Ordering translation services

Ordering translation services

Word or page-based calculation? Source or target text-based calculation?

Ordering translation services may sometimes prove difficult, as translation agencies use different systems. Nowadays, many translation agencies calculate texts based on source text and words. This is related to the use of translation software, as translation software is usually based on the number of words.

So far, the use of page and target-text based calculation has been predominate (1 page equals 1,800 characters). Old habits die hard but other calculation methods could also be considered when ordering translation services.

Calculation based on the source text enables us to determine the exact price of the translation right away.

As only the source text is available at the beginning of a project, it is the most transparent and objective way to determine the price of the translation. This gives you an idea of how much the translation will cost when you are ordering the service. It allows you to establish an exact budget for your project.

Calculation based on the target text: the text may become longer or shorter during translation.

When the target text-based calculation method is used, you should be aware that the text may become longer during translation. It is difficult to predict how much longer or shorter the text will become during translation, but practice has shown that texts tend to become longer when translating from English into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch and German and shorter when translating into Finnish and Estonian.

In source text-based calculation, it is also in the translator’s best interest to provide the shortest and most economical translation.

When calculating based on target text, the translator may add extra characters to the text and write out all the abbreviations, for example.

However, for some services, calculation based on the target text should be preferred. For example, this is a more reasonable option if the target text is provided in a format that renders it difficult to estimate the volume. Estimating the number of words is complicated in handwritten text and image files, for example. Calculation based on the target text is also better when translating audio files.


Take a look at the increasing importance of exports to your business. We can provide you with translations as well as foreign language informational materials.


Transly's blog is written by our dedicated team of translators, wordslingers and editors. We love what we do.


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We were organising a large event – Tallinn Truck Show – and ordered a press release writing, press release editing and press release distribution service as well as a few translations from Transly. We were fully satisfied with Transly Translation Agency’s professional attitude, speed and the results they achieved. Thanks to Transly’s excellent work, our press release was published on practically all Estonian- and Russian-language media portals. 100% recommended!

Forest Steel

We needed a translation agency to have our online store translated into Finnish and were looking at quite a few providers. In the end, we decided to go with Transly Translation Agency and have been truly happy with our decision. The online store translation project was fairly large in volume, and every now and then we found additional snippets we had forgotten to send into translation. Despite this and thanks to Transly’s team being so forthcoming, the job was always completed very quickly and the entire translation process went considerably faster than we initially expected...


Thank you very much for your collaboration! So far, all translations have been done professionally, the translators are competent and the translated texts, which are technical and difficult, are all understandable and correct. The translators work fast and observe the deadlines, which is very important to us. Customer service is professional and reliable. The prices are also competitive. We are very happy with the service and hope to continue this pleasant cooperation.

Translation Agency Customer Feedback: Icopal


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