ULG’s Language Solutions Blog

How to Plan for Translation Service Costs in Your Annual Budgeting

Developing a robust translation program is the key to supporting your limited English proficiency (LEP) customers as well as achieving global market success. These services help corporations and healthcare organizations ensure effective internal communication, forge new partnerships, provide better customer service, and gain a competitive edge in a global market.

The challenge becomes how to plan for comprehensive multilingual services that provide value for your customers without deviating from your translation budget or compromising on quality.

As a company grows, its language service provider (LSP) vendor list and associated spend often becomes increasingly complex to manage and maintain. Translation services that are spread across many internal departments can introduce inefficiencies and redundancies. 

We want to help you avoid these common pitfalls so you can reap the benefits of comprehensive, cost-effective translation services even as your linguistic demographics shift. 

Planning for Translation Service Costs

Proactive planning provides an opportunity for global businesses to foresee upcoming translation solution needs and discuss any fees or expenses that should be taken into consideration. 

Wondering how to get the most value at your organization? Here’s how to plan for translation services costs in your yearly budgeting.

1. Avoid Piecemeal Translation Solutions

It can be tempting to revert to free tools, but these often come with inherent risks. For example, how will you verify accurate translations? Piecemeal translation solutions lack linguistic and cultural nuance as well as industry-specific terminology. In addition, when you opt for one of these solutions, your data may be used and manipulated due to the translation solution’s lack of data protection and inadequate privacy policies. 

On the other hand, working with an LSP that understands the specific nuances of your industry will serve you better in the long run, yielding a higher ROI and helping your organization compete more effectively on a global scale.

2. Identify Cross-Departmental Needs

Your organization’s translation solutions likely have to meet cross-departmental needs in order to be as effective as possible. When you’re working on annual budgeting, conduct internal meetings to incorporate translation needs across departments. 

Answer the following questions to help guide your efforts:

  • What translation solutions does each specific department rely on?
  • Which language translations are most often requested by customers?
  • How frequently do customers request translation?
  • Do you require the assistance of linguists with specific industry knowledge?

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3. Look for Comprehensive Service Packages

The cost of your document translation services should include a range of languages to support all of your LEP customers. Ask your LSP if they would consider bundled deals, which typically offer high volumes of translation content at a lower cost per word. Bundling services helps to maximize value, and although the upfront costs may be higher, the return on investment could be greater. Be sure to consider the terms of potential payment agreements: Will they be a flat fee, per hour, or per word? Also, will there be added fees associated with editing and proofreading? Comprehensive packages should feature robust offerings, with both translation and localization services to meet your organization’s needs. 

4. Employ Translation Memory Technology

We often speak to organizations with many departments who are working with multiple LSPs to translate the same documents. This duplication is a sure-fire way to drive up costs and create unnecessary inefficiencies. Instead, consider centralizing your translations with one provider and take advantage of their Translation Memory software that engages and assists linguists on your brand preferences. With “intelligent” translation memory your language solutions partner can eliminate redundancy, establish cohesive branding, and create a catalogue of meaningful and iterative translations. 

With that said, employing translation memory technology takes time as the automated translation “learns” your company’s unique guidelines, term bases, and glossaries. Teams who implement this type of translation product should schedule a period of integration into their timelines. 

5. Stick to a Tight Translation Timeline

Having a project plan and communicating desired timelines with your internal team as well as your LSP streamlines the translation services budgeting process. Are there regulatory deadlines to keep in mind? How many languages will you need translations for and when do you need them by?

Make it a point to build your timelines with strict deadlines to avoid rush translation fees, which can result in more than a 50 percent price increase. This way, you manage your projects efficiently and costeffectively without ever going over your budget.

Gain a Competitive Edge with Unrivaled Translation Solutions

You need a trusted partner to ensure your language translation services are accurate and efficient. ULG offers complete translation solutions across a variety of industries, including:

Interested in finding out more about our translation solutions? Speak with one of our representatives for information on package options and the best solution to meet your company's needs without exceeding your budget. Get in touch to learn more.

Let’s discuss how we can help with your translation and interpretation needs. Contact us today. >>