Today we’re sharing valuable advice from our very own project managers. You may have already implemented some of these tips in your professional life, but we hope you’ll also find others that are helpful from now.
Organise your calendar
This is good advice in general, but especially when working remotely. Use a calendar, whether digital or paper, and use it to enter all your delivery dates, days off, other commitments, and changes to your projects.
If you choose a digital calendar, you can always add reminders the day before deadlines. If you work with one or more agencies on different time zones, plan your delivery dates so that your translations always arrive on time.
Optimise your communication with clients and project managers
Communication with your client or project manager should always be clear and respectful. Below we outline some small details that can make a big difference!
- Always begin your emails with a greeting (good morning, good afternoon) or, if you know their name, by addressing the reader in a professional and friendly manner. The ending should be just as polite. It never hurts to wish someone a good day, a good weekend or to send a greeting of some kind.
- The structure of the email should be clear. Make sure that you name the questions or problems that you find in the document individually. Place them in separate paragraphs and mark the parts of the original text that you want to address in bold or underline them. The communication will be even clearer and smoother if you also add the document page number where each of these problems can be found.
- When you send an email explaining your criteria relating to a translation, or the use of a specific term in the document, always base your reasoning on official sources. See: dictionaries, published parallel texts, official bodies in the language or of the same specialism as the text, etc.
Regarding telephone calls:
- The first step is always to specify if you answer work calls. This can sound like a logical step, but confirming to your client or project manager that they can rely on your telephone number is an essential time saver.
- If you use your telephone number as a means of communication, create a professional voice message. Notify the caller that you cannot answer their call at this time but that you will contact them as soon as possible.
Let your text rest before the final revision
After finishing a translation, let it breathe. Take a break or turn your attention to other tasks.
You may not notice it, but you will be overlooking details that you would be able to see at a glance at any other time. This is totally normal, after having dedicated so much time to a text it is difficult to see the mistakes that you may have made.
That is why it is always important to have some extra time for revision before delivering any project.
There is nothing wrong with asking questions
Don’t be afraid to ask anything. Both the client and the project manager want the translation to be perfect and on time. So, if you have any doubts about the text, the specialism or the format for delivery, the best thing you can do is ask.
More so than ever in the case of the project manager, they are there to support and help. They will always be able to help you to resolve your doubts in order to make the translation much easier for you.
Never stop learning
Training and the use of translation tools are essential and fundamental for our sector. Constantly learning and updating your knowledge is part of this process, from learning new translation tools or the possibilities of Microsoft Office to the use of CAT tools.
You can always find new tutorials on the official websites for each tool. Or even videos by other users who have had the same questions as you.
Don’t be afraid of “trial and error” or of being self-taught. Use some of your time to acquire some in-depth knowledge of the tools at your disposal and their capabilities. Curiosity is the key to continued learning and it will open up a greater number of doors so that you can take on all kinds of translation projects.
What other advice do you think is essential for all translators? Share it with us so that others can also benefit!
See you on the translation platform!