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UK word rate for translating
Thread poster: DefeoG
Local time: 23:09
English to Italian
Nov 13, 2007

Hi there

I have a simple question: I am new to the UK translating market and I would like to know how much they charge for word (or 1000 words) in pounds.
I looked trough the forum posts but couldn't find the topic so far...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:09
English to German
+ ...
You're the one to answer that Nov 13, 2007

Hi DefeoG,
There's no pre-fab answer to this - but you may want to have a look at Rate Calculator.

It's ok to check the market but you should have an idea about your costs to start with.

Best regards,

PS Your question is not simple at all.

[Edited at 2007-11-13 19:28]

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:09
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
The Chartered Institute of Linguists had a list Nov 13, 2007

Some years ago, the IoL as it was then sent me a list. You could contact them and ask if they stil have a 'starter pack'. It used to include this list, their code of conduct, advice about entering into contracts (as you do when you take on jobs) and a few other things. They have probably updated it since I started. I hope so!

Rates vary somewhat depending on language pair and direction, and the list I have somewhere is now a good few years old, but they may have an updated version.

Language pair and the direction you translate do make a diference. When translating from Scandinavian languages to English, for instance, there are roughly 20% more English words in the target text. So I charge a lower rate per thousand words if I count target words than if I count source words. The converse applies for Scandinavian colleagues who translate the other way.

I don't know what the ratios are in other language pairs, but that accounts for some of the variations.

Then you can vary the rate according to the difficulty of the job etc.

As Ralf says, remember to charge in some way for your costs - including the time you spend working but not directly translating.

And the best of luck - there are not too many really good translators around!

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:09
Italian to English
The Translators Association Nov 13, 2007

Hi Giovanni,

I see from your other post that you are trying to find a translator for a children's book you have written.

The Translators Association, which is a subsidiary group of the Society of Authors, suggests £80 per 1,000 words as a ballpark figure for literary translations.

Of course, if you're going to invest that kind of money in your book, you'll want to make sure that the translator you employ has a decent track record. The Society's database might help:

In bocc'al lupo con il tuo libro!


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:09
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
The rate will also depend on whether you commission the translation Nov 13, 2007

to a translator or an agency.

There are no standard rates and each translator has their own rate, determined on the basis of various factors such as location, qualifications, experience and of course the type of document to be translated, requirement for specialised terminology etc.

Your best bet it to contact translators/agencies directly, providing details of the project and asking for a quote.

Best of luck,


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UK word rate for translating

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