Hourly rates for freelance Translators

Freelance Translator Rates: What You Need to Know

As a freelance translator, setting your rates can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you are charging enough to make a living, but you also don't want to price yourself out of the market. In this post, we'll explore what a freelance translator is, what a typical set of rates looks like, and the factors that influence those rates.

What is a Freelance Translator?

A freelance translator is someone who works independently to translate written or spoken content from one language to another. This can include anything from legal documents to marketing materials to books. Freelance translators may work with clients directly or through translation agencies.

Typical Set of Rates

The rates for freelance translators can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including language pair, subject matter, and experience. However, according to the American Translators Association, the average rate for freelance translators in the United States is around $0.25 to $0.30 per word. This means that a 1,000-word document could cost anywhere from $250 to $300 to translate.

Factors that Influence Rates

There are several factors that can influence the rates that freelance translators charge. Here are a few to consider:

Language Pair

The language pair you work with can have a big impact on your rates. Languages that are in high demand, such as Spanish or Chinese, may command higher rates than languages that are less commonly spoken.

Subject Matter

The subject matter of the content you are translating can also influence your rates. Technical or specialized content, such as medical or legal documents, may require more expertise and therefore command higher rates.


Your level of experience as a translator can also play a role in the rates you charge. Translators with more experience and a proven track record may be able to charge higher rates than those who are just starting out.

Turnaround Time

Finally, the turnaround time required for a translation project can also impact your rates. Rush jobs or projects with tight deadlines may require you to charge more to compensate for the extra time and effort required.


Setting your rates as a freelance translator can be a challenging task, but by considering the factors outlined above, you can ensure that you are charging a fair price for your services. Remember to take into account your language pair, subject matter expertise, experience, and turnaround time when setting your rates, and don't be afraid to adjust them as needed to stay competitive in the market.