Month: June 2017

Question of the month: How can I optimise my translation budget?

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As we’ve learned in the past few posts, professional translation is an investment in your business’s sales and reputation. This month we’ll look at some ways to spend less on translation without compromising your brand. One simple option is to reduce the amount of text that you have translated. Instead of translating the full document, consider thinking about what information is actually required for a foreign reader. Trim any excess or maybe translate a summary. Your translator can be a big help here; paying for an hour or two of time to identify which information might be surplus to requirements can save you a lot of money in the long run.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so you might consider using images in place of words, where possible. The furniture company Ikea, for instance, publishes assembly instructions that contain word-free diagrams, thus eliminating the cost of translating text into the dozens of languages spoken in countries where it sells its products. Roughly 80% of Ikea’s instructions are pictures are only, with the remaining text needed to communicate safety information.

While a translator always appreciates early notice of a project, make sure that your text is ready before sending it for translation. Working from a draft version that is updated multiple times will almost always cost more and take more time than waiting for the last version to be ready. Sending the final version also reduces the likelihood of any errors creeping into your text.

These are just three ways to maximise your translation budget. There are many more, so work with your translator to come up with options to save on your cost without scrimping on quality.

Next month we’ll continue in the series by looking at the question of whether to opt to work with a freelance translator or an agency as your service provider.