6 tips to reduce translation costs

Translation may not have been something that you originally accounted for in your budget, but all of a sudden it’s become a necessity, for various reasons, and not something that you want to spend too much money on. Sound familiar? Scroll down for 6 tips to help reduce your translation costs, and help to keep your project within your translation budget.

1. Plan in advance

Ok, perhaps an obvious one. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”, but a well-organised translation project will not only save money, but will also reduce stress and help to ensure good quality and swift turnaround times.

First of all, know what you are going to translate, and into which languages. If you’re testing the waters when it comes to international growth, choose 1 or 2 languages to start with, and use the results to help shape your international growth strategy.

2. Create “translation-friendly” content

In the same vein as the previous tip, setting aside just a couple of hours to fully prepare your files will save days off the total project.

3. Check your digital content

Given the importance of the internet and online engagement, it’s important to check your digital content and assets too. When it comes to website localisation, avoid hard-coding or embedding text into images, it will make your content difficult to extract and translate.

Consider integrating your CMS with a translation provider – this will eliminate the need for manual copy and pasting.

4. Make the most of technology

Translation memory (TM) can be a valuable asset, improving the speed and consistency of translations, whilst reducing cost. Translation memories stores segments of text and their translations for reuse in future projects.

Other language assets, such as translation glossaries, improve consistency further by helping translators familiar with your brand’s tone of voice.

5. Don’t choose a dirt-cheap provider

If you’re faced with 2 translation quotes, one of them so ridiculously cheap, you need to ask yourself – why is it so cheap? When a translation company provides very low prices, it is possible they are using non-native speaking translators (or worse!) and the quality will suffer.

Qualifying as a translator is not cheap or easy. Our translators and interpreters are incredibly skilled and spend years studying and gaining industry qualifications.

What’s more, we vet and quality-check our linguists regularly, to ensure they maintain a high skill set. With such a niche and expert profession, we need to ensure they are paid appropriately.

Also consider the impact of a poor quality translation on your brand and company image. Is a cheap translation worth the damage to your company reputation?

6. Centralise the process

Centralise your translation requirements to just 1 vendor, and you could save up to 15% on your translation costs, giving your greater transparency on your spend and less internal management for you to handle.


A picture says a thousand words, so here’s all the information you need in a handy infographic. Right-click to save the image.

reduce translation costs


As well as being a self-confessed language geek and baking fanatic, Fiona is the Digital Marketing Manager at Capita Translation and Interpreting. When she's not writing blogs, she often dreams of touring France one patisserie at a time.

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