How expensive is a translation?

mit Euros jonglierenThe English author, art critic and social philosopher John Ruskin once said:

“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey.

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.”

Preise abwägenHow prices are calculated

When considering the price alone, you should be aware that the price always reflects the quality. A serious translator’s pricing system is based on lines and/or words and he or she includes his or her expenses for proofreading in the price for a translation. As a rule, prices are based on standard lines ranging from 50 to 55 characters – including spaces. When using this calculation method, the translator divides the number of characters found in the entire document by factor 50 or 55. The result gives the total of lines which in turn are multiplied by the price per line. The source text always serves as starting point.

Often a flat price is calculated for the translation of certificates and other offical documents, the so-called certified translations, as the compliance with formal requirements is absolutely required here. Columns, charts and the like depicted in the source document are to be carried into the certified translation as exactly as possible. A certification fee is charged in such cases.

The webpages of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ) provide information regarding the pricing of translation services


My prices:

Services    Prices in EUR (plus 19% German VAT)

Translation incl. proofreading

1.35 per line (50 characters incl. spaces)

Copyediting and proofreading

45.00 per hour

On-site interpreting

60.00 per hour plus travel expenses or according to JVEG

Translation of certificates

1.30 per line or flat price

Additional Services – Additional Fees in EUR (plus 19% German VAT)

Certification fee

10.00 per document

Document conversion for processing

0.15 per line or flat price

Rush service

0.25 per line or flat price

Minimum order fee


Ask for my current offers and package prices.

Please contact me for more information.