Let’s discuss a seemingly small issue, an issue so small that you could compare it to a mosquito bite. However, just like with mosquito bites, the more there is, the more trouble you are in. Today we are discussing small translation projects.
A small issue that isn’t SO small
What really are small translation projects? You could say that it’s the translation of 10 words into Swedish, Romanian, Japanese, and Italian you need by the end of the day to meet a deadline. Who is going to help you with these? How much will they charge you, especially if you want them to deliver in the next 5 hours?
This is a difficult topic for all parties involved, language service providers and clients alike. While LSPs need to find the right resources, assign a project manager to handle the projects, balance rates they will charge, and pass everything to accounting, the clients also need to worry about pricing and delivery dates.
How to handle this in the best manner possible? The answer is, like with many things today, automation. Let’s cover a few points which will make life easier for everyone.
#1. Setting up the projects
In traditional workflows, clients would send content to LSPs via e-mail, asking for localization into e.g. five languages. If there are different files, different languages, or different delivery dates, things get really complicated, really fast.
Having an online portal where clients can create the projects by dropping their files and selecting the languages and delivery dates is a lot easier from an operational perspective. This way, no-one will lose track of what needs to be done, and until when.
A more advanced version of this approach is integration (API, connectors), between the client’s system and the LSP. Both approaches will certainly save a lot of time for client and LSP, as they will not lose time going through e-mails and tracking manually what is happening.
#2. Agreeing on the number of words
You might think that defining the number of words for translation is easy, but this is only true for files that really only have 10 words for translation. Many times, clients (for example, software companies) implement small updates to certain parts of their content, and then LSPs need to be able to quickly find that content and send it for translation.
For this, both parties need to rely on a system that can automatically find the content. To do this, the system also needs to find previously translated content, and pre-translate it from translation memories, so that everything is consistent and ready for delivery in the shortest time possible.
#3. Determining the price
This is always a hot topic, as many LSPs will feel the need to charge minimum fees, as they still have a lot of manual work on small translation projects, from analysis to team management. Automation will also slowly kill off this practice, as the effort put into managing small projects will be reduced to easily manageable levels.
With the help of automation, the whole process is much easier. The system will calculate the number of words, check the rate of the selected translator, multiply everything and prepare the invoice for the cost estimate and invoice.
#4. Finding the right translators
If the LSP needs to first find someone who will take on the translation of a small project, it will be in a tight spot, as translators usually don’t take on small jobs from new LSPs, especially with short deadlines.
This is why having an automated system with several thousands of registered translators makes life a lot easier, as there are teams of translators to choose from, they can all be notified automatically, and the task can be processed in a very short time.
#5. Never worry about having to handle this in a different way
Companies that are afraid of big changes can rely on such external systems until they are ready to integrate them with their internal systems. In other words, any company can immediately benefit, without actually having to make huge changes to their everyday workflow. Further integration and automation can then happen when the company is ready for such a step.
If you want to see how this looks in practice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We will explain additional details and help you set up your first project. Once you get hands-on experience, you will see what you have been missing out on!