How Do Startups Manage Translations?

How do startups become successful? It is by scoping, scaling, and strategizing from the very start so that every part of the company can be optimized for faster growth.

This includes translation and localization services. And the preparations for that start even before you find a suitable translation agency. It is also about understanding that every part of your message, content and platform, should be adapted to suit a region in every way form text to colors and images.

Here is a run-down of some of the key items to keep in mind as a startup planning to enlist the services of a translation agency.

Why professional translations matter for startups

  • The challenges of terminology management and cultural adaptation: getting a generic translation is not enough. You will need a professional Language Service Provider (LSP) who can manage your terminology effectively, store them in a translation tool and translation memory, and leverage native experts in order to make the best linguistic and cultural choices.
  • Benefit from translation workflows that boost efficiency: top-notch LSPs will make use of translation tools and a Translation management System so that the entire translation process is streamlined and infused with various stages of Quality Assurance.
  • Get technical as well as linguistic expertise: next to great linguist, you will also need localization engineers who can ensure the technical potency of your product. This can be especially useful for startups, since LSPs with both technical and linguistic authority, can also advise on the best practices to increase the chance of international success.

How to prepare for translation & localization services to save time and money

Scalability matters to every startup! This is how you make sure you never overpay and keep your own strategies and goals aligned.

  • Scope your project and know what you can and need to budget for
  • Do your research and determine the best regions to expand into.
  • Create a glossary and style guide: a glossary is a list of technical and brand-specific terminology and their approved translations. The style guide will inform the translators of your stylistic and linguistic preferences regarding each translation.
  • Offer context as much as possible: other than a glossary and style guide, you should offer as many notes as you want to the strings, so the context is clear. Especially when dealing with highly technical content. You can even go further than that and if you have a mobile game or app, for example, allow the linguists to download it so they can truly understand the voice and purpose of your product.
  • Use simple language and avoid jargon, if possible: in order to simplify the translation process, try to use simple language as much as you can. If you need colorful phrases to deliver the message you want, no worries. Qualified vendors will give it the cultural twist it needs, but mind that such translations take longer.
  • Allow for text expansion: did you know that a German translation of an English source text can take up around 30 percent more space? This is why, especially when you have a project that includes tables and buttons, you should allow for this space up front so that technical issues can be avoided.
  • Confirm the use of in-country natives as professionals: make sure your vendor uses them exclusively since this is the only way you will connect with your audience effectively.
  • Confirm the use of the above-mentioned tools so the workflow can be streamlined.

Learn more

Read all about how you can create the ideal translation budget for 2021

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Learn about the translation tools used by qualified vendors

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