Questions and Answers

Our project managers are always ready to answer your questions on + 7 (495) 661 06 88.

Below are the answers to our most frequently asked questions:

How is the cost of a translation calculated?

Our company uses various methods of pricing a translation depending on the client’s requirements. Usually it is based on the number of words or number of standard pages in the translated document. If the client has no special preference, we use the number of standard pages of text in the translated document, with a discount for repeats and fuzzy matches (per the CAT statistics). One standard page equals 1800 characters including spaces. There are two ways of roughly calculating the number of pages:

  1. In Word, by going to the Review tab and clicking on Word count, then dividing the number of characters with spaces by 1800.
  2. By using special software, e.g. PractiCount & Invoice, that automatically counts the number of characters in a document.

If it’s hard to calculate, or you don’t have the software to count the number of characters in files with formats such as PDF, XLS, HTML, etc., our project managers can calculate the approximate cost for you, also factoring in the number of repeats.

Do you use machine translation?

No. Right now, there is not one single machine translation program capable of producing even a very mediocre translation. If it were possible, then every company in the world would have one, and the cost of translation services would tumble. On the other hand, we do make very extensive use of computer-assisted translation systems, and in most cases we use translation memory programs (CAT). In addition, we build up our own translation database and create glossary databases for use with specific clients wherever needed.

What is a CAT and what are they used for?

CAT (computer-assisted translation) programs are specialized software designed to automate the translation process. These programs have nothing to do with machine translation, because the translator, not the computer, does the entire translation. Their purpose is to make the translator’s work easier by providing a translation memory, which significantly reduces the time required to produce the translation and helps ensure that the document, or even an entire project, has uniform terminology. It means that when the same term is repeated elsewhere in the text, the translator has no need to consult dictionaries or specialist sources. Furthermore, the CAT can be used to check spelling and that numbers match in the translated text, which eliminates misprints in the final file. The CAT can be used to create a translation memory for a specific project, and this will significantly reduce the client’s costs when later documents under the same project come to be translated, if these contain repeats and matches with the earlier documents. And why should the client actually pay more if the translator is spending less effort on the translation?

How is the length of a translation calculated in a CAT?

When the original document is put through a CAT, it is automatically broken down into segments that are logical fragments less than a sentence long. Each segment is analyzed for matches with the translation memory and for repeats elsewhere within the document itself. If there are a large number of repeats and matches with the translation memory, working on the text takes far less time, making it easier for the translator. The program automatically suggests the translation option stored in its memory, and the translator makes the required adjustments and confirms the segment. In Golden Hind Translation Agency, the process of calculating text length is automated, and is based on measuring the percentage of repeats within the text and matches with the translation memory.

Why is it that the preliminary text length can be different than the final one?

The preliminary text length is its length before translation (in the source language). The final text length is its length after translation (into the target language). The final length is generally slightly different from the preliminary length, for which there are several reasons.

First, the same amount of information equates to differing amounts of text in different languages. A text in English, for instance, is on average 10-15% shorter than the translation into Russian, while a text in German is generally 5-10% longer than its Russian translation.

Second, when calculating the length, in most cases we factor in the number of repeats in the text and the matches with the CAT translation memory. However, a calculation made on the text of the translation itself shows how far the translator actually had to alter the text offered by the translation memory in order to make it match the altered original. That is why a final calculation of length cannot be made beforehand with any real accuracy.

Third, we often have to make a rough estimate by sight of the length of the original documents when there is no time to go through the procedure of full optical character recognition of the text. This happens when the client sends us documents that are not in editable form (e.g. in one of the MS Office formats), but in scanned form or a PDF format. In cases like this, the preliminary estimate of text length can simply be inaccurate and differ significantly from the actual length after character recognition.

The final text length is therefore a more accurate reflection of the actual work that has gone into a translation than the initially calculated length.

Why is the final cost of the translation calculated based on the length of the translated text?

Golden Hind Translation Agency uses a system by which the Client, shortly after placing the order, is given a preliminary cost estimate that is calculated, in order to save time, based on the preliminary text length (see answer to previous question), and only after the Client has received the completed translation will the project manager be able to let him know the final cost. This cost is calculated based on the number of standard pages* (or sometimes words) in the text of the translated document. This, then, is the final price that is payable by the Client. It can be either higher or lower than the original estimate.

This system was not chosen at random. The thing is that the Client, looking at a quick preliminary estimate, can make a decision on the spot as to whether the translation should go ahead, and the text can be allocated for translation virtually immediately, while the final price will depend only on the actual amount of work done. The final price, of course, will differ from the initial estimate, but generally the difference is not very large.

This method of calculation is universally applied to all orders placed with Golden Hind.

* A standard page consists of 1800 characters, including spaces, of translated text after applying a discount for repeats in the text and matches with the translation memory. The calculation in standard pages is made by the CAT. What is measured in standard pages, therefore, is solely the actual work done by the translator.

Do you offer discounts?

Our rates are formulated in such a way as to be acceptable to all our clients even without discounts. For large volumes, we are willing to make a reduction in the cost of our services. The size of the discount depends on numerous factors and will always be discussed on an individual basis.

How can I see the quality of your translations?

So that you will have confidence in the quality of our services, we are willing to do a free test translation of one page, or for major projects up to five pages.

Our company does not claim to be the last bastion of truth or that our comments are beyond reproach, but simply wishes to demonstrate our experience in this field.

Unfortunately, we are unable to show you any of the translations we have done because we sign nondisclosure agreements with all our clients.

Aside from that, the words of gratitude from major companies that you can find on our website speak for themselves.

How do you arrive at the final pricing of a translation, and why don’t you have single set of rates for your services?

Our company does have standard prices for translation services. In most cases, those prices remain invariable and can even be reduced by discounts. For complex projects, however, the prices can increase. This can happen when we need to involve highly specialized personnel (whose services are considerably more expensive).

Can you do an urgent translation with an extremely fast turnaround?

The standard speed for a translation is 8 pages a day. For an urgent translation, we can provide you with up to 15 pages a day. On some projects, our company handles 20-100 pages a day. In cases like this, we set up a separate team that works on that particular project. Typically, projects of this sort are long-term. Large volumes can be translated only if a significant amount of time is set aside for editing. To put it another way, we can translate a regular amount of 30 pages a day given a total completion deadline of 14 days.

What makes your company stand out from other translation agencies?

Many translation agencies offer two-way translations in dozens of different languages and are happy to handle any type of subject matter just to bring in as many clients as possible. This kind of philosophy makes it highly difficult to provide quality translations. Golden Hind Translation Agency works solely in Russian language pairs, because that is the only way we can properly allocate the work and guarantee it is properly done. We make no attempt to handle subject matter for which we cannot provide a tried and tested professional translator. For instance, while we do not handle medical texts, we can guarantee that our translations in the oil and gas industry and the energy sector will be done to perfection. All our translators have considerable translation experience in their specialist field, and in most cases have a diploma or degree in a technical field in addition to their linguistic education. The average age of our translators is 43, and we endeavor not to engage new translators in actual projects until they have been through multiple stages of testing under the scrutiny of our top specialists.

A further guarantee for our clients is their involvement in all stages of the work process, and the advanced technologies that Golden Hind Translation Agency employs ensure that clients have access to the statistics on jobs in progress, and can track or make real-time adjustments to the work process.

Can you provide an interpreter to work abroad?

Yes. Golden Hind Translation Agency can provide an interpreter to accompany your delegation outside the country. We can provide this service in two ways:

  1. We allocate an interpreter to accompany you from here. We can provide interpreters who already have visas to many countries, which means that departure time can be as little as 1 or 2 days.­ Our interpreters have extensive experience of working abroad and have open visas to the EC, countries in the Middle East (including the Arabian Peninsula), Japan, China, and the USA.
  2. Or we can provide interpreters living in the country where your negotiations or meetings will take place. We have cooperating interpreters who provide services for us in most of the EC countries and the USA.
How quickly can you start the job?

We will start as soon as the contract formalities are completed. This can be done quickly as follows: We send you a standard contract that you fill in with your details. You then sign it and email us a copy. At that moment we can begin work.

What guarantees do you provide for translating confidential information?

Golden Hind Translation Agency has a strong commitment to keeping the information you send us confidential. In addition to insisting on having all parties involved in the translation sign nondisclosure agreements, we use protected servers for data and document exchange. Access to projects is available only to the individuals directly engaged in those specific projects. Access from outside is not possible.

has a strong commitment to keeping the information you send us confidential. In addition to insisting on having all parties involved in the translation sign nondisclosure agreements, we use protected servers for data and document exchange. Access to projects is available only to the individuals directly engaged in those specific projects. Access from outside is not possible.