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5 Tips to Lower Translation Costs in 2015

January 1, 2015

lower-cost-of-livingThe holidays are always stressful, but many companies are still figuring out next year’s budget and re-examining ways to lower costs in 2015. In our “news you can use” section, here are 5 tips for lowering your translation costs in 2015:

1. Translate only into those languages that are widely used

You can reach 84% of global Internet users by translating your English website into just 9 languages. (You can reach 71% by translating into only five languages.) The numbers are similar for software and mobile apps. If you are targeting a global audience and don’t have a particular region in your sights, a great way to lower translation costs is to focus on the most widely used languages and skip the rest.

2. Request conversions

Many document translation projects involve translating content into languages that are very similar. For example, Canadian French and European French, or Latin American Spanish and European Spanish. The main differences between the languages listed above relate to word choice, spelling, and punctuation. To save money, you don’t need to translate the document into both languages-instead ask your translation partner to edit or “convert” the translation into the other language. Editing/revising an existing translation is far less expensive than ordering a new one.

3. Reduce word count of the source document

If possible, review your source files to see if any content can be edited out or doesn’t require translation. Most translation companies charge by the word, so eliminating unnecessary words can make a big difference. Even if the content was critical in the original version, it might not be relevant to a foreign-language audience. For example, not every word of marketing content requires translation.

4. Finalize text before requesting translation

Unless it’s absolutely necessary, make sure that content is completed and approved before submitting it for translation. Changing copy in the middle of a translation project not only adds time but can also increase cost, especially if the previous version has already been translated and now needs to be re-translated. If you do need to make changes after initiating a project, send them to your translation partner as quickly as possible.

5. Allow sufficient turnaround time

Sometimes last-minute translations can’t be avoided, but whenever possible give your translation company enough time to complete your translation project at standard turnaround. Rush turnaround usually means rush fees, and the shorter the turnaround, the higher the rush surcharge.