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What to consider when comparing the prices of the various translation agencies?

An average translation agency does not specify a particular price on their website. Instead, it offers a free quote. However, no matter how we get information about the price of the service, we need to make sure what exactly is included in the price to be able to compare different offers. Here are some tips:

Page of translation - how many characters?
A given price is usually the price for 1 page of translation. Unfortunately, on the market there are many different kinds of settlements, and it is your job to find out what settlement a particular translation agency operates. However, it always is  the number of characters counted with spaces (number of characters you can see in the Microsoft Word menu Tools | Word Count). Examples:

 

  • 1800 characters – typical page of translation in Poland
  • 1500 characters – European norm, that a number of offices have adopted
  • 1125 characters – a page of translation for sworn translations (in Poland)

 

Either way, it is always less than the normal page of text in Word.

We should also find out whether the translation agency takes into account the length of the source text, or translation. In the first case, we know in advance how much would the final translation cost. The second price before performing the translation can only be an approximate one. It is a standard procedure to get a price for the target text. The average translation is longer than the source text, which means that the price may be higher than expected considering the length of the source text, but it all depends on the particular pair of languages. Some languages express the same content using more characters (eg. German, Polish), and others using less (eg. English, Chinese).