Here’s How to Reduce Translation Costs This Year

You are expanding and need more translation services. At the same time, you do have budget constraints. But you don’t want to go with a translation service that may be cheaper – you could be sacrificing quality, and you can’t afford to do that either. So how to resolve a dilemma and to find the right balance? These tips may help.

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You are expanding and need more translation services. At the same time, you do have budget constraints. But you don’t want to go with a translation service that may be cheaper – you could be sacrificing quality, and you can’t afford to do that either. So how to resolve a dilemma and to find the right balance? These tips may help.

1.Find a Single Provider and Establish a Long-Term Relationship

This is perhaps the key to keeping costs down, for several reasons:

  • You can often negotiate for better pricing if a company knows that you are loyal and returning for all of your translation needs. Providers often offer special pricing packages for loyal clients.
  • When you are a consistent customer, a company will maintain important databases related to translations for you (more on this later).
  • If you have urgencies, the company will be far more accommodating.
  • You will develop relationships with the customer support personnel, and communication will be much easier and more productive.

If you can find one provider with whom you are comfortable, stick with that provider. Your budget will thank you.

2.Set Up a Terminology Guide and/or Documentation

If there is terminology – either words or phrases – that appear repeatedly in all of your company documentation, policies, guidelines, instructions, etc., then develop a listing of them and provide them to your service provider. If you have a long-term relationship, your provider will establish a database that can then be passed on to individual translators as you submit orders. This will cut down time spent, and that is always cost-saving.

Also, check to see if a provider stores a database of sector-specific terminology already translated into many languages. This database may house much of the terminology you use. Long-standing providers will have such databases, and it saves translators research time.

3.Does the provider use Machine Technology but in Responsible Ways?

Machine translation technology has come a long way – just look at its use at the UN. Translating text, however, is still a bit different, and all of the grammatical and mechanical, as well as the idiomatic translation are still not perfect. All the same, if a machine can do the “heavy lifting,” and then the linguistic expert can perform the edits and corrections, providing the final polish, you will have a less expensive document.

4.Be Certain Your Source Content is of High-Quality

A translation provider can only work with what you provide. If the text that you submit has inconsistencies of terminology, of formatting, of capitalization and punctuation, then the entire process will take longer and more conversations between you and the translator will need to take place. All of this takes time and even needs a re-writing. When you submit text or documents for translation, especially if they are professional and/or business in nature, you need to make sure that it is a fully polished piece, free of any errors.

5.Submit Style Guides

Especially in areas of law, real estate, business, and research, there are guidelines for formatting and styles. When do you use initials for proper nouns, and when must you write them out? When do you use Arabic numbers or when do you spell all numbers out? All of these details are really important if you want a document right the first time. Otherwise, you will be asking for revisions that you will be paying for, because your translator did not have the right information the first time around. If you have uniform style guidelines for most of your documents, give them to your provider up front, so that any translator will have them.

6.Eliminate Urgencies

The more urgent your deadline, the costlier your translation bill will be. Plan ahead, anticipate as much as possible, and give your provider reasonable deadlines. Obviously, this will be more budget-friendly.

You want high quality for the least cost. Following these six recommendations will go a long way to achieving both goals.

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