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Most Effective Ways of Utilizing your Translation Budget

Tutorials » Most Effective Ways of Utilizing your Translation Budget

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Translation can seem like an enigmatic practice for some. With all the different options available, from machine translation to cloud translation to professional translation, it’s hard to tell which one would be worth your investment.

While machine translation is free, would the quality be up to par? Professional translation is more accurate, however with the amount of text needing to be translated, would it be worth the high cost it demands?

These questions and ones like it could probably keep any business owner or project manager up at night. So let’s shed some light on the different methods so a better an idea can be gathered about the direction you should take.

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Machine Translation: While this is the most affordable option, since it is free, the quality of translation is not reliable. While it may be good enough for certain short texts for certain languages, if you want guaranteed accurate translations, then this option might not be worth the effort. Oftentimes, potential clients will be more turned off by bad translations than no translations at all. It can give the impression that your company is not reliable, and that is not an image you want to put out for all to see. That being said, if you have a lot of content to translate, perhaps some content might be more “valuable” to a particular language group you are targeting than other content. This can be particularly true for websites, as they often have a lot of pages of content. However, if some of those pages get little traffic to begin with, it may be worth it to go with this option just for SEO purposes, not anticipating a large audience regardless.

Cloud Translation: Cloud translation is a combination of machine translation and a professional human translation.   The text is initially passed through a machine translator, and then a translator proofreads the translation and makes any necessary corrections. This option is cheaper than professional translation, however the quality isn’t always perfect. Oftentimes, the machine translation is so bad, that the translator can have a hard time “correcting” it, or even discerning the intended meaning.   This can result in a longer translation time than simply translating the text professionally from the start.   Since translators are paid significantly less during this option, they may not be as fully involved in the translation process, leading to many segments being translated half-heartedly. Again, like machine translation, this method is best reserved for content that is not meant to be the focus of your audience. Since it’s more accurate than machine translation, however, if you have it in your budget, this is a better substitute than machine translation as a whole.

Professional Translation: Of all the options available, professional translation is by far the most accurate and well worth the investment. If you are looking to target a new market or cater to a different language market, it’s always best to localize your content as if it was written in that language to begin with. On average, clients prefer to read material and order from websites that in their native language. By translating your content professionally, you can develop a stronger sense of trust from your potential clients.   Professional translation can get quite expensive, however, if you have a lot of content. Professional translation is usually charged by word or by page, so the more you have, the more it’s going to cost. But like any other marketing initiative, it can be well worth the investment.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide which option will work best for what you want to accomplish. Know what you are translating first, and then choose the best option knowing what to expect as the result!


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Tutorials » Most Effective Ways of Utilizing your Translation Budget