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How Much Do Medical Translation Services Cost?

Posted by Chloe G. on May 19, 2023.

Effective communication is vital in the medical industry, where language barriers can hinder understanding and compromise patient care. From facilitating communication between doctors and patients to ensuring people have a clear understanding of their medical and healthcare process.

However, what is the cost of medical translation? To determine this, several factors come into play. Let’s delve into these factors that are used to calculate medical translation services costs.

How is Medical Translation Cost Calculated?

medical translation services costs

1. Medical translation rates per word

One of the most common methods used to calculate the medical translation services costs is the per-word rate. Translation agencies and freelance translators often charge based on the number of words in the source text. The per-word rate can vary depending on several factors, such as language pair, the complexity of the content, and the translator’s experience and expertise. Generally, rarer language pairs and highly specialized medical subjects tend to command higher per-word rates.

2. Medical translation rates per page

In addition to the per-word rate, some translation service providers may also offer a per-page rate. This pricing model calculates the cost based on the number of pages in the source document. However, it’s worth noting that page lengths can vary due to formatting and font sizes, making the per-page rate less precise than the per-word rate. It is advisable to clarify the definition of a “page” with the translation service agency to ensure accurate pricing.


Factors of Medical Translation Services Cost

1. Language Pairs

medical translation services costs languages

The combination of languages involved in the translation plays a significant role in determining the medical translation services costs. 

  • Supply and Demand: The average medical translation services cost is primarily influenced by the supply and demand of different languages. Languages with a larger pool of qualified translators tend to have lower medical translation services costs. For example, Spanish, with its widespread use and numerous qualified translators, is typically more affordable to translate. On the other hand, languages like Norwegian, which has fewer qualified translators available, resulting in higher translation service prices.
  • Cost of Living: The cost of living in a particular country also impacts translation fees. Developed European countries, known for their higher cost of living, often have more expensive translation rates. Conversely, countries with lower costs of living, such as China and Mexico, tend to offer more affordable translation services for their respective languages.
  • Language Examples: Certain languages, like Chinese and Spanish, are considered among the most affordable for translation. This is due to the large number of speakers and a higher supply of translators from low-cost-of-living countries. The per-word translation rates for these languages typically fall on the lower end of the spectrum, ranging from $0.09 to $0.12 per word. On the other hand, languages like Norwegian, which are more expensive to translate due to fewer qualified translators, have higher per-word translation rates, ranging from $0.30 to $0.40.
  • Order Unusual Languages: Translation agencies typically have translators readily available for commonly requested languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, and Russian. However, for less frequently ordered languages like Afrikaans, Egyptian, or Persian, translation agencies may need to assign the translation to external freelancers. As a result, translation agencies may charge higher rates for translating such languages due to the additional coordination and sourcing involved.

2. Project Capacity

The size and complexity of the project also influence the medical translation services cost. Large-scale translation projects that involve multiple documents or extensive volumes of text may require additional resources and coordination, resulting in higher costs. On the other hand, smaller projects with less content may be more cost-effective.

3. Translation Service Plan

Translation service providers often offer different service plans with varying levels of quality. Higher quality and faster turnaround times generally come at a higher cost. It is crucial to assess the specific requirements of your project and choose a service plan that balances medical translation services cost and quality according to your needs.

There are 3 options: Translation Only, Translation + Editing, vs. Translation + Editing + Proofreading.

TEP (Translation, Editing, Proofreading) is an acronym that represents the three main steps involved in a translation project. These steps, known as the TEP sequence, are integral to achieving high-quality translation results and serve as a fundamental aspect of most translation agencies’ workflow. While clients may not be familiar with the TEP acronym, they undoubtedly seek to partner with translation agencies that adhere to this workflow.

Some agencies offer only the first step, which is translation, providing a less expensive service but resulting in a lower-quality end product. In certain situations, agencies may offer two services: either translation and editing, which offers a slightly better product than translation-only, or translation and proofreading, where the translated text is not directly compared to the source document, leaving room for uncertainty regarding its faithfulness to the original. However, it is important to note that a complete TEP sequence ensures superior quality and is particularly ideal for corporate and enterprise-level translation services.

4. Expertise

The level of expertise required for medical translation can impact the medical translation services cost. Highly specialized medical fields, such as radiology, oncology, or pharmaceuticals, often demand translators with subject matter expertise. Translators with specialized knowledge command higher rates due to the additional research and understanding required to accurately translate complex medical terminology.

5. Deadline

medical translation services costs dealines

Urgency is another factor that affects the medical translation services cost. Tight deadlines often necessitate additional resources, including expedited services or round-the-clock work to meet the timeframe. As a result, translation providers may charge higher rates for rush projects to accommodate the required resources and ensure timely delivery.

6. Extra Costs

Choosing to add additional services to the translation process can lead to an increase in rates. Services such as proofreading and formatting may incur additional costs, so it is crucial to clearly specify your requirements to the translation company from the outset. This will help ensure transparency and avoid any surprises regarding additional charges.

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Get the Best Medical Translation Cost with Us

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When seeking good medical translation services, it is essential to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and quality. Here are some tips to obtain the best medical translation services cost without compromising on accuracy:

  • Obtain Multiple Quotes: You should reach out to multiple translation service providers and request quotes for your project. Comparing the rates and services offered by different providers will help you make an informed decision.
  • Assess Expertise and Experience: It is needed to consider the translator’s expertise in the specific medical field and language pair. Translators with relevant experience are more likely to provide accurate translations, saving time.
  • Quality Assurance Measures: Let’s inquire about the quality assurance measures employed by the translation service provider. Ensuring that their translators undergo rigorous quality checks and adhere to industry standards will contribute to reliable and error-free translations.
  • Discuss Project Requirements: You need to clearly communicate your project requirements, including any specific formatting guidelines, deadlines, and desired levels of quality. This will help the translation provider offer a tailored solution and accurate cost estimation.


Medical translation services play a vital role in ensuring effective communication and accurate dissemination of information in the healthcare sector. Understanding the factors that contribute to the medical translation services cost, such as language pairs, project capacity, translation service plan, expertise, and deadlines, will help you navigate the selection process and make informed decisions. By following the tips mentioned above and partnering with a reputable translation service provider, you can obtain the best medical translation services cost while maintaining the highest standards of quality and accuracy.

medical translation services costs cta

When it comes to medical translations, accuracy, precision, and adherence to industry-specific terminology are of utmost importance. Choosing the right translation partner can significantly impact the quality and effectiveness of your medical translations. GTE Localize, a recommended translation agency on GoodFirms, is a trusted language service provider that specializes in medical translations.

With our qualified translators, comprehensive language support, commitment to quality assurance, confidentiality measures, timely delivery, and customized solutions,  we are well-equipped to handle your medical translation needs with the utmost professionalism and accuracy. Choosing GTE Localize as your translation partner ensures that your medical documents are in safe hands and that you receive top-notch translations that meet the stringent requirements of the medical industry.

Contact us now for a free quote!