Collaboration Tools usually aren’t on the top of mind when starting a translation project. However, collaboration is something to consider even for a simple document. The reality is, before a linguist can start translating or working on a project, they must be clear as the exact meaning of the English source if they are going to produce a high quality translation. There are a a few questions that can and should be asked about every project before beginning to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Items to Discuss before Starting a Project
Here are just a few things you could address before getting started. The list could go on and on!
- How do you want to handle addresses, names of businesses and other proper nouns? Should they stay in English? Should they be transliterated?
- How do you want your organization name, branding, name of service handled? Translated in a specific way?
- What special terms or glossary words might be helpful to define beforehand?
- Who is the intended audience for the document?
- Will the final document use graphics?
- Will the document need to be updated in the future?
- Are there other resources that are similar that have been translated in the past?
- Why are you doing this translation?
Ineffective Use of Email to Communicate
As you can see, there are many things to work out. I have worked on many projects in my career where emails go back and forth asking and answering each of these questions. What’s worse is when the question comes from a translator to the Project Manager, then from the Project Manager to the client. The cycle continues when the client provides an answer to the question. It’s no wonder when things get missed with this ongoing game of telephone! I’ve worked as a Project Manager when I just basically copied messages back and forth. It was crazy-making. If I can’t add value, why am I doing it?
Then again, emails have some limitations. It’s easy to forget to cc the right person or cc the wrong person. It’s also one of the least secure ways of communicating. Files are easily hacked, lost, or corrupted.
This is where a collaboration tool comes in.
LinguistLink Gets You on the Same Page
Using LinguistLink’s “Project Discussion” feature allows you to publicly discuss any questions with all the stakeholders on the project. It works just like your “wall” on social media. When a linguist has a question or needs clarification, they can post it here. Then everyone, including other linguists who are working on this task, will be notified.
There are a few advantages for this feature:
- Tasks are more clear. Clients can provide clarification that applies to more than one language. This way they only have to update once.
- Communication is quick. Clients can quickly communication changes to the project scope.
- Translation quality improves. Linguists can discuss meanings and help each other fill in higher quality translations.
If you would like to learn more about this and other features, you can contact us for a demo.