Guide to translation pricing in South Africa


Whether you are a company or individual, if you need to translate something from one language into another the first thing you want to know is the price of translation. Language translation is a professional service, similar to the ones provided by accountants or lawyers. However, unlike those services, the translation industry in South Africa is not very well regulated and runs with free-market rules. Therefore, translation rates may vary a lot from one translation service provider to another one. In this post, we share a comprehensive information about translation rates and prices in South Africa and suggest how you can negotiate with prospective translation service providers.

The different translation pricing models:

In South Africa, there are several models that translation service provider uses when quoting a price for a specific project.:

  1. Per word

The majority of work is priced by the number of words Per-word pricing is very convenient and fair for all parts involved. In today’s local market, you can expect to pay between 0.9c – R 1.50 c per word. The rate varies due to a variety of factors, including language pair, volume, turnaround time, and subject matter. Typically, per-word rates are based on the number of words in the source document but take care to clarify this with the contracted translation company—some companies will use the number of words in the translated text to calculate the per-word rate.

  1. Per page

Some translation service provider charge based on the number of pages the document contains. Per‐page pricing works well for documents where an electronic word count cannot be obtained. A good example of this would be any documents that were scanned to a PDF file, such as medical records, court documents. The language services company quotes from R350.00 per page.

  1. Flat fee/ Minimum price

Flat fee or minimum price are ideal for small projects or for straight-forward assignments in which a complete document is turned over to a translator with little other input required. A small project, is considered to be any document that contains up to 250 words of content.

It is worth noting that certain projects cannot be calculated per page, but are better calculated according to volume or quantity. These projects usually require additional project management, research, and additional services. Such projects often include handwritten texts, scanned pages, engineering content, and retyping projects.


Factors that Influence translation service pricing

 There are some other factors that shape the price of translation service to suit an individual project:

  1. The number of words to translate
  2. The source and target languages
  3. The timeframe for delivery
  4. The technical level of the text
  5. The format of the source file
  6. The potential regularity or your translation needs

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Assessing a Quote

Ideally you should obtain three quotes before going ahead, particularly if you are new to using a translation service. You then need to assess which one best meets your business needs and don’t be afraid to ask questions as this is the only way to achieve high quality translation service provision and understanding between the client and supplier in the long term.

The most expensive is not necessarily the best and vice versa. The majority of translation agencies care about the long-term relationship with their clients, therefore it is particularly important to agree upon a price, quality and service that suit you best.

As one of the leading translation companies in South Africa, Speakportuguese strives to deliver only the best English into/from Portuguese translation as we work towards exceeding expectations. We believe in going the extra mile to meet our clients’ requirements in bridging the communication gap.

Most importantly, Speakportuguese Translation provides competitive quotes that fit your budget. Our prices are reasonable and affordable. At the same time, our services are worth every penny of our professionalism!

Contact us today:

Tel: 012 348 3134
Mobile: 081 347 6060


Guide to translation pricing in South Africa
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Guide to translation pricing in South Africa
Translation rates per word or per page vary a lot from one translation service provider to another one. In this article, we share a comprehensive information about translation rates and prices in South Africa
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SpeakPortuguese Translation
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