How to Count Pages for Certified Translations

Pages for certified translations are calculated based on the total word count of the document. Follow this guide to learn how to count the words and calculate the page count accurately.

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How Certified Translation Pages Are Counted

The most significant variable when it comes to pricing any certified translation is the calculation of pages. Helpful in understanding the formula is to know that in fact, the number of physical pages in your source document is not what is being counted, but rather the total number of words contained in your source document.

To utilize the physical page count would yield wildly different results depending on the format of the document being priced. Imagine one document that is a birth certificate on a single page containing 700 words and another that is a bank statement four physical pages containing 100 words each. While more time will be spent in translating the birth certificate, the client who required comparatively little translation work for the bank statement would be asked to pay the higher amount.

For this reason, we base our page counts on the total number of words in the source document. This way, a client will pay no more for a 500-word translation that is spread over five physical pages than for a translation where they all fit onto one physical page.

We follow the industry standard for calculating a page of certified translation as 250 words. For example, a document with 1,000 words would be priced as four pages. We divide 1,000 words by 250 words to arrive at the four-page count. Any words above 1,000 up to 1,250 would count as one additional page and so on in 250-word increments.

What Constitutes a Word?

Because many certified translations contain numerical data, individual numbers are included among the word count, no matter how many numerals they contain. For example, the number "4" would be counted as one word, and so would the number "926", even though the former contains one numeral and the latter contains three numerals.

Also worth noting is that sometimes we are provided documents that contain some words already in the language to which we are translating the document as a whole. In all cases, however, a word counts as a word no matter the language in which it is presented to us. Just like numbers, the translator will still have to include the text and format it like the rest of the translation, which takes time.

Finally, as an additional point of guidance, certified translations require that all visible content on the page be translated, even if that content is, say, part of a header or instructions on how the client should send the document. This is required because a certified translation is a word-for-word translation of the entire document. Any text you would not like translated needs to be redacted.

The guidelines we use for pricing enable clients to feel comfortable that they are receiving fairly and consistently priced translations no matter how the original source document is formatted.

Getting Your Word Count

Source documents for certified translations are typically physical documents that are scanned or photographed before uploading. This can make getting an accurate word count difficult and tedious if you don't have the appropriate software (optical character recognition or OCR) to extract the text from those files to obtain an accurate count.

We use software when possible, to obtain accurate counts. Some documents, such as those with handwritten text, require manual counting of every word. If you are unsure of your word count, please request a quote and our support team will be happy to provide the word and page count for you along with a total price and estimated turnaround time.


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