5 Factors Affecting Your Translation Budget

For those whose fiscal year ends with the calendar year, December is often used to evaluate the ongoing year and plan the upcoming one. Translation_Budget If you are an international company or serve multinational clientele, Translation and Localization services must be on your planning list… Check the following factors to facilitate the task of planning your Translation and Localization budget:


Language translation pricing varies according to scarcity of translators and country of origin. Quality translations must be executed by a native translator whose mother tongue is the target language. Supply and demand come into play and so does cost of living in each country. For example, lower cost of living in Latin America compared to Japan makes translations into Spanish lower in cost than translations into Japanese. If you are adding to your language repertoire, consult with your Language Service Provider (LSP) what different language pricing may be.


The shorter the deadlines, the more resources or overtime are needed to finalize the translation. This doesn’t necessarily affect the quality of the translation; however it may affect the translation consistency and costs. While different translators can come up with diverse, but correct and accurate translations of the same expression, they might use completely different wording to communicate the same meaning. A Translation Management System (TMS) coupled with a robust Translation Memory (TM) tool can significantly reduce the inconsistency between translations, especially in what concerns the terminology used. This is why planning ahead for your translations and cooperating with the same Language Service Provider boosts your translations’ quality, consistency and speed.


Highly technical industries require the expertise of subject matter translators to perform the translation. They must have a background related to the specific industry and be familiar with the terminology. If the translator doesn’t understand the technical source text he or she won’t be able to communicate the correct meaning to the intended audience. This requires translators to specialize in industries and gain depth and experience in them. Hence, technical translations are usually more costly than general ones.


Are you translating the company’s policy for internal communications use or preparing marketing collateral for a product launch abroad? A mistake in an internal document or a general translation may not lead to severe consequences. Conversely, if you are translating a medical device manual and an error was allowed, the consequences might be fatal. Depending on your audience, a second or even third translator must proofread the translated documents, affecting the overall translation cost.


While verbosity always increases the cost of translation and is never recommended, high volumes of text to be translated can help reduce the average per word cost. First off, your translation partner shouldn’t charge you for repeated words/sentences. TMS and TM tools can help you reduce the time & price for repetitive translations. Second off, bigger projects may benefit from lower per word overhead costs involved in project management and administrative fees.

Understanding the above factors and planning for translation lowers your costs while maximizing your quality. For optimum translation and localization results download the “Translation Budgeting and Planning” kit, prepared by our experts to smoothly guide you through the entire translation and localization process.