Creating a Scalable Translation Strategy

July 10, 2023

It’s clear that translation matters in business and beyond, and as such, it’s important to balance quality translations with scalable language systems. In today’s globalized world, companies are continuously expanding their reach and engaging with diverse audiences.

Conventional, non-scalable translation programs, however, often fail to fulfill the demands of localization projects, which leads to compromised quality and inefficiencies — ultimately impacting a company’s ROI.

Let’s explore the impact of creating a scalable translation strategy and dive into actionable insights on achieving scalability while maintaining high-quality translations.

The Need to Make Your Translation Program Scalable

Companies that successfully adopt scalable translation systems have the ability to handle increasing volumes of content, diverse formats, and multiple languages while maintaining efficiency and quality.  As such, these companies witness a significant reduction in turnaround times and costs, while also achieving greater customer satisfaction. Conversely, businesses that lack this scalability struggle with delays, errors, and inconsistent translations, resulting in missed opportunities and negative customer experiences.

Orange, a renowned multinational telecommunications company with 260+ million customers worldwide, is a great example of a business that successfully scaled its translation program. The company partnered with Unbabel to localize its training program material, web content, newsletters, brochures, marketing materials, and business communications and Unbabel’s scalable translation engine translated more than 3 million words in more than 30 different language combinations for Orange. From there, the two companies built a comprehensive translation memory that could store previously translated source content. As a result, Orange could achieve consistent translations and faster turnaround times.

Making Your Translation Program Scalable

1. Workflow Automation

Streamline your translation process by automating repetitive tasks, such as file handling, content extraction, and formatting. Implementing automation tools can save time, reduce errors, and enable real-time collaboration among stakeholders. For example, Anuvu collaborated with Unbabel to automate multiple translation request processes, resulting in a 20% decrease in the average translation turnaround time.

2. Centralize Translation Management

Adopt a robust Translation Management System (TMS) to centralize and optimize your translation workflows. A TMS helps manage translation memory, glossaries, style guides, and project management, ensuring consistency and efficiency across different languages and projects.

3. Leverage Machine Translation

Embrace machine translation as a powerful tool to increase translation speed and reduce costs. While machine translation has limitations, advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) have significantly improved its accuracy. Combining machine translation with human editing can yield high-quality translations at scale. In fact, by leveraging machine translation and a wide network of human translators, Unbabel helped Hero Gaming maintain an outstanding average CSAT score of 90%.

Top Considerations When Scaling Your Translation Program

When scaling your translation program, there are several crucial considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful and efficient implementation. These include:

1. Quality Assurance

Maintaining translation quality is paramount. In order to guarantee translation quality, companies should implement rigorous quality assurance measures such as linguistic reviews, editing, and proofreading to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate translations.

2. Consistency

Establish a style guide and glossary to ensure consistency across all translated content. Consistent terminology and tone help maintain brand identity and enhance the user experience.

3. Localization Workflow

Define a streamlined localization workflow that includes content extraction, translation, editing, formatting, and final review, which can contribute to time savings and a reduction in errors. For example, Unbabel-client Photobox recently set up a base of translation filters that pull out the segments from each file that need to be translated. As translations could be ordered without human input required to select the areas for translation, Photobox was able to avoid errors and improve speed.

4. Scalable Infrastructure

Invest in a robust TMS that can handle increasing volumes of content, support multiple languages, and streamline project management. A scalable infrastructure enables efficient collaboration and centralization of translation processes.

5. Linguistic Expertise

Collaborate with professional translators who are native speakers and have expertise in the target languages and subject matter to ensure accurate and contextually appropriate translations.  For example, Unbabel relied on the expertise of its own AI-powered tech combined with its proprietary human translation network to successfully achieve a 111% survey completion rate within a two-week turnaround time.

6. Technology Integration

Integrate translation tools, machine translation, and other relevant technologies into your workflow. Adopting tools like automation and AI can significantly enhance scalability while maintaining translation quality. TuneIn, a leading streaming audio platform with 75M+ active users, experienced a 14% cost savings by switching to Unbabel’s AI-powered machine translation engine.

7. Stakeholder Communication

Establish clear communication channels with stakeholders, including translators, project managers, and content creators. Clearly define expectations, deliverables, and timelines to ensure smooth collaboration and alignment.

8. Scalable Pricing Models

Explore flexible pricing models that align with the scalability of your translation program. Consider volume-based pricing, subscription plans, or partnerships with language service providers to optimize costs.

Why Translation Automation Works

Automation in translation processes offers numerous benefits such as accelerated translation times, reduction in manual errors, and seamless integration with other systems through APIs. More importantly, businesses have successfully implemented automation to achieve scalability. For instance, Amazon utilizes automation to translate product listings, enabling them to expand their market reach rapidly.

That said, it is important to acknowledge the pitfalls of relying solely on machine translation. Automated translation processes can sometimes produce inaccurate or contextually inappropriate translations, which can harm your brand reputation and this is where Unbabel comes into play.

Unbabel combines the power of machine translation with quality estimation technologies and a crowd of human translators to ensure scalable, accurate translations while maintaining a human touch. By leveraging AI-driven quality estimation, Unbabel can assess and improve the quality of machine-translated content, guaranteeing consistent and high-quality translations at scale.

Build a Scalable Translation Program with Unbabel

Creating a scalable translation strategy is essential for businesses aiming to reach a global audience and provide localized content effectively. By implementing workflow automation, centralizing translation management, and leveraging the power of machine translation, companies can achieve scalability without compromising quality.

With Unbabel’s innovative approach to translation, businesses can take advantage of a powerful toolset to streamline your translation processes and contribute to your scalable translation strategy. By optimizing your translation workflows and ensuring accurate translations, you can deliver exceptional customer experiences while at the same time expanding your business’s global footprint.

Request a demo to see how Unbabel can help you scale your translation program or to see Unbabel live in action!

About the Author

Profile Photo of Jessica Florez
Jessica Florez

Jessica Florez is the Senior Content Strategist at Unbabel. She has 10 years of proven success in content marketing strategy and development to build business brands, support global sales teams, drive demand for products and services. She boasts a wide range of expertise in both B2B + B2C integrated marketing roles, for industries that include financial services, healthcare, tech (SaaS), and tour & travel. She earned her BA from the University of Central Florida, and her MFA from Hofstra University.