Many international companies prefer to outsource their translation requirements as it has the benefit of giving a faster turnaround time, offers access to expert linguists and multiple language options, allows dedicated project managers to accomplish translations tasks, and can help with issues around design, desktop publishing, cultural awareness and so on.
However, outsourcing your translation requirements isn’t always the cheapest option (even if it is probably the best one), so we’ve put together the following tips to help you save money on your outsourced translations.
1. Choose the Right Language Service Provider
By choosing the right Language Service Provider (LSP) we mean selecting one that can offer the following:
• Expert linguists, translators, and native-language content writers in the languages you require. Choose a LSP that specialises in the language(s) you’ve selected as they’ll have insider information about the language, culture, audience, and so on, that will give your translation the edge over your competitors.
• Expert industry or sector-specific translators. Choosing translators that are expert in your industry means they’ll already be ahead of the game when it comes to technical content, industry terminology and precise requirements. For instance, if you’re a pharmaceutical company looking to sell to a new market you’ll need experienced medical translations for product information, packaging and so on.
Both these points can save you time and money on your outsourced translations as it is probable that an LSP who specialises in your field and languages will already have a large quantity of previous translations to draw upon for your project (which can speed up translation time and reduce word-count translations costs) and they’ll have the technical expertise to ensure high levels of accuracy (again saving time on errors and money through loss of custom).
2. Culture, Context and Clarity
You can save your LSP lots of time on your translation by giving them as much information as you can regarding the context of your translation.
For instance, if you require a marketing promotion translation for a new product launch then give them all the information you have collated regarding the product, potential market, your brand, illustrations, artwork, and so on, as this will mean they get your project right first time, they don’t need to wait for supporting documents, and can limit the number of times they need to contact you with queries regarding your translation project.
Choosing a LSP that offers native-speaking translators for the culture, region and language you require is essential for contextual accuracy and will increase success rates in marketing promotions and improve your brand recognition and trust. It can also potentially reduce translation costs as errors are minimised and the translation team will be well-acquainted with your audience which saves time on research.
Make sure you are clear on what you expect from your chosen LSP (timescales, accuracy levels and so on) and give them as much information to work with as possible.
3. Choose Editable Formats for Documents
It is always best to check with your LSP in which format they prefer to receive your documents.
Formats such as, Word, Excel or InDesign allow for easy editing and word counts so can reduce the need for additional time spent on converting documents to an editable source.
If additional conversion is required this is usually subject to an additional costs due to the extra time involved.
If you aren’t sure which format your LSP prefers, just ask and they should be happy to help you.
4. Terminology Database
Promoting an open communication channel with your LSP, and working closely with them before, and during, your translation will help with the creation of your project. It will also mean that both parties are fully informed and have all the necessary materials required to ensure a successful translation.
One of the best ways to ensure your LSP is able to give you an accurate and cost effective translation is to provide them with a database of common terminology.
You can do this by going through the document, or documents, that you require translating and selecting all the frequently used words, then pass that onto your provider.
They can work form this list and translate the words, phrases, and terminology given to create a glossary which can be used time and again.
The cost of ‘new’ words to be translated is often higher than ‘repeated’ words, so each successive translation project which uses words in the glossary will come in at a lower rate.
This will also improve consistency, style and accuracy of translations, giving you better value for your money.