How to Save Money When You Order a Translation: Tip #3 Provide a Friendly Format for Translation​

Tip Number Three: Provide a Friendly Format for Translation

After you have optimized your content or have identified the items you need to translate, the next step is to submit to your provider the materials in the friendliest format possible in order to save money when you order a translation. This simple but often overlooked step can make a big difference to the total cost as you will avoid paying for formatting and layout work that is usually charged by the hour. So what is the friendliest format?

The friendliest format of all is, of course, Microsoft Word. Your translation provider can work directly on it or use it seamlessly together with its computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool. It is quick, easy and it saves time! Microsoft Excel or Power Point Presentations are also friendly formats but some providers might charge a higher rate to work with them as it is a little bit more challenging to work with a CAT tool.

In order to save money when you order a translation, above all you want to avoid submitting handwritten documents, scanned documents, PDF documents or documents that are in a “read only” mode. You need to do this because these formats are obviously not editable and would require extra effort and time to typeset and make them editable before starting translation. This is time your provider will charge for, usually by the hour.

This is assuming of course that you just want the translation of the text and you are not interested in Desktop Publishing services that make the translated document mirror the layout of the original document.

In addition to creating room for error, it can take a long time to transcribe handwritten or scanned documents as they are usually hard to ready or grainy. In the case of PDFs, the translation provider will have to extract the text and recreate its proper layout in MSWord before staring translation. This task is usually done manually because many PDF converters do not necessarily work well especially when there is a lot of layout involved. This kind of work is done in the best-case scenario with professional DTP packages (i.e. InDesign, QuarkXpress, Frame Maker, or PageMaker), or lower level DTP apps (i.e. Microsoft Publisher, Serif PagePlus, freeware Scribus) in the worse-case scenario. Most often these converters produce unaligned texts that cannot be used directly with CAT tools or in MSWord unless the format and the order of paragraphs are fixed.

In short, making every effort to provide your translation provider with an editable file for translation will save significant time and money.

Language Concepts Consulting is a boutique provider of multilingual translation services. Languages we translate from and into include: English, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and many more. We partner with organizations looking to penetrate and/or serve the multicultural markets in the USA, and Latin America. We provide native-quality and culturally-sensitive translations that get our client’s message across and resonates with their target audience.

For more information, please give us a call at 480.626.2926 or visit us at

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