Japanese Translation Services

Japanese Translation Services: Translation pricing and volume

Volume is a primary determinant of translation pricing and, therefore, a good understanding will ensure you get the best price for your English Japanese translation project.

So, how is volume measured?

Sounds like a fairly straight forward question; however the devil is in the details! Generally, translation volume is measured in one of two units in the source document:

  • Words (characters), or
  • Pages

Words (characters) is the most straight forward and transparent unit for calculating pricing. That is, 100 words x JPY20 = JPY2,000. Here’s where is gets complicated. Some translator’s software doesn’t count repetitive words (i.e. although “words” appears 3 times in this paragraph thus far, it is only counted once). In addition, sentences are discounted by the degree they match other sentences in the source text under the assumption there is no need for the Japanese translation services to translate the same sentence twice. For example, a 100% match is discounted 100%, and a 50% match, also known as a “fuzzy match”, is discounted 50%, etc. Adding another layer of complexity, these types of software produce inconsistent results across different languages.

Calculating translation volume based on the number of pages seems the easiest. That is to say, it doesn’t get much simpler than 1 page x JPY2,000 = JPY2,000. However, in addition to the complexities noted above, margin settings, font-type, and font-size all affect volume, and are taken into account when calculating pricing. For example, you can squeeze about 25% more text onto an A4 page with Ariel font size 6pt than with size 11pt.

Just to mash things up a little bit further, some translation companies calculate volume based on output, the number of translated words or pages. You may also find some companies that base their pricing structure on hours required to complete a translation project. It should be noted, though, that both of these methods provide amply opportunity by unscrupulous companies to “pad” the final cost to you.

Looking for simple translation pricing for your Japanese-to-English translation project? Contact the Japan, Tokyo based Professional Japanese Translation Services — All pricing is transparent and easy to follow, all translation quotes are no-obligation & free!