The project manager: backstage at interlanguage
Have you ever thought how many professionals are involved in managing each of your translations? Every job is handled by a team of professionals to ensure its optimal completion: not just linguists (translators and interpreters), but also project managers, desktop publishers, IT experts and other personnel involved depending on the project’s specific requirements.
The project manager, or PM, coordinates everyone’s inputs and manages your translation job from the start of work through to delivery …. and beyond.
The project manager may be coordinating a very large team: take a user manual for translation into 27 languages, for example. Your PM will be managing at least 54 people (27 translators and 27 reviewers), not to mention DTP experts or other background professionals.
But the PM doesn’t only run the team: he or she is also your contact for every current translation job, filling you in on progress, sending you requests for clarifications on terminology, managing any changes or additions you may make to the texts for translation, and responding to your feedback on the translations delivered. The PM deals with emergencies, ensures compliance with budgets and deadlines, and gives you the certainty that everything will proceed as planned.
From outside the industry, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of the project manager, because he or she doesn’t actually translate the text, but their input can make the difference between a run-of-the-mill translation and a job that meets all your expectations, or even surpasses them by picking up needs you were unaware of! Let’s see how.
Our project managers are different
At interlanguage, project managers don’t only have nerves of steel and outstanding organisational skills: they are also, and above all, linguists, with specific training and professional experience, often actually as translators or interpreters. With this skill set, they can play a crucial role in the translation process.
An interlanguage PM …
… may source linguistic references in advance:
For very large or long-term projects, the PM may research terminology and obtain useful documents and references for sharing even before the translation team gets down to work.
While on the one hand he or she has in-depth knowledge of the customer and its products, on the other they are quickly able to pick up all the job’s specific complexities, identifying criticalities within the text to be cleared up even before the team starts the first step (translation), and can deal rapidly with ambiguities, discrepancies in terminology and so on.
… is the hub of the collaborative review process in multilingual projects:
Thanks to their linguistic background, as well as managing the progress of the project interlanguage PMs generally review the text in at least one of the translation languages themselves.
The keyword here is collaboration: the project manager coordinates all the reviewers’ work and facilitates the exchange of opinions on translation choices, the adoption of common criteria for resolving ambiguities, and the sharing of information gathered on particularly complex terms or concepts.
Which means? Your text is never viewed by “just” two people (the translator and reviewer, as required by the ISO 17100 standard); it is examined by the whole team of professionals. A major benefit!
This pooled experience comes into play whenever your text contains, for example:
- the misspelt name of a person or place, requiring correction;
- two different terms for the same part of a machine, the same finish on a product, or the same company function: clear to an expert but potentially confusing for the reader;
- a common noun which in this case doesn’t require translation because in your context it is the name of a product, such as the names of the colours in a ceramic tile collection (Noce, Antracite or Sabbia come to mind).
A project manager integrally involved in the translation and reviewing process is the best person to lead their team in getting these points right.
… can assess your feedback and manage any changes in the follow-up to a project:
The project manager is your direct contact when you have feedback on a translation, from within your own organization or from your foreign distributors. Since they have generally reviewed at least one of the translation languages themselves, they are familiar with your texts and their specific nature, and give you a knowledgeable, accurate response.
They will then update our shared terminology databases so that every correction will be included in future translations, and communicate with the whole team to keep them in the loop regarding your requirements.
… knows you well and always understands what you are talking about:
interlanguage project managers know who you are and what you do. Does this sound disturbing? Quite the opposite.
Reviewing your texts job after job gives them in-depth knowledge of your products and preferences, and keeps them constantly in touch with your latest developments.
This is our aim: to be not just suppliers, but rather partners, or almost colleagues!
What about you, do you want the support of a team of professionals like ours for your translations?