3 Things About Translation Your Boss Wants To Know
In your mind it’s a done deal: Translating and localizing your web content or software will open up new markets, grow your user base faster, and is a great investment in the future of your company. But then there is your boss. He (or she) wants numbers, facts, and figures before he/she is willing to sign off on your project. As a long-time translation and localization partner, we’ve been through every part of the decision-making process with our clients and we feel pretty confident that we have a solid understanding of what you boss will want to know. Let’s have a look at three major aspects you should prepare for in order to get internal buy-in from your most important stakeholder.
1. How Much Does It Cost?
The answer is short and not very satisfying: it depends. For one, it depends on the languages. Translating into common ones like American English, Spanish, or Chinese is relatively cheap, while rare languages like Swedish or Finnish often require a premium. It also matters what is translated and for whom. If the content is easy to understand and the audience is internal, you might get away with a lower quality translation. But if your content is very technical, unique in other ways and/or if you will present the result to your customers, you want to go for a high-quality product. Depending on what content management system you use or what translation modules work with your application program interface, you might want to look into automating part of the process, saving you time and money — if not right away, then down the road. You can find more about costs for translation and localization projects in our two-part series here and here.
2. What Is the Return on Investment?
The only way to give a solid answer to this second question, is to set up well thought-out Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your project. The fact that translating and localizing is a highly subjective profession, makes it all the more important to measure the correct indicators to determine the Return on Investment (ROI). You want to keep tabs on two things: the process itself and the results. For the process you should have indicators in place that track the speed of the work (which is directly linked to your going-to-market speed) as well as the accuracy of the translation, and, of course, the costs. To find out if you are reaching your objectives, you will set up a second set of KPIs. While the number of newly acquired customers and the market share won are easy to measure, aspects like brand awareness and customer satisfaction are harder to determine and quantify. You can find a more detailed explanation on how to set up KPIs for translation and localization projects here.
3. How Do You Pick a Translation Partner?
After you’ve done your homework, you have to answer the question with the furthest reaching impact: How to pick a translation and localization partner. Before you even consider hiring a translation agency, you must understand what you need, what you want, and what you expect from the translation process. Otherwise, you run the risk of inaccurate quotes, extended timelines, or even unacceptable translations. You can boil the decision-making process down to five important questions:
- What needs to be translated?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your content style and brand voice?
- What types of services will you require?
- How do you envision your translation experience?
We’ve explored these aspects in great detail in this blog post.