Pricing for professional translation and localization services can seem opaque and complex, and localization projects have a lot of moving parts. We try to break it down for you below, whether you're interested in translating a single document, multi-market web localization, or multilingual voiceover for your video.


For most projects, text translation is the largest cost, and text translation is priced per word. These are the languages in which we most frequently work, sorted into three pricing tiers. Note that these rates apply only to new text, and repetitions in the text or in the translation memories will be translated at a lower rate. For a precise figure, please request a quote!

$0.18 - $0.22
Chinese (Hong Kong)
Chinese (PRC)
Chinese (Singapore)
Chinese (Taiwan)
French (France)
Italian (Italy)
Portuguese (Brazil)
Portuguese (Portugal)
Spanish (Latin America)
Spanish (Spain)
Spanish (USA)
$0.23 - $0.25
Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
Bosnian (Latin)
Dari (Afghan Persian)
Dutch (Belgium) - Flemish
Dutch (Netherlands)
Farsi (Persian)
French (Canada)
German (Germany)
Serbian (Latin)
$0.26 - $0.30
Azerbaijani (Latin)
Khmer (Cambodian)
Norwegian (Bokmål)
Swedish (Sweden)


Service Cost Unit
language porting $0.09 - $0.12 per word
editing $56 - $92 per hour
DTP $65 - $83 per hour
voice-over $0.60 - $1.00 per word
voice-over minimum fee $600 - $1000
games testing $36 - $60 per hour
in-context review $56 - $92 per hour
engineering $75 - $95 per hour
transcription $4.90 - $8.00 per minute (source)
subtitling $7.00 - $11.50 per minute (source)


Here are some examples so you can get a sense of how it all comes together in a single project.

Simple 2 Page Document
COST: $345.00
Language: Spanish (Latin America)
Word Count: 1000
Extras: 1 hour Desktop Publishing
Timeline: 5 Business Days (Normal)

This is an example of a simple project with a relatively small volume. With the desktop publishing, this might be updates to an existing corporate communication framework for an office in Latin America, proposed copy and layouts for a marketing campaign, or user documentation for a consumer product that is about to hit the market.

Small Software Update
COST: $195.00
Language: Chinese (PRC)
Word Count: 500
Extras: None
Timeline: 5 business days (Normal)

This is a small project in one of our most frequent and lowest-cost languages. This kind of project might be new strings for a lightweight app or game, or added strings for software that has already been localized. Note that with such a low word count, the project management fee represents more than half of the project cost.

Website Localization with In-context Review
COST: $968.00
Language: French (Canada)
Word Count: 3000
Extras: In-context review, 2 hours
Timeline: 5 business days (Normal)

This is a typical web localization project with a mid-size word count. The notable thing about this project is the in-context review, in which our linguist assess the final product before it goes live to ensure that every aspect of the final output works in context. Our linguists can do this kind of review on web pages, web apps and traditional software, even employing regression testing and bug documentation techniques where needed.

Small Rush Project
COST: $227.50
Language: Somali
Word Count: 200
Extras: None
Timeline: 3 Business days (Rush)

Every so often we get a note from a client telling us that they need another language localized, and they need it yesterday. Sometimes the specs change, sometimes someone just forgets to specify the language when they ask for a quote. In any case, it happens, and we are happy to accommodate a rush schedule. This particular project has a 30% rush surcharge and would be delivered in 3 business days. See below for more information about rush timeframes. 

Full-Service eLearning Localization Project
COST: $14,014.00
Language: French (France), Italian, German, Spanish (Spain)
Word Count: 2000
Extras: eLearning engineering, 20 minutes of voiceover (per language)
Timeline: 14 Business Days (Normal)

This is an example of a quote for an eLearning course, one of our specialities, localized in the four most common EU languages. What is notable about this project is that the voiceover represents half of the total cost, and laying out the localized text in the eLearning software represents just over 20%. The text translation itself accounts for only 13% of the total project cost.


Each language requires its own workflow, with its own set of linguists and packaging, so adding languages will significantly increase the cost of a single project. However, in the long run, bundling languages saves on project management fees because much of the initial preparation happens once, in the source content, prior to translation. Where budgets permit, we always recommend bundling as many languages as possible into a single project.


There are often many things that go into a localization project other than translation. Below we unpack pricing for the most common services that we provide, after translation.

Desktop Publishing (DTP) – Glyph’s support staff are skilled in a wide range of design tools, and we strongly recommend that our team do the layout work with the output text, rather than delivering simple text. Often clients who elect to try to do DTP on their own end up coming back to us in the end, because formatting and layouts are tough when you're not sure what each word means. We charge DTP on an hourly basis. Output varies between 10 to 20 pages an hour depending on the file type.

Engineering - For projects that require significant pre- or post-production work in order to be digestible, such as intricate design files or eLearning modules, our engineering team works on an hourly basis to ensure that the localization output is seamless.

Multimedia - Multimedia projects such as video localization often require different kinds of talent and specific tools and technique that all bill out at different rates. We bill subtitling per minute of source material, and voiceover costs depend on the type of voiceover production the client chooses.


We have standard benchmarks for turnaround times based on volume. Let us know if your project is urgent and we can discuss options for a Rush surcharge. We typically add a 30% surcharge for mild rush projects and a 50% surcharge for truly urgent projects.


Glyph’s standard 3-stage workflow includes a round of human translation, a round of editing by a separate linguist, and a round of automated checks by our translation tools. Over the years we have found that this is the sweet spot in the compromise between quality, cost and time. However, we do have a number of alternative workflows, such as 2-stage translation without editing or double translation with adjudication, that we can implement by request. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss these options.


The pricing listed above is for one-off projects of small-to-medium size. Due to economies of scale and the benefit of planning, we can offer discounts for very large projects, ongoing projects with recurring content drops, or similar scenarios. Please ask if you think your projects warrant a discount.


In short, yes, we do have minimum fees. There are significant economies of scale in localization projects, which means that tiny projects cost us about as much as small projects. For this reason all of our projects have a minimum fee of $175. $100 of this is for project management fees and $75 is for the translation, which means that the break-even word count is between 250 and 425 words, depending on the per-word cost of each language.

The best way to avoid minimum fees is to bundle content for translation as much as possible to get over the break-even point. Of course, we understand that sometimes you just need 100 words translated, and that's ok! If you anticipate having lots of small, urgent localization projects, we are happy to discuss other options, such as a reduced minimum fee, a monthly retainer, or other options. Get in touch and let us know what you need!