There are many different resources you need to keep track of when it comes to your translation projects. One of the vital aspect to track is your translation budget. If you want all of the benefits of your translation projects at the most affordable rates possible, these 10 tips for lowering your language access costs will benefit your healthcare organization.

  1. Plan Projects In Advance To Avoid Rush Fees

Plan out your schedule to avoid rush charges which vary by project size. Be sure to differentiate between regular patient correspondence and other small jobs, marketing pieces and other medium jobs, and Evidence of Coverage documents and other large jobs. If you have an annual calendar of these jobs, you can plan the timelines for each sized job more effectively. Estimate that your translation will take about two days per file, or about 1,500 words per day. Planning appropriately keeps you within your translation budget.

  1. Use A Project Management System

At Avantpage, we encourage clients to use our online project management system, AvantFlow. AvantFlow lets you monitor your projects, request quotes, upload project files, leave special instructions and assign due dates. Using a system such as this can make your project more efficient and cost-effective, and it can provide you with detailed reports as well.

  1. Use Translation Memory

Translation Memory (TM) reuses past translations to increase translation efficiency. TM also allows multiple translators to use the same assets in real time and facilitates simultaneous medical translation in multiple languages. This streamlines the translation process and makes each subsequent translation more cost effective for you – further allowing you to maintain within your translation budget. Beyond this, the consistency across your translations will increase, giving you higher quality, and more meaningful, translated documents.

  1. Create Style Guides and Glossaries

Different opinions in writing style can create a lot of back-and-forth communication, especially if your translations are being reviewed internally. This can slow the translation process and make it more expensive. With a solid style guide and glossary that outlines your organization’s preferences and common terms, your translation team can work more quickly and affordably.

  1. Bundle Files To Avoid Minimum Fees

Avoid minimum fees on short documents by bundling your translation projects together. If the amount of text for translation is small, a minimum fee is charged instead of a per-word rate. If the same small document is translated into more than one language, the minimum fee will be applied to each language.

  1. Send The Original, Editable File

A source document, or native document, is a file that can be directly edited by your translator, created in an MS Office application, InDesign, or another editable file type.  When a language provider needs to recreate a file from a PDF document, fax or scan, it can add time and expense to your project. In order to stay within your translation budget, track down the source file saved in the file format for the program it was created in.

  1. Provide Final Files, Not In-Progress Work

Although it’s tempting to want to start a translation before you finalize the English version of the project, it is best to begin the translation process after you’ve finalized and approved the source file. In the long run, you’ll save time and reduce the mistakes that occur as a result of working with multiple source versions.

  1. Make Sure Your Internal Reviewers Are Qualified

Too often, organizations choose a bilingual employee or a non-linguist to review a translation before approving it. This well-meaning person may request incorrect changes or introduce mistakes into a professionally translated document, which can slow the process, jeopardize the deadline and add unnecessary costs. Statistically, we have seen the majority of such edits to be preferential changes rather than actual corrections, which may not present the best language option for your intended audience. Your reviewers should be qualified and instructed in how to appropriately edit your healthcare translations, use the same glossary and style guide as the translators, and be available when the project schedule requires.

  1. Submit Changes Within The Document

Save time and effort by submitting your changes electronically and avoiding handwritten notes or scans. These requests are difficult to implement, which adds time and expense to the project, not to mention the possibility of introducing human error into the process. Instead, make the changes within the files, and you’ll be more likely to stay within your translation budget.

Finally, one absolute way to increase the cost of your medical translation is to ask someone who is not qualified to do it in the first place. A bilingual employee is not a professional translator and may make mistakes regarding the accuracy and consistency of the document. By hiring a professional language service provider like Avantpage your staff stays focused on their assigned tasks while we accurately and consistently translate your message within your translation budget. If you’d like to get started on your healthcare translation projects, call us at 530-750-2040 or request a free quote.