What is a boutique agency?
A boutique agency is a small, owner-led agency. We don’t offer “all languages, all specialisation”, but focus on one segment and and only a few language combinations. All translations are done by hand-picked translators, that I personally know and trust. We offer personalized services, we want to get to know you and your translation needs and offer tailor-made solutions. Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us. We care about your text and your communication goal. We make sure, you’re brand looks good in whatever country you choose as a new market for your product-
How much does a translation cost?
Translations are not ready-made products that you take out of a shelf, put into your shopping cart and then check out at the cash register. That’s why it’s not possible to put a definite price tag on a translation – at least not before knowing the text, the source and target languages, the urgency, the purpose of the text, and the target audience. But I’m happy to provide a free quote if you send me your text – which will of course be treated confidentially – along with the information mentioned above. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
There are, however, certain factors that have an effect on the cost of a translation. Read here, what these are, and what you can do to lower the price.
Some factors that determine the costs of a translation
- Length of the text – this is probably the most obvious factor but is mentioned here for the sake of completeness. Of course, it makes a difference if you need just one paragraph or an entire book translated.
- The kind of text – it is not just the length that plays into the cost of a translation. A slogan may only consist of 5 words, but translating these five crucial words into the target language can take a lot longer than translating 500 words of continuous text – just like finding your slogan in your own language probably took you a long time, and you might have hired an expert to come up with an intriguing and convincing piece of text. The more creativity is needed, the more time it will take, and the higher the costs will be.
Just think about how much time and effort you put into writing your original content. While you might have a whole team working for weeks on your marketing content, slogans, and everything that shows the public what your brand stands for, you only need a minute to write an informal email to a colleague. This same rule holds true also for translations.
- The difficulty of the text – How much specialized knowledge is needed to translate your text? It’s not just about the words, it’s about their meaning. Translating is not just coding words into a different language. In order to produce a decent translation, the translator has to understand the meaning of the text. Highly specialized translators are harder to find, often busier, and thus might be more expensive. The more specialized your content is the more knowledge does your translator need in order to get the message across.
- Urgency – if you need your translation really fast, you’ll probably end up paying more. Translations take time. An average translator has an output of 2.500 words – maybe more if they are very familiar with the subject. If you need more done in a shorter time, it might be possible to divide the text between several translators (which will also be a bit more costly because extra time is needed to make sure that terminology and style are consistent between the translators, and to coordinate the tasks), or to find a translator who is willing to work longer hours, on the weekend or through the night – but of course, this involves costs for overtime.
- Quality – what do you need your translation for? Maybe you just need to get the gist of the meaning of a private letter you got – that can be done quickly, or you can even use Google translate (yes, I said it – not every translation task needs a professional). But if you want your marketing content translated – or anything that will be published and will reflect on your brand, your image, your company, and the quality of your work – you want it as flawless and polished as possible. In this case, you are well advised to book a package with a second pair of eyes, i.e. a proofreader. You can apply the following rule of thumb: The more effort you put into your original piece of content, the more effort should also go into the translation.
How you can contribute to lower the cost
There are two things you can do to lower the cost of the translation:
- Provide a workable file – if your text is in a pdf format, we need more time even for the word count to provide a quote, and for formatting the final document.
- Give us access to your terminology – if you have a terminology list (either multilingual or just explaining company-specific terminology in the source language), we need to ask fewer questions and do less research – this might not just lower the price, but also ensure better quality.
What is my task in this?
II’m glad you’re asking because it shows that you care about the outcome of the work. There’s acually a lot that you can do to improve the outcome of the translation. Communication is key to a good translation. The translators often have questions, which are in fact a sign of quality, rather than a weakness. A contactperson within your company, who reacts quickly, either by mail or by phone, can do a lot to speed up the process as well as enhance the quality of the work. Any reference materials, mono- or bilingual glossaries you use in your company, a style guide, already translated parts that you’re happy with, all ensure consistence and quality. Providing the text in an editable format is also a great help. Be prepared for questions like: “What do you want to achieve this this text?” “Which image of your brand do you want to convey?”
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