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Oct 2021 2 min read

Understanding Translation Rates

understanding translation rates


As a translation service provider, a common question that we hear is, “Why does translation seem so expensive?” To answer that, let’s take a look at the expert performing the service, the professional translator.

What Does a Translator Do?

Professional translators bridge the communication gap between two different cultures and languages; they connect people through written language. A translator takes a document in the source language and skillfully writes it in the target language. A high-quality translation is not just a word for word substitution from one language to another. The professional translator makes sure that the meaning of the source document is clearly communicated to the target language audience. They make sure that your message is conveyed the way you intended. When you think about it this way, it makes sense that a quality translator needs the same skills as a professional writer.

Specialized Skills of a Translator

A high quality, professional translator will possess the following important skills:

  • Fully bilingual – including being a native speaker of the target language
  • Communicates clearly
  • Mastery of grammar and syntax in both languages
  • Experience in the subject matter or industry
  • Detail-oriented
  • Cultural knowledge
  • Time management
  • Reading and comprehension
  • Writing proficiency

A professional translator needs to be good at all of these skills in both the target language and the source language. Using a translator means that you are hiring a professional who is very experienced and very skilled, not only in languages but also in writing. You are hiring an individual who has dedicated their education and life to the profession of being a translator. Just as you would not hire a person who doesn’t have the proper education to be a doctor to examine you, the same applies when you need a translation.

Learn more about the advantages of hiring a professional translator in our blog post, The Benefits of Using a Professional Translator.

translation ratesQualifications and Experience

Good translation agencies hire quality translators. At Rapport International, these are some of the qualities we look for in a translator:

  • Advanced degrees. We require a BA/BS or equivalent. A lot of our translators have PhDs or master’s degrees.
  • Experience. Our translators have a minimum of five years of experience translating; many have 10+ years experience.
  • Knowledge of subject matter. Our translators specialize in specific disciplines and will not take on unfamiliar subjects.
  • Fully bilingual and/or native speaker. This includes a deep cultural understanding and proficiency in two or more languages.

Other Options

You might be thinking you could just use Google Translate or an employee who speaks two languages. Before you do that, check out our blog post, Google Translate - What’s the Worst that Can Happen? for a guideline of when you should – and shouldn’t - use Google Translate. Learn why using an employee isn’t necessarily the least expensive option in our post, What’s the REAL Cost of Your Employee doing Your Translation?

Finally, want to see some funny examples of what can go wrong when you don’t use a qualified translator? Read Translations Gone Bad – Research Before Exporting, and learn from others’ mistakes!

Paying for Quality

The next time you’re wondering about the cost of good translation, take a minute to think about these highly trained, fully bilingual writers that we talked about today. They produce quality translations that you can trust to convey your message, and it’s worth the expenditure.

You’re paying for education, experience, and writing skills in two languages – that’s why high-quality translation may seem so expensive.

Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

Have questions? Contact Us 

Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

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