Free English to Spanish Translator Guide: Saving Money on Your Translation from English to Spanish

Here are some important money-saving tips for your translation from English to Spanish. (Looking for a free English to Spanish translator?)

How to Save on Your English to Spanish Translation

Looking to reduce your Spanish translation costs? Choosing a lower priced translation provider may not be the best solution if you need a high-quality result. Below are some strategies for reducing translation costs that won't impact the quality.

Choose the right provider

Be wary of translation agencies that try to tempt you with below-market rates. In order to offer low prices, they have to keep their costs way down, which means they are probably hiring less professional translators and skipping costly quality assurance steps.

On the other hand, you can save a lot of money by bypassing the agencies altogether and looking for a good freelance translator. Most agencies subcontract translations to freelancers and then mark up the prices considerably, so by going straight to the source, you can benefit from "wholesale" rates.

This is a good option if you only need a translation from English to Spanish. If you are translating to several languages, it can be very difficult to coordinate the project yourself, and you may be better off paying for an agency to handle it for you.

Click here for advice on choosing a freelance translator from the Free English to Spanish Translator Guide.

Negotiate a discount

Translation prices are often negotiable, and you can always try asking for a lower rate. Translators sometimes give discounts for:

  • Large volume
  • Significant repeat business
  • Prompt or early payment
  • Repetitions in the text (if the translator is using professional software that tracks these repetitions)

Click here for more about prices from the Free English to Spanish Translator Guide.

Adapt the document

Obviously, the less there is to translate, the lower your translation costs will be. Before sending a document for translation from English to Spanish, go through it and see if all of it really needs to be included in the translation. Ask yourself:

  • Can any parts be left out? (For example: case studies, examples, a preface or postscript, acknowledgements)
  • Can I summarize anything to make it shorter?
  • Can I replace any of the text with graphics that don't require translation?
  • Are any chunks of text repeated throughout the document?
  • Is there anything in the document such as instructions or code that isn't part of the content? (Mark those portions to be sure that they are not included in the translation... or the translation price).

Plan ahead

Advance planning gives you time to look around for the right translation provider for your budget. Having the time and flexibility to comparison shop also puts you in a more powerful position for negotiating prices.

By planning ahead, you can avoid paying surcharges for rush translations. Many agencies and some freelancers also apply a minimum charge per project, so you can save money if you combine Spanish translations and send them all together as a single project.

We also recommend waiting until you have a final draft of the original document before sending it to the translator. Any changes you make once the translation is in progress are likely to cost you extra money and delay the project delivery.

Watch out for hidden costs

When comparing translation quotes, make sure that you are considering the entire cost of each option. Keep in mind:

  • In cost proposals, some agencies separate charges for editing, design, programming, and administrative tasks from the costs of the actual translation from English to Spanish. Other agencies consider such services to be included in their translation rates. Look at the project price quoted, not the individual rates per language.
  • If you are quoted a per word rate rather than a project price, it is important to know how this will be calculated (Per source word? Per translated word? Which elements in the document will be considered "words" for this purpose?) and what the price includes.
  • A cut-rate translation might end up costing you more in the end if you have to pay a second translator to fix it or if errors in the translation come back to bite you.
  • If you will be making international payments to translators, you should include any associated banking or transaction fees in your total cost calculation.

What about a free online translation?

When your budget is tight, this can be a tempting option, but think twice before entrusting your project to a free English to Spanish translator.

This type of translation software is likely to produce a translation from English to Spanish that sounds unnatural or odd or that means something different from the original.

For an example of what can go wrong with a free English to Spanish translator, look at this excerpt of a Spanish Wikipedia article about Microsoft founder Bill Gates which has been translated to English using one of the most popular free online translators:

"It created the company of software Microsoft the 4 of April of 1975, being still student in the Harvard University. In 1976 it left the university and one moved to Albuquerque, soothes of Altair, to agree to with that company cession of a language for computers, the BASIC, to 50% of the sales. The following year, one found out the success of the Apple company and which they needed an interpreter of BASIC."

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