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How To Effectively Determine Your Chinese Translation Rates?

Posted by Ariel D. on October 07, 2022.

With the expansion of the Chinese market and the size of the Chinese export industry, Chinese translation rates are increasing and this language is one of the most high-paid translation services in the world.

However, to calculate the exact Chinese translation cost, every l10n manager still has to consider many factors. In this article, GTE Localize will go over some important aspects that directly impact translation expenses and assist you in cost estimation for any upcoming Chinese translation projects.

1. What Factors Determine the Chinese Translation Rates?


1.1. Rates of Freelance Translators and Translation Agency

A translation firm is primarily a company with office personnel, project managers, and internal translators. In return for cheaper costs, these businesses give their translators stable full-time jobs.

A freelance translator is a specialist who maintains constant communication with his final clients. He either works from home or in a location apart from it. In the same office or at locations on other streets, in various towns, or in different countries, he can work alone, with employees (such as a secretary), or in a group of other freelance translators.

A translation agency cannot charge the same rates as a freelance translator unless they give the translator less money in exchange for a lower standard of translation. It is clear that the greatest translators anticipate earning more money rather than less.

To know more differences between translation agencies and freelance translators, you can read our detailed article: Professional Translation Agencies Or Freelance Translators – Which One Is Your Match?

For the Chinese translation rates, you will need to pay more if you want an agency or company to provide you with the same quality as a freelance translator, and this additional cost will include things like an office lease, administrative staff salaries, advertising, travel reimbursements, accounting, utility bills, corporate charter, lawyers, etc.

1.2. The Popularity of Chinese Language Pairs

Chinese is the most widely spoken native language in the world and is spoken as a first language by around 1.3 billion people, or roughly 16% of the world’s population. Given that 800 million people worldwide speak Mandarin, which is spoken by 70% of all Chinese speakers, it is by far the most widespread of the 7–10 Chinese dialect groupings.

Results demonstrate that Chinese consumers strongly favor advertisements in their own tongue. By having your material translated, you may increase positive brand perception and buy intent.

The top 3 most well-liked language combinations with Chinese which are high-paid for translation are Chinese-English, Chinese-Thailand, and Chinese-Malay. Moreover, if the language pair has one rare language, the general cost might be more expensive.

1.3. Types of Services

Your Chinese translation rates are also impacted by the sort of service you order.

One translator is required for the Translation Only (TO) service, which is far less expensive than the Translation + Editing (TE) or Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP) services, which necessitate more than two linguists.

Similar to this, supplementary requirements for your projects like desktop publishing, software engineering, or linguistic quality assurance incur extra expenditures.

1.4. The Project Volume

Project volumes are another aspect that has a significant influence on Chinese translation rates.


Translation and localization services use the same strategy as many other sectors, where businesses frequently give discounts to customers who place significant orders in an effort to persuade them to make further purchases. The cost of a translated word decreases as your volume increases. In the end, your high-volume project will cost less overall.

In contrast, translation and localization services, especially for the Chinese language, are likely to demand a high minimum cost when the volume is too little (around 40–50 words) to ensure a profit and cover the time spent translating by linguists.

1.5. Delivery Time

When determining the cost of a translation job, the delivery date is the most important factor. Because these initiatives need more resources from the agencies, they will charge more for them. Costs decrease with longer lead times. You may reduce your Chinese translation rates by thousands of dollars with a little advance forethought.

At the same time, to achieve deadlines for urgent translation tasks, translators might have to put in extra hours on the weekends or at night. In general, they can charge more for jobs that are completed after hours. In these situations, the cost of people working overtime to coordinate the projects rises, making the entire cost more expensive.

1.6. The Format of The Source Text

The time it takes your translator to finish the job will be significantly impacted by the file types. Generally speaking, translating takes a longer time to finish as the file format is more sophisticated.


To be more specific, text and graphics are usually presented in PDFs, which are often not editable. Then translators will need to manually put translations into every page of your manuscript. They will need more time to complete larger photos and uneditable text.

That is why Microsoft Office files are preferable when receiving translation source files. Most equivalent software can open Microsoft Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx), and Excel (.xlsx) files. Because translators may quickly pick the text they need to translate without having to enter it all in again, these formats are regarded as being easy. They save time, which helps you save money.

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2. How to Calculate Your Chinese Translation Rates?

It is necessary to understand how any Chinese translation provider might charge for their services before deciding on the ideal translation agency to choose. Here are the most common price strategies for Chinese translation rates.

2.1. Chinese Translation Rates per Word

The majority of translators will charge a cost per word for their services. Rate per source word and rate per target word are the two different forms of rate per word pricing used in translation.

The translator will charge you according to the number of words in your source document, which is more popular than the rate per target word method.

2.2. Chinese Translation Rates per Page

You can run across specialists who charge their translation services by page when looking for translation services. Due to the possibility of projects having various page sizes, photos, huge fonts, tables, and other elements, this price technique seems to be unpopular. The fee-per-page approach rewards the translator while potentially increasing your costs as the client.

However, PDF materials like translations of legal, medical, and scientific texts perform flawlessly with the fee-per-page system.



3. Get Cost-effective Chinese Translation Rates at GTE Localize

With many years of expertise in the translation business and a pool of native Chinese speakers, GTE Localize can offer the best linguists with extensive translation experience and high-quality services at the most affordable prices. For Chinese translation rates, we offer the best price, starting from $0.06 per word or character.

Book a call with our experts right now to get affordable Chinese translation rates and successfully start your business!

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