Certified Translator Services

Certified translators work in a number of specialized fields. Discover the top translating agencies and average pricing and turnaround time.

One of the challenges of doing business worldwide is translating. Translation is necessary for both large and small businesses. Even if you primarily do business locally, you may end up needing a translator. Many small businesses rely on items only available overseas. In order to strike a deal with these businesses, you must create a contract. While there are many free programs available that provide translation, these services are meant for personal, and not professional use.

Free translation services only provide a loose translation. In the business world, you must be clear and concise, especially if you are drafting a report or contract in a different language. In these circumstances, you must hire a certified translator. Most businesses do not hire translators full time, instead paying on a per case basis. In addition to general translation services, there are also translators for specialized fields. Translating companies either charge a flat rate per project, or based on the number of words.

Legal Translators

Legal translators primarily work on international business contracts. Legal translators are not only trained in other languages, but they understand the legal system. This is important, as legal code requires precise wording. This is not always easy to achieve depending on the languages involved. Legal translators make sure the spirit of the law is clearly laid out for all the involved parties, no matter the language.

Medical Translators

When discussing medication, there is no room for error. Many doctors use a medical shorthand, which is filled with abbreviations and code references. Medical translators understand general medical coding and terminology. This not only applies to medical documents, but also the NDAs and confidentiality agreements that normally come with these documents.

Marketing Translators

Marketing translators help advertise your business or services overseas. While translating is still a large part of the job, marketing translators also ensure your advertisements reach the intended audience. Many marketing translators also have business degrees and previous advertising experience.

Technical Translators

Technical translators primarily work with equipment manuals. These manuals often rely on charts and images, with only minimal text to explain what is happening. Translators manage to take the text and turn it into precise, easy to understand instructions. Technical translators often work with software, scientific and engineering companies.

Pricing and Turnaround Times

Calculating translation prices is difficult because it depends on a number of factors. The first is the language. The more popular languages, such as Chinese, Spanish, German and Japanese are typically the least expensive. On average, translators charge between $15 and $25 per 1,000 words. Less common languages, such as Korean or Finnish, cost closer to $25 to $35 per 1,000 words. The price also changes depending on the type of document.

Technical and medical translators typically charge a flat rate, since their translations often involve minimal words. Other translators will charge per page instead. These prices largely depend on the complexity of the project, costing anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. With these projects, it is common to approach the translator first for a quote, providing an overview of what you need and when you need it to come up with a fair price.

The turnaround time for a project also varies based on the language and complexity of the project. A single document between 1,000 and 3,000 words typically takes three to four hours to complete. If it is an uncommon language, the time is doubled. Something longer, like a technical manual or website takes between two to four weeks.


TransPerfect is one of the largest translation companies. Their main headquarters are located in New York, but they have satellite offices throughout the world. In addition to general translation services, they also provide services for multicultural marketing, recruiting overseas, call center support and legal support services. While the company handles all kinds of translating jobs, they are most known for website and tech manual translation.


Lionbridge primarily employs technical and marketing translators. Their services are divided into four categories, content, general translation, testing and AI services. The company works with written documents, audio and video files. Lionbridge typically works on larger projects. They provide their clients with detailed plans, keeping them in the loop as the project progresses to ensure client satisfaction.

Multilingual Connections

Multilingual Connections provides both general and marketing translation. Their main headquarters are in Illinois, but they have global offices, including locations in Turkey, Egypt and South Korea. In addition to general documents, they also translate apps, employee handbooks, surveys and other marketing material.

The company also runs a transcription team, which offer copywriting and general marketing services on top of translation. This also includes running and translating focus groups. Finally, the company provides subtitling services for commercials, films and documentaries.

LanguageLine Solutions

While LanguageLine offers general translation and interpretation services, their main focus is translating medical documents and government contracts. They provide specialized translation services for insurance claims, account statements, credit reports and mortgage papers. LanguageLine also runs training courses throughout the year for bilingual staff.