5 Factors that Affect Translation Turnaround Time

The translation turnaround time is affected by a complex mix of factors, where the speed of the translator is only one piece of the puzzle, but that doesn’t mean that your translation will take weeks to complete. In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do when ordering a translation to ensure that your project is completed both quickly and to a high standard.

In this article, we’ll share with you some of the major factors that influence turnaround time, and also some advice for how to avoid delays. Keep reading !


  • Size of Project: It should come as very little surprise that the larger your volume, the longer it will take to complete your project. As the size and scope of a project increases, the need for multiple translators also becomes more likely. This in turn makes rigorous quality checks necessary. Ensuring that multiple translators have a consistent output could have an additional impact on your timeline.
  • Complexity of Project: Some documents require a greater level of expertise to translate than others. If your project contains a lot of technical words, abbreviations, or in-depth explanations, your translator will need time to research them. Similarly, medical or legal documents often demand an extended timeline.
  • Specialism: Different agencies have different strengths. A mismatch between project and translator can cause significant delays. To give an extreme example, asking a single freelancer to translate an entire ecommerce website would take months longer than asking a crowdsourcing agency to do the same thing. Similarly, translators who specialize in certain types of projects will be able to complete them at a faster rate.
  • Level of Repetition: If a document frequently uses the same words or phrases, it will require less effort and time to translate that document. In fact, there is a whole range of software available to translators that is built around recognizing these repetitions. If an effort is made to ensure consistency of terminology, a high level of repetition can result in a quick turnaround time.
  • Access to Translation Tools: Certain agencies will employ translation tools or other forms of technology to reduce the amount of work that a translator has to do. For example, access to approved glossaries or spellcheck can significantly reduce a translator’s workload, as well as ensuring a greater level of consistency across longer projects. All of these mechanisms can knock valuable hours off your project’s timeline.

How to Reduce your Translation Turnaround Time ?

A detailed explanation can save you time in multiple ways. From simply including relevant pictures to supplying a glossary of specific translations, there is a lot that you can do in the preparation stage to make your content easier to comprehend, and ensure that crucial pieces of the text are translated right first time.

Questions ? Contact us for more information.

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