One Hour Translation is the world’s largest online translation agency. They deploy high-quality human translation methods and specialize in business translations across four key industries. They are an online business, though they do have a physical presence with offices located around the world, and utilize the services of 17,000 freelance translators. All orders are processed through the One Hour Translation (OHT) website, where the options are translation, proofreading, transcription, and translation+proofreading services. Further options exist to choose expert translators with experience in a particular sector, and to select the time frame/cost of the project.
All translators are native speakers of the target language, and OHT state that most live in the country where their native language is spoken (though we cannot verify that fact). The company screens and hires professional translators in-house, and supervise the translation process through what they call a Real Time Review system. Additionally, the technical and scientific translators are required to have relevant degrees or industry work experience in their specific field.
Methods + Pricing
One Hour Translation’s method is to use expert human translators, working on the principle of localization. Localization ensures that a piece of content is not simply translated to a target language, but it is also adapted to fit the cultural and linguistic intricacies of the target country or region. OHT offer translation services in 2500 language pairs, which is a high number for the industry, and they work in 75 languages. The automated online ordering process allocates work efficiently to the relevant translators, they work on the project and then submit it through the system. The company is famed for their claim to offer the world’s fastest translation service, and their secret is to split one project across multiple translators in order to meet urgent deadlines. The turnaround window can be as short as one hour (working at 200 words/hour).
OHT’s pricing model is completely transparent. They simply charge on a per word basis; $0.08/word for general and $0.14/word for technical translations. Refreshingly, there are no project management fees or minimum fees, which is particularly beneficial for SMEs and individuals.
Through specialization the company is able to position themselves as experts in a variety of fields. OHT allocates translators with specific industry knowledge to work on assignments in their sector. This provides clients with the reassurance that their translation tasks are being handled by someone with a practical understanding of the subject matter in hand. OHT promotes four major areas of expertise on their site, though it’s worth noting that they do also operate in other verticals outside of these.
For ‘Business & Legal’ projects, translators with accounting, finance, legal and general business expertise are employed, which is reassuring for organizations that need some legal documentation translated, for example. ‘Technical & Scientific’ encompasses everything from medical sciences to the aerospace industry. ‘High-Tech’ is a major sector that OHT cater for, with a particular focus on software localization, apps, websites and gaming. Finally, ‘Marketing’, though related to business, is its own division due to the volume of work required in this space for translating messages for different markets around the world.
One Hour Translation is a very large company with a huge pool of translators on call. Although they use very traditional human translation methods, the size of their network allows them to deliver specialized work at speed. They are a transparent online business with clear processes and pricing structures, whereby one-person companies and large multinationals will generally receive the same price and service. This unique in the market. Overall, for companies that need technical materials translated, OHT is well worth considering, and for individuals and small businesses they offer some of the fairest prices on the market.