Confused as to meaning of ”Economy Translation”
Thread poster: Liviu-Lee Roth

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 18:48
Romanian to English
+ ...
Dec 18, 2015

Just got an offer for collaboration ...

What they offer:

Select and click on your category below.

Expert translation
Choose this if you are looking for high-quality translations that require technical expertise in specific fields such as law, medicine, aeronautics, etc.

Priority Translation
Select this if making a translation deadline is your top priority right now.

Economy Translation
Click on this if your primary concern today is the most translation for the least money.

I was not aware that there is an ”Economy Translation”. Can anybody enlighten me?


Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:18
English to Hindi
+ ...
MT? Dec 18, 2015

Probably MT with a smattering of post-editing by a novice translator?


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Could this be a misunderstanding? Dec 18, 2015

It appears from the way this is written that they are seeking collaboration with a potential customer for translations, rather than a translator. Perhaps you are such a person, but if not, you might want to query it if you wish to take the matter further. Personally I don't much like the sound of them.


United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Serbian to English
+ ...
they are just reflecting Dec 18, 2015

what they offer to their own clients.

I've seen few sites offering translations at varying "levels of quality";

one site was offering exactly that: "Expert translation / Priority Translation / Economy Translation" as levels of quality;

"Economy Translation" is most likely their marketing BS to mean "we'll give your text to any amateur willing to work for peanuts at breakneck speed so don't think of complaining about quality or accuracy" (or in some cases, "we'll just use MT, and have someone get rid only of the worst mistakes")

If I remember well what they are charging their clients (even for "Expert translation"), they are not worth your time.

[Edited at 2015-12-22 17:14 GMT]


Thomas Rebotier  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:48
English to French
Attempt to capture the basics Dec 18, 2015

I think you are dealing with an agency that attempts to run a business based on the fundamental features of translation for a client: quality, delay and cost. It's the second category that gives it away. Of course we all always want to meet our deadline. Duh! So I re-read the form as: what is your priority: quality, delay or cost? IMO it's a question to ask to a client, not to a translator, but perhaps the agency business model is to try and match translators with a focus on the same basic feature that the client prefers... Or say they prefer, because in my experience on this, clients always say their priority is quality, but when it comes to making a purchasing decision, they base it on cost (except pharma/medical and patents)!


Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 18:48
Romanian to English
+ ...
Thank you ! Dec 18, 2015

I appreciate all your answers. It seems that the sarcasm in my rhetorical question has been missed.

Indeed, the message is addressed to the potential clients, but who on earth would buy an ”Economy Translation”? What does it imply? Some of our peers answered this question, thank you!


R Farhat  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:48
Member (2004)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Economy Translation Dec 19, 2015


There is a not-so-common service called Economy Translation offered by some agencies, where the client does not require a full or expert translation but merely needs to know what a certain text or collection is about, for internal or personal use.

On such occasions, translators only provide a brief, for example 'this is an ad for so and so', 'this is a document about so and so highlighting the issue of xyz', 'this is a police report in xyz country about a robbery, etc'.

This kind of service, gist translation, is not for free since those who provide such services do put the time to read the text and write a brief. Most probably charges are per hour or minimum flat.

My guess, offered when free machine translation fails to help such customers, when the ST is not electronic making it impossible for them to copy and paste, or when typing in foreign characters in Google Translate for example, for self help, is not an option for them.

More cultural/personal than linguistic.


Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 18:48
Romanian to English
+ ...
Interesting, Dec 19, 2015

Thank you, Farhat.


Steven Segaert
Local time: 01:48
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not dodgy per se Dec 20, 2015

"Economy" can simply mean "without extra fees for urgency and specialist revision". In that case, it's just a different way of packaging things.

The only way to tell is to look at the rates.


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