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Tips to score deals on translation

By Felicia Bratu

  1. Your time is money; our time is money, let’s cut the spending! Need an estimate for your document? Have your document ready when shopping around for rates. No translation company will be able to give you a real price without actually seeing your document. That’s your precious time spent without a real result!
  2. Most translators and translation companies have a minimum charge. Most of the time it doesn’t matter if you have 20 words for translation or 400, the price will be the same, the minimum charge. So, check with the translator or company, see how many words are covered by the minimum charge and try to profit by sending the maximum. Wait until you have enough material that you can bundle together, and bypass minimum fees.
  3. Make sure to provide the final version when starting the project. If there are changes, you might be asked to pay extra.
  4. Rush charges? 50% or 100% surcharge for rush delivery? Nobody likes them. Avoid them by scheduling your time properly.
  5. PDF? What can be better and more secure than this format? This might be true, but usually the translator will need the source file used to create that PDF. Have these files ready when looking for translation services. A good engineer will be able to recreate your PDF without the source files, but expect the cost to be more than double…
  6. Ask for a discount for repetitions. Modern translation companies use special translation tools to analyze your file and if there are words or sentences in your document that repeat themselves, you should get your discount. You can get up to a 30% or 40% discount for repetitions.
  7. Have you already had your documents translated by someone else? Provide them to the new translation agency from the beginning. They will be able to analyze your files and create a TM (translation memory) to use for future projects. This will help reduce the cost and also keep your translation consistent.
  8. You only have a personal document for translation, for private use, and it’s not to be published? Ask the translation company to charge you only for translation, and not editing. Most translation companies have translation and editing rates included in their price which they’ll be using two different linguists for. If you don’t need an editor you can get up to a 30% discount.
  9. You only have hard copies of the documents to be translated? Hey, there is no need to mail them – we live in the era of technology. Just scan them and email them to us. No need to pay extra charges for mailing. Also, most companies will charge for file processing – converting the hard copies or scanned files into editable documents. But you can avoid these charges by doing this step from your end. You can transform your scanned copy into an editable copy using Abbyy convertor (
  10. Pay nothing, get nothing. Do not use online machine translation tools for translating your papers. If you publish something translated by such a machine, you’ll not only lose money, but also your reputation.
  11. You have a website for translation? Do not waste your time copying and pasting the text from each page into Word. This is a very time consuming task and you might also be missing some important parts of the page (like page titles, descriptions, keywords, etc). Just ask your webmaster to give you the website source files, or to export the text from the database. Any translation company will know what to do from there.

Felicia Bratu

Felicia Bratu is the operations manager of wintranslation, in charge of quality delivery and client satisfaction. As a veteran who has worked in many roles at the company since 2003, Felicia oversees almost every aspect of the company operations from recruitment to project management to localization engineering. She recently received certification as a Localization Project Manager as well as Post-Editing Certification for Machine Translation. Felicia holds a BSc. in Industrial Robotics from the University of Craiova, Romania.

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