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Translation rates per word: how to improve the quality of your translation project and stay on budget

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A multilingual website is practically a must-have for any business that wishes to expand its customer base – especially into foreign markets that speak a different language. While making this investment might have previously involved forking out hefty sums to engage a professional translator to translate a website, this is not necessarily the case these days.

Nowadays, there are various other website translation options available that are adapted to various needs, and which have helped reduce the costs and difficulty involved in translating a website. Even if your business has limited resources, you’ll still be able to obtain quality translations for your website at affordable translation rates per word – and in this article, we’re going to discuss how.

How do professional translators charge for translation work?

When it comes to having a website translated, you might first look into hiring a professional translator or translation agency. In this regard, the translator may consider these two main factors when deciding how much to charge:

  1. Length of the text: how many words need to be translated? Naturally, the higher the number of words that needs to be translated, the more your translation will cost.
  2. The language combination: what language is your text in, and what language(s) is it to be translated to? Bear in mind that less common translation requests may cost you more. For example, a translation from English to Spanish may cost much less than a translation from Korean to French, which is rarer.

Several other factors may also influence the final translation pricing, namely:

  • The subject matter of the translation: a highly technical piece will cost more to translate than generic text, because the translator will need to understand the technical terms and be able to translate them appropriately. For example, a translator will likely charge more for translating website terms and conditions, which involves translating technical legal jargon, versus translating a website’s About page.
  • The translator’s qualifications: a linguist or a certified translator may command higher translation rates per word than a translator without any special qualifications.
  • The urgency of the translation: if you require the translation to be completed at a short notice, the translator may charge an urgent fee to accommodate the shorter turnaround time.
  • The formatting of the translation: if the contents of the original document had been arranged in a certain way, with the translated text also having to be displayed in that same way, then the translator may charge more for this extra formatting work.
  • The number of revisions required: the more changes the translator needs to make to their work, the more they might charge for their translation services. Such extra revisions could be charged at an hourly rate on top of the flat rate for the initial translation work.

With so many different factors that could affect the final rate, hiring a professional translator or translation agency for translation services could quickly become very expensive.

What’s more, the translator will assist only with translating the contents of your web pages – which means that once they’ve handed over the translations, it’ll be your job to manually implement them on your website.

What are other website translation options and their translation rates per word?

If hiring a professional translator or translation agency to translate your website isn’t a feasible option, here are some alternatives and their average rates per word:

DIY manually

Translation rates per word: $0

If you or someone in your team can speak the target language, you might be able to undertake the translation work yourself. But the quality of the translation will depend on how well-versed your in-house translator is in the target language – and if they aren’t, the accuracy of the translation may suffer.

In any case, if you have many web pages to be translated, then the translation work could be time-consuming and take valuable time away from other responsibilities. You will also still need to manually implement the translations on your website, where this may involve some technical know-how.

DIY with online tools such as Google Translate

Translation rates per word: $0

While this can help you get faster translations than trying to do them manually, the translations provided by online tools may not be completely accurate. This could result in a poor user experience after the translations have been implemented on your website – where such implementation also has to be done manually.

Use computer-aided translation (CAT) tools

Translation rates per word: Varies on the tool; some tools have freemium versions while others charge a one-time or monthly subscription fee

This is a combination of the manual approach and using computer software to translate web pages – the translation work will primarily still be done manually, but the translator will use software to facilitate the process.

For example, the CAT tool may offer a translation memory feature that helps store and retrieve previously translated content, cutting down the time needed to complete the translation.

While CAT tools can help simplify the translation process, they are not meant to be a replacement for human translation. As a result, you will still have to rope someone in to carry out the work.

What’s the best solution for businesses looking to translate their website?

If your website translation work involves a rare language pair, it may be best to hire a professional translator to ensure the accuracy of the translation. But even if your language pair is more common, you may still consider hiring a professional translator if you have the budget for it.

To give you a rough idea of website translation costs, a professional translator may charge approximately $1,200 to translate a website of around 10,000 words – or translation rates per word of $0.12/word. 10,000 words may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. For example, a single landing page may already have at least 700 words or more! So this approach may be best if you have a small website that doesn’t have that much content to be translated.

Use our website translation cost calculator to understand the different options and costs

But given how website translation projects tend to be large and more extensive, the costs of hiring a professional translator can prove to be too much for businesses. Even for cheaper options that involve more DIY-ing, such as those listed above, manually implementing the translations on the website later on may pose too much of a hassle.

As a result, such businesses may choose to postpone or give up on their translation projects – when there may be a more cost-effective and convenient solution to their translation challenges, namely using a website translation solution. This is because:

  • It offers fast, accurate and thorough translations: with the help of machine learning, the website translation plugin can accurately translate large volumes of text in short periods of time. It can also translate even the smallest details of your website, such as your menus and web page metadata.
  • The translation work will be less expensive: the bulk of the translation work can be done by the translation plugin, while you leave the translation of more crucial web pages to a professional translator. As a result, the translator may be able to charge lower translation rates per word for your project.
  • You have greater control over your budget: when you invest in a website translation plugin, you will know its cost in advance. This gives you more certainty on the cost of the entire website translation work.
  • Translations are automatically imported to your website: not only does this save you the trouble of having to manually implement translations on your website, but it also ensures that no mistakes are made during the implementation process due to human error.
  • They may come with extra features that human translators don’t offer: for example, the website translation plugin may be able to optimize the translated text for search engines, or even translate website URLs.

Why use the Weglot translation solution to translate your website?

Weglot translation solution

The Weglot website translation solution is a superior option for translating websites that checks all of the above boxes. Starting at €9.90 a month for 10,000 words – which works out to translation rates per word of €0.00099/word per month – Weglot also lets you:

  • Accurately translate your website to more than 100 target languages, from Portuguese to Japanese, and less common languages such as Persian and Lao, with a high degree of precision using a proprietary mix of machine language translations.
  • Preview your translations on your web pages using a visual editor, so you can see how the translations will look on your website before you officially roll them out.
  • Rapidly translate your entire website or only certain parts of it, while engaging a trusted professional translator to take care of the rest – directly from within Weglot.
  • Collaborate with external translators seamlessly within the Weglot dashboard.

High translation accuracy and low translation rates per word with Weglot

When it comes to obtaining quality and accurate website translations, the most premium option would of course be to hire a professional translator. However, professional translators can charge high translation rates per word, making the cost too prohibitive for businesses to stomach.

While there are other options for businesses looking to translate their websites, such as manual translation and using CAT tools, these involve some extent of DIY-ing, which may affect the accuracy of the translation produced. To obtain greater accuracy in website translations, as well as shorten the potential turnaround time, the best solution may be to opt for a superior website translation solution such as Weglot.

Used by thousands of global brands who care about ensuring the quality of translated content on their websites, Weglot makes it a breeze for any business to translate their websites at translation rates per word that are extremely cost-effective.

Weglot can also be used to translate only certain web pages at scale, while a professional translator is more affordably hired for more complex translation work, giving businesses the best of both worlds. Want to get started with Weglot for free? Simply sign up for your free trial of Weglot here.

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