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How to reduce translation costs?

Who wouldn’t fancy a lower price? No matter what we buy, a little discount here and a little saving there is always welcome, isn’t it?

When it comes to products, we all have our own way of bargaining. If we push the vendor a little too much on the price, he still cannot change the quality of the product, just because he agreed to sell it at a much lower price.

However, when it comes to services, things work a little differently. The moment you push vendors a little too much on the price, they will cut corners to maintain their profitability and this can surely affect the quality of the service.

So this month I am going to give you some quick tips on how to reduce costs, when it comes to something as critical as translating highly technical content, where savings are always welcome but poor quality isn’t.

Here are the two things that will always ensure you get the best price without having to compromise on the quality:

  1. Make sure your Language Service Provider uses a CAT Tool

Simply put, CAT Tools are Memory Tools that remember everything that a professional translator translates. What this means is that if your documents have repetitive text (and most document do), you will save significant money because repetitive text is charged at a fraction of the usual price.

  1. Make sure your documents are written for translation

Did you know that an inconsistent writing style, the use of inconsistent terminology and the inability to reuse content when writing documents are factors that increase translation costs by up to 20%*?

Using ‘Single sourcing’ and ‘Structured XML-based authoring’ techniques when writing documents and making adequate use of style guides and consistency checkers are great ways to bring down translation costs significantly.

Alternatively, simply having your Language Service Provider SmartRead your content prior to translating it can also help you make significant savings on translation costs.

Professional tip

Avoid knee jerk reactions to translating documents. Have a well thought out Document Development Lifecycle (DDLC) policy and make sure translation is very much a part of this policy. Moreover, convey consistent terminology and style as a requirements to your in-house Documentation Team or the Technical Writing company you work with.

How do I benefit from CAT Tools, Single sourcing, Structured XML-based authoring or SmartRead?

Write to us at or call us on 83800 31438 to know more how you can make significant savings on translation spends by using one or more of the above.

* Internal survey conducted across clients and languages between 01.01.2012 and 31.12.2016

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Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to bring credibility and recognition to the Indian translator within and outside India.