There is not complete equality between translation projects, as some are just a matter of translating straightforward documents, while others could be medical or legal documents which ultimately will affect the cost of translation services.
In general, there are 5 factors that play the most important roles in determining the cost of translation while influencing translation prices.
Some languages typically cost more than many others to translate. For example, the cost of translation services for English to Japanese is considerably more expensive than English to Spanish. English generally plays the role as an intermediate language, between the less common translated languages, so this means adding an extra layer to the translation process which of course adds to the cost of translation of a complete project.
If someone is looking for a translator to translate between say Hindi and Icelandic most Language Service Providers (LSPs) would first try to locate a translator who is able to translate the Icelandic language into English. The second translator will be paid to translate from English into Hindi. This is one of the factors affecting cost of translation.
Some translation projects may be considered very important with tight deadline dates set. LSPs take this into consideration when considering the cost of translation services. Some may even charge anything from 10% to 200% more for urgent translation projects.
A translation project’s size clearly has an impact on the cost of translation. This is normally based on the word count of the project. For example, a small company memo being translated into another language will quite naturally have a far smaller number of words than a manual for a manufacturing company which needs to be translated into 3 languages.
4. Complexity of the document
Big projects with different sorts of translation requirements may require a whole team of translators depending on the nature of the work. Often a translation services will charge more for these sorts of projects. Say for example the translation has to be laid out on a specific company website which is already written in the company’s native language. Desktop publishing and website planning are additional services that will need to be used to complete the project well. This of course will add to translation prices.
Depending on where the translation will end up will influence quality control. Even though of course all translations should be high quality there are some like for the pharmaceutical industry that might require more than a second pair of eyes to ensure that a high quality translation has been completed. This ultimately is one of the factors affecting cost of translation.