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Ten Simple Steps to Save 50% on Translation and Localization

For companies doing business globally, success in foreign markets can often depend on the availability of properly translated and localized user documentation. But translation and localization process can be expensive, time consuming and cumbersome. Unable to cope with the localization costs, companies limit localization efforts or skip them altogether.

With proper planning, localization costs can easily be cut in half.  However, this requires more than extracting the best deal from your localization vendor.  It requires planning at the time of developing user documentation. Experience has shown that the following 10 steps can cut your localization cost by 50% or more without impacting the effectiveness of your content.

  • Keep word count as low as possible. Translation costs are calculated on the number of words – so it is obvious to keep the number of words to a minimum. And, fewer words have other advantages such us making user documentation simpler to understand and easier to translate. And the effect is multiplied by the number of documents, the number of languages and the number of future revisions.
  • Keep the use of screenshots to a minimum. Screenshots are an effective way to communicate the user interface and workings of a product. For this reason they are widely used in user documentation at all levels. But screenshots wreak havoc on translation efforts. Every screenshot must be redone for every language. Not only is this cumbersome and expensive, sometimes it is outright impossible as translators are spread all over the globe, with limited or no access to the application itself.

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