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How to Lower Your Document Translation Costs

July 31, 2014

translatin costDocument translation services are a regular need for companies doing business overseas, employing foreign language staff, or looking to target foreign markets. Machine translations and discount vendors rarely get the job done and it is very important to make sure that you invest the proper resources for professional translation services. With that said, there are steps you can take to cut costs significantly for document translation without sacrificing on quality.

1. Request Repetitive text discounts

Repetitive text discounts can help save your company a significant amount of money. For many document translation projects, there are sections or paragraphs that contain repeated content. Instead of having to translate the content multiple times, you can cut costs by speaking with your translation company about discounts for repetitive text where applicable. Many translation services provide discounts when translating two or more documents with significant sections of identical content, or if there are frequent repetitions within a single document. For website translation, there is often a significant amount of repetitive text and requesting discounts is a smart move.

2. Use Translation Memory

Translation Memory is a linguistic database that makes previous document translations more accessible for future work, and automates various translation-related tasks. It accumulates and stores all previous translations and “learns” from the translator so the same phrase or sentence won’t have to be translated twice.

For example, a company might need to add additional instructions or a new product to their manual or update their brochure. Instead of having to translate the entire document again, the translation memory tool would have already stored key terms from the previously translated brochure/manual content.

This can help lower costs and also ensure consistency in terminology and style across all product manuals and brochures.

3. 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 relates to slang, spelling, and punctuation. In situations like these, a company would not necessarily have to translate an entire document into both languages–instead they could edit or “convert” the translation into the other language. By asking your translation company to provide a single document translation and then to convert that translation, you can help reduce translation costs.

You never want to sacrifice quality, but the above steps can allow you to get the best of both worlds – document translation services from a top-tier company at a reduced cost that will make you or your client happy. When using translation services, make sure to demand the following reductions to receive the most competitive price possible.