Do ‘Cheap Translation Services’ Really Exist?

Do ‘Cheap Translation Services’ Really Exist?

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Nowadays, more than ever, people are looking for the Holy Grail – a combination of fast, high-quality, and cheap translation.

The problem with translation is that it’s a service. If you say you want all three, usually one has to suffer. What can influence the price of translation services, and how can you get the best deal possible?

Are cheap translation services a myth? To find the answers to all of the questions above, we need to break things down.

#1. The early bird gets the worm

If you want to find cheap translation services and get the lowest possible price for your translations, plan it all in advance. Start inquiring about pricing the moment you start planning and writing the content.

Presumably, you know which languages you want to translate into, so why not ask around and let the information sink in while you are working on the content – you will definitely be better off if you don’t look for translators at the last second.

#2. What’s your target audience

We don’t ask you now about your business plans here. Quite literally, what target languages are you translating into?

If you are planning to expand your business to Norway, Denmark, and Finland, expect that your costs will be higher than if you were entering the markets of Spain and Argentina.

This is caused by the number of translators for a certain language, but also the target markets (much higher taxes in Norway, compared to Argentina). 

#3. What does the future hold?

Many people still shy away from this form of translation, but machine-translation can drive down costs more than most other aspects on this list.

The content that people usually want to have translated fast and at an affordable price (therefore, using cheap translation services) is not really a linguistically complex novel.

Technical content, websites, software, and support tickets can all benefit from using machine-translation. What is the catch?

Machine-translation results are much better, even without any specific machine-learning, for major language combinations, including English, German, and Spanish. This also impacts the next aspect.

#4. Machines and humans working together

We’d dare to say that machines can serve translators to a great degree, especially for the major language combinations, as explained above.

How does this impact price? Well, translators for Spanish could lover prices up to 40%-50%, since they can re-use a lot of the machine-translated content. Translators for Hungarian might not offer you such reductions, however.

#5. How to find cheap translation services and get the best price

How can some agencies offer lower rates, compared to other agencies? The best answer to this is that most agencies are like little black boxes. You send content for translation, they process it and give you a random price.

Try to work directly with freelancers to get the best prices, as you will be cutting out the middleman. This strategy might be risky, as you still need to find these translators (for example, on ProZ), but you could also work with companies that let you collaborate with freelancers directly. 

Where to find such services?

TUFT is exactly this type of service. Text United Fast Translation (because that’s the full name of our new product) doesn’t charge you a fixed rate like your traditional translation services provider. Our human service rate is based on direct access to a translator, and the best current market rate is used for a given language combination. We also adapt our rates per language combination while prices are changing on the market!

And if you want to use machine translation or machine translation with human review, the price will be even lower because we don’t charge you for once already translated phrase. Want to try it out yourself? Click on the banner below and translate your first file for free:


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