We often hear of people trying to cut their localization costs by hiring their brother-in-law's sister's cousin who used to live in Mexico to translate their company's product literature into Spanish. While this is a cheap way to go, it's not going to get the job done right. Here are 4 better ways to reduce your translation costs and get an excellent final product.
1. Hire a certified, professional, native speaker. I hear you saying, wait a minute, that has to be expensive! Actually, hiring someone who can do the job right the first time around will be less expensive in the end then hiring someone who doesn't know what they are doing. A professional with background knowledge of your industry won't have to peruse a dictionary in order to get your localization done. Plus, you won't be spending time and money on re-writes to correct their errors like you would with that cousin.
2. If it's a long document, make sure your localization agency creates a glossary of terms. Consistency is key with localization. By creating a glossary of frequently used terms, trademarked names that shouldn't be translated, and industry lingo, you and your translation agency can ensure that the final product is consistent throughout the document. If you plan to have the document translated into multiple languages, this glossary will really help cut down costs.
3. Give yourself the gift of time. One of the most avoidable ways people run up localization costs is by requesting on a tight turnaround time. Plan in advance for your translation and build the time into your production schedule.
4. Finish the document before you hand it to the localization agency. Every time you need to make a change, it costs you more, especially if your document needs to be localized into multiple languages. And if you do decide to change the source document, keep a detailed record of all the changes you make so that the localization company can easily see where they need to amend their versions.