...Read more

The Profound Impact of International Students at U.S. Universities

International students are studying at American colleges and universities at a higher rate than ever before. With the...Read more