If your business is heading into a new market or territory, then localizing into the area is critical. It puts you on a solid footing with the local community.
It tells clients that you care about their culture and want to understand them and become a business that operates within their local area. A business that cares about their way of life.
At LinguaLinx, we help businesses of all sizes localize into new areas. As a Language Services Provider (LSP), we know it can be daunting when heading into a new market. It can be costly, and you want to get it right.
Localizing is far more than just translating websites and marketing information. Of course, that’s part of the process, but really, it’s about integrating your business into the local population so they view you as part of them, not an outside entity.
The cost of localization can range significantly.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the major factors that make up this cost so you can better understand how to budget for localization.
How Complex is The Language of Your Target Market?
Certain languages are more complex, or rare, than others. This means they tend to cost more to translate because of the availability of local translators.
Languages have different character sets, which can make a significant difference in the localization process. For instance, languages using non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese have unique characters that may not be supported by your website or software.
This means that your localization team might need to redesign the entire interface to accommodate the new script. In some cases, they may even need to create a custom font that supports the characters.
This process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it's necessary to ensure that your localized content is legible and accessible to your target audience.
Your LSP should be able to manage this and even provide Desktop Publishing (DTP) services to take control of the whole process for you.
How Quickly Do You Need To Be Ready?
When it comes to localization, time is money. Rushing a project can lead to errors and mistakes, which can ultimately cost more in the long run.
If you need to get your content localized quickly, your LSP may need to bring in additional resources and build a bigger team to ensure your project is completed on time. This can increase costs significantly.
Alternatively, your LSP may need to pay overtime rates to their specialist translators to ensure that your project is completed on time. To avoid these additional costs, it's worth considering your translation needs early in the project lifecycle.
This will allow your LSP to plan and allocate resources effectively, enabling them to complete your project on time and on budget.
By planning ahead, you can ensure that your localized content is of the highest quality, while also saving money on unnecessary costs and expenses.
So, if you're planning to expand your business into a new market, be sure to work with an experienced LSP who can help you to plan and execute your localization project effectively.
What Industry Are You In?
Certain industries are more heavily regulated and may need specialists who are in higher demand. Financial services and medical industries tend to be more heavily regulated than others. Or maybe you have an ecommerce business with a large digital platform comprised of hundreds of pages.
If everything needs translating, in other words if you’re moving your entire product range into the new territory, then this has a financial implication.
A good question to ask at this point is – does everything need to be translated?
What Kind Of Content Do You Have?
When localizing your content, it's important to consider all types of media you have, including audio or video content. This can add an extra layer of complexity to the localization process, as it's not just about translating the words, but also adapting the visuals and audio to suit the local market.
However, it's not just about the localization process itself, there may also be additional legal considerations to take into account. For example, you may need to consider image rights and whether you have the necessary permission to use certain visuals in different markets. There may also be worldwide buyouts for anyone involved in the media content, which could result in further usage fees.
To avoid any legal issues and additional expenses, it's best to consult with your LSP to ensure all necessary permissions have been obtained and that your media content is fully localized for your target market.
By doing so, you can ensure that your content is culturally appropriate and resonates with your new audience, while also avoiding any legal implications or unexpected costs.
What Type of Translation Do You Need?
When it comes to translation, there are different options available, and it's essential to determine the best one for your content. While human translation is generally preferred for high-quality and accurate translations, machine translation can be a cost-effective solution for certain types of content.
If you have a large volume of content with a short lifespan, such as user-generated content or social media posts, then machine translation with post-editing may be suitable. However, keep in mind that machine translation can result in errors and inaccuracies, which can negatively impact your brand's reputation.
It's also essential to consider the complexity and type of content. Technical or legal content may require human translation to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.
An experienced LSP can help you determine the best type of translation for your content and provide guidance on how to optimize your translation budget.
Some Standard Translation Ballpark Costs
Cost per word for translation can vary widely,but it doesn’t help if we don’t give you at least a rough idea of cost here.
Human translation tends to range from about $0.08 to $0.25 per word depending on the complexity and type of content.
These rates tend to be for translating English into mainstream dialects of Spanish, French, Italian and the like.
If your new market is Japan or Korea, for example, you can expect the word rate to be higher than this.
Keep LOCALIZATION In Mind
We’ve talked a lot about translating, but let’s not lose focus that what we’re talking about is localization. This goes back to the culture of the region you’re moving into.
There may be political or legal sensitivities that need to be researched and considered to your content as a whole. Do you have to set up a local team? Is there any cultural testing in the area that needs to be done?
There can be hidden costs that an LSP with experience in that region can guide you through to keep you on budget.
Every localization project is different, but we hope we’ve given you a better idea of what needs to be considered. If you partner with a good LSP they will guide you through the process and will also tailor their approach to your budget. The right LSP will guide you through these and provide a project manager who’ll have experience in your industry and really get to know your business.
Get A Quote For Your Translation Project
If you’re thinking about a translation project, we’d love to sit down and talk with you about it.
Consultations are free and there’s no obligation.
With LinguaLinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting lost as it’s translated. You know you're in good hands with our ISO 17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.
Continue Learning with These Helpful Articles:
- Does My Website Need to be Translated AND Localized?
- Localization vs Translation: What's the Difference?
- Why Work with an LSP as a Long-Term Translation Partner?