3 most useful tips for saving money when ordering translations

Zbyněk Zelenka

Zbyněk Zelenka

6. 12. 2020

Let's say you’ve got a 100-page PDF document that needs translating. Chances are you’re on both a tight budget and deadline. We get enquiries like that quite often, so here are the TOP 3 tips on how to save money and time when ordering translations of your company documents.

1. Send your texts in an editable format

An editable format is any file that we can actively work in (Word, IDML, XML etc.). We can put the text from these formats into our system and swiftly analyze it with CAT-tools – modern software that helps tremendously not only with translating the text itself but also with estimating the time and resources we’ll need to allocate for your translation project.

“What if I don’t have an editable file? What's the easiest way to get it?

There has to be one somewhere in your company. Someone must have created it (your colleague or vendor, for example). That person would be your best bet. The properties of a non-editable file will usually tell you who wrote it.

We can’t stress this enough. Having an editable file will save you at least five more steps in the future.

“But what if I really don’t have an editable format? Can you still help me?”

Of course we can. And we will. You just have to take into account that our DTP studio will have to turn that non-editable file into an editable one, which can add a bit to overall costs and turnaround time.

2. Use a translation memory – your biggest money saver

A Translation memory (TM) is a tool that translation companies and translators use in order to scan your documents for repetitions in a text. Depending on the type of similarities and their frequency, a translation agency will be able to reduce the price for the words or phrases already present in your TM. Over time, those savings can reach hundreds of thousands of euros (see our case study on one of the biggest DIY markets or EMCO).

After we analyze your texts, we will show you exactly how many words and phrases are already in your TM and how much we can save you by using it (and not translating what had already been translated in the past).

A translation memory makes the biggest difference in saving time and money when processing translation projects.

For example, let’s say you’ve worked with a translation agency for a while and they have processed hundreds of your texts using a translation memory. This means they should have a database of every line from those texts and its approved translation. When you send them new documents, they analyze it with CAT tools and the TM tells them: “Hey, this has been done before, and this too.”

There is no reason to pay a full price for words and phrases that have been already translated. That’s why it is hugely beneficial to work with a translation company that makes the most  of modern technologies like CAT tools or machine translation.

If you are still paying the same price over and over again for texts that contain a lot of repetition, then it’s time to think about changing your language service provider. The savings can be enormous.

3. Send the texts for translation in one batch

If you know you’ll have more texts in the pipeline, let’s say during one month, it’s much better to send us these all together. The time required to prepare a text for translation is usually the same, regardless of size. This means that combining 10 small jobs into one order saves saves 90% of the time it would take to process each one of those jobs individually.

Not only does this save time for both sides but it also saves you money, since we charge minimum fees (as most translation companies do). Since a 10-word project costs the same to prepare as a 100-word one, it makes a lot of sense to combine those jobs and get your money’s worth.

So try to send as many documents as possible together – it can really save you a lot when ordering translations.

Quick summary

Using even one of the following tips can help you save a lot on translations:

  1. Send your texts in editable documents (Word, IDML, XML etc.)
  2. Make sure your LSP uses your translation memory
  3. Send texts in batches

If you’ve got more questions, we’d be happy to answer them or even take care of your translation needs. Simply contact us and find out how smooth the translation process can be – something our thousands of clients already know.

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