When it comes to buying a service, there should be an effective way to quantify what you are paying for. This applies to many services, including language interpreting. In this article, we would like to explain how rates are configured to help you in your selection process.
In our experience, interpreter rates are mainly determined by 3 factors: the geographic location, the language pair, and the interpretation type required for the event.
1. Geographic location
Interpreters charge a lot more in developed countries than developing ones such as Vietnam. Below are the average prices to reserve an interpreter for one day between English and the local language in major cities around the world. The prices are calculated based on actual interpretation fees on Freelensia in 2018.
Furthermore, prices are more expensive in major cities within the same country. However, in a remote location where experienced interpreters are not found, the client may need to contract an interpreter from a major city. In this case, travel expenses and time must be compensated for, further adding to the cost of hiring an interpreter for the event.
2. Language pair
In general, prices are more expensive if both languages are not the local languages of the city where the event takes place. For example, we know a case when interpreters from Vietnam was flown in during a Japanese - English real-time seminar in Cambodia because there were no suitable local interpreters.
Also, if one language is the local language, then prices are higher if the client comes from a rich country where English is not commonly spoken. In our experience, Japanese and Korean-speaking interpreters charge the highest. English interpreters earn an average salary, while interpreters for languages such as Chinese and Thai have a lower pay range.
Curious to know more about the highest paying translation languages? Please click here to find out.
Below are the average prices for one-day business meeting interpreters in Vietnam between Vietnamese and various languages.
3. Interpretation type
Different interpretation types will require different levels of experience and skills. As a result, an interpreter will charge a separate price depending on what you want him to do.
There are many interpretation types, such as (ordered by level of difficulty and correspondingly, price): Tour guide; PG (Promotional Girl); Booth attendance; exhibition visit; Factory visit; Escort; General business meeting; Police interrogation; Court session; Medical examination; High-level business meeting; M&A negotiations; MC (Master of Ceremony)/Moderator; Seminar (consecutive interpretation; Seminar (simultaneous interpretation).
Below is a rough price distribution of the various interpretation types for Japanese - Vietnamese interpreters based on prices from their listings on Freelensia.
You’ve now learned about pricing for language interpreting services and how it’s determined. Having this knowledge, you are now in a better position to procure and request interpreters from language services companies or working directly with freelancers on interpretation platforms.
Do you know that reserving interpreters online via platform is a growing trend nowadays? Click here to learn why.
Share your experiences about interpreter pricing and any questions you may have in the comments.