Tips for Maximising your Translation Budget
Whether your company’s in the midst of an international expansion or you’re looking for a more affordable way to translate legal documents, knowing exactly how to maximise your translation budget is crucial!
In this article, we’ll offer our expert knowledge on how you can maximise your translation budget without having to cut any essential costs by dishing out a few of our top (confidential) tips.
Choose One Professional Translation Service Provider and Stick With It
By all means, do your research on a number of language service providers, but when it comes to crunch time it’s a good idea to opt for one translation provider and stick with them.
This gives you the opportunity to build a rapport with your partner as they get to know the ins and outs of the company which enables them to produce accurate translations that reflect the values and principles of the company.
Soon enough, the translation process should run like clockwork, allowing the company to forecast plans and set strict deadlines. Once you have complete trust in the capabilities of your translation provider, you’ll be able to focus on your job with peace of mind.
Your language service provider will also be more inclined to offer a range of cost-saving techniques such as bundle discounts which we’ll touch on a little later.
Review Last Year’s Performance
The best way to gauge how much you should be spending on your translation budget is to review the results of previous years and see how you performed.
If you’re a little unsure on how to assess the performance of your multilingual content, you can ask yourself a couple of questions to get a better understanding such as:
- Was the feedback you received from your translation projects positive or negative?
- Did international sales increase? If so, can you find any correlation between the translation services and the increase in sales?
- Did you manage to deliver high-quality translations in accordance with the set deadline?
- Have you been using localisation services on your website to boost sales and conversions? Wait a sec, what is localisation?
- Have you received any complaints that are directly related to issues involving your translation projects? If so, are there any recurring themes or ways to eliminate them?
If you’re still clutching at straws after asking yourself these questions, you may need to dig a little deeper to get the answers you need by contacting relevant stakeholders or issuing online surveys.
Moreover, if you work for a smaller company that doesn’t have a centralised management system for your translation workflow, we strongly advise that you to get in touch with your translation service provider or translation vendors to send you a report detailing the costs and specifics of previous projects.
As a starting point, you can ask your vendors to provide you with data that can be easily broken down to give yourself a better understanding of project budgeting. For example:
- Number of Translation Projects
- Cost of Translation Projects
- Language Combinations Used on Translation Projects
- Number of Words
- Deadlines/Delivery Times
The significance of planning cannot be stressed enough. It’s imperative for a business to keep track of what you have invested in the past, so you can measure your expenses against your achievements.
Produce Digital Content in an Editable format
Whether you’re looking to translate a website, legal document or business pamphlet, it’s wise to get in the habit of producing editable translation files to speed up the process.
We all know how much time can be wasted trying to solve an issue over email, so why not give you translation provider editing access to projects to avoid the inevitability of ‘email tennis’.
As you may be aware, PDF files and scanned copies of documents are not formatted for editing which means the translation company is going to have to recycle the information in the original document and re-write it from scratch.
In some cases, a slight spelling change is all that is needed so you could see the frustration and stress that would cause if both parties had a busy schedule.
It’s ying and yang – if a company makes life easier for the translation agencies, they’ll make life easier on the business! Plus, we all know that more time is undoubtedly more money.
Popular editable files that your company should be using include:
- Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel
- Google Docs, Slides or Sheets.
- Sketch (Mac Users Only)
- HTML, XTL
Technology-Based Translation Tools
Using the technology resources at your fingertips is arguably the most effective and accurate way to control your budget.
The use of technology-based translation tools will not only eliminate the chance of human error, it’ll also ensure that you continuously improve your business translations over time through machine translation (essentially machine learning for translation tools).
There are a number of translation technology options available for businesses, but if you want to guarantee cutting costs, we recommend you integrate the following:
Terminology management involves the maintenance of translation memories, glossaries and term bases across a number of languages. Essentially, it’s the process of identifying, storing, editing and managing terminology that needs to be translated in a specific way. Think of it as a mini-portal for all things terminology translation.
There is no set in stone way to translate any given word into any given language, so it’s important to work with your translation provider to ensure your message is conveyed in the correct tone and structure.
Glossaries are a must-have language tool for businesses who are looking to save time on their translation processes.
Glossaries are created by the translation provider, but project managers must continue to update the glossary based on previous work and feedback as well as common terminology/phrases (also referred to as ‘term base management’).
This means that the linguist working on each project has an up-to-date reference point of resources available to maximise productivity and quality of the translation.
The ‘term base’ stores common terms and phrases for reuse, and often includes industry-specific terminology as well as highlighting terms that should remain in English, such as titles, addresses and names.
Translation memory is basically a tool that monitors and stores your previous translations in real-time by memorising translated words, phrases, or sentences.
When the database encounters a word, phrase or sentence that has previously been translated, it will alert the translator and allow them to insert or adjust the previously translated content.
Having a translation memory means you don’t have to pay to go through the same infuriatingly long-winded process, whilst also enabling your translation provider to produce consistent translations in faster turnaround times.
Furthermore, if your company is being charged a translation price per word it means you don’t have to pay for a new word if it’s already in the bank per se. Building a wide translation memory bank will generate repetition discounts which can cut down costs considerably without having to do any manual proofreading.
As we mentioned earlier, bundle projects are an extremely effective way for businesses to save some cash on their translation costs.
If you agree to partner with a translation provider for a larger project, it may be in your best financial interest to get all your translation done at once as opposed to spreading it out over a longer period of time.
The majority of translation agencies will offer volume discounts if you have numerous projects and/or documents that need to be translated.
Although bundling may not be feasible for every single project, it’s a time and money-saver when possible.
Get in Touch
If you would like to see the benefits of choosing GLS as your trusted translation service provider, receive a free quote for our language services, or even just to translate one of your recent posts on your website, please do not hesitate to contact us.