Skip to content

Is It Okay To Rush A Translation Timeline?

In this digital world, things are moving faster than ever before. Be it the delivery of a product or maybe the creation of a new product, we always aim to get what we need as soon as possible. This also applies to translation projects.

Whether you need to publish marketing collateral in a new market, circulate a press release to your global offices or create a multilingual website, it needs to happen fast. But, does the rush requirement of translation take a toll on its quality and cost?

Localization Best Practices

Assume you need to translate a 10,000-word document in two days. Such a request can be completed by using multiple translators, however, the quality of these translations will be affected due to the inconsistency of language between different professional, native speakers. Translation companies who follow ISO standards will always recommend avoiding translations of anything more than 1500 to 2000 words in one to two days.

Additionally, each piece of content should not only be translated, but also reviewed by a second reviewer and then finalized by a professional copywriter. This ensures the content reflects the message as it was originally intended in the source language.

Meeting the Deadline

In order to meet a tight deadline, always notify the translation company well in advance. Advanced notice may not promise delivery if it’s an unrealistic turnaround time, however, this helps to facilitate communication and come to a mutual conclusion before the content is ready for translation.

Another consideration that affects the timeline is the client approval of a quote. The approval should not take multiple days to happen in order for the translations to begin as soon as possible. It is also highly recommended to work with the same localization company consistently. This will help to expedite the approval process by providing a blanket PO for a quarter or a year. The translators will become familiar with your content, which will save time on researching and translating your projects.

File Format, Source Files & Reference Material

To help with rush requirement projects, it is very important for the translation team to receive your files in the correct format. Files sent for translations should always be sent in the same format they were created in.

For example, if a file is created in InDesign, send the source file in an InDesign format, rather than a PDF. It will not be possible to identify the word counts through a PDF and the quotation teams would need to create an editable file, which would add additional time and cost to the project.

Translations become more accurate and happen faster with reference materials and support from clients on the source content. The reference materials can be a similar file that was previously translated, a link to the website page or even an explanation to help the translators better understand the content, especially if the content is a technical subject matter.


Always provide your required timeline for translators to localize your content. It is never advised to rush your translations to the point of having incorrect content, which can jeopardize your brand’s reputation. However, when you are in a rush, your translation team can work with you to create a reasonable timeline to get an correct, consistent translation as soon as possible, while still maintaining the accuracy of the message. The best translations are a result of collaboration between the translators and the client. As we say, translation is an art and a science.