What Exactly Does a Translation Project Manager Do, Anyway?

What Exactly Does a Translation Project Manager Do, Anyway?

Imagine you woke up one day and your native language was a mystery to you. Tasks you do every day with no effort, from reading street signs to scrolling through your phones, become a Herculean task. How would you survive in this world?

Translators help people communicate with those who don’t speak their language. This carries over to documents too. That way, they become accessible to a wider audience.

But someone has to organize and set up all these translations, right? Who are these mysterious individuals and how do they bring these events to the people?

Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. We’re here to tell you all about a translation project manager and what they do!

But enough preamble. It’s time to do this thing! So sit back and let’s go!

What Is a Translation Project Manager?

A translation project manager is someone who handles managing the translation team they oversee to work on a translation project of some kind. Sometimes, these projects involve converting a single document from one language to another. Other times, they are as complex as duplicating entire books across many languages.

As a result of the management part of the job taking over, project managers don’t get involved in the translation part of the job very much. As such, their specializations aren’t always in translation, but rather degrees in engineering or software development. Experience in managing translation projects is also critical for securing the position.

What Are the Responsibilities of the Translation Project Manager?

So now that you know what a translation project manager is, what exact tasks do they handle? For starters, these guys are in charge of handling the project timeline.

This means the manager must make sure the text entries get to the translation team in a timely fashion. They also ensure the team doesn’t lag behind in translating the required text and sending it out the door as fast as possible. Managers often have to compensate for different timezones in their planning due to the global nature of translation to boot.

Another task the translation project manager handles is assembling the team that will put the translation together. When choosing the team, the manager considers the backgrounds and skillsets of their pool of workers to choose the best squad for the job.

This squad consists of one translator, one editor, and one proofer. However, larger projects see a bigger team brought in at times.  The manager also must keep the identities of the translators and the editors separate from one another.

Why all the secrecy, you ask? Well, editors won’t give their honest thoughts if they’re softening the blows for people they know so as not to offend them. This leads to translated works not getting the critique they need and turning out worse products.

Translation project managers serve as the main point of contact between the hiring company and the translation team too. This way, the manager can make changes and respond to company feedback without having to disrupt the translators more than needed.

This also spares the hiring company some headaches. After all, they no longer have to go through a veritable gauntlet of calls and emails to get a single request through the “gates”.

Translation Project Manager Responsibilities Part 2

Another responsibility of the translation project manager is to double-check the translated document before it leaves the “building”, so to speak. Managers are sometimes held the most accountable for the quality of a translation. As such, they do their best to ensure your company is getting the highest quality product possible.

They also review the individual performance of every translator and provide the hiring company with reports on the process and how it went. Combine this with keeping both sides informed of how the other is doing during the process and managing the team as they translate? Translation project managers end up as the glue that holds the whole thing together.

Finally, some managers will provide the hiring company with different quotes and data. These quotes show the company the various paths they can take with translating the text they want to convert. This often saves companies a lot of money in the long run, since they get a wide span of options as opposed to picking the first one they see.

So What Can These Managers (And Services) Do For You?

So besides saving you money like we mentioned, why else should you give translation projects some thought? Well, for starters, it’s an excellent way to ensure your content reaches a worldwide audience.

Even from a national standpoint, a solid 13.5% of the American population speaks Spanish at home. With this number continuing to grow as the U.S’s population diversity rises, it’s bad for business to not cater to languages outside English.

Another pro of hopping on board the translation project train is the responsibility they take on themselves. Assemble the team yourself?  Why not get the manager to do it for you?

From there, the manager ensures you get the quality translation you seek while leaving you free to tend to the other parts of your business. What’s not to love?

If your company combines the project managers and their teams with a translation management service, even better. These services allow you to speed up the translation process by giving you access to a suite of tools that lets you track the translation process in real-time. It also provides the translation team with cutting-edge software tools to use.

Success Is the Universal Language

Congratulations! Now that you know who a translation project manager is and what they do, you’re prepared to send your business to the next frontier of progress!

If you still have more questions about how translation projects help your company or are looking for more business tips, check out the other posts on our blog! So until next time, remember that success is the universal language. So why would you turn your back on it when embracing translation puts it in your grasp?

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