Translation (is not) for dummies

There are companies/agencies that offer translation at ultra-low prices. They claim to deliver high-quality translations, so they must work with skilled and experienced translators and proofreaders. Of course, both the translator and proofreader have to get paid for their services. Last but not least, the company/agency has to make profit out of that translation job.

Now, let’s apply this reasoning to a real-life situation:

1) let’s assume you need to translate a technical manual with a wordcount of 1,000 word, and that the cost estimate you get from a professional worthy of the name is $ 100. (a real estimate would depend on the field, difficulty, length etc.: I’m using random numbers here, just to simplify the following calculation)

2) you want a second opinion and contact one of these so-called “agencies/companies”, which offers you a significant discount: let’s say 30%. This means that the price you would pay drops down to $70.

3) the “agency/company” has to make a profit, let’s say around half the price: so, if the profit margin is $35, the remaining $35 will be used to pay both the translator and the proofreader.

4) this would mean around $0,025 per word for the translator, and $0,01 per word for the proofreader. Assuming that a translator is able to deliver a maximum of 3,000 word per day, that means his/her daily income for a highly specialized profession would be $75, or $9,375 per hour.


Do you know any professional (in any field) that would deliver the best quality you could dream of for an ultra low price? Of course not.


Real quality has a price. Always.


To all the companies/agencies/anyone else that apply this insane business strategy: you’re not doing business. You’re ruining a profession.

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