Did You Know . . . Every Time You Make the Smallest Change it Affects Translation?

Many people aren’t aware that by fixing a typo or changing the text from “don’t” to “do not” they are affecting how translation software looks at and matches the text. Something as simple as a comma can change a 100% match in your translation memory to a fuzzy match.

These minor cosmetic changes don’t seem like a lot. It cost you $0.16 to make those two changes, no problem. Except . . . your manual is 200 pages long and 167 of those pages have similar types of changes. Now that $0.16 additional cost is around $26.72 and that is just for 1 language. Multiply that by 32 languages and it is an additional cost for translation of just over $855.

CAT (computer aided translation) tools/software programs rely on matching EXACTLY what has been translated in the past. It thinks logically: it matches, it is close (fuzzy match) or it doesn’t match at all. In fact, most base how significant the change is by the length of the sentence or phrase that has been changed. For instance changing “Don’t touch cord” to “Do not touch cord” can change it from a 100% match to a no match, increasing the cost of the changes from $0.16 to $.24 (a 50% increase).

Please make sure that if you are updating a document to limit any unnecessary changes to the document. Resist the urge to “improve” the existing document. It is human nature to try to enhance an existing document but if that document is going out for translation, it may significantly add to the bottom line cost.

This also goes for cosmetic changes to the text. If you are adding bold, italics, underline, making it all caps, making it all lowercase, changing the font, or changing the initial cap to a lowercase letter it will also impact the cost for translating the text.

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