When I decided I wanted to become a translator, I didn’t know a thing about what a translator did. After 5 years of college, I graduated as a translator hardly knowing what a translation company did, or how.
Most of our teachers were quite discouraging about our professional future, even telling us (false) things like there were too many translators and the market was too small. My entrepreneurial spirit was strong enough and, despite the somber outlook we got from teachers and some more experienced (i.e. older) translators, I managed to create my own translation company and have had ongoing supply of work ever since.
So this short article is dedicated to all translation students who don’t know what their career has in store for them and, also, to many of our clients who may wonder what we do. Get ready; this is no walk in the park.
Our day starts early in the morning; at 9 we’re already in front of computers, where we’ll be working nonstop until after dusk. We get up several times for necessary cups of coffee and snacks. We usually have lunch at our desks.
When working on a translation project, a translator does lots of research, consults with colleagues and team members, writes a draft, proofreads and edits the text (remember we discussed the differences between these tasks in our previous post Who’s who in a translation company), and basically makes sure the translation conveys the original text as accurately as possible.
Project leaders answer several emails and calls (mostly emails) from translators, control and update glossaries, revise translations and give feedback to the translators assigned to a given project. Sometimes we work together with our client’s translation department. Project management is especially crucial in jobs involving multiple translators. Translation processes based on best practices are necessary to ensure overall consistency and quality.
We receive many queries from current and potential clients requesting cost estimates and turnaround times, which we try to answer as quickly as possible.
Once a project is completed, our administrative staff issues the pertaining invoice and sends it to our client. They also claim payments when necessary, and work closely with our accounting firm. They are responsible for paying salaries to the in-house translation staff and twice a month we call our freelance translators to pick up their paychecks at the accounting firm with which we work.
We receive several resumes a day and try to get back to the translators letting them know whether or not we’re searching for professionals. If we are, and provided they meet certain requirements (visit our previous article, Our Guide to Hiring Translators), they will receive a short trial translation. We are very demanding in our selection process and are always happy to receive qualified new members in our team.
We also keep updating the contents of our website, trying to write interesting articles for our blog, choosing the right title and, right image, and sharing posts in our different pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and Instagram.
Believe it or not, usually ten or fifteen minutes before we leave the office, a client will call and ask for assistance in an urgent matter. We’re proud and happy to be accommodating and able to help our clients whenever they need us. We get the job done when our client needs the job done, and we make sure they always find an answer and a solution with us.
We are here to help, even if you are not currently in need of our services and are just looking for information. If you have any question about how we can work with and for you, or need some guidance and assistance with a translation project you are currently handling, please contact us and we will get back to you within a day.
You might also find these three posts interesting:
- “What is a Certified Translation?“
- “Why should translators and lawyers use Dropbox?”
- “What’s the difference between a translator and an interpreter?“