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What Affects The Costs of Thai Translation Projects?

Posted by Anne Q. on December 15, 2021.

Globalization is taking place all over the world and leading to the increasing need for translation. Aside from the quality, the cost of translation is also a criterion that people take into account. When it comes to translation service costs, there are many aspects to consider in order to reach a good deal. About this topic, GTE Localize has provided the audience with an article about translation costs in general. 

In this article, we would like to focus particularly on the translation cost in Thailand. In such a unique market with the unpopular Thai language, the requirement for Thai translation is extremely high but there still exist many relevant-cost influences to mention. With the aim of helping you to make the best choice in Thai translation service and to ensure an affordable price, GTE Localize would go through 5 main factors that directly affect the rate of Thai translation.

#1. Types of Services

Types of translation services are amongst the most obvious factors that impact the cost of Thai translation. In fact, types of translation services come in three major ones as Translation Only (TO), Translation – Editing (TE), and Translation – Editing – Proofreading (TEP). As their names suggest, each type of translation includes specific kinds of translating processes.

In “Translation Only,” the source version is simply translated into the target one then self-reviewed by a translator. This service is suitable for low-budget projects. 

For those with a better budget, the Translation and Editing method may be a good choice because the file is shared between two different translators. Once the first finishes converting the contents from the source language to the target one, the second is responsible for editing and bettering the mistakes in the translated file.

In the last but not least method Translation + Editing + Proofreading, the source file also goes through the two translation and editing stages before being proofread by the third translator. 


Three steps in TEP Thai translation services

As for a complicated writing system like Thai, the more stages are used, the more accuracy and quality the translation gets. As a result, the price of Thai translation increases depending on the type of translation service.


#2. The Level of Popularity of Language Pairs

The scarceness and difficulty of language pairs make the translation fees are likely to be higher than for common ones because of two reasons. Firstly, it is harder to find a good translator for rare languages therefore those who can do this kind of service tend to charge a higher fee. Secondly, since the translation of less common languages normally demands English as an intermediate to convert back and forth between the source and target languages, it is essential to make a precise English translation first of all. 

In fact, the Thai language is not a common language. With only about more than 60 million native speakers in Thailand and parts of Cambodia and Laos, this language is ranked in the 22nd position in the list of 30 most spoken languages worldwide. Moreover, Thai is also classified at level 3 out of 4 in the record of the difficult language given by The Foreign Service Institute (FSI). 

Number of Thai Speakers

Source: Vistawide Languages & Cultures

That is to say, translating Thai into any other language may be priced higher than the common cases, but it gets your money’s worth.


#3. Project Volume and Word Repetition

Other aspects that have a significant impact on Thai translation expenses is the volume of the project and the repetition of words. The two factors have a very strong connection when it comes to translation.

Generally, translation costs are based on the per-word calculation basis. The more content that needs to be translated, the higher it costs. In spite of this, the per-word pricing does not lead to the same price of the same amount of words in some cases. The cause of this problem is the use of Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. To put it simply, most translators use CAT tools as language databases to build up source material from the documents that have been translated before. In this way, the tools can recognize and automatically translate a previously translated sentence, which helps translators to save time and make sure of consistency.

CAT Tools

Some popular CAT tools

For all of these reasons, a project with a big volume can be more cost-effective than a small one because, with the same amount of working time, the translator can make it more productive with a bigger volume. 


#4. Content Complexity

The complexity of the translation can affect the price, or particularly make it higher. Some specific fields that demand translators with specialized knowledge such as technique, law, jury, medicine, science, finance, etc, always cost about 20 to 30% higher than usual ones. Similarly, for certain types of content related to art and literature that the translators need to show aptitude or creativity in their translation, the price is even much higher.

As Thailand is a country focused on economic development together with cultural diversity, diverse-field Thai translation in this country is in great demand. 


#5. Deadline 

“Time is money, so no one can put back the clock”. That’s why time is one of the main influences on the translation cost. An urgent Thai translation project means translators have to work overtime to fulfil it on schedule. To avoid the last-minute rush, there are also assignments amongst members of a team to meet the time limit but still make certain of the translation’s quality. Therefore, the extra cost arising from urgent translation or big translation projects with short deadlines can put up the total cost at a high level.



Wrap Up

Through many years of experience in providing Thai translation services, GTE Localize makes sure to recommend our qualified Thai translators as the best linguists to help you reach certified and standard translation. We understand exactly the key to success when it comes to Thai translation services and we make it true by offering you the most competitive rate in the market.

Thai translation services - Thai culture and traditions

Let’s approach your success in the Thai market. Contact us for a free quote now!