Translation project fees in the EU and other developed countries are generally based on the per-word pricing model. This is the most common and convenient way to calculate translation project fees. At Profpereklad, we too apply the per-word pricing model—as the most consumer-friendly approach.
Translation agencies in Ukraine and other former Soviet Union republics, in addition to the European per-word pricing standards, continue calculating their fees based on the average character counts per standard page—the remnant of the manual typewriter era. Many Kyiv-based translation agencies use the character count in the document as the basis for calculating their per-page fees. The problem, however, is that the translation agencies do not adhere to the same standard page metrics, which may differ from 1,000 to 2,000 characters per page. As you can see, the difference is essential.
Another point of contention is whether to take the source or target texts as the basis for the translation fee calculation. This means that you will know the final price of your translation project only after the translation has been completed. Basically, you may be in for a big-time, and rather unpleasant, surprise.
And, as if that’s not enough, translation providers further disagree on whether to count spaces in the final character count. The lack of clear and consistent national translation standards has, at times, led to unsavory disputes between agencies and clients: There have been cases when customers reportedly refused to pay the price based on the count that included spaces. In retaliation, the translation providers decided to teach them a lesson by delivering the target documents without spaces.
Needless to say, not everybody laughed at the joke. If anything, the lesson here is that both customers and providers would greatly benefit from clear and consistent price guidelines. If, when signing up for a project, a translation agency has failed to properly communicate their price policy to the customers or has deliberately misled them, such agency risks losing its right to seek any redress afterwards and, what’s worse, may risk the reputation of the entire industry.
Therefore, to our customers, we are happy to offer the straightforward and transparent option of calculating the translation fee based on the total wordcount of source documents. If you choose to collaborate with us, we promise professionalism, clear and consistent terms of collaboration, great quality in translation and customer service.