How To Save Money On Your Next Translation Project – Part 1

You’ll save money on your next translation project before you hire a translator with these tips and strategies. Read this before you hire your next English-Malay translator or proofreader.

  • Before you give your text to the translator, read through and make sure the text doesn’t contain ambiguous sentence structure or long, complex sentence structures. The clearer your text, the easier and faster the translator works.
  • Keep your sentences short and to the point. This helps with readability and comprehension and makes my turnaround time faster which means you get the work done quicker! Use simple words to convey your complex ideas. It is possible to be clear and straightforward.
  • Decide which parts of the documents need translation. Sometimes, you don’t need to translate an entire document. What is truly important? Are there paragraphs that can be shortened or summarised without losing their meaning?
  • Review and finalise your content before you send it to your translator. It will be a waste of time, effort and money if you make changes in the midst of translation!
  • English text is shorter than Malay. When I translate English to Malay documents, there is an expansion rate of 20% so be aware of this if you intend to use the translated text in a mobile app or website where space is limited.
  • Always use the same term for the same concept. Changing terminology will complicate matters and slow down a translator’s speed. However, if you’re using technical terms, make sure you use them consistently to prevent confusion and misunderstanding. Mark out technical terms if needed.
  • Synonyms may be interesting to the reader but it can be difficult for a translator. Keep your terminology consistent which means please use the same term for the same concept throughout your document. This affects the quality of translation as the translator needs to keep checking if the different words are referring to the same concept. The same goes for cultural expressions which can be tricky.
  • Avoid long sentences or re-write them if you can. If you have to re-read a sentence to get its meaning, imagine the agony the translator has to undergo to translate the long sentence!
  • Ask for customers’ reviews and look at translation work samples when you’re choosing a translator.
  • Avoid professional jargon and abbreviations. If you’re using acronyms, spell them out or make it clear to your translator that you’re using these terms. If titles/positions and names of organisations need to be translated, provide full information. Keep dates and numbers consistent. If in doubt, spell out the month!
  • Translation is a teamwork effort between you and the translator. Don’t dump your technical document onto the translator without communicating clearly about your expectations, background information, and specific terms. Work with her so that she can produce successful outcomes for you and your company.
  • As there is an expansion rate of 20% when it comes to English-Malay translation, inform your translator what the document is for and what you hope to achieve with your translated document. A professional, experienced English-Malay translator will be able to choose words, sentence lengths, and even style to match your needs.
  • If your document is complex, have you considered turning it into a graphic or visual diagram? This helps lower your translation costs and less risk of mistranslating a technical term.
  • If your budget doesn’t permit you to use a professional translator, you may want to revisit your marketing objectives. When you work with a translator, you save hundreds of hours of work but a good quality translator comes with a price.
Love these tips? I have more for you in Part 2 of this article.

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