What is a Project Manager?

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Written by Diego Achio

The CEO & Co-founder of Traduality. Diego loves visiting national parks, playing tennis, go-karts, and Italian food. He also has over 13 years of experience in the translation industry leading language operation teams.

January 6, 2024

In an orchestra, all the musicians play different instruments that, when in sync, achieve exceptional harmony. All the musicians must play at the right time for every second to be perfect.

How are they organized?

Conductors coordinate every aspect of the sound in an orchestra; they tell musicians when to play, how loudly, and when to quiet down. They use their baton to keep time with the music so everyone maintains a steady tempo throughout the performance. Like a conductor in a symphony, there is a person in charge of supervising the translation process in a translation agency from the moment the client contacts them until the project is delivered. These project managers play an essential role in the translation process, as they both oversee the work and act as a middleman between the translators and clients. A properly managed translation project will get clients high-quality results.

 

So, What Is a Project Manager?

A Project manager is responsible for following up on translations through each stage of the project. They coordinate all the people involved in the project, including the translators, proofreaders, quality assurance testers, and subject matter experts. The project manager is also a link between the translation team and their client. They are the connection between all the people involved to get a quality translation.

 

What Does a Project Manager Do?

A project manager takes part in every stage of the professional translation process. Here are just a few of the activities performed by a project manager and how they influence the final translation:

Stage One: Contacting Clients and Project Approvals

During the first stage, a client contacts a translation agency with a proposed translation project. At this point, the project manager reviews the services the client requests and approves the project. During the first stage of the project’s life, the project manager acts as a representative of the translation agency as a whole. They work directly with the client to confirm the requested services, the project’s time frame, and how many people need to work on the project.

Hiring a translation service may seem daunting, especially if you’ve never worked with one before. However, translation marketplaces like Traduality offer first-time clients a complete walkthrough of the process, breaking down every step and ensuring top-notch communication.

Stage Two: Translation

Once a project has been approved, the project manager assigns translators to the work. Typically, the project’s scope, requested languages, and difficulty level all play a significant role in what kinds of translators get assigned to the project. For example, a client requesting translation for an End-User License Agreement will need legal translators to work on the project, while someone looking to transcreate an advertisement may need the help of cultural experts.

During this stage, the project manager sets project goals, deliverables, and deadlines following the client’s request. They also provide extra resources and reference materials, like glossaries and translation memories.

The project manager supervises the translation process and facilitates communication between translators and the client. For example, if a translator has a question about the content they’re translating, they ask the project manager, who answers their question as best they can or relay the question to the client. Client-translator communications are a necessity in any translation project. It’s the project manager’s job to ensure communications go as smoothly as possible.

Stage Three: Proofreading

After receiving the first draft of the translation, it’s time to proofread. At this stage, the project manager either proofreads the translation themselves or assigns proofreaders to review the text.

The proofreaders often share characteristics with the translators: they specialize in the same languages and translation fields.

Stage Four: Delivery

After translating and proofreading, editing, and then proofreading again, the project manager is left with a translation that is ready for delivery. Then, they deliver the completed project to the client within the client’s requested deadline.

 

Don’t Translate Alone, Use a Project Manager!

Project managers essentially supervise every aspect of the translation process. When a client hires a translation agency or looks for translators in a translation marketplace, they’ll receive help from a project manager.

Ready to get started on your next translation project? Traduality has everything you need to succeed; create your first project today and find vetted translators, or book a meeting with us to learn more about your specific needs.  

Updated 2/21/2024.

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