What to consider when comparing the prices of different translation agencies?
A typical translation agency does not provide specific prices on the website. Instead, offers a free pricing of the text. But no matter how we get information about the price of the service we need to make sure what exactly is the price to be able to compare different offers. Here are a few suggestions:
1. A billing page, so how many characters?
Given price is usually the price for 1 standard page. Unfortunately, there are many billing pages, which is why we need to know what system is using a particular translation agency. It is always the number of characters counted with spaces (number of characters can be checked in Word program on the Tools menu | Word Count).
1800 characters - typical billing page in Poland
1600 characters - page recommended by the Association of Polish Translators
1500 characters - a European standard, which adopted a number of agencies
1125 characters – mandatory page for certified translations, imposed by order of the Minister of Justice
Anyway, it is always less than the normal page of text in Word.
2. Source page or translated page?
We should also find out if translation agency takes into account the length of the source text or target text. In the first case we know in advance how much it will cost, in the second case the price can be approximate. The standard is the price for target text. The average translation is longer than the source text, which means that the price may be higher than expected, but everything depends on the specific language pairs. Some languages express the same content with more characters (e.g. German, Polish) and others with less characters (e.g. English, Chinese).