Creating a Plan for a Successful Translation Project

Creating a plan for a successful translation project is straightforward – once you have the right framework in place and a bit of expert advice.

At Creative Word, we’ve been assisting clients with their translation, localization and interpretation projects for almost two decades so we know what it takes to ensure a project’s success, and we don’t believe in keeping this information to ourselves – we like to share!

Below you’ll find guidance on how to create a plan for a successful translation project, but if you need any more advice, simply contact a member of the Creative Word team here, they’ll be happy to help.



Planning a Translation Project

As with most things in life, good planning is often key to success.

If this is the first time you’ve used translation services, it might be worth checking out some of our other blogs too, which give advice on translation basics including, choosing a language services provider, translation cost and how to manage your translation budget.

If you are already familiar with translation processes or have used language services before, this blog will help you refine the planning stages and ensure your project stays on target

The steps below form the framework of your translation project and should be created in consultation with your team.

It will then help your chosen Language Services Provider (LSP) give you an accurate quote, timescale and end project.


1. Understand your Translation Requirements and Market Expectations

The type of content you want translated and your intended audience, will affect the translation process.

For instance, if you require a multilingual website which will need frequent content updates or amendments you might want to consider using an LSP which offers Translation Memory Software (TMS) as this can greatly reduce timescales on subsequent translation projects.

Similarly, if you are targeting a market where there are different dialects or wide-ranging ‘local’ expectations, choosing a provider that offers localisation services would be beneficial.

Ensure you have considered the following information so you’re ready for discussions with your chosen LSP:

• Translation objectives – what content requires translation? What is your objective?

• Source content format – is it compatible? How will this be shared with LSP?

• Images – are they suitable for different cultures and languages? Do they contain text which will need translating?

• Languages/Dialects – are you translating into languages which require localization for regional dialects? What language(s) do you need?

• Contact – provide your LSP with a contact from your team who can answer questions and make decisions quickly on your behalf as this saves time.



2. Translation Project Timescale

Short deadlines are difficult to work within for everyone and can affect the quality and cost of translation projects.

Ensure you allow sufficient time for your translation project, including any amendments or alterations, and for editing and proofreading of drafts.

Another factor which affects translation timescales is the industry speciality or technical difficulty level of your project.

For instance, if you require legal translations for contracts this may take longer than a marketing translation.

Allow sufficient time for each translation project, and types of translation, during the planning stages so you don’t pay extra for short turnaround times.



3. Translation Project Budget

Many translation project costs are calculated by word count.

Careful selection of content for translation can minimise costs so it is helpful to edit your source content in advance of any transfer of documents with your LSP.

Ensure your budget covers any additional costs for formatting, editing and final checks.

If you’re project is likely to be ongoing or long-term, there are methods which can help to reduce costs.

Ask your LSP how they can help you streamline the translation process, and consider the following;

• Translation technology – tech can seriously speed up the translation process and ensure consistency

• Glossary – creating a glossary of frequently used terminology or phrases cuts repeat translation costs


If you require more assistance with planning your translation project, please get in touch.

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