In Part I of our Guide to translation project management (Why project managers are fundamental to translation), we looked at the scope of a translation project manager’s work and why they are a fundamental part of the translation process. In Part II, we will help you understand how to work with your project manager to ensure the best results on your project
How to work successfully with your translation project manager
You are ready for your product brochure to be translated and call the project manager at your translation service provider to discuss the project. There are several ways clients can contribute to the production of a high-quality translation by communicating effectively with the project manager at the initial “pre production” stage and, where applicable, throughout the three stages of the translation process (defined in Part I). In this article, we’ll look at how you can work successfully with your project manager to ensure the best outcome for your project.
Project managers sometimes receive uneditable PDF documents for the translators to work with, but providing a Word file may aid the translation process significantly, since it is editable and compatible with translation memory software. Alternatively, at EVS Translations, our IT team can either convert the PDF for you, or our translators can work in the source environment, whether it’s InDesign, Adobe Framework or other kind of programme. Some clients may have their own design team to convert files back into the source environment, but since our file formatting teams speak a range of foreign languages, they can accurately check the final layout is correct in the translated language (line breaks, the breakup of logical sentences and other layout issues which occur when a language has been translated). Speak with your project manager about any formatting issues.
“We need it A.S.A.P.”…Is our definition of A.S.A.P. the same as yours? Be specific about deadlines, but also remember that very tight deadlines for large volumes can affect quality. It’s good to specify a deadline and discuss your priorities with the project manager in relation to speed or quality.
Some clients like to provide reference material in the form of previously translated documents or even just general information about the company, its products or services. This is helpful because it allows translators to be consistent with previously translated text. Pass this information to your project manager who will ensure they are used during the translation process.
Creating or updating a translation memory
Let your project manager know if you have any previously translated material from a different translation service provider which is relevant to your new project. This could potentially be used to set up what is known as a “translation memory” using specialised software. This allows a translator to see previous translations of specific terms as they come across them during a translatioin therefore maintaining consistency across all of your projects. For existing clients, we can update the translation memory with new terms so that our translators are always using the most up-to-date preferred terms.
Keeping the lines of communication open
It could be that you send us a project and don’t hear back until the project manager delivers the final translation. For some projects, however, our translators may have questions about the source text (especially if there are errors) or clients may request updates or even partial deliveries agreed on with the project manager at the start of the project. Project managers are the point of contact between the client and the translation team throughout the duration of the project. At EVS Translations, project managers use the business management software to provide a real-time record of all details relating to the project.
It’s always helpful to receive feedback once the client has received their translation; this helps us to evaluate our processes and maintain an excellent service. Once the project manager has delivered your translation, feel free to get back in touch and leave feedback which the project manager will communicate to the team and record in the business management software.