How many words does a translator translate per day?

I have read and heard from several different sources that a professional translator can translate 3,000–3,500 words per day, as an average figure.

However, this range can vary a lot. I think this number of words is very doable in translating from one Romance language to another (Spanish to Italian) or from a Germanic language to a Romance language (English to Spanish), but I imagine this number of words might not be possible when translating between two very different languages (i.e. Arabic to English and vice versa).

I am able to comfortably translate 3,500 words a day, or even more, when I am working with colloquial or informal text. However, when working with technical or academic translations, I average a little less at somewhere between 2,000–3,000 words per day. Technical translating takes more time due to formatting considerations and field-specific terminology. I might be able to translate 6,000 words or more a day, but then I will need an additional day to edit or review this text. So overall, my translated words per day balance out to around 2,000–3,000.

Published by Allison M.

Technical and Scientific Writer, Editor, and Translator

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