Translating your content from its original to the target language involves many steps, from hiring the right linguists to multiple editing rounds and fact-checking for localized accuracy. Managing these steps can be complex and time-consuming.

But that’s where centralized translation comes in. Centralizing your translation workflow can help you save money, work more efficiently, get higher-quality translations and even increase your customer base. Keep reading for seven steps to centralizing translation projects.

Why do you need to centralize your translation projects?

Business people and manager working on a centralized translation project

As global marketers know, translation is extremely important to reaching your target markets across different countries and languages. Providing content in your audiences’ language improves customer satisfaction, customer experience and even brand loyalty. 

However, the translation process can become inefficient and inconsistent, particularly when working with multiple languages. Why is that? 

Working with so many different people—translators, linguists and local offices—can lead to translation being managed in a patchwork, scattered way, leading to missed opportunities. 

Translation is not a quick process. Managers must first identify the content that needs to be translated (and into which languages), find and brief translators and then review and approve the translated materials. Each step leaves room for errors and inefficiencies. 

The consequences of not properly managing this process are severe:

  • Inconsistent translations of company slogans and terms can result in a confusing and disjointed customer journey. 
  • Repeated translations of the same content drive up costs. 
  • Inconsistent content delivery strains resources and complicates localization management.

For this reason, global marketers are looking for ways to streamline and optimize their entire translation process.

“Finding linguists, ensuring they have the right profile and testing their skills can be very time-consuming. VeraContent can do all of this for our clients, so they don’t have to.”

Fernando Wierna, Project Manager at VeraContent

See also: Marketing translation: Engaging audiences in their own language

Centralized translation: 7 steps to streamline your processes

the VeraContent team hard at work

Here are seven steps to centralize your translation management.

1. Assess your current translation workflow

Assessing your current translation workflow is a crucial first step toward streamlining your processes. Start by identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and gather feedback from your team on challenges they face. 

Evaluate the available tools and resources and decide if they meet your current and future needs. This assessment will clearly identify areas for improvement, setting the foundation for a more efficient and centralized translation system.

2. Partner with a reliable translation agency

Partnering with a reliable translation agency ensures high-quality and consistent translations. At VeraContent, we specialize in working with global brands and offer a seamless translation experience. 

We provide access to a network of skilled linguists and manage the entire translation process, from initial translation to final revisions. Book a call with our team to learn more!

Ready to grow your brand globally

What is a centralized translation service? 

It’s a service that provides a single point for managing all your translation assets and linguists, streamlining the process and saving you time and money.

Centralized translation providers offer services such as finding translators and linguists, coordinating projects and consolidating resources. They ensure that linguists work in the target language and have the right profile and skills for the task. These providers handle the entire translation process, including edits and final revisions, reducing the need for your company to be involved in every step.

3. Select a centralized translation platform

Choosing a centralized translation platform is essential for managing your resources effectively and ensuring a smooth translation process. A Translation Management System (TMS) is a crucial tool for this purpose. It centralizes resources and project management, streamlining workflows, improving collaboration and even automating some processes to reduce human error.

A TMS typically includes features such as:

  • Terminology management: This system stores specific words and phrases, like slogans or product names, with their standard translations. It ensures that translators know which terms need specific translations and which do not, promoting consistency and ease in translation.
  • Translation style guides: These guides maintain consistency in voice, writing style, sentence structure and terminology usage. They include reference materials, descriptions of target personas and guidelines for company voice and tone, helping translators deliver content that aligns with your brand’s identity. It should also contain usage guides for spelling, capitalization, whether you use first, second, or third-person voice, wordplay such as slang or puns, culturally specific references, slogans, tenses and trademarked or copyrighted items.

“At VeraContent, we have style guides for all of our clients, where we keep the feedback we get from our editors. Even though each language has its particularities, having one company that does translations in all of a client’s languages means that all of their translations follow the same guidelines and share the same formatting and tone of voice.”

Aurélie Berson, Project Manager at VeraContent
  • Translation memories (TMs): A TM is a database of all previously translated content linked to the original language content. It allows for automatic translation of previously translated phrases in new projects, saving time and ensuring consistency.

Access to a TMS is one of the biggest benefits of working with a professional translation agency, as they will already have it set up, and their linguists will be familiar with how to use it. At VeraContent, we use Phrase as our chosen TMS for all clients.

See also: Best translation management software to manage your workflow

4. Define a consistent translation glossary

A consistent translation glossary is essential for maintaining accuracy and uniformity across all translated content—plus, it helps to speed up the translation projects. A TMS helps implement this by storing and managing commonly used terms.

For example, if the English-to-French TM knows that “black cat” translates to “chat noir,” it will automatically translate it to “chat noir” every time it receives a document containing the phrase. 
Even with new content, TMs can show translators similar, previously translated phrases so the translators can work faster and more easily.

5. Implement a centralized review process

Human review and approval are crucial for ensuring accuracy and quality, even with a TMS. A centralized review process allows you to use a TMS’s efficiency and consistency while maintaining a high-quality standard through human oversight. 

This process builds on previous translation work and maintains brand consistency across all projects. The more you translate, the more efficient your TMS becomes, but human reviewers ensure that each translation meets your brand’s standards and contextual accuracy.

Here’s just one way we ensure translation accuracy in our review process:

“We use external spreadsheets showing line-by-line translations from the source language to the target language with clients and linguists. These documents make it very easy for our clients to copy and paste exactly what they need into their different assets, and it saves a lot of time and energy if anything comes up, particularly in languages the client has no experience with.”

Aurélie Berson, Project Manager at VeraContent

6. Automate workflows and manage resources

Using specific tools can help you automate repetitive tasks such as assigning projects to translators, tracking progress and generating reports. 

For example, a TMS can automatically send a new document to the appropriate linguist based on their expertise and availability, reducing the manual effort required to manage assignments. 

Automated notifications and updates keep all stakeholders informed, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow. This automation saves time and allows your team to focus on higher-value tasks, like analyzing and optimizing your global marketing strategy.

It’s also important to keep a clean and updated database of linguists to reach out to as and when new projects arise. At VeraContent, we keep a large database of linguists specializing in multiple languages and industries. 

See also: AI translation: Helpful tool or just plagiarism in disguise?

7. Monitor and optimize performance

Managing multiple tools may seem daunting, but that’s where a professional centralized translation service excels. They handle all these systems, ensuring they’re properly implemented so you don’t have to. 

The more you work with a translation agency, the more familiar they become with your needs. They can optimize these tools for better performance. Regular monitoring and adjustments ensure that your translation processes remain efficient and effective, ultimately improving the quality and consistency of your content.

How does centralized translation help global marketers?

Outsourcing content writing to the VeraContent team

Here are a few reasons why working with a professional translation agency is the best way to centralize translation management in your marketing department.

Increase in translation quality

Centralizing all of your language assets onto one platform ensures you have a single “truth.” All linguists use the most up-to-date and correct terminology in their assignments. 

“When we start working with a new client, we first try and find any resources they already have in their target language. For example, social media, websites or internal guidelines to narrow down their tone of voice and how they’re already speaking to their audience.”

Aurélie Berson, Project Manager at VeraContent

A translation agency ensures you have the best possible linguists working on your projects. As they specialize in linguist recruitment, they know not only when a linguist has the correct skills, but the right skills for your business needs. They have the time, resources and network to run skills tests and review samples to get the best possible workers for the job, resulting in higher-quality translations.

More efficient translations

Translation is a time-consuming process that has a high potential for human error. Centralized translation allows for better coordination and automation of tasks. 

With a database of past translations, linguists don’t have to start from scratch every time, ensuring key terms are consistently translated. A centralized provider offers better oversight of project timelines, workload distribution and capacity planning, leading to more efficient coordination. 

This results in faster turnaround times, allowing you to localize and publish quality content more quickly.

“One of the main advantages our clients see is convenience. They have one point of contact that works with the linguists for all their target languages. Even if these companies already had teams of linguists for all their target languages, they would still need to reach out to them, which is time-consuming. For them, the fact that they can just email me and say, ‘Hey, we need this translated into these languages,’ and then it gets done, is so much easier.”

Aurélie Berson, Project Manager at VeraContent

Improved collaboration

Centralized translation provides a unified point of contact that allows all teams and departments involved in translation to coordinate and collaborate more effectively. 

Streamlined workflows reduce time spent explaining your company’s style to new linguists or approving the same translation multiple times. Consolidating all projects and deadlines into one system makes it easier to track progress.

Plus, working with a single vendor allows for a closer relationship, allowing them to understand your company’s and industry’s specific needs. They can effectively create and manage shared translation resources, standardizing and streamlining your processes. As the relationship grows, translations become more efficient and consistent while maintaining high quality.

“When working with our clients, we always ask them to give us as much context and visual information as possible. Is this content going in a regular email or a social media post? Is there a character limit? When we establish everything from the beginning, it makes the whole workflow more streamlined and eliminates a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth.”

Aurélie Berson, Project Manager at VeraContent

Security and compliance

Security and compliance may not be considered when thinking about global translation, but they’re extremely important. 

Streamlining mitigates the likelihood of human error. Having just one vendor manage your translation assets lessens the chance of misplacing essential files or not updating files with your company’s latest translations or standards. 

Cost-effectiveness

A centralized translation service can have a high upfront price, so it may not seem like an obviously cost-effective option. However, all the advantages we’ve mentioned ultimately work together to save you time and money. 

Having an agency manage your translations allows you to localize more content faster and shift your focus from localization to your campaigns. You’ll have more time to focus on how to best attract your target audiences, which will ultimately pay off with more customers and revenue.

“For our client PopSockets, finding linguists in Scandinavian languages can be challenging given the availability of people in those languages. They also need two linguists for each language for first and second edits, further complicating things. By taking over their localization process, we were able to free up their time so they can focus on marketing campaigns to attract new customers.”

Fernando Wierna, Project Manager at VeraContent

See also: Why outsourcing translation services actually saves money

Customer satisfaction

As previously mentioned, good translation is critical to your success as a global brand. Customers generally prefer seeing promotional content in their own language. Even in B2B industries, research has shown that sales reps now only account for 5% of the B2B customer journey, and 75% of B2B purchases prefer a rep-free buying experience. 

Content—be it on your website, social media, online ads or other sources—has become the most important piece of your digital marketing puzzle, and you need it readily available in all your target languages. Creating consistent, high-quality content for all of your audiences contributes to their seeing your brand as authentic and trusting it. 

Adapting your content to your different target audiences is one of the most challenging parts of being a global marketer. Download our free worksheet to help your content team adapt your strategies to new markets:

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Let’s centralize your translation management

Translation is a necessary but complex process in global marketing. Using centralized translation, instead of managing all the pieces of your translation yourself, saves you money and time. Your time can be better spent finding new ways to attract your target audience and acquire more customers.

A global social media agency like VeraContent can manage all your translation needs. Book a call with our team today to see if you qualify for a Free Content Consultation.