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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Translator?

Community Guru
Annette E Member Since: Mar 17, 2018
1 of 17

Article from Upwork's Hiring Headquarters "Hiring Tips":

 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Translator?

 

Type of TranslatorAverage  Hourly Rate
Popular Languages (Chinese, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.)$15-30+
Niche Languages (Swedish, Korean, Finnish, etc.)$20-35+
Specialists (Marketing, Copywriting, Technical, Industry)/More Experienced $35-45+

*Reflect rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.

 

 

Is Upwork lending a helping hand in keeping fees down and creating wrong expectations for clients?

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
2 of 17

Annette E wrote:

Article from Upwork's Hiring Headquarters "Hiring Tips":

 

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Translator?

 

Type of TranslatorAverage  Hourly Rate
Popular Languages (Chinese, Spanish, German, Japanese, etc.)$15-30+
Niche Languages (Swedish, Korean, Finnish, etc.)$20-35+
Specialists (Marketing, Copywriting, Technical, Industry)/More Experienced $35-45+

*Reflect rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.

 

 

Is Upwork lending a helping hand in keeping fees down and creating wrong expectations for clients?


No, they are telling clients that they should use machine translation for some languages.
The most widely spoken languages from some of the largest economies include German, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, and Portuguese, to name a few. As a result, there are far more available translators for these languages, and also more accessibility to accurate machine translation which can in some cases preclude the need for a translator.

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Community Guru
Annette E Member Since: Mar 17, 2018
3 of 17


No, they are telling clients that they should use machine translation for some languages.

 

...As a result, there are far more available translators for these languages, and also more accessibility to accurate machine translation which can in some cases preclude the need for a translator.


 

Excellent marketing strategy! Don't hire a freelancer on Upwork - use machine translation! Smiley LOL

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Community Guru
Michael S Member Since: Aug 29, 2017
4 of 17

Jennifer R wrote:
No, they are telling clients that they should use machine translation for some languages.
The most widely spoken languages from some of the largest economies include German, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, and Portuguese, to name a few. As a result, there are far more available translators for these languages, and also more accessibility to accurate machine translation which can in some cases preclude the need for a translator.

If I needed something translated to/from Japanese, I would definitely hire a competent translator. It's a highly contextual language, and most machine translation I've seen is hilariously bad.

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Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
5 of 17

Michael S wrote:

Jennifer R wrote:
No, they are telling clients that they should use machine translation for some languages.
The most widely spoken languages from some of the largest economies include German, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Spanish, and Portuguese, to name a few. As a result, there are far more available translators for these languages, and also more accessibility to accurate machine translation which can in some cases preclude the need for a translator.

If I needed something translated to/from Japanese, I would definitely hire a competent translator. It's a highly contextual language, and most machine translation I've seen is hilariously bad.


**bleep**, that makes me feel so nostalgic. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 10.54.00 PM.png

(I think this one is from China.)

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Community Guru
Michael S Member Since: Aug 29, 2017
6 of 17

It gets even better when you throw OCR into the mix, as Google Translate demonstrates...

 

Screenshot_20180321-023515.png

 

That's supposed to be a warning sign telling people to hold onto their hats and luggage, because the wind-blast / pressure wave / whatever you wanna call it coming off the trains can make you lose those items (the trains go through there at about 200mph, all of 5 or 6 feet away).

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Community Guru
Michael S Member Since: Aug 29, 2017
7 of 17

Renata S wrote:

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 10.54.00 PM.png

(I think this one is from China.)


That's...wow... Even using Google Translate would have been better. Apparently "office" is the only thing they got right. Google says 伤残评定办 is "Disability Assessment Office." How they got "Office of Mayhem Evaluation" is beyond me. (And yes, it's Chinese).

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Community Guru
Renata S Member Since: Jun 10, 2014
8 of 17

Michael S wrote:

Renata S wrote:

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 10.54.00 PM.png

(I think this one is from China.)


That's...wow... Even using Google Translate would have been better. Apparently "office" is the only thing they got right. Google says 伤残评定办 is "Disability Assessment Office." How they got "Office of Mayhem Evaluation" is beyond me. (And yes, it's Chinese).


This is what happens when people translate in the wrong direction (i.e., into a non-native language). I used to edit for someone who spoke reasonable English but had a habit of choosing words based on the limited explanations in pocket translators. This led to a lot of highly creative and fascinating statements. It did, however, make editing them a lot more interesting as well. 

Looking at this online definition, I can see how someone might have misinterpreted the meaning. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 12.34.40 AM.png

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Community Guru
Varun G Member Since: Dec 11, 2019
9 of 17

I'm bilingual and my brother is trilingual: we both agree that we've never seen a complete document ever get translated correctly when passed through a machine translator. You'd be better off going with one of those $5/hr translators.

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Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
10 of 17

Varun G wrote:

I'm bilingual and my brother is trilingual: we both agree that we've never seen a complete document ever get translated correctly when passed through a machine translator. You'd be better off going with one of those $5/hr translators.


Yes, then you pay for google with some minor changes by somone that believe to know the target language because the went to school at some point.

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