Lower costs aren’t generally what you associate with higher quality. While there’s a certain truth to the expression “buy cheap, buy twice,” in translation at least - as luck would have it - many tips meant to drive down translation costs actually have the result of driving up quality when done correctly. And here’s a clue: Getting a lower cost per word isn’t one of them.
1) Consolidate translation spend across multiple brands/departments.
Lowering Costs: Right now, if your departments aren’t talking to each other, you’re probably paying full price to have the same material translated twice. Think about it: Say your company makes different cleaning products. If each brand buys separately, how much money have you spent translating the phrase “sodium laurel sulfate” when you could have only paid for it once?
Improving Quality: Consolidation of spend improves brand consistency because, just as with your English, your customers see a common language from one department to another. Also, the quality of your translation is checked again and again as phrases reoccur from one document to another.
2) Write better.
Lowering Costs: Think about it: Translation is billed by the word. So the tighter your writing, the fewer words you have to pay for. In addition to brevity being the soul of wit, it’s also a real money saver!
Improving Quality: If a sentence you write isn’t clear in English, it won’t be clear in translation either. So why play roulette with your meaning? Writing clearly and concisely removes opportunity for error and takes the guesswork out of your project.
3) Translate more.
Lowering Costs: When you translate more, something we like to call “return on investment” happens. Not only do you see larger discounts for repeated words and phrases (see #1), but you also build greater trust with your own customer. Think about it: Who would you buy more machines from? The guy who throws a manual in your language at you after he’s already got your money, or the one who effectively explained each step to you in your language all along? By translating materials pre-sale, you should make enough in increased spend to more than pay for regulatory translation later. But if you only translate post-sale, your chances of seeing a return on investment are slim to none. To put it another way, do you want translation to cost you money, or do you want it to make you money?
Improving Quality: The more you translate, the better your translations get. Period. Your translators become more familiar with your brand and your language, terminology is improved in both languages, the list goes on… The more you translate, the better your translations get.
When it comes to comparing translation partners, it can be very tempting to only look at the cost per word. But that’s a short-term fix that creates long-term problems. The In Every Language client gets translation’s role in healthy, business growth. Our clients are smart, savvy business people who want to move translation from a cost center to a profit driver.