10 Tips to Reduce Translation Costs
10-tip guide on how to effectively reduce both your short term and long term translation costs, meanwhile improving the quality of your translations.
Translating your content can quickly become a very expensive undertaking for your business if approached from a wrong angle. An incorrectly devised content translation strategy may very well result in inconsistency, high expenses and overall low quality of your translated content.
To effectively combat this we have composed a list of key tips on how to approach your translation efforts with cost reduction and quality in mind.
How to Reduce Translation Costs
1) Consistency across all of your terminology
A common factor that highly affects the quality of translations is inconsistent source material. By having multiple terms used for the same concept across multiple pieces of content can result in incorrect translations and their overall low quality.
Consistently use one term for the same concept. If you have multiple people working on your content, create a glossary where you can store all of those specific terms as a point of reference for your content writers. Additionally, if you use a Translation Vendor, such Glossary can significantly increase the overall quality of projects managed by it.
2) Content volume
Keep it short and precise. The smaller the volume of an actual content you have, the less you will have to pay for the translation of that content. Remove all the unnecessary buzz. Keep only what is actually relevant and meaningful.
3) Translation ready content
An easy way to save money on translation is by having source material ready in an editor friendly format. In our practice, many new clients will not have a structured approach to their translation process which results in additional DTP expenses for them. Several tips on how to prepare for translation of your content in both short-term and long-term:
- Keep your editable source files ready, such as InDesign files/sources of your PDF files/Excel files. They are much easier to edit, and you won’t have to recreate them from scratch.
- Leave some headroom – frequently translated content takes more physical space in comparison to the source. Always leave some headroom within graphical elements, charts, graphs, websites and tables to fit in content which may be longer, or at the very least keep them in editable format.
- Prepare bilingual files – frequently applicable to software/websites/app translations, where content has to be manually pasted back once translated. You can save a lot of human hours and decrease the potential for any costly mistakes when you properly structure your files.
4) Reuse your existing content
Find opportunities to reuse your existing content. Such examples can be frequently found in technical or legal contents where some content sections repeat themselves. This is why consistency is so important when it comes to translation.
5) Translation memory usage
Translation Memory ( TM ) is a database where all of your past translations are stored. If some content matches previously translated content (partially or fully) it can be reused in your current and future projects.
This is a significant cost-saver both in the short-term (starts working within your first project) and especially in the long-term. Not only TM saves your money but as well improves overall quality and consistency of translated content.
We have a whole blog article dedicated to the subject of Translation Memory.
6) Research your language combinations
Research and analyze which languages you actually want to translate into and prioritize those.
There can be several sources for this data such as – where the majority of your clients reside, core sources of your web traffic, countries you wish to expand into in near future.
7) Leave enough headroom for translation
Plan ahead, leave enough room for linguists, save some space for unexpected delays.
If you have a large volume of content that needs to be translated, don’t leave it for the last moment. Plan ahead and set realistic deadlines. By giving linguists enough time to work on your content, not only you save money by not paying for rush fees, but also remove any potential mistakes which occur during a rush thus improving the quality.
Additionally, leave some room for unexpected delays that may arise during the translation process. Quality takes time.
8) Don’t cheap out on translations
Aiming for the lowest cost is understandable, however, keep in mind that if you wish to receive a high-quality translation you need experienced linguists. They cost money.
Usage of the cheapest possible linguists will result in low quality of your translated content, and may turn into a major headache for down the road, as fixing a bad content can be significantly more expensive, time-consuming and you can suffer damage to your brand in a way if someone is laughing about your poorly translated website (or any other content), using it for memes, than the initial high-quality translation run.
9) Use Computer Assisted Translation Tools (CAT)
The modern translation industry is highly complex and relies on a variety of tools for different tasks. Those tools are essential in assuring quality, speed of delivery and consistency of your translations.
All of which reduce your costs both in the short-term and in the long-term. You can check general information about what are the CAT tools on our Website.
10) Work with Professional Language Service Provider (LSP)
Translation is a complex task, especially if it has to be done on a large scale. Leave it to the experts.
By using a single experienced language service provider, you assure that your translations will be handled with care by a team of seasoned experts resulting in all the above benefits (and many more), saving you money in both short-term and long-term, keeping your content consistent and of a high quality across all of your languages.
In addition, by using an LSP, you get translation and proofreading + another pair of eyes if needed, as well as technical checks using specialized software – most of this is impossible if a company translates internally. You also get TM support and a decrease in costs, especially in the long term, and an LSP has the linguistic resources to cover large volumes of content quickly, as they can use several translators if needed.
The best way to assure that an LSP has implemented a correct quality-oriented process is to check whether they have ISO 17100 (certification specifically created for the language service industry).
Overall by choosing a high-quality LSP you assure that: