The work of a translation agency, whether it is a small, even one-man office or a large company, must be properly coordinated. Only then will the agency be able to ensure that its customers meet the deadlines and the highest quality texts. When considering the organization of work in a translation agency, it is worthwhile to focus on the key issues - above all, on the work of the coordinator, the use of modern translation support programs and the organization of the work of the translator himself, working remotely or from the office.
The role of the coordinator
Today, a coordinator is an indispensable person in larger translation agencies. His work consists in the broadly understood mediation between clients and contractors. He presents an offer, negotiates it, specifies all details of the order and assigns them to a particular translator. He then supervises the entire process. Sometimes, even before the text is submitted for translation, the coordinator has to format it properly - so that it can be translated smoothly and without delay.
When a company is run by one person, all the responsibilities - translator, coordinator and administrator - necessarily become theirs. This requires double organisation and strict adherence to the plan. That's why more and more often than not, the growing translation agencies are focusing on hiring a coordinator. His or her work allows the whole office to be combined and is irreplaceable in terms of organization. The coordinator makes sure that each employee can carry out his or her own duties calmly and reliably.
Helpful translation programs
In a modern office it is also essential to use programs that facilitate translation. Naturally, they cannot replace the professional knowledge and skills of a translator. However, they can significantly speed up the whole process and automate it to some extent. We are talking about CAT tools, the most popular of which are: Trados, Memsource, MemoQ and XTRF, which is an application for managing translation processes. Most often used by translation agencies, it combines many functionalities and has integration with CAT tools. You can find out more at: XTRF integration with Cat Tools.
The most popular is Microsoft Office. It is part of a convenient office suite, which provides translators with all the functions necessary for basic work on text. Sometimes translation agencies decide on other, less popular programs that may be cheaper, but sometimes they offer a narrower range of formats in which the finished text can be saved. Individual preferences and convenience also count when choosing a program to edit. All this has a positive or negative impact on your workflow.
Content formatting programs
Equally important are programs for formatting finished content. Customers usually require that the text they receive be in the same format as the text submitted for translation. This can be problematic - especially when the format is unusual, a PDF or a website. For this purpose, many translators use software that preserves the original format of the translated text. This saves them the second part of their work, which sometimes takes up as much time as the translation itself.
Programs that create memory bases
Documents that will be translated in the office must also be archived. For this purpose, special platforms or disks are useful, which prevent and protect data loss. On the disk you can easily search for the document you need and sometimes also share it with other translators, for example when the project is large and multilingual. This allows several people to work remotely on one text.
Dictionaries and phrase bases
The paper ones take up a lot of space and are not very handy. They are still used, but electronic dictionaries are particularly good for organising the work of a translator. Such tools also allow you to create your own database of frequently used phrases and words, which automates and speeds up your work, as well as adding new headwords. You should not be afraid to use programs that improve the translation. Eating them does not mean incompetence; on the contrary, it supports competence.
Translator's work organisation
Consistent and effective work of a translation agency depends not only on the organization of the whole company. What also counts is how efficiently the translators have their work and time at their disposal. In order to control it perfectly, it is worth asking yourself a few questions and considering key issues:
1. do I feel like I'm still working and working and the number of texts doesn't change?
2. do I feel like I'm running out of time for translations and worry about the "deadline"?
3) Is there much more work than rest in my life?
4. do I happen to neglect the quality of the text to be returned before the deadline?
The affirmative answers mean that work needs to be reorganised. In such situations, it is helpful to establish a list of current responsibilities and to indicate priorities. Over time, each interpreter should learn how much time he or she is taking on each task and how much time he or she becomes too tired to do the job well. Organizing an interpreter's work is something you can learn! The effort put into it pays off in a more favourable proportion between work and rest, and in the satisfaction of clients who willingly return to the office.
The article was written in cooperation with translationxperts.com