top of page
  • Writer's pictureCathy Castling

How much does translation cost? Budget-friendly translation services

Updated: May 15

Looking to expand your business reach by translating your German website into English to increase your international sales? You're not alone. However, navigating the costs of translation services can be a challenge. Unlike fixed prices, translators often operate on a project-based fee structure due to the unique nature of each project. If you've found quotes exceeding your budget expectations, don't worry. This blog post aims to give you different budget-friendly translation options, outlining what they entail, the requirements, and associated costs, empowering you to make informed decisions for your business.

I've listed the options from most expensive to least expensive, so feel free to click the option that's right for your budget from the list below.

I have also listed rough prices in Euros, as I charge in Euros.

Why the range in pricing?

Unlike buying a standardised product off the shelf, translating your website involves a nuanced blend of language, context, and creativity. Similar to other creative professions, translators often provide quotes tailored to each project rather than setting fixed fees. The complexity of the text, the turnaround time, and the translator's experience all play significant roles in determining the final cost. Providing your translator with as much detail as possible about your project means that they can give you an accurate quote for the project.

What type of budget-friendly translation options are there?

Human translation

  • What is it?

    • This option involves a professional translator translating your content from German to English manually, ensuring accuracy, fluency, and cultural appropriateness.

  • What do you need?

    • A human translator proficient in both German and English, your original German text, and a brief outlining your brand's tone, style, target audience, and purpose of the text (i.e. where it will be used).

  • Who is it for?

    • Ideal for businesses with larger budgets seeking the highest quality translation, especially for marketing materials, website content, and product descriptions.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Pricing typically varies based on factors such as word count, complexity, and turnaround time. Rates may range from €0.10 to €0.25 per word or higher, or be quoted on a per-project basis.

Post-edited machine translation (PEMT)

  • What is it?

    • PEMT involves using machine translation tools like DeepL or Google Translate to translate your content initially, followed by a human translator or proofreader refining the output for accuracy and fluency.

  • What do you need?

    • Access to a machine translation tool, a translator or proofreader experienced in PEMT, and clear instructions on the level of post-editing required. I’ve received instructions like “change as much as necessary, but as little as possible” or use the “five second rule” (if you need more than 5 seconds to understand the English sentence, retranslate or rewrite it).

  • Who is it for?

    • Suited for businesses with budget constraints looking for a balance between cost-effectiveness and quality. Particularly useful for large volumes of content with a quick turnaround.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Generally more affordable than full human translation, with rates ranging from €0.05 to €0.12 per word or less, depending on the extent of post-editing required.

Proofreading & editing

  • What is it?

    • This service involves having a linguist review and refine English content for grammar, syntax, style, and coherence.

  • What do you need?

    • Access to the English content, a proofreader or editor proficient in the target language (English), and clear guidelines on the desired level of editing.

  • Who is it for?

    • Businesses that have already translated their content but require linguistic polish and refinement to ensure accuracy and professionalism.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Pricing varies based on the complexity of the content and the extent of editing required. Rates may range from €0.05 - €0.10 per word or more. I usually charge proodreading and editing by the hour as punctuation often takes up a lot of the editing time and is not accounted for in a per word price.

Raw Machine Output

  • What is it?

    • Using machine translation tools like Google Translate or DeepL to translate your content automatically without human intervention.

  • What do you need?

    • Access to machine translation tools (like DeepL), awareness of potential inaccuracies and errors, and manual review for corrections.

  • Who is it for?

    • Businesses with extremely limited budgets or those seeking a quick and rough translation for internal use or non-critical content.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Often free or low-cost, but may sacrifice accuracy and fluency. Be cautious of potential errors and consider the cost of manual review and corrections.

Please note: When putting your content into free tools like Google Translate, you retain the rights to this content as the owner but you are giving Google the right to use, distribute, publish, etc. the content.

Additional Considerations

Beyond pricing, time is a critical factor. Rushed projects often incur additional fees, so planning ahead can save you money. Prioritising essential content sections and establishing a monthly retainer with your translator are alternative strategies to manage costs effectively.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the realm of website translation costs requires a nuanced understanding of your project's scope, goals, and budget. By exploring the various translation options and considering alternative cost-saving measures, you can embark on your website translation journey with clarity and confidence.

Need help navigating your translation options within your budget? Send me a message via my contact form, and let's create a tailored strategy to fit your budget and translation needs!


Hi, I'm Cathy, language nerd, lake-swimmer, long-time rower 🚣  I’m here to help you communicate in English with authenticity and accuracy. Get in touch here.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page