How Much to Budget for Foreign Language Translation

The importance of foreign language translation to businesses across a diverse range of industries brings to mind questions about costs and budgets. Although it is impossible to quote a particular price without direct information about what your company needs, it makes sense to explore the possibilities before choosing a translation company to help. Two main options exist. First, you can hire a person or team to do translations for you or you can choose a translation management system run by smart software programs.


What contributes to foreign language translation costs?

The main criteria for determining how much translation and globalization will take out of your budget is the comparison between cost and value. In other words, you get what you pay for. This classic commercial idiom not only speaks to the importance of paying enough for quality services but also demonstrates that you cannot expect high-quality translations without a respectable outlay of funds.

That being said, it is possible to keep your budget quite affordable and still receive quality translations of content, advertising copy, and more. Price ranges differ greatly whether you use software translation services or opt for a bilingual or multilingual expert who does all of the processes by hand. The amount of personalization and automation affects how much the process costs.

Of course, what type of content you need to be translated, how much there is, the deadline involved, and what language you need the finished work in also makes a difference. As with all business needs, determining how much to budget comes down to how much money you have on hand that is not earmarked for another important purpose.


Cost-effective translation with software and machines

At the bottom of the barrel for translation services lies the one-touch automated programs that simply change words and phrases in one language to another language automatically. You can even find these for free. However, if you are interested in presenting your business products or services to an international audience, you need a lot more than the basic results you get with these types of systems.

After all, saving money on the front end will not provide benefits to your business at large if the end result is dissatisfaction, misunderstanding, or lack of a positive impression for your global leads. Only you understand your precise goal and mission when it comes to translation and localization of the written or recorded material. Although we help a variety of industries with everything from technical manuals to video subtitles to desktop publishing, the outcome all comes down to the benefits you want to pay for. You need to invest in higher-quality foreign language translation services to make the most powerful impact.

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) uses the ever-expanding power of machine learning to create the possibility of more natural and human translations than could possibly be done with older programs. Instead of simply transposing phraseology, these systems use what are essentially computerized brains to constantly improve their ability to translate in much the same way as a human can. In other words, they actually understand what the words mean, notice nuance, and improve localization through a type of digitized understanding.

It is impossible to replicate the abilities of the human mind, of course. The software can only recognize what it is programmed to learn and improves within the confines of its systematic abilities. It does need a very large pool of data to pull from and has difficulty with longer or more complex sentences. However, it does have the ability to predict expected language outcomes in order to make the translation as realistic as possible. This is a constantly evolving and improving industry associated with artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.

As high-tech as software translation services have become, they still may not offer the best solution for your company’s unique needs. Are programs more affordable? Generally, yes. Does this mean they are the best option for your budget? Not necessarily.


Other considerations for translation budgets

How much a professional company will charge for your project also takes into account the type of content you need to make accessible to a global community. The general article costs very little to translate into one or more common languages like English, Mandarin, Spanish, or German. 

Technical document translation costs more due to the unique terminology and jargon associated with more precise content. The translators need not only a keen understanding of the languages involved but also knowledge of the topic itself. This helps to ensure a higher quality result that can be understood and appreciated by the target audience. After all, it would not help to impress a potential client focused on clinical trials or industry-specific manufacturing needs with bland or overly generalized writing.

In the end, the question about how much you should budget for expert translation services encompasses so many different factors that it can be difficult to suggest even a range of prices. As with all business needs in this rapidly expanding world of commercial enterprise, you must consider a careful cost versus benefit analysis before making your choices. Do you need human translations specialized for a diverse range of languages with knowledge of highly technical jargon? Will your needs be met with basic programmed services or the more advanced neural machine options? Are you interested in improved localization services for training materials and more? Also, how much are you willing to pay for the most effective multilingual services available?

Determining the answers to these questions on your own may be quite difficult. No matter what industry your business is involved in, you should understand the importance of a renewed focus on global expansion and success. In order to do that successfully, you need the type of translation and localization services provided by an industry expert like Argo Translation. With a wide range of services, exceptionally detailed client experience, and ongoing support for your efforts, we can help you reach and inspire a multilingual audience within a budget that makes sense for your business.


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