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Getting a Translation Quote

How to get an accurate (and speedy) Translation Quote

The most important email you send us is the first one! To keep your (and our) workflow progressing smoothly it’s important to minimise traffic. So, your first contact with us should provide all the information we need to give you an accurate translation quote, complete with a timeline. For this, we need a proper brief. So what should that first email include?

The Essentials

First of all we need the key details of the project. Ideally this should be in the subject of your email.

  • Project name
  • Source and target language(s): ie. translating from English, into Spanish and German.
  • Deadline or project timeline
  • Word count

For example, your email subject could be “Product Catalogue: EN to ES & DE, 4000 words, by 14/5/23.”

Language Combination(s) and Variant

We translate over 50 language combinations! Prices vary between ‘common’ language pairs, such as English-Spanish, and less common, such as German-Mongolian (yes, we have translated this combination!).

We also need to know which variant, ie. which region this document is intended for. For example, there are numerous differences, both in vocabulary and style, between European Spanish vs. Latin-American Spanish. All of our translators translate into their native language, so we will need to select, and check the availability, of our most suitable translator(s).

Word Count

We need a word count in order to determine the price, but also whether we can meet your deadline successfully. If you’re working in Word you can find the count in the bar at the bottom of the screen. If you’re working in another format, then copy-and-pasting the text into Word is often the quickest way of getting the count. Alternatively, many apps will show you the word count in the ‘properties’ field.

The word count is especially important with large volume projects such as catalogues or websites — as we offer volume discounts! So providing an accurate word count enables us to calculate your discount.

A professional translator can translate 2000-2500 words per day. At QuickSilver Translate, we have an extensive global network of linguists, so it is possible for us to translate large projects very quickly by using multiple translators. However, in this case, we also need to allow time to thoroughly review the final document to make sure that the vocabulary, terminology, style and tone are consistent throughout.

Editable files

To be really accurate we need to see the document itself! Ideally, in an editable format — a Word, Excel, PP or InDesign file is perfect. Our DTP experts can, of course, convert non-editable files such as PDFs, into an editable format, but that takes additional time.

If your files includes graphic elements or tables, then an InDesign idml is a great option — this way we can deliver the final files to you in the exact same format as you supplied. You can make savings, and improve efficiency, by integrating translation and DTP. That is, asking us to take care of the necessary adjustments to layout and formatting for the documents we are translating.

Simply put, you send us your InDesign files (indd or idml) and we return them to you translated and ready to deploy. We will supply PDF files suitable for emailing — with bookmarked indexes, cross-references and hyperlinks in place. Or high-resolution, print-ready PDFs (desktop or offset) that you can send direct to your printer.

Find out more: “Please send us the original files!”

Find out more: Translation and Desktop Publishing — why pay more?

This is what we need to accurately quote for your translation project. However, before we start translating we will also need to know the following:

Brand voice — who is speaking?

If you have a Brand Book, we’d love to see it. Otherwise a brief intro to your brand is really useful. Imagine: a document from a legal institution will have a very different style and tone to a press release from a fashion house. We use a variety of skilled, specialised translators, and we want to choose the most suitable person for each project.

Terminology and style guide

If you have an established style guide — maybe your main headings should always be capitalised, or you prefer numbered lists over bullet points — then we need to know! If your company uses industry-specific terminology, or if you have agreed product terms — such as, ‘t-shirt’, not ‘tee-shirt’ — then we will make a Glossary to ensure these terms are translated as you prefer, and consistently each time they are used. Supplying your Brand Book or Style Guide is by far the quickest way of achieving this.

Target market — who are you speaking to?

Is this an Installation Guide for engineers? Or a marketing campaign aimed at teenagers? The style and register we use will vary depending on the intended market. Furthermore, what is the aim of the document? A legal document requires absolute precision, whereas marketing materials need a different touch.

Depending on the target market you may need to localise or transcreate the document. Localisation is the process of adapting your content to a specific country or region. This might mean changing numbers from imperial to metric, or dollars to euros. Transcreation is the process of adapting text or a message from one language and culture to another, while maintaining the impact and intention of the original. (It’s a term that’s been formed by combining ‘translation’ and ‘creation’.) A successfully transcreated project should carry the same implications and evoke the same emotions in the target language, and to the target audience, as the original did in the source language.

SEO Keywords

You’re probably using SEO keywords on your website (or you should be!) — it is essential these are translated appropriately and consistently. This means using a Glossary. If you haven’t established a (multilingual) glossary then we can create one for you in the initial stages of the project.


We offer four pricing levels, and we make recommendations to customers based on their business goals and objectives. Which level of service is chosen for any given project depends on:

  • How important is the document?
  • Is it for internal use, or will you send it to clients?
  • How much money are you willing to spend on translating it?
  • How fast do you need it?
  • And, how much review time are you willing to spend internally?

Find out more: Different levels of Translation Quality and Pricing

By providing the information we need, we can guarantee you a fast and accurate quote for your translation project. In addition, our Project Managers will adore you!

Contact us for a free consultation or more information.

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