“What influences the spread in trading?”
This is a simple, straightforward phrase according to the average Forex reader, right?
When I needed this sentence translated, the linguist had made an embarrassing mistake. I had it translated back into English and it read:
“What influences the point spread betting in trading?”
The translator mistakenly assumed that the term “spread” was referring to the sports industry. Of course, this word has a different meaning in the Forex field from its sports betting definition. The translator clearly ignored the context of this phrase, resulting in a translation gone wrong and wasted money on my behalf.
Paying the average Joe to localize your content is never going to bring the best results. Use a professional agency with language specialists who are local to their markets and experts in their fields. They will know how to use industry-related words appropriately and in their correct context. You don’t want to waste your time and money on a translator who doesn’t have subject matter expertise in your sector.
Ensuring translators are language and industry experts are just one of the ways to save money on translation. Here are four more tips for lowering your translation costs without sacrificing quality.
Save Words and Money
Some agencies charge translation projects according to word count. This means you might end up paying to have a lot of unnecessary content translated. Evaluate your content and remove anything irrelevant. Cut down long, rambling sentences as these can be difficult to translate accurately, requiring further work at your expense. Adjusting the source content will improve the overall quality of the translation while reducing unnecessary expenses.
Translators often ask for clarification of any mistakes, which will add extra time and cost to your project. Ensure that your source content is free of errors before you hand it over to an agency.
Know your Customer
Optimize your source content and minimize costs by knowing your customers and their culture. Some terms and phrases are incomprehensible to other cultures, so aim to only keep the copy your audience will readily understand and find useful. A document filled with colloquialisms, acronyms and narrow cultural references won’t work well with a global audience, so try to rephrase or remove slang words and idioms that are only relevant to a local culture.
Translate More, Pay Less
Translation memory tools can save you money and speed up the process. Most translation agencies use this technology to store and manage “repeatable” words and phrases on a database for reuse in future projects. This enables them to translate words at reduced rates depending on the number of matches found in your previous translations.
If you plan on building a long-term relationship with a translation agency, go through your content to pick out words and phrases that will be used frequently. Repeated terms will then have a lower per-word rate, reducing the overall cost of your translation. The bigger your translation memory, the more money you stand to save. In other words, translate more often!
Consider the Design
Think about how your target language will affect the design of your content and ensure that there is enough white space for translators to add more words, if required. English is a compact and economical language compared to many others, so when a text is translated, it can end up much longer.
A higher word count can affect the layout of a document or website, especially if a language reads from right to left. Most agencies charge for design and layout formatting, resulting in unnecessary expenses for you. Knowing how your document will be written and formatted beforehand will make the translation process smoother, cheaper and much faster.
When cutting back on translation costs, it can be tempting to use a bilingual friend or a free online translation tool. However, these methods do not guarantee accurate results. Low-quality translations can damage your brand; therefore it’s worth investing in the services of a professional translation agency, whose linguists are native speakers of the target language and industry experts.
If your budget is tight, remember these four tips when it comes to your next translation project. You’ll be able to save money and ensure quality at the same time.