Why are Certified Translations so Expensive?

Posted on: June 6, 2022   in: Certified Translations

Certified translations require several things which regular translations do not:

  1. The translator needs to be certified –
    1. For me, that meant demonstrating 3 years of full time experience, my master’s degree, my CPD for 20 hours every single year, and passing an exam. See the ITI page or IOL page for more information about how we have to join.
  2. The translation itself needs to be certified –
    1. That means I have to feel more confident than usual about the translation, and I have to be more careful than normal in my review process. Even so mistakes can happen, so I need to have a more robust quality control process as well.
    2. I have to put my name and reputation on the line with each certified translation.
  3. Follow-ups
    1. Sometimes, years after completing a translation, judges or experts can approach me to verify a translation I did in the past. I then have to be able to dig through my records (which have to be kept perfectly) and again go through the verification process. This can be very time consuming, but I can’t charge the client at that point.

So, with these three factors, it’s pretty clear why a certified translation costs more than a general translation. They take a lot more time and work on my side. Actually I think I probably make about the same profit from a certified translation as for a general translation.

I still get clients who complain that I’m charging more than they expect. I always give a full binding quote before accepting a job. I have had clients saying “it’s a really simple bank statement, how can it cost so much?” well please read this page and you’ll get an idea of why.