How Translators and Project Managers See a Translation Project

(Last Updated On: February 17, 2015)

Translation Project

The key to a successful translation project is getting the right people to do the job. Highly qualified and skilled translators make up the core of a translation team. In most cases, translators are native speakers who may be located remotely. The fact that native speakers are hired guarantees that the translation job elicits the highest form of accuracy and quality.

However, translators are just one of the many players who are involved in a translation project. There are also editors, proofreaders, DTP and web designers who contribute valuable work and inputs to the industry of language translation. Another essential role that sits at the heart of the translation process is the project manager. Their job is, primarily, to intermediate between the client and the translator/s. Once a project is received, the project manager takes time to review the details of the work, identifying and marking critical work scopes that may include timetables, files inventory and delivery expectations from the client. Sometimes, the project manager may need to check if a template is necessary for the project. Building a template, especially for editable formatted files, make the translation process easier and efficient.

Once the project has been reviewed, project managers check with available and qualified translators to discuss on the specifications required by the client or the project. Many a times, administrative and some financial tasks are also handled by the project manager.

For project managers, a translation project is more than a job that they have to perform. Most of them think projects as career benchmarks that can elevate them further in the organizational structure of the translation agency. It is often viewed as a test that courses on several paths, thus, passing through them all brings the project manager a well-deserved affirmation that he is doing his job well.

It may seem that translation processes are easy at first glance. It is, in fact, more complex and challenging at a closer look. Translators view translation tasks more than assignments that bring in the income. The valuation of these tasks by these translators is often characterized by how their job is compensated. It may seem trivial for some people to validate linguists, as professionals, by how they are paid. Essentially, translators look at linguistic tasks as opportunities to better current positions. Since they are measured by the quality of translation outputs, translators feel more than just compelled to extend prominent regard for accuracy and client expectations that could perk up quality. It may even seem unforgivable for human linguists to shortchange translation job for something apparent as job promotion or monetary remuneration. Then again, in this cutthroat industry, money and position are imperative concepts that drive people to strive and work harder.

Project managers are mostly translators themselves, or have been previous translators. Working with project managers who have been translators in the past often educe stronger relations with team members in the project. This is simply explained by how he understands the demands and rigors of the job, especially with regard to working with translators half-way around the globe, and where clients can sometimes change deadlines at such short notice.

Time zone issues cannot be simply put off. The project manager, considering translator concerns, can make and offer flexible changes to settle differences especially with elements involving time resource.

In the end, translators and project managers are instrumental in the success of the translation project. The similarities they have are drawn upon a common working attitude that projects—regardless of size and nature – are regarded as rudimentary opportunities that can greatly improve their career growth. What an enormous reward it is for project managers to see their own translators becoming project managers themselves in the future. For sure, the drive and passion embedded during his phase as translator will help him succeed in the business of managing translation projects.