Misconceptions about Localization Costs for Companies (II). Saving Costs on your Source Text and using Alternative Translation Methods

Translation

In our previous article, we talked about how to save costs on localization by selecting the texts that we want to translate.Reducing costs on translation

In this article, we are going to learn how to prepare the text to reduce costs and how we can use Machine Translation in some types of texts in order to reduce costs.

Preparing the source text

Translation is usually charged by source words, so one of your main objectives will be to reduce the volume of your text.

At Jensen Localization we use translation tools that enable us to save all translations and reuse them in new releases of your products. If you merge or split sentences, change the position of punctuation marks, or remove them, or change terminology, our translation software may not recognise the text and it will not consider that old translations can be reused. Therefore, the costs of the translation will be higher.

In order to avoid this, apart from carefully reviewing your texts, it is important to keep record of the decisions that affect texts that appear over and over again in your products, such as product names, dates and time formats, units of measure, currencies, style, use of bulleted lists to reduce sentence length, etc., to name a few.

This can be easily registered in a Style Guide. Once you have these clear in your source language, agree with your translation provider how these will be dealt with in the target languages. If you do not know where to start, you can use the Microsoft Style Guides, which are publicly available.

Machine Translation

Whenever possible, we will always advise you to run a full translation, editing and proofreading process, done by professional translators that use technology to work more efficiently.

However, when budget is an important constrain, and depending on the language pair, the type of text and the purpose of the translation, working with Machine Translation may be useful.

As explained in our article Computer Aided Translation vs Machine Translation (TM vs MT), Machine Translation is used when you do not need a high quality text and you want your audience to have a general idea. Following the example of our previous article, we could use MT for translating customer support tickets. Please note, however, that you have to be sure of the quality you have and the quality you want to achieve. If not planned correctly, using MT may be more expensive than standard human translation. In any case, even if you want to use MT, we will always advise you to run a Post-Editing phase where you will fix the most noticeable errors.

We hope these two articles help you understand how the benefit in the costs of a translation process are more related to the project planning and execution than to the actual rate. Feel free to contact us for more information about the best translation strategy for your business.

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Localization, Localization Process, Machine Translation, Post-Editing, Translation

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