How Much Does Translation Service Cost

January 13, 2020

Every translation project is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much a given service will cost. However, there are some broad price-influencing elements to keep in mind. Those elements include the type of service a given project requires as well as the language(s) it involves.

This post goes over the factors that determine how much translation services cost in more depth.

What Translation Service Do You Need?

Etcetera Language Group provides three major types of translation services: document translation services, desktop publishing services, and translation proofreading and editing.

The cost of each will depend on the size and scope of your project. To help you determine which service you need, here is an overview of what goes into each:

  • Our document translation services focus on converting documents into English from another dialect and vice versa. Etcetera Language Group provides translation for documents from many different industries, including the fields of medicine and health-care, advertising, information technology, law, immigration, and finance. This service is available for both short-term and long-term projects.
  • Our multilingual desktop publishing services are designed to be a comprehensive way to help clients meet their multilingual publishing goals. The end product of desktop publishing is a document suitable for professional settings.This type of service can produce posters, flyers, technical documents, and more in dozens of different languages.
  • Our translation editing and proofreading services focus on identifying and correcting errors in already-translated documents
    • In the editing step, our team goes through an interpretation with an eye on grammar and structure. The team fixes any problems it identifies. The goal is to make sure the rendering retains all of the details from the original document as well as the message’s context.For the sake of improving the document’s clarity, this step may also involve significant rewriting and rearranging of the document.
    • In the proofreading step, our team looks at a more polished rendering. The purpose is to identify and correct relatively small—but still distracting—errors like typos, incorrect punctuation, grammar issues, and other mistakes.Like the editing step, this phase also has the overarching purpose of making sure the translation matches up with the meaning and context of the original document.

For more specific information on how much these services cost in general, please contact us. To ensure the translated message is error-free and lines up precisely with the original message, Etcetera Language Group uses translators who natively speak the target language.

How Much Do translation services cost - Translation

What Language Are You Attempting to Translate?

Certain languages are more difficult to translate than others, which can influence the price. For example, according to the blog of one translation app, Mandarin Chinese is particularly difficult to translate because it sports more than 80,000 characters. (English, by contrast, has 26 letters. That means Mandarin’s characters outnumber English’s letters by a ratio of more than 3,000 to 1.)

In terms of characters, Japanese is not as extreme as Mandarin, but it holds its own in that regard and is another difficult language to translate. Japanese features thousands of characters of its own, plus very unique sentence structures that harshly differentiate it from English.

Korean, meanwhile, has a high degree of difficulty because of its structure as well. As pointed out by the Asia Society, Korean is a language isolate, meaning that it developed apart from other languages.

In other words, it does not share traits with any relatives. Adding to the challenge is the fact that Korean comes in two official varieties, one for North Korea and one for South Korea. Beyond that, the vernacular features several more dialects that subdivide it further.

According to Sean Kim, writing for, yet another difficult language is Hungarian. Like Korean, it owes its complexity to the fact that it developed in isolation, making it quite unlike other languages.

For instance, certain phrases that would be several words in English might be a single word in Hungarian. The complexity doesn’t end there: Sophia Patrick comments that Hungarian also features intricate rules that govern its grammar.

As another example of a difficult-to-translate vernacular, Kim points to Arabic as a particularly complex challenge. The written version does not include vowels, and the letters can take one of up to four forms.

The takeaway point is this: Certain languages present unique challenges that affect their price. Additionally, it takes experienced translators to shift documents from one language to another without being tripped up by nuances such as dialectical differences.

Translation Service Costs

Though the most difficult language isn’t necessarily the most expensive to translate, there are certain pricing brackets that different languages fall into. Etcetera Language Group translates so many different languages and offers price points for different translations based on some of the components we’ve discussed. On the low end, languages cost $0.12 per word to translate, and on the high end, the rate is $0.17 per word.

To drill down deeper, here are some specific examples of pricing:

  • Spanish and Portuguese: $0.12 per word.
  • French, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese Chinese: $0.15 per word.
  • Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, and Romanian: $0.16 per word.
  • Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Polish, and Swahili: $0.17 per word.

Additionally, all languages have a minimum order fee. On the low end, the minimum order fee is $30 (in the case of Spanish and French). On the high end, the minimum order fee is $45, which applies to the languages priced at $0.17 per word.

Why Choose Etcetera Language Group?

Etcetera Language Group is a Washington DC-based company that has worked with clients across America and Europe. We have expertise in dozens of languages, and our services are delivered by a deep roster of multilingual translators and editors. For more evidence of how we can help fulfill your translation needs, just check out our review page. To schedule a free consultation or get the ball rolling on your translation project, please get in touch with us by calling 202-547-2977 or using our contact form.

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