The cost of a sworn translation and the factors that influence pricing

The key determinant of cost of certified translation is the amount of text which is to be translated by a sworn translator. Needless to say, the longer the text, the higher the price. Pursuant to the Act on the Profession of Sworn Translator, the volume of translation is calculated based on the number of standard pages (1 page = 1125 characters including spaces).

The second determinant of the cost of certified translation is the level of difficulty of a given text. These requirements are laid down in the Regulation of the Minister of Justice on Remuneration for Activities of Sworn Translator and Interpreter, specifying elements such as specialist phraseology and terminology, drawing up a document by handwriting, filling in printed forms in handwriting or texts difficult to read because of the extent of their destruction or damage, or due to poor quality of a copy made by technical means.

The third determinant is the deadline by which translation must be done. Usually, translators and interpreters provide both standard and express mode in their price lists. Deadline or larger amount of text translated in a relatively short period can be factors contributing to qualifying translation as an express translation. Usually, an express translation refers to a service performed on the day of acceptance of a translation order (straight away) or on the following day. There are also translations classified as super express. In this case, translation is to be done immediately, regardless of the quantity of text (obviously, within the limits of physical feasibility of a translation order).

There are no rigid rules referring to pricing of a translation depending on a deadline; thus, in practice, these rules are regulated by the market. Personally, I prefer flexible approach to pricing of certified translations so that a price of such a service is always to the benefit of a customer. I endeavour to treat regular customers preferentially since I care about continuous cooperation based on mutual trust and understanding and not about one-time higher earning. It is highly important to ensure that apart from high quality of a translation, the customer also obtains affordable price for the required service. Of course, all within the limits of common sense – translations made overnight or over the weekend  are priced differently than texts ordered in advance to be done within translator’s normal working hours. One way or another, regardless of a mode of translation, it is important that customers understand pricing rules well, which provides them with a sense of security and stability in mutual relations with a sworn translator.

Jacek Kasprzyk, Sworn Translator of the English language in Wrocław