The benefits? Cost savings & fast turn-around.
If you’ve upgraded your iPhone, or other mobile device recently, then you’ll understand this line of thought. The instruction manual is thick that makes for dense reading, pages and pages of boring text! Question: Is it easier to plow through the manual from cover to cover, or is it easier to call support?
That’s right! When your materials are dense, your clients will be ringing up your support center simply because…it is easier and faster. I’m sure you see that establishing, staffing and maintaining a support center is not done on a dime. This is where judicial use of images in your materials produces cost savings in more ways than one.
Pictures provide effective English Japanese translation materials that convey the intended message accurately to your target audience. If it can be said that a picture is worth a thousand words, then in translation it is worth hundreds of dollars in translation cost savings! The math is quite basic:
A single image amounts to about two-and-a-half pages of text, the translation cost of which is between US$150~200.
That’s the cost savings you can expect on a single, effect picture. Now, close your eyes for a moment, and imagine the costs savings you can generate on a whole manual?
And, there’s another advantage from the judicious use of images – faster project turn around. This really is a no brainer! Professional translators work at about 2-3 pages per day with an eye to quality. That means, for example, if your manual contained just 10 pictures translation work would be reduced by about 10 days. (Some translators claim a greater volume capability; however, I can you assure from the perspective of 20 years in the translation industry that it is very rare to find a translator that can maintain decent quality standards beyond this volume.)
I don’t think that a better case could be for the use of picture in your translation materials. There is, however, one note of caution that I should leave you with. And, that is when putting materials for translation with a Japanese translation company, you need to ensure that they have desktop publishing and graphic design capabilities to render the images in your materials for local market audiences. Many translation companies don’t have these capabilities in-house, so they’re forced to outsource these requirements. The result is that any cost and time savings you made from judicious use of images will be wiped out with higher outsourcing costs.
Need more useful translation tips? Then, read the Professional Japanese Translation Guide Overview (simply copy & paste the title in any search engine)