How Long Does a Translation Typically Take?

How Long Do Translation Services Take?

There’s nothing more intimidating than a deadline, and anyone who has worked on tight deadlines knows it well. “How long does it take” is one of the most common questions in service deliveries.

Netizens often make rough estimates about the average turnaround time of translation projects. Most of them are primarily based on the number of words one can translate in a single sitting.

However, various other factors go into the average translation time, including the quality of translation services, project size, translation tools, and difficulty level.

But that doesn’t imply that a translation project could take months. An insight into the factors influencing average translation time and tips will reveal more.


How long do translation services take


Factors Affecting the Translation Turnaround Time

Like other regular projects, a translation task follows up with a few challenges, from unwanted delays to unseen hurdles. Here are a few factors that significantly affect the turnaround time of a translation project.

Project’s Size

It goes without saying that a more extensive project will take more time: the larger the project’s volume, the more time and, sometimes, translators you require.

Multiple translators working for you necessitate quality checks. Because you desire to receive consistent output from several translators, it’ll expand your timeline.


No two translation projects are similar. A few are more complicated, hence needing more expertise. Projects consisting of technical sentences, detailed explanations, and lesser-known abbreviations will require more time for additional research.

This explains why technical and medical documents with specific vocabulary take more time than simple, everyday translation projects.


If a document has new and distinctive words in every paragraph and on every new page, the translator will take more time to complete it. On the flip side, repetitive words would require less effort on behalf of the translator.

Today, numerous translating tools recognise repetitive patterns, making work more straightforward for translators. So, the more repetition, the quicker the turnaround time.


Different certified translation services have varying strengths. If you pick an agency whose strengths do not align with your project, it’ll lead to considerable delays.

For instance, your project will take months to complete if you ask a smaller agency with limited translation experience to translate your e-commerce site.

Likewise, a translation agency skilled at translating smaller documents would nail your project. So, it would help if you chose the service providers, given the nature of your project.

Translation Technology

Does the agency utilise contemporary practices to complete translation projects, or do they rely on old-school methods?

Professional service providers often employ the latest translation technologies to reduce the project turnaround time. For instance, spellcheck and approved glossaries minimise the workload for translators – hence quicker project completion.

An Estimated Translation Turnaround Time

While valuing quicker turnaround time isn’t wrong, overlooking quality in the process won’t lead to a successful outcome. Translating text is no walk in the park, and time guarantees may compromise accuracy levels.

Nonetheless, estimating the figure when planning a translation project is always great. A quick look into the average turnaround time based on word count will help you set realistic expectations.

Please note that the turnaround times shown below exclude additional proofreading. Projects intended for new audiences, such as website copy, should always be proofread and will increase the turnaround time.

Translation project Word County Turnaround Time (estimated)
Article 1000 1-2 working days
White Paper 6,000 3 working days
15 Blog Posts 15,000 7 working days
Website Localization 25,000 12 working days


Note that the table only makes a rough guess of translation turnaround time. The aim is to make your translation project smoother by knowing “what to expect.” Project complication, size, and the translator’s skill level are the decisive factors for precise timings.


How much time is needed for translation services


Tips to Reduce the Average Translation Time

While you may think the delivery time depends entirely on your translator, you can do multiple things to keep your project from annoying delays. Keep the following tips in mind to finish the assignment quicker and let your translator do their best.

Pick Professional Translation Services Providers

Because you are investing money in your translation project, you must select the translation service provider carefully. It is crucial to add an extra layer of examination when considering delivery times.

You can always communicate with the service providers and ask them about their quality analysis procedure. Plus, make sure you question the number of translators working on your project and whether you require an additional proofreading service.

Besides, knowing their specialisation also helps you hire the right fit.

Add Details to Your Work

A little effort on your end can make the text more understandable and less complicated for the translator.

For instance, you can supply a glossary of particular translations and include relevant pictures. Doing so in the early preparation stages will make the text more comprehensible.

As a result, the translator will better understand your project. Besides, working beforehand will translate the critical content pieces in the first go.

Communicate Efficiently

Failing to provide an answer to a question leads to delays. It isn’t uncommon for translators to run into complications when working on a project.

So, while they must use their expert judgments, quick communication can make the project more accurate and efficient.

You must be willing to communicate and guide them through their queries.

Do Not Forget to Ask About the Start Date!

There’s nothing more crucial than asking the translation agency about the date they’ll begin working on your project. Given the increasing need for translation services, finding an unassigned translation feels like an uphill battle.

What’s the point of choosing reliable services if they take forever to start working on your documents? So, to keep yourself from delays, ask them to confirm the start date. It will save you time – and money.


The highly competitive digital world and rapidly transforming e-commerce industry calls for reliable translation services. Companies are willing to build brand reputation, smoothen their business processes, and rely on efficient translators to spread their word to global audiences.

The surging demand for translation services raises a critical question, “How long does a translation typically take?”

Your project’s size, level of complexity, and above all, your willingness to provide information such as glossaries before handing it over to your translation service provider are some decisive factors.