Save Time and Money on Your Localization Projects with These Tips
If you enter your localization projects with blinders on, you are setting yourself up for an expensive, drawn-out process. On the other hand, with a little bit of planning, you can avoid delays and expect a product you are happy with. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Automate the Translation Process
Manual processes are a big part of the traditional localization workflow. The localization manager is expected to identify and collect content for translation by copying source text and pasting it into a spreadsheet. The document is then sent to the translators once it has been copied over.
The translations are then manually copied and pasted into the target material once it comes back from the translator.
This kind of workflow can fall apart easily in your localization projects. For example, a word string will not go out to translators if it is missed in the collection phase. This means the final localized product will be missing an untranslated string.
The technology and translation industries work together closely these days. Gone are the spreadsheets. Instead, we use translation management platforms that provide a single place for collecting, managing, and translating digital content in localization projects.
As the Globalization & Localization Association recently reported, more translation processes will likely be automated as technology becomes more sophisticated.
2. Leverage Translation Tools
To improve translation speeds, you need to have the right translation tools. These tools also lead to increased brand messaging and consistency throughout your product as well as other secondary benefits. Translation tools that will help complete your localization projects faster include:
- Translation memory: The phrases, words, and sentences that have already been translated are stored in a database known as translation memory (TM). Based on previously translated and reviewed strings, your TM will provide translators with recommended translations. This saves time and money.
- In-context translation: Translators can see precisely how the finished translations will look with in-context translation. This also gives them the context of the source material to make sure the translation is appropriate.
- Style guides: Style guides cover things like formatting, punctuation, informal versus formal tone, branding elements, and how to deal with localized addresses, phone numbers, and currencies. The style guides help translators understand your messaging and tone, which allows for high-quality translations.
3. Keep Source Content Simple
Inconsistent terminology is the number one cause of localization projects needing to be reworked. And, according to The Content Wrangler, about 15 percent of the costs of a translation project come from rework.
When you keep your source content consistent, clear, and simple, you minimize the chance for mistranslation.
By reducing potential ambiguity, simple content ensures your translators will be able to translate your original product and marketing messages accurately for new audiences at an affordable price. Localization projects take longer when the source content is complicated.
A translation glossary is another indispensable tool for making sure you get consistency and quality when translating your source language to your target language. Your translation agency, language service provider (LSP), or other professional translators can use this to guide their work on your localization projects.
If your enterprise uses terms that are highly technical and do not have direct translations, glossaries are a must.
4. Hire Top-Quality Translators
According to Slator, you can expect to pay anywhere from $.08 to $.54 per word for translations from translation agencies, LSPs, or professional freelance translators. With such a large possible range, it might be hard for your company to figure out how much you should pay.
Translation services are much like everything else: you get what you pay for. You can save money by going with the cheaper translators, but these people don’t typically have the experience or skills to perform an adequate translation.
It is not simple finding the right agency or LSP for your localization projects. However, you can make sure that you do not waste money and time on poor translations when you look for a translation team that fits your localization timeline, budgetary requirements, and goals.
5. Ensure Code Can Be Adapted to Other Languages
You might be unfamiliar with the term “internationalization” if you are new to localization. It basically means ensuring that your code can be adapted easily to other languages. The development phase is the best time for internationalization. If you are launching software in a single language, it can still be done.
How does internationalization delay localization projects if it takes place during development? Businesses tend not to realize their code is not internationalized until it is too late. The localization problems surface when they go to translate content.
When internationalization has not taken place, engineers are forced to go back and restart their project from scratch. Therefore, before the translation has even started, the lack of internationalization is causing delays.
As a top-quality LSP, Accelingo uses the latest translation technology to integrate seamlessly with your processes. We also work with you to develop workflows that will streamline the translation process in your localization projects.