How Much is a Professional Translation Service?

Professional translation services are a virtual necessity for any company doing business in the international arena. Yes, there are plenty of decent online translators, but none of them can be trusted to adequately convey the actual intent of business documents and especially legal documents. The potential for error is something that no self-respecting business can allow, so the only reasonable alternative is to find a highly respected professional translation service that you can count on for all your document translation needs.

Why is Document Translation Important

It would be hard to overstate the importance of business document translation services, especially in the international business arena. Any time that you cut corners in this area, it can have serious consequences which can damage your brand and its reputation. There are all kinds of automated software translation services available, especially if you’re looking online, but in order to avoid errors in translation, it is essential that any translated document be proofread by someone who is fluent in the language being translated to.

You have probably noticed some signs yourself when you’ve been overseas, which don’t seem to quite make sense, or which have some kind of error in the translation which throws off the meaning. Mistakes like this are usually caused by businesses which are trying to save money and use online translators like Google Translate.

While such translators are fine for informal use and to get the general idea across, they almost always lack accuracy, and you’ll probably also notice that syntax and grammar can become all jumbled up. Another issue which you may have noticed with computer translators is that they don’t really account for any differences in personal writing styles or expressions – all they do is substitute one word for another.

It’s also true that some words or phrases like HMU have no direct translation into other languages, and in cases like that, the whole sentence really should be restructured so that it makes sense. There are even phrases which don’t translate at all across languages, and in that case, you’ll have to find some appropriate phrase which approximates the intent of the original terminology.

This is where document translation services really shine, and can add major value to the translation process. It’s also true that the longer any document is in length, the more mistakes there are going to be in the translated version. It’s easy to see how a one-page document could be quickly translated with relatively few mistakes, but any document which is substantially longer will require a more thorough examination, because there’s the potential for a great many more mistakes to be made.

When you have a document that must be translated into at least one other language, your best bet is always to hire a skilled professional to do the work for you, and that individual should work for a company that has a whole team of capable professionals. If you can find a professional translation service whom you can trust, that will go a long way toward ensuring that all of your documents to be translated will come out with an accurate and very readable version in the translated text.

Cost of Document Translation Services

There are a number of ways that third-party companies apply charges for their translation services, and this is something you should ask about right upfront when you’re considering any company which might do translation work for you. Some companies prefer to charge by the word, because this is a flexible arrangement which covers any length document, and is fairly universal in its application.

For the same reason, some companies will charge by the page, since this is a similar pricing scheme to charging by the word, except that it applies to a larger pricing unit. Other companies make a point of charging by the hour, because it may take longer for some languages to be translated, and this allows their employees to be fairly compensated for extra time which needs to be taken.

There is often some research necessary on specific phrases and terminology, and the hourly rate would take this into account, whereas the price per word and price per page do not. Some translation companies prefer to charge a flat rate for their services regardless of the length of the document, although there are relatively few companies which take this approach. The flat rate method does not take into account the length of any document which needs to be translated, and it calls for charging the same rate for a one-page document as for a 500-page document.

That’s why relatively few companies adopt the flat-rate pricing scheme, and prefer to charge fees which are more commensurate with the effort involved, or the time which is necessary to accomplish the translation. Many companies will also impose a minimum fee for their translation services, and this will be in tandem with their main charge, which might be either by the word or by the page.

Many of the translation service vendors have this specific kind of pricing scheme, where a minimum fee will be charged so as to cover the possibility of a very short piece which requires translation. Then to handle longer pieces, there will also be a price-per-word or price-per-page fee used, which provides sufficient flexibility to handle pieces of any length. 

Final thoughts

Translation services are critical for any business which has an international reach, and which is obliged to deal with documents in other languages than English. You won’t be in business very long if you make mistakes in translating documents, because your international customers will quickly lose confidence in you, and your credibility will be irreparably harmed.

That being the case, it is absolutely mandatory that you find an expert translation service whom you can rely on for accuracy, affordability, and great customer support. Sometimes you can find such a service simply by consulting with business associates who have already discovered a reliable translation partner, and sometimes you can read online reviews to find a really good service to partner with. However it is that you come across a good translation service, you should stick with them once you do find a good service.

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