6 Ways to Cut Translation Costs by 50 Percent or More and Stretch Your Budget for Translation Services
You’ve decided that you want to expand internationally, and hiring a language service provider is unavoidable. However, you only have limited funding available to translate your content into other languages. How do you get the most out of your budget for translation services? We’re here to help.
1. Professional Translators Make the Most Financial Sense
Once you have determined you need a language service provider, you need to choose the type of service you want. When you have a small budget for translation services, the temptation is to cut corners with crowdsourced or machine translation. However, this can be a big mistake.
Crowdsourcing is great if you are working on a tight timeline, and you do not care about quality or consistency. Yet, if you want services that actually boost your sales, you are going to need to turn to professionals.
According to an article in Slator, professionals continue to be more accurate than machines and crowdsourcing.
Professionals are skilled at prioritizing content and giving technical information a little extra love to make sure it matches the precise concepts and terminology you want to convey. Additionally, we work with translation software and tools to ensure consistency and proper quality assurance.
2. Work Closely with the Translation Service to Make Your Expectations Clear
When your project involves processing thousands of words per day, it is inevitable for there to be errors. Even the most experienced pros will misplace a pronoun or drop a plural. Most mistakes are avoidable when you take the guesswork out of the translator’s job.
You can expect to pay more for long correction cycles when you leave translators in the dark about aspects like the most acceptable tone to use, if a phrase is optional or a branded term, and where the content will appear on the webpage.
When you proactively supply guidance in the form of style guides, visual context, and brand glossaries, you will make the translator’s job easier and save money in the long run. Reduce the odds of errors ever reaching reviewers by empowering translators to solve problems from the beginning.
3. Consider Translating Your Content in Chunks
There are several issues associated with waiting until your entire content catalog is ready before beginning your translation. It is one of the most limiting localization factors for many reasons.
When you are waiting for your content to be translated, you will miss valuable opportunities in your market by months. Your team will also have less money left over when you finally do debut your localized content. This makes running complementary marketing campaigns difficult.
On the other hand, if you acknowledge that not all of your materials will be equally valuable to the new market, you can cut down on your translation costs. For example, client testimonials and item descriptions matter more than blog posts about your CEO retiring three years ago.
4. Choose Different Translation Strategies for Different Languages
Some languages are going to be more important to your business than others. This is obvious when you look at your conversion rates, revenue breakdowns, and website traffic patterns. Therefore, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to apply the same translation strategy to every language you support.
We like to drag out the Internet World Stats number showing that more than 77 percent of the Internet’s users speak one of ten languages. In order of most used, they are English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Malayan, Japanese, Russian, French, and German.
Your first priority should be covering languages with the most engaged audiences and largest addressable markets. Next, translate into languages with slightly smaller markets that are just beginning to recognize your brand. Then, consider branching out into more speculative markets.
5. Avoid Paying for the Same Work Multiple Times
The Globalization & Localization Association (GALA) goes into great detail about how translation memory software helps to identify relevant translations in less time.
What does this mean for your project? You want to be sure you are using a professional translating service that incorporates translation memory software into their suite of tools. This allows certain phrases that are used over and over again to be translated once and applied to all of your content.
6. Prioritize the Quality of Your Content
We have already touched on this above, but there are certain bits of content that you will want to go over with a fine-toothed comb, such as legal documents, primary marketing copy, user manuals, etc. Other content does not need to be as precise.
Therefore, you may not care if easily forgotten blog posts go through the review process, but you definitely want to spend more of your budget for translation services to get it right for your more important items.