How much should a certified translation cost?

Do you want to avoid paying too much for your translation?

Let’s start with a statistic, Did you know that 33% of all web traffic hits the number one spot on the first page of google? And that most people buy from websites that they find within the first 10 sites? Does this mean they look no further than who is at the top spot instead of searching for the price? Got your attention? Good, let’s move on so the few minutes you have taken to find us and read this will save you a bundle moving forwards.

Here’s what you need to know, short, sweet, and to the point.

When choosing a large translation agency you are not paying the translator directly, For that reason, you may be paying more for your translation than if you had searched a little further. You need to know what you’re looking for with the different available options before you choose a translation agency or translator.

Translations: How To Pay The Right Price For a Certified Translation

This is why it’s a good idea to compare a few companies and find the best deals before you commit to one. We all want a good deal at the end of the day, whether it’s buying groceries or getting the best quality certified translation for the right price.

So let’s get into the 3 tips to make sure you find out what a certified translation should cost instead of just looking for what a certified translation costs. First, we will cover how the price is calculated,

You should always try to get the best value for your money, so why not skip the middleman and go straight to the source? That’s what we intend to show you here with a few reasons why going directly to a translator is better than using an agency.

Certified translation, price over value, translation comparison

Price to Value Ratio

So What should a certified translation cost?

When you need a certified translation of a document, how much should you expect to pay? 

There is no one simple answer to this because there are several reasons why someone needs to have a document translated and certified and so there are several parameters used to calculate a price.

Here are the 3 main reasons:

1. He or she is working with a foreign partner and wants to do business in his or her native language.

2. He or she does speak the target language but wants “official” documents for diplomas or visas or for when dealing with foreign companies in an official capacity (for example, at law firms).

3. Because he or she wants to read and learn materials written by people who share their native culture – if you’re learning Dutch and want textbooks in your native language, for example, you want to make sure that the translator you choose is proficient not only in the language but in the culture as well.

What are you paying for when you use a large agency website?

Simply put convenience, however, there are plenty of agencies out there like us who although considered a boutique agency, have a long track record and a very solid network of trustworthy translators who they know personally.

How much should a certified translation cost?

When choosing a large translation agency you are not paying the translator directly and you may be paying more for your translation than if you searched a little further.

For example:

You may pay say $0:15 to 0:20 cents per word, or between $85 to $135 per page for a certified translation that has been professionally crafted by a human who is a certified linguist holding a linguistics degree.

Going through an agency, the translator generally only receives 40% or even less than the price charged by the agency, The translator often has to bid for the work they receive so what they receive in the end depends on the bidding. Although this is great for large agencies as far as cost is concerned, this kind of gig economy is disastrous for the translation industry as a whole and ultimately not an entirely fair price for the client.

Certified translations comparison chart

compare the difference between a large agency and a dedicated boutique translation service. This can mean a difference in price of up to 40%

How does the gig economy affect the translation industry?

Essentially, the gig economy is geared toward having your cake and eating it too. Although large translation agencies do facilitate both clients and translators, who acquire work without having to compete with a website, most translators are not website builders. The bidding means that the properly educated, often university-educated, translators are wrapped up in a race to the bottom on price. Over time this means that many people who wished to become legal or sworn translators or as we call them, certified translators, will not wish to invest the time in studying for a linguistics degree only to be faced with their expertise being undervalued in the marketplace.

Quality over quantity

As you can imagine, if you go directly to a translator or a boutique agency, there is no middleman who is an internet marketer taking a cut. So the translator is happy and odds are, your translation will not be rushed and quality will be warranted.

Furthermore, you know you are dealing with the translator or boutique group directly. So look for a translator or boutique agency. If the agency covers every language or service known to man, that is a marketing company that farms out translations on an industrial level. We are not saying that is a bad thing, we are also partnered with such a company to help our clients with services we do not provide. However, we have chosen them carefully as our reputation of almost 30 years is valuable to us.

solution 3 tips

Our 3 tip solution to the price to value ratio

Then what’s the solution?

Our 3 tips.

1: Take a look around, check out our word calculator here and compare our price and the companies we work for regularly on our home and about pages here. Read our and others testimonials, A small agency has several reviews whereas a large agency has a plethora. We only have good ones from trusted organisations who have been with us for almost 30 years in some cases. Please be aware that the word calculator is only a guide, you may be pleasantly surprised with our quote after submitting your document to us here.

2: Compare that price to other agencies, at least 2 more. Don’t just look for the top 3 companies ranking on the front pages of Google, they may be good at ranking websites and marketing, that is not what you are looking for. You will want a reputable certified linguist for either your one-time project or for all your company translation needs.


3: This is about accuracy and representation, whatever you are having translated is a representation of you, so it must not only be a reasonable price, it must be a good representation, allow how you feel with what you have read here and elsewhere to give you a guide. Language is not just a tool, even a legal document must have a human element and speak to a human

That’s it! Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. If you want to give us a try, let us know that it was this article that prompted you to send us your documents for a quotation and we will give you 10% off your first translation project. No matter how large it may be, just for going directly to us. You will find extra information on the quotation form here.

If you are satisfied with what we deliver and leave us a testimonial here, we will give you a further 10% off your next translation.

If you are a large company or corporation, we also handle Gov contracts and other types of documents. Contact us to discuss a rate. If we can save you even 0.01 cents per word, delivering the same or even better quality, and turn around more swiftly than your regular provider, what would that mean to your business over time? (see the companies and Gov agencies quoted on our review page)

We hope this guide was helpful.

The Fides Legals Team