How Long Does it Take to Translate One Page

One of the most disappointing comments that translators usually hear is “why is it taking long time to translate a single document. Don’t translators use Google Translate anyway?” But if Google Translate can do the whole job, what is the use of human translators?

Translators may use Google Translate among their translation tools, but translation is a process that is beyond the lexical meaning of words. Such tools help translator complete their job better and faster. However, the question is how much time a translator needs to translate one page.

The typical answer is that there is no answer. There are many factors on which the answer of this question depends, including the following:


  1. How many words one page includes. One page usually includes from 250 to 500 words and some pdf pages may include more words.
  2. How experienced a translator is. An experienced translator would definitely need less time to translate one page than a junior translator would.
  • How familiar the translator is with the topic of the document. If the translator is familiar with the film making industry or the petroleum industry, it will take him/her less time to translate a related document, compared with another translator who has to do some reading first to acquire such knowledge.
  1. The field of translation. Technical texts usually take more time than non-technical general texts.
  2. Does it need some creativity? Some texts do not just need literal translation. Translating the words would not do the job, especially if such texts will be used in marketing campaigns and alike. In such cases, a translator needs to go through a process of transcreation that usually takes longer time than traditional translation.
  3. Language pair. When you translate from one language to another which belong to the same language family, it would take him/her less time than translating to a language which is totally different on the lexical, grammatical, cultural levels.

On average, it usually takes an hour to translate one page. In some cases, a translator would take less time and in some others, he/she may need more time. Only the translator can determine this. Remember, time might be all what a translator needs to deliver quality translation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *