It’s safe to say that the need for language translation services isn’t exclusive to multinational companies. If you aspire to global markets or are trying to expand your business reach, you’ll need to take your content further and consider localization services as well, which accounts for the differences in various languages, cultures, and backgrounds. Translation and localization needs may increase year over year, which means an increased budget as well.
Ways to maximize your language translation services budget
If rising costs are a concern for your organization, we have compiled these eight tips to help keep your translation budget under control.
1) Choose your languages wisely
As a global company, you are already targeting multiple languages. But how do you know which languages yield the most results for your business?
It’s vital to create content to suit the locations where your company is based. It’s also important to consider the languages of the markets you currently target, as well as the markets you would like to target. In order to determine where to go next, collaborate with your sales department, as they have insight into the demands your company may not currently be able to meet. Your clients are also a good resource: where are they experiencing gaps, and could translated content fill them?
Finally, get familiar with your web analytics. Check where your current traffic is coming from and if there’s a visible correspondence to the languages of your website. Consider those visitors with a higher conversion rate for an effective investment.
These actions will help you define and narrow down a list of target languages that will give you the best return on your investment.
2) Harmonize your company's terminology
Keeping consistent and clear terminology will also help to cut costs and increase translation quality. A comprehensive terminology stack will decrease the time translators spend on your content, which leads to significant savings
If you’re starting from scratch, your Language Service Provider (LSP) should be able to create a concept-oriented terminology database for your company, based on your most frequently used terms, and fill it with target-language terms and relevant metadata.
With your harmonized term base and Translation Memory (TM) securely in place, your translation costs will be reduced because you never have to translate the same content twice. A good LSP will also provide rebates on any text that is repeated or where the translatable content can be reused from the TM. At the same time, when terminology stakeholders (i.e. content authors and translators) are able to tap into the harmonized terminology stack, content quality and consistency will also improve.
3) Analyze your content
Is your content still accurate and up to date? Think of your current messaging: is this what you want to share with your customers? Or, more important still, are they interested in reading or hearing it? In order to optimize your translations, you’ll first need to audit your content strategy by identifying targets and goals that will help you align each piece of content to the right format and need. If the existing content is not in tune with what your customers are looking for, consider restricting your content or redefining your strategy.
4) Adopt the "minimalist writing" principle
Starting with a good source text is fundamental for an efficient localization process. When creating new content, it’s important that writers keep in mind that their text is meant to be multilingual. Ensure that sentences are well-written, short and clear. Remove unnecessary abbreviations or jargon and don’t hesitate to ask for proofreading or a complementary review in the source language before starting translation.
5) Promote content reuse
When talking about content management and optimization strategies, this strategy just makes sense. By employing a component content management system (CCMS) with a topic-based approach to authoring, you can manage your content at the most granular level, allowing you to simply reuse the same content in multiple places. By opting for this approach to content creation, you’ll automatically reduce your translation requests, thus saving costs, while also increasing consistency throughout your source language assets.
6) Set realistic deadlines
Last-minute requests and tight deadlines will usually mean higher rates and lower quality. Planning ahead and anticipating your needs gives your LSP enough time for quality checks and proofreading, resulting in the most optimal output and saving costs.
7) Leverage technology
From all-in-one translation management portals to computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, technology can be your best friend when it comes to cutting costs and increasing productivity. While machine translation still has a ways to go before it can fully match the accuracy of human translation, it still plays an invaluable role. It can help boost translator productivity while also saving costs. And with the advent of neural machine translation, technology has yet again made a new giant leap forward, becoming more intelligent every year and thus further improving the cost-benefit ratio of machine translation in general.
8) Stay faithful to the same LSP
By partnering with the same LSP on multiple requests, you will have better rates and discounts available to you. A long-term partnership will enable higher collaboration synergies, which will lead to more consistent results. So, although you might find some local providers with lower rates for certain languages, having a single global provider for all your translation needs will guarantee an optimized budget without jeopardizing the quality of your content.