How to Create a Quote for Document Translation Services
July 28, 2011
Many of us find ourselves in team meetings or phone calls where someone needs to know how much translating a document costs. Whether you are a trainer who needs to translate a User Guide for new eastern European markets, or an advertising agency team member who must advise a client on brochure translation costs into 5 languages, the question of translation costs come up frequently, and usually without warning.
This is the first in a series of four blogs in which I will share a quick approach to calculating translation costs for documents, software, websites and multimedia translation services. Translation Project Managers are frequently asked to help a client pull together a "quick" translation quote. The components listed below are a good basis to help you understand the tasks required to build a reasonable document translation quote.
Getting Started with a Document Translation Quote
In order to create a quote for a document translation project, a few simple tasks can help build the quote and determine document translation costs.
- Common metrics used for actual translations, or as the trade calls it, Translation-editing-proofing (TEP), are typically per word.
- Desktop publishing(formatting) costs can be calculated per hour or per page.
- Translation companies should also include a glossary development step and project management fee.
Technical document translations would be priced differently than copy writing or transcreation translation of marketing collateral. The steps below cover the ingredients for a generic document translation quote.
A Sample Document Translation Quote
Let's assume that your project encompasses:
- 5,000 words
- General subject matter
- 25 page brochure
- Adobe InDesign source files
- No graphics have text that requires translation/localization
- Translation from English into two languages, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese
|Tasks||Cost per hour / word / page||# of hours / words /pages||Subtotal||Total (2 languages)|
|Translation-editing-proofing (TEP)||$.18 /word||5000 words||$900||$1800.00|
|Desktop Publishing (DTP)||$55.00/hr||2.5 hour||$137.50||$275.00|
|Desktop Publishing QA (DTPQA)||$55.00/hr||0.75 hour||$41.25||$82.50|
|Project Management Fee||10%||$215.75|
- Per word rates can vary between languages and results of translation memory usage
- DTP hours can vary depending on complexity of the formatting
- Glossary is assumed completed with above example as part of account management
Overview of Basic Tasks Included in Document Translation Quote
The basic tasks in a translation services project are:
Key terminology is identified and extracted from the source files provided by the client. The terminology is translated and provided back to the client for review and approval. Following review and approval, the terminology is imported into a translation memory tool and updated as needed.
This includes translation of text, editing of the text by a separate translation team and final proofreading. Price depends on language and word rate classification.
Desktop Publishing (DTP)
DTP encompasses formatting of all target language materials including text and graphics to match the source language documents. GPI will utilize client-specified DTP applications. Hourly pricing is also available.
Desktop Publishing QA (DTPQA)
After initial formatting/creation of new target language materials, GPI conducts a page-by-page review of the new target language materials for formatting issues against the original source materials.
GPI can provide client deliverables in any format requested. This could include Acrobat PDF, laser printed, offset printed and/or application source files.
Project Management Fee
This fee includes all aspects of project management by your GPI team including scoping, scheduling, project coordination including client review and approval process, status reports/calls and budget tracking.
GPI's Translation Portal has a Quick Quote Calculator to help you calculate a quote on a specific document translation project, calculating the cost and schedule if you can provide the basic metrics of language pairs, word and page count. To use the Quick Quote Calculator for a no-fee Quick Quote, simply create an account on our Translation Services Portal.
Free translation quotes can also be obtained from GPI by submitting source files through our Request a Translation Quote.
Useful resources on translation industry definitions
Globalization Partners International (GPI) has created a series of blogs and website resource pages to help you understand key concepts and vocabulary used in the translation and localization process:
- Difference between Translation Agency, Localization Services and LSP?
- What is a translation memory (TM)?
- 3 Metrics for Measuring Language Translation Quality
- Importance of Client Review Cycle in Translation
- Why is Translation Project Management Necessary?
Globalization Partners International frequently assists customers with translation and desktop publishing of user guides, books, fact sheets, menus and brochures into a variety of languages, utilizing a variety of publishing software, including Adobe Technical Communications Suite. You may contact GPI at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 866-272-5874 with your specific questions about your target global markets and your project goals. You may also request a Translation Quote for your project as well.
- Document Translation
- Translation cost, Translation services, Desktop publishing services, DTP, Document translation, glossary, project management
Daniela Bustamante - Director: Global Production Services
Daniela has over 16 years' experience in the translation, localization and language instruction professions. She holds a degree in Sworn, Literary, Technical, and Scientific Translation from the Instituto Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Olga Cossettini in Rosario, Argentina. Starting her career as a translator for English-Spanish/Spanish-English in 1990 over the years she has worked for several Localization Agencies as a translator, assistant project manager and senior project manager. She has completed a wide range of professional certifications in document and website localization with emphasis on translation, budgeting, quality control and project management including The Localization Institute’s Triple Certification in Localization Project Management (Localization Institute Chico, CA, USA). She has managed a wide variety of document, website, software and audio-video localization projects utilizing different Translation Management Systems (TMS), Translation Memory (TM) and I18n and L10n tool suites.