Introducing Universal Rates

Introducing Universal Rates


For a long time Applingua differentiated in price between languages. Those which had a Latin script were set at one price. These included European languages like Spanish, French and German, as well as other non-European languages written in Latin script, such as Turkish and Indonesian. And languages with a different script, like Arabic, Hindi and Chinese, were set a different price.

It won’t come as a surprise that the non-Latin script languages were set at a higher price. They even included some European language, such as Russian, Greek and Croatian, which use a different script.

You’re probably wondering why? Well, it largely came down to a few things:

1. Script Compatibility
Handling these scripts was often more of a challenge in the past, particularly trying to get platforms and documents to recognise the characters.

2. Software Compatibility
These languages often have features which are very different to English, such as more than one plural (Russian), no spacing between words (Chinese) and right-to-left text (Arabic). The vast majority of apps in the world are created in English and for an English-speaking audience or at best for a European/American audience. As a result, these apps haven’t been prepared for these kinds of languages, which makes the task of localization much more difficult.

3. In-house Expertise
Initially our training, testing and proofing of these languages was far greater as we’re not familiar with the languages in-house. Among the Applingua team, we speak a total of 8 languages in our office, but unfortunately not Arabic or Chinese (yet!).

Despite the issues above, the world is becoming more internationalized and globalized. This means more software is being prepared by internationalizaton engineers for the world beyond the USA and Europe. As a result, software localization is becoming easier, particularly for the non-Latin script languages.

No more challenges?

Well, no. There are still plenty of challenges which need to be overcome in localization, particularly in right-t0-left languages. However, some of the other challenges are definitely getting easier.

One of our favourite examples of this is languages which have numerous plurals. Take Russian, for example, where there is the singular word, the 2 to 5 plural, and then the plural for anything above 5. Compared with English, this is immensely complex, as English just has singular and plural. But now you can build 3 versions of a word: Singular, Few (useful for the 2 to 5 plural) and Many (all other plurals).

Now while this has been addressed, other linguistic issues remain far from sorted, including grammatical case, but we’ll save that for another blog post.

Overall, however, localization is becoming easier and quicker. So there’s less of a need to distinguish between non-Latin script languages and those with a Latin script.

Any other reasons?

Businesses often have to make decisions based on market forces and finances, rather than on their beliefs or ethics. Here at Applingua we don’t believe any language is more important than any other. That is one of the main reasons why differentiated rates didn’t sit so well with us. However, due to the additional challenges outlined above, we had to set different prices.

Now a lot of those challenges have been overcome, we can now go with what we feel is right: universal rates across all languages.

What’s the new rate?

The new rate is 0.18USD/word. This makes us cheaper than several other localization agencies out there, who charge more and are still differentiating rates between languages. It also makes calculating your project really easy: just multiply the number of words by 0.18USD and you have the project cost.

Really, that simple?

Yes, it is! And to make things even better, we also remove duplicate strings! Now, this is something which might be a little harder for you to calculate on your own, as you’re counting the number of words, but we work on the basis of strings. So, if you have repeating strings, such as “Tap Here” or “Submit”, we won’t charge you more than once for these strings.

This means when you submit your project to us, you’ll have a good idea of how much it will cost, and when we send you the official invoice, nine times out of ten you’ll be in for pleasant surprise when you see the prices is lower than you expected.


Anthony Ash

A lover of language, Anthony speaks several and is particularly interested in historical linguistics. With an MA in Linguistics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, he is our Chief Language Expert and Director of Training.

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