Quote for a translation

Do you have documents that need translating and want to call on professional translators? Be sure to get a price quote from translation agencies before making your decision.

Why ask for a quote for a translation?

A quote is a commercial document created by a service provider (a company, an enterprise, or an independent contractor) for their client. Between professionals, establishing a quote isn’t required, but it is strongly recommended. It’s important that you ask for a quote in order to have a written guarantee from the service provider.

The quote will provide a precise description of the services being provided. It will define their price and fix the deadline. Because of this, it is an important communication tool that you can rely on, without the possibility for the services to change as soon as you have signed. A quote will help to clear up any ambiguity and to avoid misunderstandings.

The required elements that make up a quote

The regulations for establishing a quote vary from country to country. In France, your quote must feature the following legal mentions:

  • A note mentioning “Devis” (Quote) or “proposition de tarifs” (rate proposal).
  • The full contact information of the service provider
  • If the service provider is a business, its legal form and share capital
  • The SIREN number and APE code for interpreters and translators
  • The registration number for the Trade and Companies Register and the VAT number
  • The date the quote was sent and the length of its validity
  • The name of the document to be translated
  • Service details relating to quantity and price
  • The estimation of the time necessary to complete the service
  • The price to be paid excluding tax and all taxes which are applicable
  • The contact information for the client
  • The signature of each party involved, with the mention “Bon pour accord” (agreed) to be written by the client

The quote is established in duplicate copies, one for the service provider and the other for you. It is advised that you keep your copy for two years. Lastly, you should know that asking for, and obtaining, a quote is free and does not bind you contractually.

How is a quote for a translation calculated?

There are no off-the-shelf rates when creating a quote for a translation. In nearly 95% of cases, the rate is calculated by billing by the word. However, the simple word count is not enough to determine the price for the service.

Because translations require complex linguistic capabilities, each quote requires the project’s documents to be meticulously analysed. The establishment of a quote for a translation is the result of multiple criteria:

  • The combination of the languages, from what source language was the document written, and to which language will it be translated
  • The file format (Word, Excel, HTML, etc.)
  • The number of words
  • The area of expertise: generalised, specialised, technical, etc.
  • If is requires only loose translation, or a sworn translation
  • The amount of time allotted for completion

So, if your document requires precise technical knowledge, the price of the quote will be higher than for a document that is a little longer, but generalised. By the same token, translators who translate between French and English are more abundant than those who translate between French and Chinese. If your request is for a rare combination of languages, your price for the translations will be even higher.

Professional translation agencies delicately treat and personalise each and every request. They establish a quote that is unique and specifically adapted to the nature of your documents and to your request.

How do you choose the right quote for a translation?

You have asked for quotes for a translation from multiple professionals, and now you must choose an agency. Obviously, the price is going to be the first argument to help you make up your mind. Still, you must be vigilant when it comes to offers that are well below the average of the offers you received.
Imagine that the quotes you receive all fell within 10% of each other. If you receive one that is 30% cheaper, you ought to ask questions about the quality of the services being offered. And while it may be simple to verify a translation in English, that isn’t the case for one done in Korean. An honest translation agency would never sacrifice the quality of the translation just to offer a better price.

Ask for a quote with just one click

To help simplify your search for translation price estimations (rate per document), certain agencies place a quick and easy tool at your disposal to request your quote for a translation. The quote for the translation is generally sent within the hour after your request.