7 First-Aid Measures for Tighter Software Localization Budgets

In times of crisis, it’s important for companies to focus their attention on what’s most essential. This includes concentrating on core business and initiatives for reducing costs. Of course, the issue of translation is bound to come up – but what happens when your translation budget is subjected to severe cost-cutting measures?

In our latest highly topical blog series, we provide decision-makers from the localization industry with a rock-solid emergency plan for addressing which translations are vital to their company’s success, and which they can go without (for the time being). This blog post serves as a quick introduction to the topic. In the following articles of the series, we’ll be shifting our focus to specific cost-saving strategies – so stay tuned for more captivating insights!

 

1. First things first – figure out what your company really needs translated.

Sit down together with all relevant stakeholders at the very beginning and clarify which translations are indispensable to your company. This is where product liability issues, regulatory requirements, and internal compliance policies come into play. When you’ve completed this step, you should put any translation that doesn’t fall into this bracket under the microscope.

Who to contact: product teams, legal advisors

Example: software license agreements

 

2. Think about forgoing certain translations if your target audience is already well-acquainted with the original language.

Find out what level of foreign language skills your target market and international customers/users have  – especially when it comes to content originally written in English. Then prioritize translations that allow you to overcome much greater language barriers.

Who to contact: regional subsidiaries, translation agencies that are familiar with your target markets

Example: support resources for software developers

 

3. Weed out translations that offer lower added value.

What return on investment (ROI) do you actually gain with the translations you commission? How much website traffic do you generate? Is there really high demand for your localized products on the target market? And how often do users access the online documentation you’ve had translated? This is where data analytics plays a crucial role. With the aid of conventional analysis tools you can cut out translations that yield little (financial) added value.

Who to contact: data analysts, product managers

Example: online support documentation

  

4. Do your end users merely have to understand the translation? Then perhaps you should opt for a machine translation workflow.

Not every text needs to be stylistically perfect. This is the case for certain types of technical documentation. A workflow made up of machine translation and post-editing, where the focus lies on comprehensibility and accuracy rather than style, can produce savings of up to 60 percent.

Who to contact: specialists in translation technology, such as your internal localization team or an external translation agency

Example: online documentation for content management systems

 

5. Don’t underestimate cultural differences!

Without a doubt, some nationalities place greater value on having content in their native language than others. Not only that, but certain content is better received among the target audience when it has been translated into their mother tongue, such as internal training courses on compliance. If you’re left with no other choice than to cancel a chunk of what you had previously been translating, then you should think about cultural sensitivity in terms of the target culture beforehand to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

Who to contact: regional subsidiaries, translation agencies that are familiar with your target markets 

Example: using a translation into Brazilian Portuguese for your target market in Portugal

 

6. Prioritize translations based on the target market’s importance.

It goes without saying that the revenue generated by your products on a global level varies from target market to target market. While you shouldn’t make any cutbacks when it comes to Tier 1 markets, it’s worth considering whether translations for Tier 2 or Tier 3 markets are business-critical in your current situation.

Who to contact: sales and business development teams

Example: marketing content/website content for different markets

 

7.And last but not least: get the most from your budget with optimized workflows.

At the end of the day, how much a translation costs largely depends on how efficient your underlying localization processes are. Modern localization means using the advantages offered by neural machine translation, automating your translation workflows, relying on cutting-edge translation tools, and integrating your content management systems into your localization workflow to ensure seamless processes.

Who to contact: this is another area in which localization experts should be your first port of call – whether it’s your internal localization team or an external translation agency

 

Summary

Translations allow your company to gain valuable competitive advantages, increase market shares, and refine your brand image across the globe – as experienced translation service providers, this is something we truly believe in. However, if you find yourself pushed to reduce your translation volume due to a tighter budget, then you should proceed with caution rather than haphazardly cutting back on translations. The recommendations outlined above will help you to ensure that your communication as a company remains consistent across the world, even during challenging times.