Nov 29

How to save money while translating?

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In the global world of today, when companies are striving to establish global connections across boundaries by means of translation, many of the companies choose to stay behind in that quest to go global. The number one reason they choose not to employ the services of an expert translation agency?

They are too expensive” or “our company is on a budget and cannot afford to invest in translation services yet”.

Money management is a crucial issue and all companies face a monetary crunch at some point in their tenure. In these times, employing the services of a reliable translation partner may be ‘out of budget’ for many companies but at the same time is critically needed for expansion of business to other locations and regions.

So, let’s focus on the one thing that we should all be considering in the fulfilment of translation needs—how to save money while translating? While excessive frugality in translation may cost you a chunk of market share, you cannot afford to lose extra bucks on translation, which is why it is important to consider these points for saving money while translating.


  • Decide what you want

Before deciding to go global, it is important to engage in some self-reflection and self-evaluation. Decide whether you really need to translate your content or not. Is the content you are seeking to translate lengthy enough to employ the services of a translation agency? Or an automatic, free translation tool will be enough to get that content translated? If it’s the former, do you have any cost-effective translation partner in sight to help you with translation?

A little self-evaluation will always be beneficial for you before embarking on the journey to globalization as it will lay out all the cards for you to examine before making the journey to attaining international customers.


  • Reduce your word count

When you are deciding to go global with your content, you need to understand that you are likely to be charged by translation agencies on a per-word basis—meaning that the more the number of words that need to be translated, greater will be the translation cost. A quick way to save on the costs is to simply cut down the total number of words to be translated in your document. Before submitting your document or file for translation, see how many words you can cut out of the document. Shorten long sentences and make your document precise and summarized by condensing sentences and paragraphs, and removing any text that isn’t needed. Also identify any duplication or repetitions in the text of the document so you are spared from paying the extra costs.


  • Finalize your copy

Before sending your copy for translation, make sure it is finalized. Understand that the more versions and formats you have for the same content, the more chances are there that you will be charged more. Every extra version increases your costs so cut back down on the versions that you can do without in translation. Following the previous tip on how to save money while translating, ensure that the text contained in the final version is clear and concise, with irrelevant and redundant details eliminated from the file. Make sure there is enough white space in the file and the words are not crammed into each other which may increase complexity of the files. Along with this, try to send in the original files with the linked images, fonts and guidelines attached.


  • Use Translation Memory

A translation process executed by a reliable and professional translation partner relies on a variety of elements to ensure accuracy of the translation, one of which is translation memory. Providing translation memories and glossaries will cut your translation costs by a high margin automatically.

A translation memory is basically designed to capture previously translated phrase. For example, if a word has been translated in the past, your translation memory will ping and remind your translation agency that there is a 100 percent match with the translation memory. Additionally, ensure that your chosen translation agency uses a Translation Management System (TMS) to help their clients cut costs and accelerate their turnaround times. Ask your chosen translation partner to keep a translation memory for all your translations. This is to ensure that your costs are saved while translating if there is a certain percent of repetition in the document, which could generate a discount for you—saving you valuable money and time.


  • Use Term Glossary

In the same vein as the previous point, providing a term glossary with your files will result in cutting down costs for you. A term glossary is defined as a list of words and corresponding translations. Submitting a term glossary means that you are communicating your standardized language to the translator. After this term glossary is submitted, the computerized system of your translation partner will inform the translation team about the terms that have been previously translated to the target language. The assistance it provides results in cutting down costs and time for you in the translation process.


  • Choose Translation Partner wisely

One of the first thing a company should do when embarking on the journey to go global is to research on the available and expert translation services. Choosing a professional and reliable translation partner is akin to getting half of the work done. Do your homework thoroughly before globalizing, consider the quality of the translation agency’s work, the experience of its translators and of course, the translation rates it is offering. While hunting, prefer to choose those agencies which use computer assisted tools (CAT) for translation as it is much more efficient and leaves little room for errors. Evaluating a translation company on the scales of quality, turnaround, and rates will ensure you get the best translation service for your money—seamlessly.


The Last Words:

Cost is a very common constraint in the process of business activities, especially when it is trying to make a transition to global stage. You may consider the above factors on how to save money while translating but a re-assessment of your own business and its goals is extremely important at each stage of this global transition. Getting your content translated is not a difficult job, managing costs while doing so is definitely a tough one. But as it is commonly said—“You have to speak the language of your customers”, a company has to take the leap to global market while ensuring that it is within its own means.


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