Achieving Great Translation Results through Collaboration

Achieving Great Translation Results through Collaboration
It’s when a translation agency is faced with a large project that the skills of its translation team are really put to the test.

It’s when a translation agency is faced with a large project that the skills of its translation team are really put to the test. Large translation projects involve many challenges because they require the collaboration of people whose work styles and responsibilities may differ considerably.

It is the duty of the account executive to ensure that the channel of communication with the client is open at all times, ensuring compliance with deadlines and delivery conditions. And, of course, prior to all this he or she must have closed the sale on the translation project; meaning that they’ve reached a mutual agreement regarding the quotation. Once the quotation has been accepted, the process starts. In this post we’ll look at the importance of close interaction between the different parties involved in a translation project.

Project Manager/Coordinator

The project manager, or project coordinator, must recruit their team of language professionals to best suit the job requirements. For example, if the content consists of construction manuals, the project manager would not choose the same translators that might work on the sworn translation of legal documents, or localising a video game. And, as well as selecting the appropriate team, the project manager must organise the tasks, distribute the relevant material, communicate the clients preferences or specific requirements, coordinate the use of terminology databases and translation memories and, where required, assist in drafting a style-guide relevant to that project.

In order to successfully accomplish all the above tasks – most with tight deadlines – the project manager must be able to multitask, and be very proficient at their trade.


When it’s time for translators to begin their section of the project they are already aware of the type of content they’ll be working with, the number of words of their assigned task, the day and time of their deadline, and any specific instructions they are required to follow. Depending on the specific translation and, in addition to their linguistic knowledge, translators may work using a client’s translation memory, a terminology database, and even a style guide; all of which are tools to assist them with accurate and uniform translation and format criteria. These translation tools are very useful for any project, but when it comes to large translation projects they are even more relevant because it saves the editor a lot of time consolidating the results from different translators.

Each translation project has its own specific linguistic challenges, but the one thing they all have in common is the requirement that they be consistent and accurate in the decisions that define the style, terminology, and even the spelling rules of translation.

Editing and Proofreading

The editor’s task of achieving overall consistency of a project is just as important as the comprehensive analysis of the content to achieve the best possible translation result. It is the duty of the person assigned to the proofreading process, meaning the re-reading of the entire project, to ensure that all the above steps have been successfully completed.

In this rather complex process of selling, project managing, translating, editing and then proofreading a project, it’s essential that a thorough quality-control process is in place to guarantee an accurate and true final result.

So, as you can see, from the initial moment of contact between the client and the translation agency, up until that moment when the completed project is finally delivered, there are many people and processes involved. Each person has a different task and participates at different times of the project, and because their jobs are based on different perspectives it’s essential that good communication between all players takes place.