How to create comprehensive quotations for translation and interpreting services

As a freelance translator or interpreter, providing accurate quotations is crucial for managing client expectations and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your work. A well-crafted quotation not only outlines the cost of your services but also demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail. Here’s a guide on what to include in a proper quote for translation and interpreting services.

What is a quotation?

A quotation, often shortened to "quote," is a formal statement that sets out the estimated cost for a particular job or service. For translators and interpreters, a comprehensive quotation ensures clarity and sets the foundation for a successful project.

Elements of a proper quotation

To create a binding quote, it is essential to include clear and detailed information. A binding quote should specify the project scope, including the type of service, expected deliverables, and any specific requirements. Additionally, it must outline the pricing structure, including rates, total cost, and any potential additional charges.

The delivery timeline should be clearly defined, specifying the deadline for project completion. Terms and conditions are crucial, covering payment terms, cancellation policies, and any other relevant clauses. Once both parties agree to these terms in writing, the quote becomes a legally binding agreement.

To create a detailed and effective quotation, consider including the following elements:

Project scope:

  • Description: Clearly define the project scope, including the type of document, subject matter, word count, language pairs, and any travel costs if applicable.
  • Relevance: Some elements, such as travel costs, may only apply to interpreting services. Tailor the scope to fit the specific project requirements.

Delivery timeline:

  • Estimated delivery date: Provide a realistic delivery date based on the project requirements and your availability.
  • Rush jobs: Include any additional charges for expedited services if applicable.


  • Cost breakdown: Specify rates per word, per hour, or per project.
  • Additional charges: Mention any extra costs for rush jobs, specialized content, or other specific requests.

Quality assurance:

  • QA process: Explain your quality assurance process, including proofreading, editing, and any tools or technologies used to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Terms and conditions:

  • Payment terms: Outline your payment terms, including methods and deadlines, and what the client can expect in case of late payments.
  • Cancellation policies: Provide details on your cancellation policies and any associated fees.
  • Additional conditions: Include any other relevant terms and conditions to protect both parties.

Information freelancers should have

Before creating a quotation, ensure you have the following information:

  • Project requirements: Detailed project requirements and client expectations.
  • Rates and pricing structure: Your rates and pricing structure.
  • Availability: Your availability and potential turnaround times.
  • QA tools and resources: Tools and resources you use for quality assurance.

Following up on quotes

After sending a quotation, follow up with the client to maintain engagement and address any concerns:

  • Follow-up communication: Send a follow-up email or message a few days after sending the quote. Express your availability to answer any questions.
  • Commitment to quality: Highlight your commitment to quality and explain your QA process to reassure the client of your professionalism.
  • Open to adjustments: Be open to discussing any adjustments to the quote based on client feedback.


Creating comprehensive quotations is an essential skill for freelance translators and interpreters. By including all relevant details and following up effectively, you can ensure clarity, build trust with your clients, and set the stage for successful projects.

💡 Discussion: How do you ensure your quotations are accurate and comprehensive? What strategies do you use to follow up with clients after sending a quote? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below!

Topics: language industry, professional growth, business strategy, skills, professionals, how-to, business

Tanya Quintieri | Program Manager

Written by Tanya Quintieri | Program Manager

Tanya is our Program Manager at and advocates for accountability, mindset mastery, and all things ESG.

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