“Saving money means sacrificing quality.” You’ve heard this before. It’s what a lot of translation providers say when you ask to lower translation costs. Thanks to technological breakthroughs in translation project management, that isn’t necessarily true anymore. You can lower cost and improve quality at the same time. Here are four tips to do it:
1) Streamline project management.
Translation management software is all about automation. Manually separating website code from copy–the way translation was handled before–is a logistical nightmare: It takes hours and content often gets omitted or compromised. Buy-in is required from multiple business departments. Then, once translation is complete, the whole process is reversed and you hope the translated content will end up in the right place.
Use translation management software to automate every step. The right system will extract new content as soon as it posts online. Nothing gets left out. Once the new system is setup, it requires little to no effort or resource hours to maintain. Custom workflows push content from translation to review, then automatically publish the new language online.
2) Work from a single platform.
Good translation management solutions integrate with multiple content management systems, ecommerce platforms, and marketing automation systems, as well as code repositories like GitHub. Plugins and integrations mean you get to keep working in software you’re familiar with already–no need to learn another platform. Integration also allows content to seamlessly flow from one system to the next.
Two more benefits: Eliminating the need to manually transfer data from one system to another gets mitigates the risk of human error. You also spend less time managing translation: Integrating existing tools with your translation management platform eliminates up to 90 percent of a project’s manual tasks.
3) Keep the context.
Remember all the problems with manually extracting text strings for translation? Well, there’s one more. When your translator can’t see the context behind the content, she takes longer to do her work and makes more mistakes. As an example, let’s pretend you own a real estate company. If your translator can’t see the visuals that go with the words, how would she know if “home” is somewhere to live or a web page to visit? When translators can’t see the full context, they either pelt you with questions or guess. Questions take time and guesses can be wrong.
A visual in-context system automatically shows you and your translators what every translation will look like on your site as the translation is performed. Make changes to better fit layout in real-time. Budget less for design and save on language costs as well: in-context eliminates unneeded back and forth with the translator.
4) Remember, reuse, recycle.
Use a central, cloud-based system to store completed translations. At no additional cost to you, your translation provider should process all projects through translation memory–an accessible linguistic database of all your previous translations. Translation memory can match any content to previous translations to reduce the amount of repetitive work, and help maintain consistency when completing translations in the future which allows for higher quality content. This shaves costs. But it also speeds up time-to-market because new projects don’t have to be translated from scratch.
Translation memory should to be used on every translation project, with new content added for free. Best part? Translation memory cost savings grow over time: The more you translate, the more words are likely to get repeated.