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What's the right price for translation services?


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I have been here in Fiverr since Sept 2016, like all newbies, my works are mainly bidding off from buyer request. Recently, I was told that my offer for $5 per 500 words is not competitive enough, others offered $10 for technical documents which included 20000 Chinese characters. Wow… I thought. Maybe I can have my job distribute to this person, and I will earn even more^^

In fact, I am not sure if this buyer is telling the truth or he had a lucky day that day. Anyway, I thought maybe to summarize the price range of Chinese Translation services in Fiverr in this article might help someone (I am not sure whether this is helping)

Featured, Top Rated Chinese translator,

$5 per 200 - 400 words for general context. Proofreads are done by a local native speaker.

In my findings, I realize that most of the Top Rated Chinese Translator share the same profile and even pricing. I am not sure whether they are from the same company or they are a union. They often are Chinese then relocated to English speaking countries or born and raised from English Speaking country then relocated to elsewhere. Hence, they have ample years of experiences in translation services.

Level 2 Seller,

$5 per 400 - 500 words for general context. Proofread are sometimes not specified or done by the translator.

Translator holds a tertiary certificate; they are working professionals in various industries.

Level 1 Seller,

$5 per 400 - 500 words for general context. The translator does proofread.

They have a sincere profile (my point of view), fresh graduates, young professions, and maybe students.


$5 per 500 - 700 words (some even 1000 words) for general context. Proofread is not specified by the translator.

If buyers value cost more than anything, this is the pool of potentials for you.

(Yes, I violated the T&C, therefore I was not graded as Level 1 Seller, perhaps not level 2 as well, since I’ll be hitting 50 sales in coming future… That is sad…)

All above are from my perspective, no dishonor or misleading in any way, please don’t misperceive my intention.

Hope this article finds you well, Thank you.

Best regards,

Billion Yap

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Translation prices vary greatly.
In Europe, it is common for German to cost twice as much as French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. When it comes to languages like Russian, Chinese, Japanese etc, the prices are generally even more. (I am speaking about translation from these languages to English or vice versa, prices usually go up when neither language is English).
When it comes to pricing, you really have to judge what price to set yourself. Some people will charge less, some will charge more - it depends on their situation.

When I began, I would take on jobs of up to 2000 words for $5. Was it worth it? Financially no, it was nothing. For getting reviews and moving up the levels, it was great! When I had proven myself, I put my prices up at level 1 and then again to my current prices at level 2. I now have 200 reviews on my translation gig and I believe I am justified in charging more than someone with no or few reviews. This year I have translated over 2 million words from Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian and French to English (at least 250,000 words of each). Around a third of this has come through Fiverr. I have translated a huge variety of documents successfully with 5 star reviews including website content, learning courses, erotica, technical documents, legal documents and just about everything else you can think of.
Getting 2000 words translated for $5 is useless if it is done badly. Getting 200 words translated for $5 is useful, if it is done correctly. I have seen excellent work from new sellers and horrible work from level 2 sellers although it is usually the other way around. It is important for buyers to recognize that they must have a way of checking the quality of work being delivered.

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It is trial and error. It is not particularly what others are selling for. It is dependent on where you are at on Fiverr. If your sales are not moving, your price point may need to change to $5 for 750 words or even 1,000. Maybe the pricing is not the issue. Check your gig for errors or change up tags or something else.

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If you are the type of buyer who is attracted by price alone then going for a new seller is a good idea. You have no guarantee of quality, you have no reviews to go by but you may get a good deal. Or a useless pile of rubbish and time wasted. Flip the coin, take a punt, you never know.
Alternatively, buy from someone with experience, not a guarantee but your chances of a good experience are much better. I have two regular clients who first bought from me when I was starting, they still buy from me now even with the price increases. Quality is worth paying for but if you can afford to take a gamble, why not.

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