Today, I would like to talk about the benefits of hiring a project manager. What PMs do and how they can facilitate the translation of your content.
First, I would like to say that, yes there are project managers working in the translation business. It is not a path that is normally shown to those studying languages or translation. However, it is quite an important part of the translation business especially if you are dealing with an agency or a boutique agency. I myself did not know what the job entailed until I was doing an in-house internship for a language provider. Nowadays, being a project manager within the translation industry is just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities the industry has to offer. With the advancement of technology, you can find jobs from engineering to sales and everything in between.
Before I start, I have written a blog post about the pros and cons of hiring translators, agencies or boutique agencies, right here. It could help you choose which one to hire according to your necessities.
What do Project Managers do?
Project Managers are oftentimes your first point of contact when requesting a translation. The exception would be for larger agencies, where your first point of contact could be the sales or customer service team.
1- How much does it cost?
Once you request a translation, project managers analyze the content you want translated. In this first read, the PM will take into consideration the number of words and language(s) you wish to have your content translated. It is at this stage that PMs will also analyze possible obstacles in the progress of the job.
For instance, you have sent a PDF of a flyer to be translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and French.
As a project manager myself, these are the questions that I would normally ask you to clarify:
Which variants of the languages? You might not be aware but Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and French have many variants.
Chinese has Cantonese and Mandarin, known in the industry as Traditional and Simplified Chinese. From Hong Kong or Taiwan? Note that this is just a small example of variants; it does not stop in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Second, I would ask you, to send me the original graphics of the flyer, so I could provide you with a precise quote. This is because PDFs do not run well on translation tools. As much as they have advanced, it still causes more problems than solutions, so if you send the original files, CAT tools will read the text easily.
Of course a quote can be provided, so you can have a rough estimate of how much the translation could cost, however, having the basics ready avoids so much back and forth of emails and time wasted…
So, one of the first things a PM does for you is to send you a quote stating how much and how long it will take it to complete the job you enquired.
Once all the details have been agreed and you are happy with the quote, the translation starts.
Let’s go back to our flyer, we wanted it translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and French. We now know the variants, Mandarin, Brazilian, Colombian and French-Canadian).
2- Resourcing Linguists
The PM will now resource at least four translators into those specific language variants. Why at least? Because if the quote was approved as translation and proofreading, another four proofreaders will have to be hired to complete your project.
Note that for each new step (translation, proofreading, editing, revision, localizers, transcreators, and so on) more linguists will have to be hired to fulfill your translation needs. Keep in mind that the linguists resourced also need to have the same specialism as the project being commissioned. As we are translating a flyer, a translator with marketing/advertisement or a transcreation experience should be used in this case
Let’s not forget that as we are translating a flyer, the graphic design team will also be involved, so when you receive your deliverables print-ready.
3- Keeping it Profitable
PMs also keep your project within budget. Meaning that the PM has to make the project profitable for their employer (or themselves if they are freelancers), linguists paid, while keeping the cost agreed in the quote you have approved. Basically, keeping the boss, the client and the resources happy. It’s all about communication and organization. I see it as a game of Tetris, where you have to be fast and precise in putting the pieces together to accomplish your goal.
I hope to have cast a little light in a sea of questions. Not many people know how the translation industry works or what it takes to have any content translated.
A knowledgeable PM can be a step in between hiring a freelance translator and an agency. You can get the knowledge of a linguist associated with the business acumen of a project manager.
Did you know that here at Made in Brazil Translations, we can be hired as project managers? We have years of experience as project managers working in a variety of language pairs.
Contact us now for more information.
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