Translation Budget 101: How to Lower Your Costs

Budget optimization is a very powerful tool for prioritizing and deferring your payments into several instalments. Many products and services nowadays can be leased or used on a subscription basis. But think about translating all your content – product documentation, website, marketing materials, legal texts. Does it look like a lot of work? If so, then it would surely cost a lot, right? It would be great if it was possible to do a translation budget optimization. Luckily, there are some techniques that can help you prepare a cost effective plan for translatig your content. Let’s look at them 🙂

Optimize your budget with Minimum Viable Translation

We already explored the concept of minimum viable translation, but here we will dig a bit deeper. There are a few ways to use MVT to optimize your translation budget. This is done by prioritizing the translation of one content over another based on various factors. For example – language, webpage, product / service, type of content, etc.

Translate one language at a time

You can conduct your own research (or hire someone to do it for you) and compare the translation price and potential target audience for one language versus the same numbers for another language. This way you can prioritize some languages over others in order to minimize your immediate costs and maximize your profits. If there are no huge differences in translation price or selling potential, think about customer support. Is there a language you’d be able to support more easily? If so, you can start with that one.

Choose the most important webpages

Instead of translating your entire website at once, you could translate just the most important pages first and later continue with the rest. Make sure you analyze your current website performance to identify which pages are the most popular – they are a good place to start. Also, make sure to perform SEO on each translated page and optimize them for each respective language.

Prioritize your products and services

While it’s important to present all your products and services, there are always clear winners. Select your current most profitable products and services, make sure to do some brand research, and mark them as “Translate first” in your translation budget. All rest should be in the queue, and one by one should get translated without breaking the bank.

Separate the different content types

All products / services usually require a sufficient amount of written content to exist in most countries on our planet. Some of them are mandatory and can vary for each country, like:

  • Legal documents – warranty cards, end-user license agreements;
  • User manuals, instructions for assembly / use, contents and specifications;
  • Labels, packaging;
  • Regulatory and safety information / notices, etc.

These are the ones about which you can’t do much. If the local law requires that content translated, you’ll have to do it or risk potential fines. The content you can proiritize is the rest – marketing materials, descriptions, user interface. Spread their translation over some time and you will lower your immediate translation costs.

Negotiate payment terms as part of the translation budget

In the translation and localization industry the payment terms can vary from paying in advance to paying 2-3 months after delivery. These can be negotiated with your translation provider once for the entire collaboration, or individually for each translation project. If you have a lot of content for translation, this means that you can provide a regular and consistent workload for a long period of time. For LSPs regularity of revenue can be more important than getting paid a bit earlier. And actually, with regular and consistent workload from a client, the only payment for which translation providers have to wait is the first one. As long as the workload is steady, they revenue stream will keep flowing.

So, these are the 5 tips you can use to optimize your translation budget and lower your immediate costs. Your content will get translated gradually over a longer period of time, keeping your clients engaged in their native language and boosting your sales. Having a translation provider with the right expertise can save you time and money, so write to us at and we’ll help you choose the right strategy. Or if you have your content ready, use the button below to request a quote for our language services.

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