In the fast-paced world of translation and localisation, there are many things to consider when choosing a linguist for your translation project. In this introductory post to vendor management, we offer some tips to kick-start a successful vendor management process.
Hire Qualified Linguists
A big mistake that is often made when hiring linguists is believing that being bilingual is enough. If you want top-notch localised content, seek linguists who have formally studied or specialised in translation that understand the linguistic and cultural nuances between source and target languages. Associations like ATA, CioL and ITI are a reliable resource for finding accredited linguists.
Provide Excellent Communication
Maintaining good communication with your vendors is essential for building a good relationship. You should always provide clear instructions when sending them a project, and queries should be answered promptly.
Think About What Your Project Needs
Even if you have the best linguist working on your project, they might not always be the best fit. Always keep in mind their specialisations, and the kind of projects they’ve worked on before. Also remember that if your project requires more creative work, it might be best to seek a linguist who lives in the target country —be it for translation or review— as native speakers who have lived abroad for a long time might not be up to date with slang and cultural nuances.
Try Newly-Recruited Linguists
Employers often tend to use the same trusted linguist when a project comes up. However, overloading linguists can sometimes reflect in poor quality deliverables. Remember to give your linguist some breathing room and, whenever possible, provide deadlines that will give them enough time to deliver high-quality content.
So, if your favourite vendor is too busy, this is the perfect opportunity to use new vendors that you haven’t yet had the chance to work with. Who knows, they could become your new favourite. Ideally, they should be tested on small projects that are not too urgent to allow for some wiggle room, just in case you need to fix anything that might have been done incorrectly and thoroughly QA the file.
Giving feedback to a linguist after reviewing the file is an essential part of improving the quality of their work and future projects. If you plan on using a vendor for a long-term project for the same client, it will also enable them to get an idea of the client’s tone of voice, their blacklisted terms, as well as their various other preferences. Feedback can also be useful to track vendor performance and make informed decisions when allocating projects.
Keep Holiday Calendars Updated
Everyone appreciates having some time off to unwind, and the same goes for your linguists. Keeping vendor availability updated is a crucial step in avoiding the sudden panicked realisation that your linguist has not replied to your email after one day because they’re on a tropical beach soaking up the sun. Although some people will occasionally check their emails while they’re away, avoid putting this strain on the relationship by keeping calendars or holiday documents updated so you don’t bother them during their time off.
Language providers and agencies sometimes forget that linguists also choose who they want to work with and what projects they want to work on. By taking these key elements on board, you will not only be helping your vendor and project managers, but also making the linguists appreciate working with you by building a solid relationship with them.