How are Translation and Localization Project Rates Calculated

How are Translation and Localization Project Rates Calculated?

It’s always important to keep budget top of mind when planning a translation or localization project and it’s equally important to understand how pricing for these types of projects work. Translation rates are usually represented with a number, but the truth is that underneath this number there are many layers that contribute to it. It’s worthwhile to understand what is actually being covered with any given rate, as this will vary from vendor to vendor.

Keep reading for insight into seven factors that can influence translation and localization rates.

Source Word Count

One of the main factors that influences pricing for translation or localization projects is the word count of the source document or the page count when the word count is not available (for example, in a scanned PDF). But in general, rates are always calculated per word and per language.

Languages and Specialties

Translating into some languages can be more expensive than others. This is because in some language combinations, professional translators are scarce. For example, translating English into Japanese may be less expensive than translating Vietnamese into Japanese. When English is involved, there’s a high chance the rate will be lower as there will be more availability of trained linguists.

Another aspect to consider here is the subject matter of the content. Highly specialized content will be more expensive to translate than something more general. For example, in the case of simulation video games, you may have farming simulators, fishing simulators, flight simulators, etc. So not only do you have to think about finding a qualified translator in a given language, you also need to consider the fact that they are trained in a specific field. Some specialties (particularly in a rare language combination) cost much more than others due to their technical nature or the scarcity of professional translators that have that unique expertise.


How quickly the project needs to be completed also affects the rate. If there is a short timeline, the translator will likely have to work long hours in order to meet the deadline—which can increase costs. In the case of a very big project, the work will likely have to be managed by several linguists, and then reviewed by an editor or proofreader to make sure everything is consistent. There’s also the challenge of finding linguists that have the availability to work with a tight deadline.


Your project may consist of thousands of words or just a few lines. When the content that needs translation amounts to a few thousand words, the cost may be calculated using the final word count or the content may be run through a CAT tool in order to analyze how many matches or repetitions it has. Using CAT tools is a great way of optimizing a localization budget, as you will pay less for content that is repeated.

Typically, a CAT tool analysis report will divide matches into:

  • 0 – 74 % Match
  • 75 – 94 % Match
  • 95 – 99 % Match
  • 100 % Match and Repetitions

It’s worth noting that when you have a loose string of only a few words, a minimum flat rate may apply.

Desktop Publishing Needs

Your content may be a simple Word document with plain text or a highly formatted PDF with tables and graphics. If the intention is that the final document looks exactly the same, then a Desktop Publishing Specialist will need to work on all the non-editable images and adjust formatting so that everything looks polished. You need to be aware of the fact that some languages expand significantly. This means the exact original design will very likely not work for the translated version. A formatting fee may also apply depending on the characteristics of each project.

Quality Assurance Process

In the translation industry, the TEP (translating, editing, and proofreading) process is most often the standard approach to a translation or localization project. A translation plus an editing and proofreading step can guarantee a high-quality deliverable, but in some cases these three steps won’t be necessary and in others more QA steps are recommended.

For example, once the translation has undergone DTP, a Post Layout Review is recommended to make sure no typos or other issues (such as segmentation) were introduced during the design step. If you’re working with highly creative content, then doing a back translation to make sure the message intention is kept may be a good idea. Or in the case of a website a testing step where a linguist actually navigates the website like a user would and flags any instance where something is off can provide a lot of value.

Project Management

As you can see, translation projects are not as simple as they may seem at first glance. There are multiple aspects to be considered and a lot of coordination and management is required to execute a localization or translation project successfully. In projects that are big in volume, involve a number of languages, and have complex workflows, a project management fee may apply. This fee provides the translation team with the resources they need to bring a project manager on board to oversee the project and to ensure that the workflow runs smoothly.

The Takeaway

Translation prices and schedules are always project-specific. Discussing the characteristics of your project with your localization partner will guarantee that the rates you’re offered are in line with your project’s needs and provide a customized service.

How to Select a Localization Partner  - Portada

How to Select a Localization Partner 

Localization projects are big undertakings, but they can really help your products stand out in a new target market. Finding the right localization partner can make the whole process easier and more effective.  
It can be helpful to keep the following characteristics in mind when choosing a localization partner.  

Target Market Expertise 

Ideally, your localization partner will have experience localizing content for your specific target markets or any target markets you hope to enter in the near future.  

Localization Process 

Look for a localization partner with a well-defined localization process in place that achieves consistency and takes advantage of prior translation work to translate new projects more effectively and to help stop unnecessary problems from arising.  


A strong localization partner will take advantage of tools that enable automation to ensure everyone can work faster and more effectively. Additionally, the localization company you are considering should have the ability of integrating easily to your tools and workflows through APIs. 

QA Process 

The localization partner will ideally follow a well-defined testing process that incorporates both linguistic and visual testing into their workflow. It can also be helpful to work with someone who is able to do functional testing in case that need should ever arise. 

Technical Expertise 

You will want to work with a localization partner who can demonstrate a strong technical experience in regard to tools such as development technologies, software file formats, desktop publishing software, and help systems. 

Project Management 

Localization projects are complex and involve a lot of different players and components. Having a streamlined project management process can help keep a localization project running smoothly

Update Management 

Updates are often needed in the midst of a project and after a project commences. You want to work with a localization partner who is comfortable quickly implementing changes mid-project and post-project as needed. 

Domain Expertise 

It can be extremely helpful to work with a localization partner who has a similar domain expertise as you or who works in the same industry (such as healthcare or education). Having the ISO 17100 standard is also very beneficial, as one of its requirements is that the translators working on the projects have a degree in translation or a certification. If you select a localization partner who is ISO 17100 certified, then you can trust they work with well-trained translators. 


The right localization partner for you will be one who enlists trained translators who are native speakers of your target language. Working with native speakers will make your localized content sound more natural to your target audience.   


Look for a localization partner who can provide you with key interim deliverables such as a translation glossary, style guide, and translation memory at no extra cost, and in portable formats. 


Last, but certainly not least, you want to work with a localization partner who has integrity and makes you feel comfortable that they will properly communicate about what they need to complete the project well and in a timely manner

Questions to Ask 

When interviewing potential localization partners, it can be helpful to ask the following questions: 

  • What distinguishes your company from your competitors?  
  • What specific services does your company offer? 
  • Does the company have any areas of specialty
  • What is the project manager turnover rate?  
  • Will we work with the same project manager consistently? 
  • What does your translator selection process look like?  
  • Can we expect the same translators to work on future projects?  

Taking your time to find a localization partner vs a just localization vendor is your best chance at project success. You may even want to consider conducting training sessions with the localization service provider to train the team on the specificities of your product.  

Is There a Standard Localization Process on the LSP Side - Portada

Is There a Standard Localization Process on the LSP Side?

Localization is always a complex process and before any localization project can kick off there’s a lot of moving pieces to organize. Having a properly designed localization process on the LSP side can keep things running smoothly from start to finish and make sure no important details slip through the cracks.

Here’s what a strong localization process looks like.

Step 1. Discovery and Analysis

The localization process usually starts with onboarding talks in which someone from the LSP (either the Business Development Manager, the Account Manager or the Localization Project Manager) assesses the needs of the client and strives to learn more about the client’s product.

They will attempt to find out if the client uses specific tools or has processes in place on their side with the goal of determining how these assets would integrate with those of the LSP. In case an integration is not an option, the LSP can suggest alternatives or find ways to adapt to the clients’ processes.

Before a project can kick off, the LPM must make a thorough analysis and have a clear understanding of what the needs and goals of the project are. This step is key if the localization project is to be a smooth one.

Some of the information that the LPM needs to consider includes the following:

Once all of those elements, and any others needed to begin are clear, they can move to the next step which is workflow design.

Step 2. Workflow Design

According to the characteristics of the project, a localization process can have a localization, editing and proofreading step. However, this is not always the case. It’s up to the client to determine how many rounds of quality assurance will be performed.

Nevertheless, once the process is completed, implementation comes next. Depending on the CAT tool chosen, implementation can be done automatically or manually. At this point, the client has a localized product, but the natural final step would be to perform an LQA check. This means that the LSP—or a different vendor—reviews the localized version of the product and flags any bugs. These bugs can be found in the localized text (such as a typo or missing comma), or may be bugs created after the implementation (like overflowing text). This final step is crucial to launch with the certainty that bugs won’t appear later on and cause unwanted delays.

Step 3. Learning and Adjusting

Adaptability is key. Localization processes are always complex and frequently require adjustments to accommodate changes in copy, scope, budget, and turnaround times. As a localization project progresses, it usually becomes evident which steps have room for improvement and what things need to be changed. These learnings are very important and should be documented and shared with everyone involved, as they will be invaluable for future localization projects for the client.

The Takeaway

There’s no such thing as a standard localization process because each client, project, or product is different (an app, an e-learning course, a video game, etc.). There are some steps that are shared, but the client’s unique set of needs will shape the overall process.

What is Multimedia Localization - Portada

What is Multimedia Localization?

When it comes to content, consumers expect more than ever these days. They are overloaded with content and it can be hard for brands to compete for their notice. Having engaging content is key and one of the best ways to catch and keep the attention of a target audience is to create multimedia content. When you take that content to a new market, you need to take things a step further with localization.

This is where multimedia localization comes in.

What is Multimedia?

The term multimedia refers to communications made up of multiple forms of content like audio, text, video, graphics, photographs, or animations. These days, you can find multimedia being used in virtually every industry for advertisements, entertainment, education, art, and more.

It’s easy to see why multimedia content has such a large international appeal—it’s engaging.

Multimedia content provides brands with higher conversions and can help make a product competitive in an international market. For example, video content is known to convert better than other forms of media and that video content can become even more engaging with the addition of audio and text.

How Multimedia and Localization Collide

How can brands make the most of their multimedia content when launching in new markets? By localizing it. Localizing multimedia content means adapting it so that it has the same effect as the original content in the target language. Instead of simply translating written or audio content, all elements of a piece of content are considered—including graphics. The local culture is taken into consideration, not just the language used.

It’s important to localize multimedia content and audiences engage and convert better when the content is localized.

The following services are frequently a part of the multimedia localization process:

  • Transcription of an original audio
  • Script translation
  • Subtitle creation
  • Dubbing
  • Voice-overs
  • Production of audio and video
  • Creation of animated elements
  • Localization engineering

Any multimedia project can benefit from localization—from ad campaigns to online tools to video games to e-learning materials.

It’s worth noting that multimedia localization presents unique challenges compared to simple direct translations. To start, multimedia content has various restrictions due to the fact that you’re balancing multiple forms of media at once. For example, when you translate text into another language it may become significantly longer in its new form. This is especially common when translating English into a different language. If the text is featured on a graphic that was designed to house less text, this can lead to needing design changes or to writing new copy that fits with the design. If this text appears on-screen at a certain point, and an audio narration accompanies it, this also needs to be adjusted so that everything is in sync.

The Takeaway

The appeal of multimedia is that it creates an immersive experience. If the content is not properly localized for the audience you’re targeting, you risk shattering that immersivity. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and money to launch a product, campaign, or piece of content in a new audience for it to fall flat simply.

Three important Aspects about Localization Project Management

Three important Aspects about Localization Project Management

Working as a localization project manager requires a unique set of skills. Let’s take a closer look at the three most important aspects of localization project management to better understand where these skills come into play. 


All localization project managers need to be able to communicate effectively in order to make sure their team understands the goals and needs of a localization project. It’s important that localization project managers provide comprehensive notes to their team to ensure that the wrong content does not get translated. 

Because localization requires incorporating countless details, project localization managers need to be able to communicate what those details are as they evolve over the life of a project. Alongside communicating with the client and their team they may also need to communicate with external partners. It’s especially important that a localization project manager is able to effectively communicate client feedback to their team. 

How these communications can transpire vary and can happen over email, FTP, extranet, telephone, as well as in on-site meetings and through online databases.


For the localization process to be a success, the technical aspects of it need to be clear before the project even begins. Because of this, localization project managers can benefit from being technologically savvy by understanding file formats, platforms, and other requirements that will help them choose the best technological tools to aid their team during the project. Also, by being familiar with top tech tools, localization project managers can streamline certain steps of the localization workflow so that money and time are saved.

CAT tools, translation memory, term bases, and QA checks are all examples of tools that a localization project manager can implement into a project.

Risk Management

Risk management is a key part of the localization process that involves managing the uncertainties that can arise during the course of a localization project. When a localization project manager has strong risk management skills, they can proactively deal with uncertainties in a project before they even happen. You have to identify risk before it happens, not once a negative event occurs. Being able to both identify and foresee possible setbacks makes it so a localization project manager can come up with the best strategies and solutions to improve the chances of project success.

There are four different types of risk that a localization project manager can identify:

  • Technical Risks. This type of risk is related to the technical aspects of a project such as requirements, software, or quality.
  • External Risks. An external risk surrounds outside parties involved in a localization project including vendors or suppliers. External risks can also include factors outside the localization team’s control like market fluctuations or natural disasters.
  • Organizational Risks. A risk that a localization team has more control over is their organizational risk which relates to how a localization team organizes its workflows and operations.
  • Project Management Risks. These risks surround setbacks caused by estimating, planning, communicating or controlling the scope and course of a localization project.

These three essential aspects—communication, technology, and risk management—are frequently overlooked but are absolutely crucial to the success of a localization project.

Why is Localization Important For Your Brand

Why is localization important for your brand?

Localization takes the translation process a step further by adapting content, video games, services, apps, online courses, and many different types of products to a specific local market. Alongside translating text, localization involves adapting formats, designs, colors, images, payment methods, cultural references, and any elements that can make an impact by being customized to meet the needs of a new market. 

Keep reading to better understand why localization is so important for your brand

Deeper connections and improved customer satisfaction

When you localize content or a product to a local market, you can better meet your customer’s needs in that market and can forge a deeper connection with them. Whenever a customer engages with your brand, you have a chance to build a connection with them. From your product, to customer support resources, to your checkout process, it’s important that your customers feel understood and appreciated. When you localize your brand to their unique market, it’s easier to build a natural connection and to improve customer satisfaction.

Competitive advantage

One way to get a leg up on your competition is to localize your products, websites, and brand materials. If your competitors aren’t already doing this, you’re a step ahead of them. If they are localizing their brand to the same target markets, you don’t want your customers to turn to them.

Let’s look at a company website as an example. Localizing your company website to meet your target market’s needs will make it so they better understand the selling points of your products, how to purchase from you, and what they need to do to access customer support. If a consumer has to choose between making a purchase from a brand that takes localization into account and one that doesn’t, there’s a good chance they’ll choose the brand that is easier to understand and that resonates more with them. 

Improved accessibility

Localization can also help increase your brand’s accessibility. More than 5% of the population is impacted by hearing loss, which makes audio and video content inaccessible to millions of people if there are no subtitles for that content available in their language. When you localize subtitles, you improve inclusion and expand your brand reach in one fell swoop. 

Increased customer base and brand loyalty

The easier it is for a customer to interact with your brand, the more likely you are to attract and retain them. If you want to introduce your brand to a new market, localization is a crucial step to breaking into that market. Using a language that your new market clearly understands is of course a key step to take. But again, localization takes translation a step further. Because localization takes local culture into account, you can use this process to avoid causing offense to customers and to create content and products that are more likely to appeal to them. 

At the end of the day, customers who feel seen and heard will always be more loyal to your brand than customers who feel like a second thought. 


Why Global Access to the Metaverse Matters

The metaverse is generating a lot of buzz these days thanks to the exciting potential of the universal and immersive virtual world it promises to present to consumers using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Many people are waiting on pins and needles to see where this technology can take them, but there’s no guarantee that every fan of the metaverse will be able to access this new virtual world. Why? Chances are, non-English speakers can struggle or fail to access the Metaverse if linguistic barriers leave them at the door.

Let’s take a closer look at why global access matters in the metaverse.

Increased Accessibility

For the metaverse to be truly global, accessibility in all its forms should be considered. Language is one of the elements that can really make a difference when it comes to accessibility as not everybody speaks English as a first or even second language.

Horizon Worlds learned this lesson the hard way when they launched in Spain and France, but failed to localize their content in Spanish or French. The native speakers in those regions who didn’t speak English were left confused. Even if a brand eventually localizes their products, they miss out on a lot of opportunities to attract a new audience from the get-go by not localizing their content from day one. Not only can the technology be unusable, but the audience can feel that the products weren’t designed for them and can lose interest in any future launches in their native languages.

Improved Engagement

The entire point of the metaverse is to create a more cohesive, web-like, integrated virtual experience, with new entertainment options and immersive experiences. But how can someone truly become immersed in a virtual world if they don’t understand the language they need to speak and therefore can’t fully interact in that space? This is why localization is the key to not just accessibility, but to engagement as well.

Companies can encourage customers to engage with their brand in the metaverse by creating virtual goods, branded games, and AR and VR showrooms. With the metaverse still being a new experience for consumers, brands have the chance to really stand out in this space, but can quickly lose their customers’ focus by not creating an experience they can understand and deeply engage with due to language barriers.

While the full potential of the metaverse is yet to be seen, the following industries are already anticipating being able to make big moves in this space:

The Takeaway

Investing in creating a brand presence in the metaverse will require a lot of time and money from brands. The last thing they want is for their investment to fall flat due to a lack of accessibility and engagement because of language barriers. Localizing content into an audience’s native language before launching in their market is key to capturing their initial attention and to retaining them in this virtual space. It’s important to remember that English is not as universal of a language as it gets credit for and that your customers will want to engage with a world they can understand and connect with.


Localization ROI: Can You Measure the Impact of Your Localization Strategy?

Our world is more global than ever before and companies who want to compete and thrive in a global marketplace need to invest in launches in new markets. One way to do this is by localizing all brand content to the new target market.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that the act of localization isn’t enough to drive progress and growth for a company. However, not investing in localization can make it hard to thrive internationally. While localization can be a revenue enabler, it can’t drive revenue on its own. Going into localization with the right mindset and expectations of what it can achieve, can help you better analyze your ROI.

Let’s take a closer look at why localization can be so impactful and why it can be challenging to measure the impact of your localization strategy.

The Benefits of Measuring Localization Impact

There are many benefits of localization that companies can enjoy, but in order to convince company stakeholders that localization is an investment worth making, you need to be able to articulate clearly what their return on investment (ROI) will be. The key here is to measure the impact of your localization efforts so you have cold, hard numbers to present to stakeholders that prove your investment was worthwhile.

It can be difficult to measure the true impact that localization offers. Why? Because localization is just one factor that can lead to success when you enter a new market. There are many other factors that contribute to finding success after launch, including the suitability of a given product for the target audience and the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns—amongst multiple other elements.

This makes it challenging to determine which revenue is actually being generated directly by localization. But just because it isn’t easy to measure the ROI of localization doesn’t mean doing so isn’t necessary.

Why Measuring Localization Success is Challenging

Metrics like how many words are localized per language or the delivery timeline only show how efficient a localization project is—they don’t really illustrate the impact of localization.

This is why it can be helpful to focus on measuring the strategic metrics that specifically impact your company. There is no one set standard all companies should follow. Depending on the company or product, it can be useful to look at other indicators, such as the number of visits to localized website pages, SEO rankings in a target region, and customer experience.

The Takeaway

So many different factors contribute to how successful a product is after it launches in a new market. It would be unfair to attribute all successes or failures to localization. The metrics you need to use to judge the success of localization can vary greatly and should focus on what measures success for your company. There is no set standard to follow here, as convenient as that would be.

That being said, it is usually helpful to examine metrics that take customer engagement and satisfaction into account, especially if your company is customer-centric.

At the end of the day, the ROI you want to watch out for is how impactful your localization efforts have been on customer loyalty and engagement.


How to Build an Effective Global L&D Training Program

Many global businesses adopt an English-first approach to learning and development (L&D) training for their employees. Whilst English is a widely understood language, it’s important for businesses with a global workforce to remember that a strong understanding of the English language is not a guarantee for every single worker they employ.

Understandably, creating L&D materials in English is a popular choice for global organizations that feel they neither have the budget nor time for translations, but assuming people understand English is one thing and assuming they understand the cultural differences is another. The clash is inevitable.

While you’re likely to start with an English training program, there are a few things you can take into consideration and do in the development stage in order to make its localization easier and more cost-effective.

Choose Function over Form

Everyone loves a beautiful design, but when it comes to creating effective L&D training materials, the function must take priority over form. This is especially true when creating L&D content that requires localization. For example, adding animations can be visually appealing and add a fun flair to the L&D experience. However, when you have to localize complex design elements repeatedly, you may find those extra special touches don’t justify the cost of localization. Before choosing design elements, think about how they will affect your localization needs and if they provide enough value to justify localization.

Choose Your Layout Wisely

When you translate written content, this can affect the visuals of your L&D content greatly as other languages can take up much more or less space than written English text after translation. More often than not, other languages take up more space than English text. When choosing your initial layout, it helps to be strategic knowing that your space needs may change. Leaving a decent amount of white space in your original design can make a huge difference. While you can request that the localization specialist keep their new text concise and your designers can shrink the size of the text a bit, having more white space available to add expansive text can give you some much-needed breathing room.

Make the Choice Between Subtitles and Voice-Over

In an ideal world, you would localize all voice-over and subtitle content in your L&D materials, but this cannot be easy to pull off budget-wise as you would need to not only translate the subtitles and voice-over scripts, but hire a new narrator and record new audio content in all target languages. You may find that you need to choose between localization with just subtitles, voice-over, or dubbing to accommodate your budget. Think carefully about which format will best highlight your training materials.

Be Patient

The localization process is one that is best not to rush. To start, it can be helpful to wait until your source content is complete to provide the localization specialist with editable files. This will not only save you time, but money.

It’s also a good idea to coordinate timelines with your localization partner to ensure that the turnaround is viable and won’t require compromising quality to get the job done on time. Your localization partner will be able to advise which steps are needed to complete the project correctly and how long it should take.

The Takeaway

How can you make it easier to incorporate all of these tips into your L&D plans? Don’t leave planning the localization step for the end. If you keep localization needs in mind from day one, you’ll save money, time, and a headache.


What is a Localization Kit and Why Is It Useful?

By 2022, it’s projected that more than half of worldwide internet users’ primary language will be a language other than English. In today’s extremely global world, companies who want to expand their reach and compete in global markets need to localize their products. To effectively localize a product, a localization kit can be the first step toward success. Both the client and the localization team will benefit from a well-rounded localization kit which will make the entire process more seamless from the beginning. Keep reading to learn what a localization kit is, what it contains, why it matters, and who should prepare it.

What is a Localization Kit?

A localization kit is a set of files and documentation that makes it possible for an outside party to localize a product and it includes any materials required for localization.

Localization kits not only contain the materials needed to prepare a proposal (which includes a proposed cost and timeline) for localizing a product, but they also house any materials the localization partner needs to get the job done.

An effective localization kit will have everything the localization team requires to do a great job and should have clear documentation that outlines how they can use the contents of the localization kit.

What does a Localization Kit Contain?

Typically, localization kits contain the following assets:

  • Previous translations and their originals in order to ensure consistency across glossaries and to make project management easier.
  • The client’s preferred method of the directory structure, delivery method and dates, and any file naming conventions.
  • A monolingual glossary that clarifies any technical, trademarked, or abbreviated concepts.
  • The client’s language list which focuses on the target country’s language and regional dialects.
  • A contact list that makes it possible for localization vendors to quickly identify which parties are responsible for all areas of the project.
  • Information pertaining to the purpose, function and vision of the product.
  • Potentially a translation memory (TM) and an assessment of the current quality of the TM. That is, whether it should be followed strictly, or if it shouldn’t be trusted blindly.
  • References like screenshots and video demos.

Why are Localization Kits So Important?

Localization kits benefit all parties involved in a localization project. The client will enjoy a faster turnaround and higher quality work and the localization team will have all the resources they need to do their job well—without having to ask the client unnecessary questions.

Localization kits also help clarify the expectations of the client in an organized and efficient way which helps the client save time and money while avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings as all parties involved will be aware of the scope of the project, limitations, and expectations before getting started. A good localization kit also makes it possible to anticipate potential challenges and avoid them.

Who Should Prepare a Localization Kit?

The localization kit should be created by the client and provided to the localization vendor so they will have all the necessary files and details about the project they need to get started.

When a manager prepares a localization kit, their efforts can go a long way towards avoiding future roadblocks.