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Planning a Translation Project? Here’s How


4 min read

Written by


Stephanie Harris

Published on

01 Sep 2022

Here’s the short answer to the question, “How do I plan a translation project?”

The key to a successful translation process is the project scope document. You’ll use this with your language partner to create a timeline and budget for the project. If you don’t have a partner yet, it will help you get accurate quotes from the partners you are considering.

Think of the project scope document as a combination of a wish list and a project plan. Consider asking the following four questions of your team to get started.

Question 1: What will you localize, and who are the end readers or users?

Your content types and audience will influence the translation process. A website translation might benefit from additional technology for integration. A marketing ad might need a specialized copywriter. These sorts of additions will impact the timeline and costs.

Describe the source content format and how you plan to deliver it to your language partner. Will some of your content be images that contain text? Then you’ll want to provide an editable version of the file so they can insert translated text into images. Also let your partner know how you want the localized content delivered to you once it’s finished.

Question 2: When do you need the current project completed?

Beyond the types of service adjustments, you may need a project plan that builds in extra quality assurance measures to meet your industry standards. Or one that adds local independent review.

Plan time for these.

Question 3: What is your estimated word count and budget?

Most translation is priced by the word (there are some exceptions for very creative content).  A total word count estimate will help you and your language partner calculate ballpark costs.

Question 4: What level of communication do you need?

Do you need constant access to the localization project while it is in progress? Checks at certain scheduled points? Independent domain expert review? Make the wish list now so you can design a translation process that works for your needs.

Some extra tips:

  • Provide as much information as you can. In this case, more really is better.
  • Ask your translation partner to help you spot opportunities for reducing immediate and ongoing costs. This can be things like automation, content optimization. And if you want to know the price difference between a rush project and business as usual, ask.
  • Be clear and honest about your timeline, no matter how ambitious it is. If it creates issues or expenses, quality translation partners will tell you that. If you’re looking to reduce translation and localization costs, explore whether timeline and workflow modifications can help you do that.
  • Find out if you can change the process. Your translation partner has a carefully calibrated process, but you may need something tailored to your business goals. If they can’t or won’t adjust the process, they may be signaling that your project won’t be getting a personalized approach.

This should give you a good start on planning your translation project. For a more in-depth look, download our eBook “Planning a Translation & Localization Project” below.  If you have any questions, reach out.

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Planning a Translation and Localization Project

Translation and Localization projects require a good bit of planning to be successful. Download the eBook to learn the best planning strategies for your projects. Download
Planning a Translation Project? Here’s How

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