I work with hundreds of professional writers from across the United States. They have huge vocabularies. Sometimes, they think that the more words they write, the better job they are doing. In my early years, I used to believe this to be the case, too.

Translation is billed by multiplying the number of words in the source document by the number of languages into which the content will be translated. The cost of needless words adds up very quickly, often without anyone noticing.

If you are creating content that will be translated into multiple languages, you can make a huge difference in the cost of the translation by getting your point across in as few words as possible.

Let’s take the following real-life example from a document I recently read:

In order to install the software, you must first navigate over to the installation pane and then click on the Install button.

This sentence is full of unnecessary words. A much shorter and simpler way of stating the same point is:

To install the software, click Install from the installation pane.

By eliminating the unnecessary words, I shortened this sentence from 22 words to 10 words. Suppose I am translating this sentence into 22 languages at an average cost of $.20 per word, per language. By eliminating 12 words, I save:

12 words * $.20 per word * 22 languages = $52.80

for just one sentence! I’ve also simplified the sentence so that it is easier to read in English.

Imagine how much you can save if you eliminate all of the unnecessary words throughout your document.

Val Swisher
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