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Decoding Medical Translation: Pricing Per Word and Services

Last Updated: August 29, 2023

Ashley Smith
Fact Checked By: Ashley Smith
Experienced journalist with over 12 years reporting on business and tech news.

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In any facet of the field of healthcare, there is a demand for a variety of medical text to be available in multiple languages. It is critical that healthcare facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment manufacturers have access to accurate clinical, directive, and technical information in their native language.

Regulations in most countries require that literature for medicinal products, medical equipment, and a variety of other healthcare related documentation is translated to that nation's language(s). Medical translation is a specialized type of document translation. The translation of health care content requires far more than multilingual skills.

Medical terminology constitutes a language of its own. Translation specialists of this kind have are trained and educated with knowledgeable specific to the highly technical, regulated, and sensitive nature of medical texts.

What to Expect From Top Medical Translation Services #

  • Translation service available in two or more languages; there are large variations between services in the number of language options.
  • A team of professional linguists who will guide you to the best medical translation options unique to your project.
  • Clear and understandable communication of all translation and editorial details along with your price quote.
  • There should be at least two or more individuals assigned to your project from the start of translation to the final editorial process.
  • Prompt and accurate service with guarantees on the quality of translation and editorial services.

Medical Translation Average Costs #

The most common pricing method standard in this industry is to charge by the number of words in the original/source document(s). The average cost for document translation is $0.07 to $0.40 per source word.

However, the cost range for translation of medical text, since it generally includes more complex content and terminology is usually $0.12 to $0.40 per source word.

Confirm whether the cost per word is applied to source text or target text.

Translation fees (per word) can cost up to 20% more when prices are set according to the volume of target text.

Some services charge a flat fee by the hour or per page. Expect to pay between $30 and $150 per hour, per page.

Keep in mind that not all vendors include editorial services with translation service costs, which may cost an additional $25 to $100 per hour.

Medical translation service costs are typically at the higher end of the latter rates due to:

  • Language Pair: The languages involved in the translation can significantly impact the cost. More commonly translated languages might be less expensive compared to rarer languages.

  • Complexity of Content: Medical content can range from general medical documents to highly specialized materials, such as clinical trial reports, medical device documentation, or pharmaceutical research. The complexity of the content affects the cost.

  • Volume of Content: The total number of words or pages being translated will directly influence the cost. Larger projects typically have a higher overall cost.

  • Urgency: If you need a translation done urgently, it might come with a rush fee, as the translator or translation agency might need to prioritize your project over others.

  • Specialization: Medical translation requires a deep understanding of medical terminology and concepts. Translators with specialized medical knowledge will often charge more for their expertise.

  • Quality and Accuracy: Ensuring accurate translation is crucial in medical contexts, as mistranslations can have serious consequences. High-quality translation services might come at a higher cost.

  • Translation Method: Machine translation, human translation, or a combination of both can impact the cost. Human translation tends to be more accurate, especially for medical content.

  • Translation Provider: The cost can also vary based on whether you're working with a freelance translator, a translation agency, or a specialized medical translation service.

Sample Rates for Medical Translation Services #

Translation ServicePricing Details
RushTranslateStandard Translation: $0.10 per word
Certified Translation: $24.95 per page (up to 250 words per page)
Universal Translation ServicesBusiness Translation: $0.10 per word
Certified Translation (less than 200 words): $20 per page
TranslatedEconomy Solution: $0.04 per word
Professional Solution: $0.11 per word
Premium Solution: $0.16 per word
The Spanish GroupCertified Translation: $30 per page
Other Documents: 10ยข per word
Price: From $0.15 per word
Ideal for: Marketing, legal, or medical documents requiring a specialist translator with domain expertise.
Proofreader: Included
Desktop Publishing: On Request
Blend ExpressMedical Specific Translation: $0.13 per word