This is a question that gets posed to us on countless occasions and seems to be something that causes considerable confusion for our clients. It becomes much less confusing when applied to a more everyday scenario. Let’s say you want a new pair of shoes. If you purchase these shoes for £5, you can’t expect them to be as comfy, durable and made of the same quality materials as a pair of shoes that cost you £50. The same goes for translation. Simply, a cheap translation will be a bad quality translation.
It is understandable that translation pricing can cause confusion. When you buy something like shoes, you can see what you are getting for your money. You can feel the material yourself, ascertain whether the fabric is good quality and if the sole is thick or feels flimsy. You can try them on and really get a good idea of the relationship between quality and price. It is not the same with something like translation. Most people outside the industry would have no idea how much they should expect to pay for high-quality translation. With this in mind, we would like to explain a bit more about our pricing and hopefully put some minds at rest.
The first thing to note is that our pricing is completely in line with industry standards. We’ve carried out (and continue to carry out) in-depth research to ensure our prices are not only reasonable but actually very competitive for the industry. Our prices are not rock bottom, as that would be doing a disservice to our translators. We would never want to undervalue or underappreciate the incredible work our translators do for us and certainly would never underpay them in order to reduce our prices. In the same way, we would never hike our prices to an extortionate level to exploit our clients. We pride ourselves on finding balance in our pricing, to find a fair deal for both translator and client.
Our prices are not just numbers picked out of thin air, we have a complex pricing strategy to ensure that our prices are as reasonable and realistic as possible. We calculate pricing on a number of different factors. These include the language pairing (some languages are more expensive than others as they are more complex to translate, some languages contain compound nouns that influence the pricing). Pricing also depends on the word count of the project, as well as the sector in question (is it marketing material, legal, technical or medical), the complexity of the specific document and the level of urgency.
For this reason, although we will always try to be accommodating, we won’t discount our prices without due cause. We believe in the pricing structure we have implemented and in the quality of our translations. We can’t arbitrarily reduce our prices to meet individual budgets, as they are often extremely unrealistic and doing such would undermine the hard work of our translators and in-house project management team. However, we will help out where we can, by offering options such as 10% large volume discounts.
When a customer comes to us saying they have had a cheaper quote from elsewhere, we are concerned, did we make a mistake in our quote? With our wordcount? However, when they say they’ve been quoted half of what we have offered, we become downright alarmed. It is crystal clear to us that any translation company offering such a low price will not be reputable in the slightest. At best, translations from this company will be being done by under skilled, severely underpaid and overworked translators. At worst, your translations won’t even be done by humans, you’ll be sent something that has been put through Google Translate, or even a file containing complete gobbledygook in the guise of your translations.
Using these disreputable companies is extremely risky as, presumably, you do not speak the language you have requested to be translated. This means you will not be able to pick up on incorrect translations until it is seen by your native speaker recipient(s), by which time you will have thoroughly embarrassed yourself and possibly offended the receiver. It’s also entirely possible that you won’t actually receive anything at all for your money. Scam translation companies work by enticing customers in with a ‘cheap’ price, demanding payment upfront, then disappearing without a trace. That cheap price becomes a lot less cheap when you have paid for absolutely nothing.
To ensure you are not going to fall prey to a scam company, look for an accredited company, members of organisations such as the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). (International Translations is not only a member of the ATC, our Director also sits on the Council, and is head of the Small Business Committee.) Don’t just go for the cheapest possible price, do research into the company first. Find out important information such as their policies on accepting translators. A reputable translation company will vet their translators for qualifications and experience. Cheaper companies will have no vetting process in place, allowing virtually anyone who claims to speak the language to undertake translations.
Read more about our company and how we can help you with your translations by clicking the link below.