You’ve all probably been there. It’s time to turn in your budget for an upcoming translation project, but you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around how much it’s going to cost. Whereas the cost per translated word falls into a fairly tight range across the industry for a given language, you can run into trouble with the ancillary fees associated with project management. Because these fees are variable and differ from project to project, accurately budgeting for translation can be a nightmare.
But brands don’t have to be left in the dark anymore. Technology is now available that streamlines the translation and localization process, provides a direct line of communication between translators and reviewers, and eliminates many of the costly project management fees in the process. Below are four ways a good translation management system can help organizations reduce costs and increase efficiencies:
Manually gathering content to translate can be an arduous process with multiple stakeholders. Making sure you have the right files and batching them together is both time consuming and tedious. Translation management software can automate this process – by extracting new source language content on publication – freeing up your staff to work on other projects. Additionally, customizable workflows push your content from translation, to review, to publishing automatically – in as many or as few steps as you deem necessary – giving you visibility and control over your translation projects that was previously lacking.
A good translation management solution will integrate seamlessly with content management systems, ecommerce platforms, marketing automation systems, and code repositories. This allows those responsible for creating content to work in the digital environments they are familiar with, mitigating the need to learn another software platform while also allowing content to seamlessly move from one system to the next.
In a recent report, Common Sense Advisory noted that, “Such middleware can eliminate much, if not all, of the human interaction required for such handoffs.” In fact, using technology to automate the translation and localization process can eliminate as much as 90 percent of manual tasks associated with translating content.
Once a translation project begins it’s important for the translator to be able to have an in-context view of the content for two reasons. First, it gives translators the ability to see the words that come before and after in the source content (as opposed to out-of-context word strings in a spreadsheet), which will result in more accurate translation on the first pass. For example, translating the word “home” can be difficult without the right context. Does this use mean a place where someone lives, or is it a button on a website or app? Without the right context the translator is making his or her best guess, which may or may not be right, and takes time to confirm.
Second, translators will be able to see exactly what the content will look like in its final form. This makes it possible for content creators and translators to make revisions on the fly to ensure the translated content will fit and look good once published in another language, thus in many cases eliminating the need for multiple rounds of translation.
Having the ability to store previous translations in a central cloud-based repository and reuse them for future translation projects is a game-changer that can reduce your translation costs on average 40 percent, while speeding up your time-to-market. The ROI for translation memory will increase over time. The more you translate website content or other marketing materials and technical documentation, the greater the likelihood you will be using content that was already approved as part of an earlier project. Translation memory gets more powerful as each new piece of content is added, increasing the likelihood that content will be matched and available for repurpose.
Request a demo of Smartling’s Global Fluency Platform and find out how Smartling’s technology can simplify and accelerate your translation and localization process by providing a flexible solution that seamlessly connects with your existing tech stack.