How much does it cost to have an event interpreted?
In Germany interpreting is an independent profession and as a result prices aren’t standardized (two notable exceptions are court interpreting and interpreting for municipalities). But don’t worry! This page lays out how we structure our rates and should give you an idea of what to look for if you are trying to evaluate other interpreters’ rates as well.
A key ingredient, though, for top notch interpreting services is preparation. Though good interpreting should seem effortless, like professional athletics or acting it takes a lot of preparation to make seem easy. In order to anticipate the hours needed for preparation our project manager must know more about your event.
What do we need to know?
Key things we need to know include: when and where is the event taking place? Will it take place virtually or in person? Do you need technical assistance? What documents can you provide the interpreters to prepare with? Will the interpreters be recorded?
Based on those key factors we will provide you with a quote including the following:
- Technical equipment (including for a technician if needed)
- Reproduction rights
- Project management fee
Why do prices for different kinds of events vary?
For interpreters, the time required for an event can be deceptive. Some events can be brief, but the amount of technical information they communicate across a variety of topics can be very large (think for example of a press conference). Such events require extensive preparation.
Other times, an event can be long, but because it involves a lot of free-flow discussions and the material covered is similar and easily understood little preparation is required.
But of course some events can be both long and require extensive preparation. That is the case for example with a software training course, which both communicates a great deal of information and can last for a longer period of time. But even in cases like that there are variables. If, for example, there were different groups going through the same training on different days that would lower the price because the interpreters would already be familiar with the material and not have to prepare.
For short events (less than two hours) we offer a set package. It includes preparation, interpreting and recording and usage rights. Only the project management fee would be additional, and, if required, equipment and technical costs.
We also offer packages for evening events. The rate includes preparation, interpreting and recording and usage rights. Here too, only project management and any equipment and technical costs would be added to the package rate.
FAQ about interpreting and prices
Is simultaneous interpreting more expensive than consecutive interpreting ?
Yes and no. The hourly rate is not more expensive, but simultaneous interpreting requires a team of two interpreters who alternate every 20-45 minutes to ensure quality. That results in more “interpreting hours” to be charged than for an equivalent event using consecutive interpreting.
Does it cost more when German is interpreted into English AND English is also interpreted into German?
No. Experienced interpreters move easily in both “language directions.”
Does it cost more when more people listen?
Well, interpreters aren’t paid more for it! But if you have chosen simultaneous interpreting you will need to rent more headphones and receivers which will increase equipments costs. This is of course different for virtual meetings.
Does it cost more if I wish to record the interpreters?
Yes. The service you pay an interpreter for is intended for the moment. It is provided in and for the current audience. By recording and sharing the use period is extended and audience is changed. But those rights are only a 50% increase in the interpreting fee (the top fee in the price breakdown above), which for interested clients is usually minimal.
Is there a lower rate if I book for multiple days?
Yes! We apply a lower hourly rate for interpreting time than for a one-day event.
How many working hours make up a day of interpreting?
Good question! For in person events a day is 7 hours of net interpreting. For virtual interpreting the day is around five.
What is included in the project management fee?
Ahead of the event the project manager selects suitable interpreters and will discuss the technical requirements with you, the venue and our technical partners. The project manager will also discuss the schedule for the event with you as well as texts the interpreters can use to maximize their preparation for your event. You can share documents with us either via e-mail or the using drag and drop feature on our server. It is quick and the safest way in terms of data security. Ask us for access!
And of course if you have questions, you will always receive promp assistance from the project manager. She is also responsible for contract and invoice processing.
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We are also happy to provide you with information about online interpreting as we were an early adopter of the practice that has grown exponentially recently.