Translation cost is one of the first aspects to consider when choosing a Language Service Provider (LSP) for your project. Translation needs to be affordable but should not come at the cost of quality, accuracy, or processing time. There are certain hacks that can help you find the best translation partner and enjoy a smooth translation process.

How do you find affordable translation?

To avoid paying too much for translation, you need to know what you’re translating, how it should be organized, and how big your budget is. Getting familiar with the translation cost basic information will help you determine the right focus of your translation project.

The first issue to clarify is how you will organize your translation project. There are several options to choose from:

  • Machine Translation
  • In-House Translation
  • Freelance Translator
  • Language Service Provider

Each of the options has its’ pros and cons and you need to determine which one works best for you. Here are some of the basic points you can take into consideration.

Machine Translation

Machine translation (MT) is often free and seems like a tempting “quick and inexpensive” option. While MTs like Google Translate can be a good option if you want to get the gist of a foreign-language text, they are absolutely not suitable for professional translations. You can use machine translation if you invest in the proper form and tools. Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is one of the options for your business. It really depends on the type of texts you need translated, industry specifications, time, and budget. Some industries, such as travel and tourism, have been able incorporate NMT into their business plan successfully.

In-House Translation

In-house translation may seem the very affordable at first glance, but it has some pitfalls to consider. Using bilingual employees to translate your website, contracts, or documents may not be that efficient. The mere fact that a person speaks two or more languages doesn’t make them a translator. Each text needs to be properly localized as well in order to have the desired effect for the target audience. This is a job for a professional translator. One advantage of using an employee for a translation project is that they are familiar with your business, company jargon, and overall beliefs and ideas. For in-house translation to be successful, however, the best way is to employ a professional translator permanently and even set up a translation department. That way, you have a professional for each translation project, to work with external vendors in case you need to add another language.

Freelance Translator

There are a great number of freelance translators working with different languages and in various fields. Quite often, the price they offer is a bit lower, which is not always an indicator of poor quality. This can be considered a main advantage to using their service. You can find a translator who is a subject-matter expert in your field, guaranteeing an added value for your translation project. A disadvantage is guaranteeing consistency. A freelancer might not be available the next translation you need. You will have to look for another translator and then consistency may be a problem. Another drawback is when translating into several different languages, you will have to manage several freelance translators.

Language Service Provider

Working with a translation agency may be the answer if you have a large project, more than one language, or you translate on a regular basis. An LSP can offer a variety of services such as technical document translation, website translation, software localization, and business interpretation. You’ll work with professional translators who are experts in various fields and have a single point of contact for all your queries. Plus, many give you access to a cloud-based Translation Management System (TMS) that allows you to monitor the progress of your translation process in real time.

How to avoid translating every single document

In order to make translation affordable it is essential to know how to limit the volume of the translated text. One of the best ways is by using a Translation Management System (TMS) that will store all the texts you have already translated along with keywords, specific terms, and company jargon. You can exchange the collected information with your translator and thus ease their work significantly.

Another clever way to reduce the volume of translated documents is by using templates. Templates allow you to translated most of the document once, then complete variable details such as names, dates, quantities and the like at a later date.

Price vs. Quality

Although price might be the first thing you think of when we talk about affordability, it shouldn’t be the only factor. As the saying goes – “you get what you pay for” and therefore your investment should be wise. It is necessary to calculate your return on investment prior to boarding the translation train.

Quite often, a cheap translation service corresponds to low quality of the final product. Inaccurate, inappropriate or misleading translation, may cost you a lot of money to correct. At the end of the day, you will end up spending more to rectify low quality translation mistakes. You may also have to compensate unhappy customers or paying legal fees for not observing certain rules and requirements.

So, it may be wiser to pay more for high quality translation and avoid future costs related to mistakes and inconsistencies. The best way to get affordable translation is to find the right balance between price and quality. That can be achieved by selecting the right translation solution for your project.

Here at ICD Translation we offer high quality translation services for various industries. Our translators are subject-matter experts in your field with years of experience. We are ready to help with any type of translation you need.

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