We stick to our quotations. You can rely on the unit prices or lump sum prices per project specified in them being accurate. You will find further information on the estimated number of units charged for in our General Terms and Conditions of Business. You will usually already be given a binding final price in our offer. In some cases we limit ourselves to quoting binding unit prices (for example, per standard source line of 55 characters including spaces or per source word). We then put a figure to the anticipated approximate number of quantity units in the source text, based on a binding range (“Once the source document has been prepared by us for translation, it will amount to X to Y units”).


We will be happy to prepare a cost estimate for you based on

  • the number of words in the source text; or
  • standard lines of 55 characters including spaces in the source text

in a timely manner taking into account your individual requirements and deadline requests in relation to our respective capacity utilization.

In cases where it is very time-consuming to quote or where the effort of preparing the working template (in Word) based on your non-editable file formats, such as .pdf, would no longer be covered by usual market rates per unit (i.e. not much text, major formatting effort), we reserve the right to specify a flatrate per project or, if the source document has not yet been completed by the client at the time of the offer being drawn up, per page of the document.

We only charge according to the target text in rare exceptional cases.

Our rates are determined by the technical and linguistic complexity and any formatting effort required or any special requests, although we do not charge extra for the latter as long as it is economically viable not to do so. We try to adapt to our customers' needs in this respect. In the case of urgent orders, we reserve the right to apply a rush or late shift surcharge.

In addition, the source language plays a certain part in working out the rate in accordance with the number of words, due to the different average word length in different languages.

Please send us your text for inspection by email to info(at)

In the case of standard texts that we translate more frequently (e.g. West German high school diplomas, German birth and marriage certificates, German certificates of good conduct or apostilles from various countries) we can dispense with examining the document and will be pleased to give you a flatrate price without examining the document, also by phone at


In all other cases, please email us your text (a list of file formats we can handle can be found at the bottom of this page) along with the information required to handle the inquiry such as

  • source language,
  • desired target language,
  • desired service (for example translation, or certified translation),
  • any deadline requirements as from the time of placing an order,
  • possibly also the desired target file format in the case of non-editable files,
  • any special job or formatting instructions

as an attachment to your email along with your full contact details (these include at least your name and address, possibly also your homephone number, possibly also your cell phone number for when time is of the essence for us to get in touch with you). You will find a further option for sending us working files or reference materials under Contact: you can upload your documents into our systems there.

If the document is only available in paper form, please scan it in shades of gray, or - better yet - in colour (with 600 dpi, or at least 300 dpi) or hand it over to us directly at a personal meeting for an immediate offer. Digital photos often prove to be unusable for the purposes of creating editable documents, as the illumination and camera angle are often not appropriate, resulting in poor OCR text recognition performance. Should this be the only option available to you, please photograph the text in such a way that the camera is at a right angle to the text, in a very well lit part of the room, and avoid light reflections on the document photographed.

Only by way of exception may documents be transmitted by fax to +49(0)421-5489-591 following prior consultation by phone. Even then, we usually, however, require the text in one of the other forms mentioned here when the order is placed.

Please refrain from sending us documents that you require back by post for us to make you an offer without prior consultation, since the quoting phase, and thus possibly also the completion of the order, would be delayed by the time that the mail takes, and we would also have to invoice you for the postage to return your documents should the order not materialize. We do, however, offer existing customers this mode of inquiry following consultation.

The actual processing of the order following our confirmation of your order can, however, easily be done based on documents sent in through the mail.

Certified translations

Sebastian Witte can certify his own translations, for a small fee, in the following language pairs in which he holds a court certification (from Hamm Higher Regional Court): English/Spanish <> German, English <> Spanish.

It should, in general, be possible to procure certified translations in combinations of various major languages with German or English, as long as the sworn/court-certified translator prepares the translation to be certified personally.

We only certify third party translations if a qualified and/or full-time, experienced linguist has done them. This applies analogously to our agency business: We can only procure certifications of third party translations presented to us if a qualified and/or full-time, experienced linguist has prepared the translations. For certifying third party translations, Sebastian Witte charges an editing rate (for comparing the target text with the source text and making the necessary changes) (according to the time expended or per word) plus a small certification fee and any postage and shipping costs. Our agency business in regard to this service is essentially also subject to the aforementioned mode of charging for certifying third party translations.

We do, however, reserve the right to charge a rate up to the amount due for re-translation should the translation submitted to us show significant technical and/or linguistic defects. We do not certify semi-professional translations or translations done by private individuals, even if these were raised bilingually.

Please check in advance whether a certified translation where we certify the completeness and accuracy of the translation relating to the source document transmitted to us as a certified copy, electronic copy, analog photo or photocopy satisfies the requirements of the office/authority accepting the translation. Otherwise the original deed or certificate is to be presented to us in paper form. In some cases we would reserve the right, based on ordinary photocopies/analog photos, to advise against your presenting us with only an ordinary photocopy/analog photo, and advise you to submit an original, a certified copy or an electronic copy (.pdf), due to there otherwise being only a slim chance of your translation project succeeding with the accepting office. In such cases the option still exists for you to commission us based on the photocopy/analog photo in spite of our advising you to the contrary, as long as the photocopy/analog photo is legible or of sufficient quality, in particular if other versions of the document are missing.

As regards handwritten entries in documents, we have excellent "reading eyes" – if we cannot read it, it really is very difficult to read. There is the option – within the scope of what is reasonable– to mark parts of the text of the source document that are very difficult to decipher as "illegible" in the translation, without the certified translation forfeiting its legal validity in the process.

(Bilingual) editing and (monolingual) proofreading

We charge for such services by the word, based on the technical and linguistic quality of the text to be processed by us, however, in the case of editing translations (by way of text comparison), we will in addition also take the complexity level of the source text into account or charge in accordance with the time expended.

Transcription with subsequent translation

We charge for this service per audio minute of the recording.

Terminology management/website localization

In accordance with time expended

Interpreting services

We offer interpreting services at half-day or full day rates, although in individual cases where the arrangement is suitable we draw up an offer based on the actual working hours and traveling time combined. In the interests of making the offer as cost-effective as possible, in the case of longer traveling times we are, in general, prepared to charge for the traveling time at a reduced hourly rate. We take the preparation time that is often required prior to interpreting assignments into account in our hourly rate, by including it in our calculation of the hourly rate based on the anticipated order value, so that it is not shown separately in the quotation and on the invoice. Traveling expenses, such as mileage allowance or train tickets and any other outlays, are to be borne by the client, except for meals expenses, which we will bear ourselves. You can find further information on our pricing policies and regulations concerning cancellations of interpreting services in our General Terms and Conditions of Business.

Johnson & Witte Partnerschaft is not an interpreting agency. With regard to interpreting, concerning jobs that Sebastian Witte cannot take on himself we can, however, usually recommend colleagues we know to be suitable for the assignment.

Foreign language training and tuition in German as a foreign language

We charge for foreign language training and tuition in German as a foreign language in accordance with time expended, if applicable with the addition of flatrate traveling expenses.

File formats we can handle include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, XHTML 1.1, HTML 4 and HTML 5 files, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe InDesign, Adobe InCopy and QuarkXpress files, documents handed over personally or by prior arrangement also posted ones.

Image files such as .jpg do not lend themselves to OCR conversion which effectively means that your file has to be typed up by us prior to beginning to translate, resulting in a higher rate or a significant surcharge. We do not flag the aforementioned problem in regard to .pdf files as .pdf is not an image format in the proper sense and accordingly the effort needed to make a Word file usually tends to be less there.

Naturally, your documents are handled in strict confidence.