How much does adaptation from one locale into the same language but a different locale cost?
Thread poster: David Stone

David Stone
Chinese to English
May 29, 2014

Hello everyone,

I am a student working on a group project related to translation project management. Our mock translation project includes tasks such as translation from en-us>en-UK. We are trying to figure out how much a language services vendor would charge for same-language translation or adaptation, expressed as a percentage of the cost of translating into a completely different language.

Would "translation" from en-us>en-uk be 50% of the cost of, say a translation from en-us>es-mx? Less even?

In this case we're talking about both software UI and support documents such as web pages and user manuals; in this case I think we mainly just need to make sure we use locale-appropriate terminology, currencies, units etc etc. The project does not have a lot of detail about this stuff other than the word counts, etc. so a crude estimate for this would work just fine for us.

Thanks for your help in advance!


United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. May 29, 2014

I do a lot of US to UK English and vice versa, in IT and various other fields. There are usually very few changes, and it usually involves a quick once-over and a minimum charge.

[Edited at 2014-05-29 21:28 GMT]


Local time: 03:53
French to Dutch
+ ...
Same as for proofreading May 29, 2014

for changing Belgian Dutch into standard Dutch (for both countries, more especially for the Netherlands) = about 30% of translation cost.
Belgian translators are usually very good, so there are no or few errors, but sometimes some expressions or words have to be modified. In other cases I have to spot gallicisms and to change word order.
Note: both countries share the same grammar rules and spelling, and there are no currency issues.


Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
This could be a jack-in-the-box May 30, 2014

It is difficult to consider in advance how much an adaptation could cost. It would be wise and fair to charge per hour of work.


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same as proofreading May 30, 2014

In my case I charge the same as proofreading, i.e. I charge by the time invested.

Just to give you an idea, I reckon that, based on the time I usually have to spend, what I usually charge for a proofreading project is about 1/5 of my translation charge.


Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:53
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hourly rate May 30, 2014

Hi David,

I do a lot of US>UK English work, and some text types require more changes that others. Sometimes it's just a few spelling changes, but other times phrasing also needs to be altered. I often work with documents containing information for patients considering taking part in clinical trials, and these usually require a fair bit of adaptation (more than you might think at first glance).

So I always charge my hourly rate for this kind of work, as it's very difficult to estimate the amount of effort it will take until you really get stuck into it.

The sort of document you mention may not require as many changes (I suspect they would mainly be spelling differences) but it would still be fairer to pay by the hour. However, as Tomás suggests, you could charge a proofreading, or perhaps more realistically, an editing rate. There's lot of info in these forums about the relationship between these rates and translation rates. See for example:

Good luck with your project!



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