The translation industry isn’t regulated. There are many websites offering low prices and these prices are continuing to spiral down. Should you search out the lowest price for your work? Would you feel confident with a translation received via a relatively faceless website? I know I’m biased, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t just choose the lowest price.
Is the price you pay for a translation an indication of the quality? Not necessarily, but if you’re being offered a cheap service, think about it how it can actually be done.
For example if you contact a translation company and they are charging 12p a word for whatever the combination you asked about, the translator will get just over half of this, the reviewer under a 2.75p, leaving project management, translation tools, company overheads etc at 2.75p before tax.
A professional translator translates on average 2,000 words a day, depending of course on the complexity of the text and the style required. Say they are busy translating 80% of their time and they take two weeks’ annual leave, then their take-home pay will be around £1,500 a month, which is relatively low for a highly skilled professional.
I haven’t highlighted this for a sympathy vote but just to get you to think and perhaps extrapolate … if you were to pay for example 0.08p per word then where are the cuts made so that a profit margin can still be achieved? Please when you’re comparing translation rates don’t compare apples to oranges.
If quality isn’t a concern, then a cheap (or free) alternative may work, but if you are a successful company wanting more of the same then you need to be offering the same good image and quality in another language as you are in your own. If you don’t find a good translation partner then the end product may well cost you a lot more in the long run.