How Much Does Legal Translation Cost?

Abbot Ace
6 min readSep 28, 2022

Whether you are looking for legal translation services or want to get into legal translation as a freelancer or translation agency, knowing the price of legal translation services can be difficult. Let’s take a look at the different prices and how much legal translation costs.

What are legal translation services?

A legal translation service is required for the translation of any legal document, or any document or record required by the legal system. This can include a long list of document types, such as:

1. Birth certificates

2. Academic documents

3. Official documents

4. Death certificates

5. Marriage certificates

6. Immigration forms, including U.S. citizenship documents

7. Testimonials

8. Meeting recordings

All these translations should be accurate with high translation quality. Any small mistake can lead to major legal problems, so it is essential that legal translators are highly qualified. Many legal documents must also have certified translations, where qualified translators confirm that a translation is an accurate and faithful representation of the original document. This is often also called a sworn translation.

How much does a professional translation usually cost?

Many different factors affect the cost of translation services. Although it is difficult to give an exact figure for translation, we can look at some of the most common things that affect the cost of translating a legal document.

Legal translation costs per piece or per word

To understand translation pricing, the first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the two main document pricing methods.

Per-word translation pricing means that you pay a fixed fee for a certain number of words in the document or file you wish to have translated. The equivalent of this for audio or video files is per-minute pricing. This is usually the most common way to price translation jobs, and it’s important to know the word count of your document so you can know how much translation services cost for your document.

Some documents may be billed individually. You will find that certain document translation prices apply to certain common documents, such as a birth certificate — this is because some items, such as a birth certificate, will only contain a certain amount of text, so the translator can be sure that the work will take approximately some time. However, depending on the nature of your original document, you may find that you can only pay a per-word cost.

How much does a translation of 1000 words cost?

Of course, each translation professional will generally charge a different translation rate. However, most translation rates fall within the range of $0.10 to $0.50 per word. This means that a 1000-word document can cost between $100 and $500. Of course, you can find lower rates, special offers or higher rates for experts with some experience. You will also find that rush translation is often more expensive, as the translator will have to change their work schedule to complete them.

Do all professional translators charge the same price?

No, each language service provider will generally charge different rates for their legal document translation services. Indeed, their pricing will be adapted to the cost of living where they are, to their experience and their qualifications in the field. The best way to find out their rates is to request a translation quote, which most translation professionals allow you to do with just a few clicks.

Do agencies and freelancers charge different amounts?

Yes, you will often find that translation agencies / translation companies and freelancers charge different rates. There are pros and cons to using each type of translation, so you need to look beyond price to determine which path you want to take. A freelancer may be more suitable if you have a regular type of translation, while agencies often have specialists in a wider range of fields, meaning you are more likely to get the document translation you need.

Do all translations have the same cost?

No, translations in different languages ​​can cost amounts different. Indeed, some language pairs are rare and you may need to find a specialist, which means you may have to pay more for translation. However, it is important to ensure that you always find someone competent to handle your specific language pair — if you use someone who is not as competent to translate into your target languages, even if the job may be cheaper, it may not suit what you need.

Is it cheaper to have an in-house legal translator?

If you work in a company that needs a lot of translated texts, you might find it cheaper to hire an in-house translator, but this is rare. Unless you have a consistent workflow to justify hiring an in-house translator, it’s often cheaper to hire a freelancer or translation company for each individual job you have. While an in-house translator may have a lower document translation cost per piece, the overall cost of hiring an in-house translator is high.

Legal translation costs compared to regular translation.

While prices vary across all types of translation services, document translation costs in legal translation services are often higher than in more generalized translation. Of course, it always pays to shop around and find a good quote for your translation needs.

Why is legal translation more expensive than traditional translation?

Legal translation is often more expensive because the translation process is more detailed and the knowledge and experience requirements are higher. Compared to a simple blog translation, legal translation requires a lot more specialized skill.

Is a certified translation more expensive?

Yes, the cost of a certified translation is generally higher than a standard translation. This is because a certified translation has additional requirements that must be met. Anyone with the qualifications to do certified translation can charge more because their skills are in higher demand.

How much does machine translation cost?

With the popularity and accessibility of things like Google Translate, many people wonder if they can use machine translation instead of professional human translators.

What is machine translation?

Computer-assisted translation (or CAT tools) involves using computer software to perform translations based on its translation memory — this means it looks at previously translated segments and translates a document using it. Since computers are fast and don’t require constant human intervention, they can be much cheaper to use.

Is computer translation software reliable?

While CAT tools can be useful for quick and cheap translations, you have to rely on their translation memories to translate documents — if the computer has already seen a word or short phrase, it will translate that section of the same way as before. This means that if the computer cannot see the nuance in different documents, it may translate a legal document incorrectly, which is a problem when you need high translation quality. Although a computer translation can be cheap and fast, it is generally less accurate than expert human translators — machines do not currently provide curated localization solutions with the same precision that a human can. Even if you want documents translated quickly, you can find translation companies that can offer it without resorting to computer translation.

How much should I charge for the translation of a document?

If you are considering offering translation services and you are unsure of the cost of translation services, unfortunately there is no simple answer. You should base your cost on how long it will take to complete a specific job, as well as your living expenses — your income should cover all your expenses, plus taxes, etc.

Should I charge per piece or per word?

While most people charge by the word, there may be some items you want to charge by the piece. For example, the translation of birth certificates for immigration services can take some time, so you can give a cost per piece in advance. Ultimately, you need to find the type of pricing structure that works best for you.

Can I charge more if I have more experience?

As already mentioned, translation services cost more if the translator has more experience in a certain field, or if he speaks a target language for which it is difficult to find translators.


Legal translation Service in Dubai is a highly qualified specialty within a translation service. For this reason, legal translation services cost more than regular translations. The price may be different if you need a specific document or specific target languages, as the rates charged by translators vary. However, translating legal documents usually means you need a high translation quality, which means it’s often better to look at the quality and accuracy of the final translation, rather than the price. Legal translation is important as it can be an essential part of immigration, marriage and business contracts, so it’s always worth making sure you’re getting greater service, rather than the cheapest.

Read Also:



Abbot Ace

Editor & Owner at Abbot loves all things travel and outdoors and is a nature-loving, comfy-camping kinda guy. He loves winter camping.