Factors that influence prices
The price of a translation is mainly dictated by the length of time the translator needs to do it. The length of the text plays a major role here, but the following factors also influence the pace of work and thereby also the costs.
Editorial changes to the text after the order has been placed
All texts can be revised on request to accomodate feedback from the customer on the translation. This revision process is included in the price quote. But changes to the actual content of the text after the order has been placed (and especially after I have started work on it) must be paid for at my normal hourly rate. Texts should ideally not be translated until the final version in German has been produced, as even quite minor changes to a text can have a major impact on the translation.
The language of the source text
Is the style of the text complex? (If
there are only three to four sentences per A4 page of text, it
Does the text contain errors?
Is the text historic? For example, two hundred or four hundred years old?
Is the text written in dialect?
Specialist knowledge and time required for research
Does a lot of the translation time need
to be spent on research?
TIP: If you have additional material such as relevant images or photographs, texts closely related to the subject in hand, existing translations of your documents, or glossaries, passing these on to the translator can save time and helps ensure the quality of your translation. If you are getting a section or sections of a document translated, it's nearly always helpful to the translator to have read the full document.
Format and formatting
Is the text available in electronic
form? Or as a barely readable fax or even as a manuscript?
Does the text contain text in unwieldy formats – sich as text in graphic frames?
In what format should the translator work?
Does the translator need to format the text?
TIP: If you need to get the translation done as cheaply as possible, you can get the text of your powerpoint presentation translated in a regular word processing program and format it as a powerpoint presentation afterwards yourself.
What is the translation to be used for?
Is particular creativity required? (for
example, a marketing or advertising text which needs to be adapted
for its intended audience)
Does the entire text need to be translated? Would a summary of the text in the target language suffice?
TIP: If the text contains lists or other data which does not need to be translated, mark this material so that it doesn't get counted as part of the order volume.
Finally: A note on charging by quality
Some translators translate at different
rates depending on the quality required by the customer. I prefer not
to do this, both because I detest producing „medium“
quality translations and because the difference between a text which
is merely not been polished and a text containing errors which render
the text useless to decision-makers is sometimes minimal. (As Mark
Twain put it: The difference between the right word and the almost
right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning
Nevertheless, it can make sense to let me know if you need a text translated for internal purposes only. If you don't read German well, I could walk you through the content of the text on the phone quickly and it could well transpire that you only need three pages of a fourteen-page text translated – but you do need those in acceptable quality.