How To Calculate Turn Around Time For A Translation Project
When it comes to translation projects, estimating the turnaround time is an important factor to consider. Several pieces come into play that can impact the timeline of a translation project, such as the number of words, content complexity, review process, PDF documents, and more. In this article, we will explore some tips and considerations to help you calculate the time frame for your translation project, providing you with the necessary tools to estimate the time frame for your translation project. Keep in mind that while there is no one-size-fits-all answer, taking these factors into account can help you get a rough estimate of how long it will take to get your translation job completed.
1) Content in Editable Files
A very large part of the estimate is based on the number of words in the source materials for translation. Many companies have spreadsheets, Word docs, HTML files, or the like for translation. When you have editable files for translation, it is easier to estimate translation of these materials. One good and experienced translator can produce no less than 2,000/2,500 words per day. They can translate much more, of course, depending on several factors, for instance, if they use translation tools, if there is an existing memory for the same client, if they are very familiar with the client content, etc. If you have a 4,000 word doc, you can safely estimate the first draft could be ready in 2 days. (Keep in mind this does NOT mean the final product, but the first iteration of the translated writing.)
2) Content Complexity
If the material for translation is highly specialized or includes new findings, it could take a little longer to do research and translate even by experienced translators. For example, scientific or technical documents, legal contracts, medical reports, and financial statements are all examples of specialized content that may require additional research by the translator. Such content may contain industry-specific jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations that require in-depth knowledge and understanding.
Moreover, if the material involves transcreation or is intended for a specific audience in a particular region, then localization and dialect may also be critical factors to consider. Localization involves adapting the content to suit the cultural and linguistic nuances of the target audience. For example, in translating a marketing message for a product or service, it may be necessary to consider the cultural references, humor, and idioms that resonate with the target audience. Similarly, dialect may also play a crucial role, especially when translating content into languages with regional variations, such as Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese.
Thus, the complexity of the content to be translated can significantly impact the translation process's timeline, particularly when research is necessary to ensure accurate and effective translation. Specialized content, translocation, localization, and dialect are all factors to consider when estimating the time required for translation.
3) Review Process
To produce high quality translations that are ready for printing and/or online
publication, the first draft of the translation is not always enough. Specially, when the projects
are very large and involve several pieces, for instance, forms, email letter, invitations,
brochures, surveys, websites, etc. Reliable, professional and experienced language service
providers know that assigning a translation editor/reviewer for the whole project is key to
produce high quality translations. The editor will not only review the translation for accuracy
and make the necessary corrections, but will double check the Style Guide, Glossary, and any
instructions given by the client were followed. To be able to estimate a translation time frame,
you need to factor in the review process. An experienced editor can review up to 8,000 words a day.
4) PDFs Documents
It is also important to check if you will have PDF versions for translation and if you would like the same layout back in the translated version. This service is called multilingual graphic design or DTP service. For a translation time frame, besides the actual translation, you have to consider how many hours it will take a vendor to produce the same layout. You can ask your internal designer or the company that did the design for you and use that amount of hours as a reference. If you provide the translation agency with all of the source files, for instance, in design, you can estimate that the in-language version would take at least half time. It could take double, if the translation vendor has to re-create it from scratch.
5) Tag Lines and Ad Copies
These pieces may be one sentence long; however, a creative translation can take from 1 to even 8 hours depending on your needs, i.e cultural adaptation, etc.
So How Does This All Add Up?
In conclusion, estimating the turnaround time for a translation project is a crucial aspect of project planning. By considering the number of words, content complexity, review process, PDF documents, and tag lines and ad copies, you can get a rough estimate of how long it will take to complete your translation project. It's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer, as each project is unique and requires a customized approach. Professional language service providers can help you accurately estimate the turnaround time of your project and ensure high-quality translations. By taking the time to carefully estimate the project timeline, you can avoid delays and ensure a successful outcome.
To explore how Language Concepts’ translation services can benefit you, feel free to visit us online.