Technical Communications Poll: Justifying Translation Costs

One of the biggest challenges in technical communications seems to be the eternal struggle to justify the budget necessary to do the work we’ve been assigned.  Actually it’s probably the biggest challenge any team in any department in any organization has, but that’s an issue for another day. As TechWhirl focuses on translation and localization challenges in technical communications, taking on those big-dollar challenges first makes a lot of sense (pardon the pun).

Any new effort requires new or additional resources–primarily in tools, expertise, and time. Whether you’re purchasing licenses or subscribing to a cloud-based service; re-allocating internal expertise or hiring from the outside; or taking into account the extra tasks and learning curves, you’ll need to build a rationale for the translation costs you expect to incur.  Management concerns itself with notions like reputation, fairness and customer satisfaction only in as much as they impact the bottom-line–generating revenue or reducing overall costs.  And this reality brings us to this week’s poll question:  How do you justify the translation costs of your technical communications projects?  We’re pretty sure that more than one answer will apply, but you get to be the judge.  If we missed any useful justifications, please post a comment or start a thread on the email discussion list–your fellow technical communicators will thank you.

How do you justify the translation costs of a technical communications project?

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