If there is one internal joke in the translation community it’s the fact that clients always need the translation done by yesterday. Is there really a way to save time on translation projects?
Regardless of how big or complex the project, clients will usually have very short deadlines set before them by their management or other departments within the company.
Once companies reach out to language service providers, they are often amazed that their deadlines are challenged or considered too short. There are many reasons for such discrepancies, but we will cover some of them below so that you can learn from other people’s mistakes and find out how to save time on translation.
#1. There’s always software that’s better than you
It’s fascinating that we use our smartphones with dozens of apps for almost anything in our daily lives. Ordering taxi rides and food, tracking visits to websites, finding constellations in the night sky; everything can be done using apps.
With content localization, however, people are somehow still not there yet. Often, companies manually copy-paste content from websites or apps into spreadsheets which are shared with translators via email, with review cycles performed via comments and sending various versions of the files back and forth.
Companies are often not aware that there are tools which can make their lives so much easier. Some of the features include:
- Automated extraction of new content compared to previous versions
- Translation memories (databases of all previous translations)
- Terminology (a dictionary of all the company-specific terms you want to be used)
- Support for various file formats so that you don’t have to copy-paste anything
- Integrations with CMS systems
With all of these features, you can really save time on translation and actually make tight deadlines a possibility.
#2. Communication is the key
If you don’t get proper information on deadlines, who would be translating the content, how translators are selected, and if you don’t have full transparency, the chances to save time on translation are not looking the best.
When you have to localize the content, the best approach would be to sit down with prospective language service providers to determine their level of expertise, workflows, and general match in philosophies.
#3. Don’t change the winning team
If you can choose, try to work with the same team of translators/reviewers every time. As with any type of task, translators will get better and better in translating a certain type of content; namely, your content.
While the first localization project will be an opportunity for the translators and for you to get to know each other’s approach and expectations, in the second project you can already walk on a familiar path. Translators will understand your product better, and they will be already familiar with the terminology, the tone, and message.
#4. Give a heads-up
If you reach out to translation companies when the content is already ready for translation, you have missed the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the translation in advance.
If you provide the translation company with a heads-up, they can research the content, specific terminology, the translators who would be the best match for a certain language and market, as well as the style, and potential issues (like market specifics).
We can help you save time on translation
If you need advice on these individual steps, you can always reach out to us, and we will answer these questions for you. It doesn’t cost anything, and it can bring you huge benefits – why not try today?