New to Industry--Looking to Learn More about Multiple Languages
Thread poster: GM Voices

GM Voices
United States
Local time: 13:34
Feb 13, 2014

Hi, all--

I am new to translation project management. I do not currently translate in any languages (native English speaker), but I am learning Italian and have a rough knowledge of NA Spanish. I work for a small business (project manager-sales, telecommunications) in the United States. We are currently growing our Language Department and becoming an actual translation agency. I have a solid amount of experience working within telecommunications and telematics translations (through this company), but we are moving into new sales markets: software and text documents translations.

I am currently learning Trados Studio (2007 & 2011). We are not updating to 2014 because some of our translators use 2007 and apparently the versions are not compatible (I think). We are currently looking for a sales training program to educate our salespeople, and I expect to learn a lot from that, even though I don't work directly in sales (well, kind of--I'm sales support as well).

I am reading the book 'In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation' by Mona Baker. I am working under the guidance of our Translation Coordinator.

I am looking for new ways to learn about the industry as a non-translator. I have watched many SDL webinars and read many white papers, but I'd like to find ways to learn specifics without it being too overwhelming.

Each project we take on goes through 3 stages: translation, proof-reading, final QA (last stage is done by me or the Translation Coordinator).

For example, the main client I work with uses 36 different languages. The more I know about these languages (right to left, time formats, the basics), the easier my work has become.

I am especially interested in learning about non Latin-based script languages as these are very hard for me to QA. During my QA process, I'm basically looking to make sure the project is complete, that no punctuation is missing, etc. It's not really required for me to learn this, but this is quickly becoming a passion of mine and I'd love to pursue it further (from a project management standpoint).

I would love any and all feedback/advice. Thank you for your time!



I totally understand the issues between having a project manager check a professional linguist's work, but you have to understand, I'm just making sure everything has been completed--I'm not proofreading the document. There have been plenty of times translators have just missed sentences or misunderstood directions, and I'm capable of finding those mistakes and clarifying those instructions so that the linguists and clients are on the same page. Many of our projects have truncation parameters and are set up in Microsoft Excel using macros, which a lot of linguists are not familiar with. It's my job to explain that. Again--we pay in-country linguists to proofread. I'm simply double-checking before projects are returned to the clients. I totally understand the dynamic between linguists and agencies, and am in agreement with the "fair-trade translation" movement. This isn't an attempt to save anyone money--I want to become a respectable project manager who handles projects across different languages. I'm not replacing any job that requires a translator--I've literally taught myself everything I know about linguistics and have managed many multi-language projects. I'm interested in learning more, about everything I can.

Outside of continuing my Italian studies, do you have any suggestions?

For example, do you know a lot about other languages? How did you learn?

I eventually plan to pursue a masters in linguistics and an MBA if for nothing else than to prove I'm capable of my dream job. I love project management, I like working with linguists, and I love learning about languages.


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