Three Tips for Smarter Translation

When the process itself becomes more efficient, you should see improvement across all areas.


Saving time on translation doesn’t have to mean lower quality or higher costs. When the process itself becomes more efficient, you should see improvement across all areas. With that in mind, here are three tips to optimize translation management:

1. Automate

The amount of content that marketers are expected to create just keeps growing. New collateral is constantly needed for search discovery and content marketing continues to grow in popularity. Whatever the cause, you’re consistently asked to create more. Then add translation to the mix. Each new language doubles the amount you have to manage. Manually processing every project is tedious, error-prone, and takes too long. Easy solution? Automate it.

With an agile translation management system, new content gets automatically imported and delivered back to the content system where it lives. The entire process becomes seamless, eliminating opportunity for error. The right platform will be transparent, showing the status of every project on demand, enabling real time collaboration with translators, which means no more copy and paste and less time emailing stakeholders for updates.

2. Get Some Style

Stop addressing translator questions one-by-one. Instead, create a style guide: a set of rules and brand preferences translators can go to for guidance. Linguistic assets like style guides outline whether you prefer a formal versus an informal tone, whether brand names and slogans should be left in English, etc. When translators have questions, instead of pelting you with emails, they can check the guide. Style guides also improve quality, since they eliminate guesswork and make it easier for translators to adhere to the brand voice.

3. Look to the Data

If you want specific advice for cutting time from your individual translation process, the answer’s in your data. Unfortunately, when you’re busy copying and pasting strings or emailing individual files, aggregating translation data takes too long. But when you work in a cloud-based, data-driven system, gathering data and analyzing that data quickly becomes a reality. The right data will reveal delivery stop-gaps: which translators work more slowly? Is a certain type of content taking longer to go through the translation supply chain? Are your translators using the style guides available to them and other quality check tools? Use this information to improve the productivity of your translators and accelerate project delivery and turn-around times throughout the entire process.

When choosing a translation management platform, be sure that you own your data. QuickBooks doesn’t own your financial reports and SalesForce doesn’t own your contacts. But unfortunately, some localization providers think your translation data belongs to them. Full data ownership means full transparency and real-time access. Not only will the system show how to save time now, but–should you need to change providers–data ownership will save you time moving forward.