5 Ways To Maximize Your Translation Budget

ways to maximize your translation budget

We’ve heard it time and time again. It’s the most classic business dilemma:

We need to lower costs!

Yet, as management pressures you to cut costs, it seems that volume continues to increase. And of course, you can never sacrifice quality.

Like we said: Dilemma. Right?

Here’s the bottom line:

You either –

  1. Currently serve a multilingual clientele or
  2. Are trying to sell to a multilingual clientele either within the U.S. or abroad.

Either way, you need business translation services to attract and retain your client base. If you are already investing valuable company resources and finances to take your company global, you simply must invest in professional document translation services.

Likewise, if you are already attracting a diverse clientele without translation imagine how much further you could penetrate that market if you do translate!

Add business translation services to your strategic growth plan and when done correctly, you’re sure to see a positive return on investment.


Back to our dilemma – how can you maximize your given budget while ensuring that you receive professional, accurate, and reliable document translation services?

This article will outline just that – following are our top 5 ways to maximize your translation budget.

coworkers celebrating success
  1. Provide source files or documents in an editable format

Whether you need a legal contract or marketing brochure translated, you should do your best to provide the source file, that is an editable file for translation.

PDF files and scanned copies of documents are not editable meaning the translation company must take time to recreate the file for the translation. Furthermore, these types of documents are unusable for translation management which we will discuss next.

Simply put:

Reduce your project management fees and increase your turnaround time by providing your translation partner with an editable file such as:

  • Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator
  • Photoshop

These are just a few of the most common file types used but if you are ever unsure, consult with your project manager and they will be able to assist you.

  1. Technology

Technology is quite possibly the best way to control your costs over time. The use of various translation technologies will ensure that you not only avoid any mistakes throughout the process but continuously improve your business translations over time. There are several options for translation technology and a majority of the time, businesses use them all

Terminology Management

This is a broad term that is used by language service providers (LSP) when managing translations for businesses. Included in terminology management is the maintenance of translation memories, term bases, and glossaries across any number of languages.

There are many ways to translate any given word. Work with your translation partner to identify how to best convey your message in other languages. They will make sure your preferences are logged and used throughout all translation projects.


Creating a glossary is a team effort between LSP and clients. Project managers continue to update the glossary based on feedback and ensure every linguist working on each project uses the most up to date version.

Also in line with glossary management is term base management. The term base stores terms and phrases that are used frequently by clients. It includes definitions for terms, often industry specific, and will identify terms that should remain in English, such as names and titles.

Translation Memory (TM)

Translation memory is a tool used to monitor and assist with the translation process. It’s a database that monitors the progress of translation in real time and memorizes translated words, phrases, or sentences.

TM develops and expands with each translation per client. When a word, phrase, or sentence is encountered that was previously translated, it will notify the translator to allow him/her to insert or modify the previously translated text.

Pretty cool, right?

All these tools and databases are managed closely by project managers and are used to support and enable the translator. Benefits include:

  • Repetition discounts
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Improved translation quality
  • Consistent translations of common industry and company specific terminology
  • Improved brand image
  1. Content audit

Conducting a content audit is a great way to save on translation costs. The content audit we suggest is two fold:

1. Write or edit content with translation in mind

You may be asking: What exactly does that mean?

Writing with translation in mind consists of writing in a minimalistic fashion. Be concise and to the point. Avoid culturally specific idioms such as “the ball is in your court” or “sharp as tack”.

This next part should go without saying but…

Proofread, proofread, proofread! A translation is only as good as the source text so go through and edit your text. Make sure there are no typos. Make sure it is written in a clear manner.

2. Only translate what is necessary

Review your content once again.

Is it up to date? Is it sending the right message in a way that will resonate with a multicultural audience?

Maybe you need to translate the service pages of your website but do you really need to translate the blog?

Analyze what you want to translate then narrow it down to what is absolutely necessary and going to produce the most results.

  1. Bundle projects

Many translation providers will offer volume discounts. It may be in your best interest to complete a full campaign of materials and get it translated at once versus spreading it out over 6 months.

Not only will bundling save you money but it will also be a time-saver across the board and as we know, time is money. Bundling is efficient.

Sometimes it’s not realistic to be able to do one large project but when it is, it will be worth it.

  1. Partner with one language services provider

Last but certainly not least – many of the above tips will only be feasible in your cost saving journey if you work with one translation provider.

When you cultivate a close relationship with your partner, they will develop an intimate knowledge of your company and brand which will allow them to produce great translations.

They will be more willing to work with you on cost saving techniques such as bundle discounts.

And before you know it the whole translation process will basically run on auto-pilot reducing stress from your team, so they are able to focus on their job. A reliable translation partner works in the background in support of your business goals.

Let’s Recap –

Ensure successful business translation services through choosing the right translation company to partner with as they will be in control of your terminology and glossary of terms. Cultivate a close relationship with their team and take advantage of volume discounts and repetition discounts.

Check, double check, and triple check your content. Make sure it’s up to date, error free, clear and appeals to the audience you are targeting. Provide editable files for the translation team to work with.

If you follow the tips above, you’re well on your way to translation success! Leave any questions in the comments and if you’d like a simple document translation services checklist to stay on track – click here to download ours today!


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