How to effectively manage your company's translation budget?
Detailed budgeting for translation and efficient financial management can significantly improve your workflow - and even lower your final costs. I want to share with you some tips on what you need to do, to wisely plan expenses related to translation services.
What do you really need?
For people not involved in the translation sector, ordering such a service may seem to be a trivial thing. No matter if it concerns translating contracts, financial documents or web pages, am I right? Not really. In order to have your expenses for translations under control, you need to know that there are different kinds of translation services. That is why, in the course of budgeting, a detailed analysis of the real needs of the company has to be done. The best way to do it, is to answer the following questions:
What do I want to translate?
Translations of contracts and agreements should be performed by a translator who specializes in law, website translation should be entrusted to a person with marketing experience, while translation services during a business meeting should be provided by an interpreter.
The type and amount of material that requires translation has a significant impact on its final cost. Specialized translations (eg. legal, medical, financial) are more expensive than, for instance, translation of ordinary business correspondence.
On the other hand, if we know that our company will often resort to various translation services, this is a good starting point for negotiating prices with a translation agency. It’s worth to take this into account when planning the translation budget.
Into which languages?
The price of a translation depends on the language pair. The translation from English into German should be done by an in-country native-speaker of German. Most probably, it will also be most cost effective, if done by a for a German inhabitant. However, if you would entrust the same person with a translation from Chinese to Swedish, the cost will obviously be much higher, as they will need to use a third party to have this done for you.
Do we need other extra services?
Not everyone knows that translation agencies can offer much more than only translations. Moreover, rarely such additional services are taken into consideration when creating translation budgets. It is important to bear in mind that the services of a native speaker (for example editing or proofreading) or DTP constitute additional costs.