How to save on translation

Involving translation agency early can save costs

Using free machine translation tools doesn’t cost anything, but as we covered in previous posts it is not a reliable option. So how can you save on translation projects and maintain high quality at the same time?

There are several common mistakes that can increase the cost of translation projects; however, with a good approach the total cost of translation projects can come down considerably.

Picking which languages to translate is probably the first step to consider. If you want to reach the widest audience possible, you should focus initially on languages from the top ten most widely spoken languages.

Next is the planning of the translation project. It is important and translation is not simply an add-on that can be squeezed in at the end. If it is left unplanned and has to be rushed at the end of the project, the costs of urgent delivery will be higher compared to a properly planned project as translators will have to work late into the night and over the weekends.

Also, if you are planning on creating a multilingual product, whether it’s a website, brochure or a promotional video, the original English version should be designed in a way that allows for multilingual content. For instance, not many people realise that during the translation text can increase in volume. Translation from English into German or French can increase up to 20%, so there will be more words, and especially with German, the words will be much longer. Therefore, your website buttons will need to allow for extra characters, and you should leave more space in the brochure to allow for the expansion.

This sort of planning can save a lot of cost of re-designing at a very late stage and would save you from paying higher fees for urgent delivery of desktop publishing or web design services.

Involving a translation agency early in the project can help with saving costs as well as they can pick up on the potential issues and can advise how to best proceed to minimise the total costs. For instance, total costs on projects involving translation of brochures that are created in InDesign or similar format can be lowered with the appropriate process. Rather than copying the text and pasting it into MW Word files manually you could send the original design files to us and we can use text extraction tools which save lots of time and at the same time format the file so it is easy to translate and easy to transfer back into the design file.

In addition, if you have any previously translated text, do share it with your translation partner. This can help in couple ways: it can increase terminology consistency throughout your collateral; and translators can re-use parts of previous documents which directly reduces the translation costs and increases the quality of translation at the same time.

Hopefully the above few tips can help with reducing the costs of your translations, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re working on a project that might involve translation as we’d love to help with planning in order to bring the costs down.

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