I give firm quotes based on seeing all documents to be translated. To determine volume I use a translation-environment software tool, which analyzes content within series of files, and shows me whether there is repetition within or across documents. For any job I can quote these ways, according to your preference.

  • a flat fee
  • an hourly rate with a mutually-agreed time range
  • a “per word” rate

Here are examples of different projects I might accept. The variety will show you why pricing varies, why I have to see texts before I quote, as files of equal length may require wildly varied man-hours to deliver what the client needs.


Four standard operating procedures, a validation procedure and a validation report totaling 65 pages, all .docx files to be returned in the same format. Purpose: regulatory filing. Repetition in document templates will help me work quickly. Due in three weeks (generous deadline). No possible changes to source texts mid-project, given the company’s document control process. Analysis: speedy project that will cost less than some of equivalent length.

A published patent and three related discovery reports, key documents in a brand new patent litigation case. The attorneys need it urgently for a deposition on Monday morning. I must get the translations edited before delivery, as the attorneys have no-one in-house who can confirm quality. Files available in pdf, to be returned as .docx files. Extensive handwritten annotations added to one of the files. Analysis: very expensive, as I will have to create editable source files before beginning translation, cancel prior engagements to get the job done in time, and sub-contract editing to a colleague at a rush rate.


An article written in English by a non-native English speaker, to be edited for correct English and improved flow and style. Duration depends on how good the author’s writing is. Analysis: editing pace (therefore cost) usually predictable based on skimming the text. Extra cost if the author makes changes mid-project.

A technical marketing document, client to supply text extracted as .docx files and to handle DTP in-house. Purpose: marketing brochure. Generous deadline. Analysis: simple and fairly cheap, unless client comes back with changes mid-project.