Friday, April 7, 2017

Translation tips: What is the optimal translation speed?

Indeed, both translation suppliers, as well as clients of translation services providers have vastly different views on the issue of the desired versus feasible speed of professional translation and localization. 

What is the optimal translation speed?

While it's not easy to answer the headline question in a one-liner, let's try to break it down. Basically, the translated content's nature speaks for itself. Usually, the more time it took to write, the more time it takes to translateShakespeare plays, important medical research papers and a kitchen timer manual are just about as different as would be their translation processes. There are many types of translation areas that are very specific and thus require specific know-how, translation skills, and experience. 

Literary vs. technical translation

So, the deepest divide is the nature of translation, or better said whether we talk about a literary translation that borders with an arts discipline and has artistic value added, or the technical translation fields where the content "just needs to be translated correctly".

1. Literary translation of a Shakespearean screenplay would require a highly skilled multilingual literate (yes, usually only one to translate the entire piece of work) to localize all nuances of a foreign language to fit the structure, while preserving the original meaning, that is including the artistic value of the content, too. Needless to say that each author has their own style that cannot be just transformed into ones and zeros as in technical translation. 
Depending on the volume of content, the literary translation process could take even up to several months, at a speed starting from pages a day to a chapter or two. A careful guess would be approximately 1-2,000 source words/day.

2. Technical translation of highly specific non-literary content (e.g. medical translation, legal translation, financial translation – texts such as research papers, medical or engineering documentation, etc.). These fields of translation, albeit highly demanding on translators' expertise and a bit similar to art books by their complexity, can employ various strong computer-assisted tools (CAT tools) and well prepared multilingual databases such as translation memories and glossaries to support and eventually speed up the translation process. However, even with good computing power at hand, highly-specific content uses also highly specific terms and expressions. And even though a technical translation of a high-profile content enables (unlike the usual practice in literary translation) a team of translators to collaborate, the translation process can slow down to less than a page per hour. In general, for this kind of translation good translators can produce about 2-3,000 source words/day. 

3. General (technical) translation

For the general text (including guides, sales and promo material, website content, etc.), translators supported by CAT tools are usually capable of working at a speed of 2,000 source words/day and more. Such projects can also be split into a team of more linguists, which can then multiply the speed.

Express translation?

Maybe you wonder how long it would take if you would need a professional, high-quality translation of your content urgently? At idioma, we are able to handle smaller projects (up to 200 source words) within 4 working hours (CET), with no minimum fees. If you wish just 5 words translated, we charge you only for those 5 words. 

And if you happen to need express translation at the moment, just click here.


  1. When you are doing the translation then you might need these tips for it. This important source will help you out there for rephrasing options.

  2. When the manuscript things should be there to get into the talking matter. In here you get some sample on our sentence generator tool and how it works.

  3. When you have an agent for the manuscript then you could make it right. try this out while you have to write an essay.

  4. Translation is the process of convert one language to another. This is actually very good article about translation and optimal translation speed. Also you have shared good translation service to convert 70+ language. This translation service should useful for writers and translation company. Also writers can take rewriting help from our services at

  5. If the manuscript items needs to be right now there to find yourself in the particular discussing make a difference. Inside the following homepage you obtain several trial about our own word power generator application and also just how that operates.

  6. Nice article, which you have described very well about the Translation Services. Your article is very useful. if you want to take Type Approval Certification. then visit at thanks for sharing. Type Approval Certification Services

  7. Slot Machines, Table Games & Live Casino - Mapyro
    Check out the slot machines, 경산 출장샵 table games & live casino near you on Mapyro, 안성 출장마사지 the 군포 출장마사지 home for free! Find where everything is located with Mapyro's real-time real 서귀포 출장샵 time 천안 출장마사지