It’s All a Question of $$$

In our industry, it often boils down to what people are willing to pay for having their content localized. What we found as part of a survey we conducted is that there is a very wide range of prices for similar translation services.

In the below graph, we show the lowest, highest, and median rates reported for eleven languages translated from English (FIGS+CCJK+R+P). The highest rates reported were universally at least twice as high as the lowest rates reported for each language, sometimes approaching three times as much.

This spread is not necessarily surprising, considering the fragmented nature of the language services market. Multiple Language Service Providers (MLSPs) cater to a wide variety of different clients, working in different industry verticals and specializing in different services. It is understandable, therefore, to see the degree of flexibility in price-setting from different service providers.


The median rates reported for each language are useful for both buyers and sellers of language services who may currently be trying to decide how much to spend or to charge, respectively, for translation services.

However, each LSP has to decide for itself how to set pricing, which is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • What additional services and overhead are included (hidden) in the per word rate? How many QA steps are included in this per-word rate? Are there other services such as file processing, project management, or desktop publishing that are included in this rate?
  • What margin is expected from senior management and how (exactly) is that margin calculated?
  • What economies of scale are we leveraging? This is not just a matter of volume, but also factors such as the average number of languages per project, average word count per hand-off, number of unique clients, diversity of file types handled, process standardization, and others.

If you wish to learn more about what Nimdzi found as part of a survey on localization pricing, head to our report here.

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24 February 2020
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