What is the standard rate of translation services in South Africa?

 In South Africa, inquiring for translation services rates can be tricky because It’s not unusual to receive quotes with different price structured in a completely different way from one translator or another. The reason being different pricing models are used to calculate the cost of translation.

This post aims to clarify how rates of translation services are calculated in South Africa and hopefully it will help you understand what you should take into consideration when purchasing a translation job

What is the standard rate of translation services in south Africa?

Translation rates varies a lot in south Africa and there is no standard price. There are many reasons behind the variation of costs. Some are related to the language and service provider, others to the type of text or media, and others depend on your requirements.


Generally, and in accordance with the standard accepted in the industry, rates for translation services in South Africa are calculated in two ways:

  • Translation costs per word or
  • Translation costs per page or minimum fee

The price is determined by the word count in the source text (original); however, it is not always possible. If the text is only available as a hard copy, it is handwritten, etc. the price may be calculated by the number of page but the most common way of estimating translation costs is the rate per word method.

Rate per word: between R0.90 and R1.5 per word.

Rate per page: R350 to R500 per page, in the case of very short translation jobs (less than 100 words) usually a fixed fee is quoted

The range varies widely based on how common the particular language is (the more uncommon the language in the respective market, the higher the rate), the complexity of the source text, for instance, technical text would require more research (higher rate would be applied), whether a layout design is required (higher rate would apply), etc.

The rates are also subject to the terms of delivery. It should be noted that a professional translator can make a quality translation of approximately 2500 word/ 5 standard pages per day.


As we saw above translation rates in South Africa tend to differ and therefore you should not be afraid to ask questions as this is the only way to achieve high quality translation service provision and understanding between the client and supplier in the long term.

The most expensive is not necessarily the best and vice versa. The majority of translation agencies care about the long-term relationship with their clients, therefore it is particularly important to agree upon a price, quality and service that suit you best.

Frenchside is a Pretoria-based translation agency with a track record of high quality translation.  We strive to offer the lowest prices to guarantee that you never pay over-the-odds for the highest quality translation. There are no languages, volumes or deadlines that can scare us. You will constantly be offered flexible rates, short turnaround time and a diplomatic approach. whether you need a translation of a civil certificate, a complex legal document or a formatted website or technical document we are ready to assist.

We work in French, Portuguese, Spanish and German languages. If you have any questions you’d like to discuss, please give us a call on 012 348 3134/ 0813476060. Alternatively, send us an email to and a member of our friendly team will get back to you.


  1. Steven Stander
    October 11, 2022 Reply

    Good day,

    I am an expat (South African) returning to SA in December. I have a valid Chinese Driving Licence, but I think I need to have it officially translated into English in order to be able to rent a car on arrival. Do you provide this service?

    • admin
      January 17, 2023 Reply

      Good day Steven,
      Thanks for reaching out.
      Kindly note that we currently do not provide Chinese translations.
      Warm Regards.

      FrenchSide Team.


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