What is a translation page and how is it calculated from Bulgarian translation agency Arte.Doc
Why am I charged for multiple pages when I submitted one page for translation? What is a translation page? What does symbols/characters mean? How can I be sure that they are not dishonest about the price? How do I count the characters in a document?

If any of these questions have ever bothered you as a user of translation services, then this article will be very useful to you.

What is a "translation page"?

The term "translation page" is used when calculating translated text.

In Bulgaria, the translation standard БДС EN ISO 17100: 2015 has been adopted, according to which one translation page is 1800 characters of ready text. Characters include all punctuation marks and spaces.

This standard is accepted by everyone in the translation sector - freelance translators, editors and translation agencies.

The method of calculation is done automatically, using the Word Count function in Microsoft Word (located in the lower left corner of the screen). This option shows the number of visible pages, words, characters (no spaces) and characters (with spaces).

Free consultation at: +359 896 731 605.

In what proportion are the symbols/characters calculated?

In Bulgaria, the exact number of translation pages is calculated by dividing the total number of characters with spaces in the translated document by 1800.

This ratio applies to languages that do not use abjad writing system or logographic writing (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and others).

Once the translation is ready, the file is opened in Word, then the Word Count option is used. The number of characters with spaces is shown to be 2613. This number is then divided by 1800, namely: 2613/1800 = 1,451. In this case, the volume in translation pages is 1.5.

Peculiarities in calculating the volume of the translation

For written translations, the final calculation is made on the ready translated material.

It should be noted that the volume of the translated text may differ from the volume of the original text. This depends on the specifics of the language into which the text is translated:
  • Some languages use a larger number of characters to spell a number of words (for example: "баба" (grandmother) is 4 characters in Bulgarian, but "grandmother" is 11 characters in English);
  • Different specifics in word formation and syntax;
  • Cultural peculiarities in the expressions (For example: when greeting in official correspondence, in Bulgarian we use "С уважение“ (Sincerely), and in French it is correct to use the expression: "Veuillez agréer l'expression de notre consideration distinée". In Swedish the short greeting "MvH" is often used.)

This can create significant differences when calculating a translation of the same text from Bulgarian into English, French or Chinese. In the first case the volume can be 2 pages, in the second case - 3, and in the third case (when translated into Chinese) the volume can be even 1 page.

Misconceptions about the expected volume can also be caused from the formatting of some documents. Visually, the text is written in small print, without margins on the four sides, in tables and diagrams, etc. Therefore, the total number of pages can visually be 3 pages, but the text can actually be double or more.

Documents that can be formatted in such a way are: powers of attorney, medical documents, notarial deeds, some contracts, references from various state institutions.

IMPORTANT! When calculating the text by calculating the number of characters, document characteristics such as page size (A4, A5, Letter, etc.), font type, font size, left, right or center alignment of the text, graphic or schematic arrangement of the text and any other type of visual correction do not affect the final volume.

Example: Formatting text in a different font (22 or 12) may result in a different number of visible pages, but the actual volume of the text (translation pages) remains the same.

Free consultation at: +359 896 731 605.

International standardization ISO

Different countries in the world have adopted different methods of calculation, which are standardized and comparable. In Germany, for example, the volume is calculated by the number of lines, each line containing 55 characters. In countries such as France, USA, and Sweden, the calculation is based on the number of words.

The translation standard БДС EN ISO 17100: 2015 has been adopted in Bulgaria. It is fundamental for calculating a translation page. It is identical to the international standard for translation services ISO 17100. According to the rules of European standardization, the Bulgarian Institute for Standardization introduces the standard as БДС EN ISO 17100.

This standardization adheres to the requirements for all aspects of the translation process that directly affect the quality and provision of translation services. It contains prescriptions for language service providers (LSPs) related to the management of the main processes, the minimum qualification requirements, the availability and management of resources, the calculation of translation pages, and other activities necessary to provide a quality translation service. The standard applies to all LSPs, regardless of the size of their organization.

What do we offer?

  1. Quality, accurately calculated translation, guaranteed by the international translation standard BDS EN ISO 17100, according to which we are certified;
  2. Transparent pricing - you can see all our prices and time frames for the services we offer in the column "Services and prices";
  3. Free consultation - by phone, email, online chat or in person at our offices in Sofia.

It is extremely important for us that our clients are well informed and receive all the information they need about their specific case.

What distinguishes our work?

  1. Own developed 5-step system "Guaranteed quality translation" - allowing clients to receive a reliable translation, within the agreed deadline, with a high degree of security of the information provided;
  2. Preliminary budget - based on our 20 years of experience, you have preliminary clarity about the expected number of translation pages. Consult our experts when placing an order and they will give you specific information about the expected volume of your specific document;
  3. Transparency in the calculation of translations - possibility to receive the finished translation in text file (Word) for checking the characters in case of doubt on your part;
  4. Order translation online at any time - thanks to our easy 3 step online ordering service through our website, you do not have to wait for the start of the working day to send your document(s) for translation. You can use the online platform to place your order at any time.

If you need the translation and / or legalization services for your documents, contact us for a free consultation at: +359 896 731 605, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as well as on site at our offices in Sofia.

* More information about translation and legalization can be read in our blog of helpful articles here.
* Read our successful stories with achieved results for our clients here.
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