Calculating Translation Costs


Modern cost calculation in translation is performed with translation software, which is a step towards major cost optimisation for clients.

But let us begin with the most intuitive, simplistic approach. Note: this is not how we do things!

Let’s say that a text consists of 1000 words. The rate is 0.1 EUR.

According to the old calculation method, translation cost would be as follows:

1000 x PLN 0.1 = PLN 100

Here is how we calculate the costs (and how it should be done):

First of all, let’s stress that the above-mentioned rate is only charged in full for previously untranslated words. For repetition, the situation is different, e.g.:

  • a repetition: 50% of X, that is EUR 0.05 per word
  • a fuzzy match: 80% of X, that is EUR 0.08 per word

Once the rate is established, our software calculates the number of new words and different types of repetitions (context matches, exact matches, fuzzy matches, etc.)

The text is 1000 words long. But we have worked for this client previously, so we can use translation memory to lower the cost. The software shows that our text has 500 words in new segments, 200 in fuzzy match segments and 300 in exact repetitions.

Therefore, here’s a new valuation:

500 x EUR 0.1 + 200 x EUR 0.08 + 300 x EUR 0.05 = EUR 81

The effective rate per word for this project:

EUR 81 ÷ 1000 = EUR 0.081

It is 19% lower than the nominal rate of 0.1 EUR. These savings are possible thanks to the use of translation memory (which finds repetitions from previous translations) and professional software (which finds internal repetitions within the current text).

Economies of scale in translation >>

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