How long does it take to translate a document?

How long does it take to translate a document?

Typically our translators translate between 1,200 to 1,400 new words per day. A standard A4 page has around 300 words, but some contracts can have up to 800 words in fine print. So we have to look at the text, the format and the content. Legal translation would be slower than general business text for example.

Based on having a single translator working on a project, turnaround time can be estimated as follows: (total number of words / 1,200) + 2 days for project management and proofreading.

Language Differences

For more complex languages like Chinese, Japanese, Urdu, Turkish, etc., the average translator output is a little lower. You should also take into consideration when planning your translation project, the communications overhead associated with working across different time zones.

With more than 50 global offices, we translate all languages in parallel. So even if a job involves translations into more than one language, it will take the same time as a job going into one language only.

Time to translate a document

Delivering Results

Should you require the translation to be delivered faster, we can adjust our teams accordingly. We always provide these base calculations to our customers to allow them gauge the scope of their projects before translation commences. Our proofreaders average approx. 6,000 words per day, depending on the complexity of the text.

Turnaround time can vary depending on client feedback and any issues that arise from time to time during the translation and proofing process. An example of this would be where, during translation, the team come across a term that requires further clarification from the client to ensure that it is accurately interpreted and translated correctly in the target language. Our objective in relation to delivery times is to do what is best for the client and to deliver the highest quality translation. We achieve this by having one chief translator on each document or project.

Content also plays a role in the translation delivery. Medical and legal texts would obviously be slower than general business texts.

We will always ask what type of translation you want during the quotation stage. We are often asked for different types of translation.

1. Internal Use
This might be where you just want to check what a document says. For tenders for example clients may need a rough translation quickly so they can respond. In this case we can reduce our proofreading stages to translate faster for you. The translation might have a few inconsistencies but is 100% fit for purpose.
2. Reference Only
We often have clients that need documents to supply to a small audience for reference only. This could be a group of engineers being trained on a product. For this type of project the documents have to be technically accurate but layout may not have to be perfect. It depends on the audience.
3. Print Quality
The majority of our work is going to print so we have to double check every word and sentence. This is the level we deliver by default.

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