How to Manage Your Translation Projects
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By Nancy Matis
After poring over this meticulous guide on how to manage translation projects, I came up with a succinct summary: Plan ahead and do the math. Of course, there is much, much more to that. In fact, you will learn about translation projects from A-to-Z. I will now talk about some highlights of this book, because there are so many nuggets of information, that it would take me pages and pages to tell you about it. What first struck me was the enormity of a project. There is so much involved in a translation project. I had no idea! The leader of a project is the PM or project manager who coordinates both the client and translators, editors and other professionals. The process starts with the job itself. It is analyzed and usually broken down into a total number of words. Then it must be decided how long the project will take to complete and how many translators, editors and other technical staff will be assigned. Then there is a question of money. How much is the agency going to earn? I concur with Ms. Matis when she says that when too many translators are assigned to a big project to speed things along, it can be a problem later when the various parts are pieced together and there are several stylistic and terminological inconsistencies.
Now let’s talk about doing the math: the author was thorough about providing Excel tables and step-by-step instructions on what to put in them and how to set them up in Excel. I personally find this task to be daunting because I’m better with words that I am with numbers. However, I found that this book made it easy for me to understand what to do because no steps were left out. Some of these tables include (there are many): how much you can make if you work a certain number of hours per week multiplied by a certain rate, a project schedule showing how many words need to be translated, edited, etc. during a certain time period, and pricing adjustments based on repetitions and fuzzy matches.
If you are a translator who only translates and are not in the outsourcing business, this book is probably not for you, although you might learn a few tricks for your one-man business. However, if you are considering getting into the translation agency business or are a project manager for an agency, this book could either make or break your career. I’m sure that many of us have “reinvented the wheel”, especially at the beginning of our careers. Nevertheless, this is probably not something you want to do on a larger scale. It could contribute toward being disorganized and failing to maximize profits and resources. I guarantee you that you will learn something, actually a lot, from this book and consequently, you will become much more successful.
Did I mention that this book is available in both French and English?
You can get it here: http://www.translation-project-management.com/book