Language service pricing depends on a variety of factors, including text type, service needed and word count.

Text Types Galore

While materials like call scripts and infographics are quicker and easier to handle, creative collaterals and webpages but, above all, technical documents and research publications, require in-depth research and more elaborate styles, which tend to absorb much more time. Marketing-oriented texts, in particular, require a whole different level of expertise in that they often need to be entirely rewritten to achieve the desired effect in the target language. This type of service is also known as “transcreation”. So while translating a round of business emails for a company’s internal communications may take one hour or two, transcreating a single slogan for their new product line may require as much as double, to say the least.

Not All Services Are Created Equal

Translation, localization, revision and subtitling all demand different skill sets and amounts of time. Translating a software user manual would require a different tool than the one needed to localize its user interface, while subtitling the accompanying promotional video may take longer than the in-context review of the webpage hosting it, due to its inherent space constraints. Language services are a fascinating and heterogeneous universe!

There Are Words and Weighted Words

While revisions are normally time-based tasks paid by the hour, translation and localization projects are priced by the number of source words to be handled. Projects may also involve the use of a CAT tool along with the client’s translation memories and termbases, if any. This would result in a different word count based on how many “weighted words” the source text includes. This refers to the weighted total of all translatable words, with different weight assigned to repetitions and fuzzy matches in the analysis initially carried out. So while a source text contains, for example, 10,000 words, its weighted word count may be considerably lower, thus resulting in additional discounts.

Identifying the source text format and the scope of the target text helps me identify the area of expertise needed and the target audience, enabling me to choose the proper register, formality level, style and tone as well as to understand how much time it may involve. This is why, in order to confirm my availability and provide you with a quote, I need to understand such details as how many words are involved, what type of service would you need and the time frame in which the potential project would take place.