Localization challenges, costs, and working with external partners

At Ciklopea, we always strive to learn more about the challenges our clients face.

This gives us the opportunity to map out recurring patterns, feel the pulse of the industry, and understand how we can adjust our practices to respond to changing expectations better.

As the localization industry evolves and language technology keeps advancing, some problems gradually disappear, but new ones also emerge. It’s a completely natural process. It’s important to understand that tech solutions offer no silver bullets, but they can be incredibly powerful.

To understand what matters to clients when choosing an LSP, how they perceive localization costs, and what some of the greatest localization challenges are, we conducted long-form interviews with nine of our clients. Although it’s not a big data sample, it’s been intriguing to discover some universal attitudes and perceptions stretching across different types of companies, whether they’re corporations or mid-sized businesses.

Unqualified translators and pricing are the main concerns when looking for an LSP

When asked about their main worries related to searching for and evaluating vendors, two things stood out: fear of working with poor translators, and paying too much without seeing any added value.

This didn’t come as a surprise to us given the fact that onboarding new vendors takes time and it’s a serious waste of resources if the quality doesn’t meet expectations. It’s also interesting that a few clients reported they’d be willing to pay more if additional well-researched terminology is delivered alongside translations.

The remaining respondents said they are concerned with slow delivery (11%) and the potential lack of flexibility from the vendor and the period of adjustment after official project kickoff (11%). The same amount of respondents (11%) said they don’t have any particular worries on their mind.

Achieving better consistency in translation and localization as the main goal

We were curious to find out what the main problem was that prompted our clients to search for an LSP.

Better consistency in translation and localization was the main reason (50%), followed by getting good value for money (35%).

Working with individual freelance translators is a viable option for some businesses, but if your project requires continuous translation or localization, then you need processes in place. You also need to think about the best ways to optimize costs and manage projects, which is why letting your language service provider handle everything is a good option. Freelance translators are also not likely to use language tech or take care of glossaries and terminology management.

Multiple back-and-forths is the main challenge of working with LSPs

The main pain point when working with LSPs relates to back-and-forth editing and project scope creep (71%). In this way, deadlines get pushed back and so do launch dates. Not only can it be frustrating not to receive the expected translation quality, but it can also result in financial losses as the direct consequence of being late to market.

Another issue is the quality of translations (18%) and insufficient knowledge on the part of linguists of industry-specific terminology (11%). Luckily, with a Quality Policy in place, a 6-eye principle in QA, a good translation memory, and a comprehensive glossary, these issues can be efficiently overcome.

Speed and accuracy as the biggest localization challenges

Translation speed is one of the biggest localization challenges. While speaking with our clients, we noticed that fast turnaround times usually raise an eyebrow because the general opinion is that speed and quality are mutually exclusive. Project timelines are more fluid than they should be and it’s hard to control all the factors that can impact delivery times.

Additionally, in industries such as legal or healthcare, it’s of the utmost importance that translations are accurate. Regulatory bodies might require multiple translation revisions, which puts additional pressure and stress on the vendor managers responsible for a project’s success.

Fast translation turnaround, quality, and responsiveness as the key benefits of working with an LSP

Working with an external language partner can be tricky if the business relationship is new and trust has yet to be established. When talking with our clients, we noticed that LSPs being responsive and professional, as well as agile, is highly appreciated. This includes flexible contracts and allocating resources to quickly adjust to sudden changes in project scope. Of course, translation speed is the number one priority, but not when it comes at the expense of quality. Please note that quality here implies accuracy, a low number of translation errors, and expertise (especially for European languages).

We’re proud that 9/10 of our clients have recommended Ciklopea as an LSP in the past

Recommendations are one of our most valuable means of acquiring new clients. They’re also proof that we’re doing something right, given the fact that we have our customers advocating for us as a highly professional and reliable language service provider.

If you’re wondering what makes us different from other vendors, it’s five key things.

Technology-eclectic approach

We rely on technology to automate mundane tasks and improve the efficiency of localization workflows. By using translation memories, term bases, glossaries, and machine translation (where appropriate), we are able to cut localization costs by 10-30%.

Additionally, we use Orchestrum, our proprietary software, which helps you increase productivity by up to 85% thanks to integrations such as MemoQ, Memsource, and BeLazy and the automation of administrative tasks.

Award-winning regional and industry expertise

For the fifth consecutive time, Ciklopea has been recognized as one of the top language service providers in Southern Europe. We help the life sciences, IT and software, tech, and manufacturing industries effectively communicate with their target locales.

After almost two decades of working in the industry, we’ve learned the best ways to use localization to help your business grow globally. The main ingredients of our success include talented people, tested technology, and proven processes that help you achieve your business goals.

Dedicated to each individual client

Every client has a unique business situation, but often the set of challenges they face is universal. Thanks to our experience, we can suggest the best translation workflow from the get-go. This requires taking into consideration efficiency, cost optimization, and achieving the best quality.

People-first approach

We learned early on that it’s only when you value your people – be it your team members or your clients – that you can truly succeed. Our management team would never prioritize profits over employees’ wellbeing or set aside work ethics for personal gains. We always work in favor of the client and take care of every individual participating in the ecosystem.

Clients who vouch for us

It’s one thing for us to say what Ciklopea is about, since we can easily be accused of being biased and subjective. However, we’re happy that our clients vouch for us and are satisfied with our work. According to our annual client satisfaction survey:

● Our NPS is 66% and we’ll continue working towards an even higher percentage
● More than 75% of our partners would recommend working with Ciklopea to their colleagues

This brings strong wind to our sails and motivates us to continue improving our services even further.

Schedule a Discovery Call with Ciklopea

If you have a translation or localization project in mind, or you’re interested in consulting services, feel free to Schedule a Discovery Call. We’re more than happy to explore how we can help you.