Written on 31 May, 2016

When our Senior Project Manager and Translator Alison announced that she was expecting a baby last year, I didn’t know at the time that this would also mark the birth of an exciting new opportunity for me. As a member of the in-house translation team since April 2014, with an MA in Literary Translation and ample previous experience of proofreading translations, I had always defined myself exclusively as a translator. I just couldn’t see myself working in any other role. However, after some deliberation and consultation with my colleagues, I soon came to realise that this didn’t mean I couldn’t add project management to my repertoire. In the end, I made the decision to join the project managers to cover Alison’s maternity leave, convinced that it could be nothing but a positive move, with plenty of benefits all around.

With 18 months of in-house translation experience under my belt, I was able to embark upon the challenge of becoming a project manager with a comprehensive understanding of the entire translation process. I know first-hand what it means to be a translator and bring with me key transferable skills that include scheduling work, juggling multiple projects and working to strict deadlines. My previous industry experience also puts me in a particularly strong position when it comes to communicating with clients, as well as our extensive team of freelance translators and the members of the in-house translation team. With my direct insight into the different roles within the industry, I am able to confidently and knowledgeably answer any questions clients or suppliers alike may have about each and every stage of the translation process and ensure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

The really wonderful thing about my new role is that I still manage to fit plenty of German to English translations around my busy project management schedule. I also devote a large chunk of my working day to quality assurance. This includes revising and editing translations to ensure they are of the highest standards. Many of my clients are based in Germany and Austria, so I make use of my linguistic skills further in client communications. I am always happy to answer clients’ questions in German, whether they come by phone or email. I can quickly respond to specific queries relating to translation content, whether these come from clients or fellow translators. Broadening my experience of the stages of the translation process has certainly helped me to become a better translator myself.

Six months later and the boundary between translator and project manager has become increasingly blurred for me. Ultimately, it has merged into one challenging and fulfilling job role. I wonder if I could change my job title to something along the lines of Super Project Manager Translator…

My personal journey to discovering this rewarding combination role was one completed in clearly defined stages. However, all of our project managers are actually trained linguists with Masters degrees in translation. We are always keen to personally translate many languages including Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish (and of course German!). Or at least, that is when we find time in our busy working days. With an incredible 35 years of project management experience between us and an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the translation process, you can rest assured that your translation projects will be in safe hands with Surrey Translation Bureau’s project management team.

If you have any questions about the translation process, our team of Super Project Managers will be delighted to help and advise you. Why not email us today at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or give us a call on +44 (0) 1252 733 999. We look forward to hearing from you!