Translation Cost Savings Tips

by | May 18, 2013 | Translation

Translation Cost Savings Tips

Translation projects can be lengthy and costly undertakings. Even small projects can grow into unwieldy tasks with unexpected work and costs. Working with a language translation services company doesn’t have to have those surprises, however. There are several ways to be more efficient and save money on translation projects.

Take a look at these 5 cost savers:
Provide native files
Few things drive up costs like having to recreate documents. Where possible use the original native files from the software that created them. Even if the documents were created by a third-party agency, it is worth hunting down the original PageMaker, Photoshop, Word, or Quark documents. By having the native files, it will make it easier to keep the same formatting to the translated document. It will also save time so a translator will not have to keep adjusting the margins to try to keep the same look and feel to the document. This can be extremely important on marketing materials or websites.

Create a Standard Glossary and Style Guide
Translation glossaries are a reference for the terminology that is specific to your industry or business. These standardized definitions save translators time in figuring out how unique text should be translated. A style guide gives your translator context for the project. It should include a creative brief and visual and verbal styles that should be maintained in the translation. Many times you can say something in more than one way in another language, but have different meanings. The glossary will help the translator understand the best options to use to keep the message the same.

Create Translation-Ready Documents
If you know that a document will be translated before you create it, then write with translation in mind. Avoid verbose descriptions, unnecessary detail, and repetition of text. You should also avoid any text that is non-market specific. A Chinese audience will not care about Spanish market considerations. Also avoid using any slang terms in the original document. These are very difficult to translate and will not make sense in another language.

Plan Far Ahead
Last minute projects are expensive. Give your language translation services partner plenty of time to meet deadlines. Rush jobs can easily multiple costs by 1 ½ to 2 times normal rates. Don’t let your international launch be scrubbed by collateral and documentation translations that aren’t planned properly. With proper planning, you can save unnecessary charges and avoid high rush fees required for last minute work.

Choose Languages Wisely

Sometimes you will have no choice of languages for translation projects. A new business venture in China will require at least a Mandarin translation. When you do have a choice, however, typically European languages like French, German, and Spanish will be cheaper than Chinese and Japanese. Pick a language that will have a market for your product. Do not pick a language just because there are a lot of people that speak it. A targeted approach will definitely increase your chances of having better results.