“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
― John Ruskin
Understanding the costs of professional translation services
For some time, the translation industry has been undergoing a forceful rate push downwards from end-clients. Translation tends to be a line item that someone picks up as a red-flag when looking at financial reports, without really understanding the “why” or the “value” behind the services they’re receiving.
It’s normal that an amount related to translation yield the equivalent to sticker shock to someone that is outside the immediate circle of those producing content and having it translated. After all, it’s easy to use other less expensive options like automated translation solutions coupled with bilingual employees, right?
Well, the answer isn’t as simply as that. Let’s take a look at the how professional translation companies price out their services and why it’s likely more cost-effective than automated solutions.*
* Let’s clear the air by saying, we’re not suggesting MTPE (Machine Translation Post Editing) isn’t a viable option for reducing costs. The fact of the matter is many translation companies are using it behind the scenes to increase profitability, but we can explore that later. We want to ensure you understand what you’re paying for.
Per word charges and what it (typically) includes
Let’s preface this section by saying the information is intentionally generalized, but we can speak to how MontLingo charges as well.