How Complex Is Your Content?
We assess the difficulty of your source text to account for labor-intensive language. Then we assign a price multiplier to reflect this in our pricing.
Difficulty is not a concern for jobs involving generic text with no price multiplier. For more specialized language, we currently have five categories corresponding to factors of 1.1 through 1.5.
Broadly speaking, we look at the following aspects of a text to assess its difficulty:
- Specialized terminology (e.g., rotary indexing table or cytotoxic T cells).
- Readability statistics (sentence and word length).
- Grammatical structure (syntax and complexity).
- Subject matter (some topics are inherently more advanced than others).
Imagine you want us to translate product descriptions for an online fashion retailer. Such marketing content requires no significant research on our part. For 10,000 words of text, a translator who normally charges 0.10 €/word would ask for 1,000€ net (no multiplier).
Now let’s assume you want us to localize this retailer’s work contracts for US employees. We’ll need to research the legal jargon to ensure total accuracy. Depending on your requirements, we might assess a difficulty factor of 1.5. For the same scope as above, our translator would now ask for 1,500€ net.
Can We Automate This Step?
While machine learning has come a long way, technology alone cannot accurately evaluate a piece of writing. For best results, we still need a human to review the text.
But that doesn’t mean technology can’t make the process more reliable and efficient. Several linguistic models are used today to measure general readability. The most common ones in English are:
- Flesch–Kincaid Grade Level
- Flesch Reading Ease
- Gunning Fog Index
- Coleman–Liau Index
- SMOG Index
- Automated Readability Index (ARI)
- Linsear Write Formula
You can use a variety of online tools to see for yourself. Readability Formulas is a free resource that checks your English text against all seven models listed above. In the commercial realm, Readable.com offers a demo version of its comprehensive text analysis tool.
Similar models also exist for the German language:
- Björnsson’s 1968 Lesbarkeitsindex (LIX), which relies on statistical analysis to evaluate the readability of a text.
- Hamburger Verständlichkeitsmodell, developed in the 1970s by a team of psychologists at the University of Hamburg and last updated in 2015.
For German text analysis, Psychometrica offers its LIX tool for free both online and offline. Wortliga is another popular service, and the website features a demo version of its text analysis tool.