How long does a translation take?

The time to complete and prepare a translation is often a critical factor when choosing a service provider. Translation agencies, freelancers, and in-house translators offer different timing for the same project.

  • How to avoid mistakes in estimation and choose a reliable service provider?
  • Will the translation be carried out on time and accurately?

To answer these questions, one must understand what constitutes a particular service provider’s time of translation. There are several hidden time costs that are often overlooked when estimating the timing. If a service provider conceals them, you’ll have to bear these costs, and therefore, there is a risk of not adhering to the approved budget and deadlines.

Our table will help you to quickly and accurately calculate the time needed to obtain the final result and will make it easier to compare us with other service providers:

   
Types of work:

1. Selecting a translator or establishing a team of translators with the necessary level of language proficiency and the knowledge of the subject.

2. Selection of a translation editor or a group of editors.

3. Engaging a consultant who is an expert in the particular field of knowledge (for specific thematic translations).

ITREX

Written translation: 1 day.

Our base contains over 2500 proven translators, permanent translation editors and consultants on specific themes and industries. Further information...

Interpretation: 1 day or more.

The timing depends on the number of translators, themes, languages, and need for additional testing. Further information...

In many cases, we use established project teams to reduce the time needed to organize work and improve translation quality.

Other translation agencies(90% market share)

They claim a 1 to 3 day preparation period, but problems may arise:

  • Breach of deadline — if the agency doesn’t have a base of proven translators and consultants;
  • Poorer quality of translation — if the agency wasn’t able to select experts with the required qualification in the allocated time or to find translation editors and consultants.

As a rule, there are very few or no permanent project teams due to high personnel turnover. The consequences:

  • More time is needed to organize work;
  • You will work with different translators every time. This will prolong delivery time and reduce the quality of translation.
Specialized translation agencies (5% market share)

A project preparation requires 1 day. These companies have a base of proven translators, translation editors and consultants on subjects of expertise.

Permanent project teams often work with a client. This reduces the time required for the organization of work and provides the high quality of translation.

The companies willing to pay extra for the speed and high quality of translation work with specialized translation agencies. The cost of their services is much higher than the average cost in the market.

Elite translation agencies (0,1% market share)

Project preparation requires 1 day. These companies always have a base of proven translators, translation editors and consultants on key industries.

Permanent project teams often work with a particular client. This reduces time needed to organize work and provides a high quality of translation.

The cost of the elite translation agencies’ service is several times above the market average.

Freelancers

Your time to find the right specialist/team of specialists:

  • Written translation: 1 day to 1 week.
  • Interpretation: 1-2 weeks.

Timing includes testing of translators. You engage translation editors and consultants at your own risk and test them in the course of work.

In-house translators

Time spent is close to zero if the company has enough translators of the required qualification for a particular language pair.

If there are no translation editors in the group of translators, you need to allocate extra time for the search and selection of a specialist with the required qualification.

   
Types of work:

1. The translation process itself.

2. Regular monitoring of progress status. Control and editing of intermediate results.

3. Engaging a consultant who is an expert in a particular field of knowledge (for specific thematic translations).

4. Control and editing of the finished translation.

ITREX

Standard and urgent translations

Translation: 8-10 pages per working day.

This is a translator’s standard output. The order is considered urgent if the required delivery date of a translation requires an engagement of a team of translators.

Such an output standard is defined by an actual human translator’s capabilities, and guarantees high quality results. We assume an exceeded output only in emergency cases of extra urgent translations.

The term of translation includes: regular monitoring of progress status, editing control of intermediate results and consultations with an expert.

The control of the completed translation for integrity and purity, a check of proper nouns and numbers: 4-8 pages per hour.

Spot check of each translator’s texts: 2-3 hours.

When working with the first projects of new clients we allocate 10% of project time to editing.

The complete control and editing of a translation (if required): 20 pages per working day.

This is the standard output of a translation editor. In the case of large projects, several translation editors take part and work simultaneously.

How do we carry out urgent orders?

Extra urgent translations.

Translation of 10-15 pages per working day per translator.

In these cases, a team of translators works.

The term of translation includes: regular monitoring of progress status and, when possible, editing control of the completed parts and a check for terminology compliance.

Control of the completed translation for integrity and purity, a check of proper nouns and numbers: up to 40 pages per hour.

Spot check of each translator’s texts: 2-3 hours.

An extra urgent translation is an emergency schedule, when there is usually no time for a comprehensive check and editing. We always discuss this issue with clients before a project begins.

Other translation agencies (90% market share)

Most companies don’t have an “output standard” term for one translator or a translator editor. To minimize costs, translators receive 20 pages per day, or even more. For the same reason, intermediate control is often ignored. Review of the finished result eliminates only serious mistakes; there is no time for a proper control.

If you agree to this approach, be prepared to receive a translation of a poor quality and, most likely, after the declared time. In this case, you need to allocate additional time to editing and proofreading of a translation, which is often equal to the time spent on a translation.

Specialized translation agencies (5% market share)

They perform all the standard types of work required to produce high quality results. The profile of such agencies involves complex, specialized translations that require a deep immersion in a subject and a detailed study of texts. That is why daily output standards for translation and editing are lower than in ordinary translation agencies. Project time increases by 1.5 times.

Specialized translation agencies rarely accept urgent orders.

Elite translation agencies (0,1% market share)

They perform all the standard types of work required to produce high quality results. An exceptional quality of translations gives them the right to be named “elite”. To ensure a high level of performance in the absence of specialization, such agencies set reduced daily output standards for translation and editing. The project time is approximately 1.5 times longer than in conventional translation agencies.

Elite translation agencies rarely accept urgent orders. Exceptions are made for regular customers.

Freelancers

They usually undertake increased obligations and promise to translate 20 pages per day and more. Now that you know the output standards, you will be able to distribute the assignment properly. However, if you do not engage a professional editor and do not have a knowledge of the language of translation to review the text yourself, you may risk quality. Additional time for editing and proofreading can be equal to or exceed the time spent on a translation.

In-house translators

Standards for a translation and editing may vary. Editing takes less time than in other cases as translators are masters of the subject and use themed corporate glossaries.

   
Types of work:

Layout, formatting and design

ITREX

Layout, formatting and design are carried out in parallel with a translation or with a short delay. If the translated materials need to exactly match the original, you will get the final result in any desired format with no additional time spent.

Other translation agencies
Specialized translation agencies
Elite translation agencies
Freelancers
In-house translators

If you contact other translation agencies, freelancers or in-house translators, the layout and design of the finished translation will usually be performed by a third party. Elite translation agencies, which have design departments, are an exception. In any case, this will demand additional time and funds.

Types of work:

Notarization, legalization, apostille

ITREX

1 day.

We work with permanent partners, who promptly provide notarization, apostille and legalization.

Other translation agencies (90% market share)

1 to 5 days.

Most translation agencies offer only simple notarization. For legalization and apostille, you will have to engage a third party.

Specialized translation agencies (5% market share)

Not many agencies provide such services. As a rule, they offer only notarized translations. They are provided by permanent partners of the agencies, so it takes 1 day.

You will have to engage other service providers for legalization and apostille. This will require extra time.

Elite translation agencies (0,1% market share)

1 day.

They work with permanent partners. They promptly provide notarization, apostille and legalization.

Freelancers

Freelancers, of course, do not provide notarization service. Schedule time to find another provider and for them to carry out the work.

In-house translators

Companies rarely have notarization specialists. Schedule time to find a contractor and for them to carry out the work.

Types of work:

Printing

ITREX

We provide digital and offset printing services on any type of material in our own print shop. Number of copies: 1 copy or more.

Urgent orders are always a priority. Preparation for printing starts in parallel with translation.

The timing of printing may vary depending on the complexity of an order and ... Our manager will make a precise calculation of the timing and cost of printing 30 minutes after receiving an order. How to place an order?

Other translation agencies (90% market share)

Some translation agencies provide prepress of materials. As a rule, it starts after the completion of a translation, which prolongs lead time.

In rare cases, companies have their own typographic facilities. Most of these companies are elite translation agencies. Therefore, you will need either more time for finding a print shop and for printing, or additional funds to pay for expensive printing services from elite agencies.

Elite translation agencies (0,1% market share)
 
Freelancers

They do not provide complex services.

In-house translators

You are lucky if your company has a steady and reliable print shop contractor. But even in this case, prepress will start only after the completion of the translation. This means a loss of time.

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