Let’s be honest, no matter how much money your firm has behind it, none of us like to waste it so if you’re planning a translation project soon, this blog will help you save money.
While there are many ways to save money on your translation, some of them will end up costing you more in lost business and therefore, should be avoided – at all costs!
The following are examples of this:
• Using free automatic machine translation services (such as, Google Translate. Accuracy levels tend to be much lower so clients/customers can tell you haven’t invested in professional translation services)
• Asking a bi-lingual friend (they may not stay your friend for much longer, especially if they get wrong)
• Asking a bi-lingual employee (they are already doing their job, so who will do theirs while they are translating?)
• Do-it-yourself (while this may sound like a good idea initially, when you’re only half way through the project and you are falling behind with other responsibilities, you’ll realise we were right)
Investing in a translation project makes good business sense – no one would do it if didn’t, and while a professional translation service can be expensive, there are ways to save money without affecting the quality.
Some people like to talk (a lot) but when you’re creating content which is intended for translation, it pays to be economical with your words.
This is because most translation project costs are calculated by the number of words which require translation.
Reducing your word count doesn’t mean cutting out every adjective or adverb, it simply means be concise and succinct.
It also applies when choosing the content to be translated.
For instance, you might feel it is necessary to translate all your products for your international website but this doesn’t mean every blog will need translating too.
Consider using cornerstone articles and just translate these initially.
It is often the case that content is repetitive; industry terminology, specific business phrases, taglines, and so on, crop up again and again.
To avoid paying for the same thing to be translated many times it is worth do one of the following;
• Content reuse plugins, available on many website content management systems, can suggest previously approved translations while you are typing which saves time and money on translation
• Creating a glossary is an efficient way of saving money as frequently used terms can be translated by in-house teams (or in conjunction with your chosen Language Services Provider). This is automatically added to your translation each time the word or phrase is added without any additional cost for the words.
Good organization and planning can also help reduce translation costs.
Developing content with translation in mind will save money (as you’ll be more economical with your words) and you will have time to assess your priorities and develop ideas in conjunction with your chosen Language Services Provider (LSP).
Edit and review all source content before it is sent to your LSP, as this saves time with original errors.
Identify your objectives for your translation project and plan a timescale that is achievable and realistic for your LSP.
If your current project is part of a larger plan, ensure your LSP knows this and ask for advice on reducing costs on future projects.
Look at ways of optimizing web layouts and images for localization and translation so that text expansion, or contraction, won’t affect how your site is displayed.
Choosing a global template that can accommodate multiple languages is best and can save time and money if chosen at the outset. Most LSPs can advise on this, if you’re unsure, just ask.
Similarly, many images contain text which will also require translation. When possible choose images that are SVG (scalable vector graphics) which can be searched, indexed, scripted, and compressed or scaled in size without loss of quality.
With some advance planning and a bit of effort, you should be in a position where your LSP can perform your translation with minimal fuss.
The cost of your project will reflect your hard work, making the process (and price) easier on everyone.
If you would like advice on a specific translation project or clarification on any of the information above, please contact a member of the Creative Word team who will be happy to help.
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