5 Ways To Reduce Translation Cost

The demand for translation services has never been higher in our increasingly globalised world. Professional translation is essential whether you are a business expanding into new markets, a government agency communicating with diverse communities, or an individual seeking to bridge language barriers. However, the cost of translation services can be different to getting documents translated, especially for large projects. In this blog, we will explore five effective ways to reduce translation costs without compromising on quality. By implementing these strategies, you can optimise your translation budget and achieve cost savings while ensuring your messages resonate across borders.

Clear and Concise Source Content

The first step in cost-effective translation is to provide your language service provider (LSP) with clear and concise source content. High-quality source material reduces the time and effort required for translation, resulting in lower costs. Ambiguous or poorly written source text can lead to misunderstandings and require extensive discussions before or revisions after translation, increasing time and expenses.

To ensure clarity and conciseness in your source content:

  • Avoid complex sentence structures and convoluted language.
  • Define technical terms and industry-specific jargon.
  • Provide context and explanation where necessary.
  • Use consistent terminology and formatting throughout your documents.
  • By investing time in improving your source content, you can significantly reduce the workload for translators and minimise the risk of costly errors in.

Leverage Translation Memory and Glossaries

Translation Memory (TM) and glossaries are valuable tools that can help streamline the translation process and reduce costs, especially for repetitive content or ongoing projects. TM systems store previously translated segments of text, allowing translators to reuse them in future documents. Similarly, glossaries establish a standardised set of terminology and vocabulary specific to your industry or organisation.

To make the most of these tools:

  • Collaborate with your translation provider to create a TM database and glossary that aligns with your brand and communication style.
  • Regularly update and maintain your TM and glossaries to reflect changes in your content and industry.
  • Encourage your translation team to always use these resources for consistency and efficiency.
  • By doing so, you not only enhance the quality and consistency of your translations but also reduce costs by minimising the amount of new content that needs to be translated from scratch.

Bundle and Schedule Translation Projects

Consolidating and scheduling your translation projects strategically can yield substantial cost savings. Translation services often charge a flat rate for small documents, while it is per word or hour rate for larger projects, so you can benefit from economies of scale by bundling similar projects or materials. Additionally, planning ahead and establishing a translation schedule can help you avoid rush fees, which are typically higher.

Consider these tips when bundling and scheduling your translation projects:

  • Identify recurring translation needs, such as monthly reports or product documentation, and plan translations in advance.
  • Combine smaller projects into larger ones to reduce per-word or per-hour costs.
  • Communicate your long-term translation requirements to your translation provider to negotiate favourable rates for ongoing work.
  • Choose the Right Translation Service Model

    Translation services come in various models, including machine translation, human translation, and a combination of both. While machine translation can be cost-effective for certain tasks, such as quickly translating large volumes of content, it may not always deliver the quality required for critical communications that need to be published - legal, medical or pharmaceutical content is a good example.

Here are some considerations to guide your choice of translation service model:

  • Opt for professional human translation to ensure accuracy and nuance for essential documents like legal contracts, marketing materials, or medical reports.
  • If machine translation is used for less critical content like internal memos or repetitive phrases, always have a human translator review and edit the output for quality assurance.
  • Explore hybrid approaches that combine the speed of machine translation with the precision of human proofreading for cost-effective and accurate results.
  • Choosing the appropriate translation service model based on the nature and importance of your content can help you strike the right balance between cost and quality.

Leveraging Bilingual Reviewers for Cost-Effective Translation Quality

While the importance of professional translation services cannot be overstated, there are instances where hiring a native speaker for a full translation may not be the most cost-effective approach. In such cases, a viable alternative is to employ bilingual reviewers for proofreading and editing tasks.

Steps to leverage bilingual reviewers for cost-effective translations-

  • Identify areas where bilingual reviewers can be effectively used.
  • Find and hire qualified bilingual reviewers with expertise in both source and target languages.
  • Establish clear guidelines and expectations for the review process.
  • Provide the bilingual reviewers with the source content and context for the translation project.
  • Review and edit the translated content for errors, fluency, cultural nuances, and context adaptation.
  • Collaborate with professional translators when necessary for optimal results.
  • Implement the reviewed changes and finalise the translated content for use.
  • Monitor the overall cost savings and quality improvement achieved through this approach.

Collaborate with Experienced Translation Providers

Selecting the right translation provider can make a significant difference in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality. Collaborate with experienced and reputed translation agencies that specialise in your industry or field. Seasoned professional translation services are often more efficient and capable of delivering high-quality translations within budget constraints.

Consider the following factors when choosing a translation provider:

  • Evaluate the qualifications and experience of the translation service agency in your target language.
  • Request quotes and compare pricing structures, keeping an eye out for any hidden fees.
  • Ask for references and review the provider's portfolio to ensure they can meet your specific needs.
  • Establishing a long-term relationship with a trusted translation provider can lead to cost savings over time as they become more familiar with your content and preferences and manage your translation memories or termbases well.


Translation is an indispensable tool for effective communication, and cost-saving strategies should not compromise the quality of your translated materials. By prioritising clear and concise source content, leveraging translation memory and glossaries, bundling and scheduling projects strategically, collaborating with experienced translation providers, etc., you can achieve cost savings without sacrificing the accuracy and effectiveness of your translated messages. You can contact LSB (Language Services Bureau) for accurate translation of your content. LSB has been enlisted as a translation agency by the Consulate General of Germany in Mumbai. Implementing these strategies will reduce translation costs and enhance your ability to reach and engage diverse audiences across linguistic boundaries.

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