Some translation companies have their own way of assigning their job to their freelance translators outside. Some are done from looking at the project history the translators have, some are from the individual test. Every single project is assigned with every single test to assess whether the translators are capable of the topic and some other ways may be around.
Which one is better and guarantees better translation product? We cannot say which one is better as when it comes to translation product, it involves many things and people; project management, company policy, people in the company in general involving translator, editor, proofreader, reviewer, team lead, and so on. However, we would like to share our daily operation on project assignment to our freelance translators to give you an insight (one of several insights to dig in).
We share our project with our freelance translators in 2 ways, but let us tell you how we share our project regularly. First of all, when the project is confirmed and the deadline is fixed, we then check the file and everything related to the file, telling the translators on what to do and what not to do, including the worst case scenario. If the project is new, we usually check the translators' project history from their recent CV or resume and make an initial assessment. We usually send them email to clarify whether they are comfortable with the project. If we are sure that they are comfortable with the project from the way they write to us, we then prepare the package and send them a project afterwards. If we are unsure, we usually do second assessment by further asking some related questions and if necessary, we will give them a small test of related project. This is to ensure that the project is well handled by the right translators. Although we are supported by certified and senior translators, we do not blindly assign the project as human psychologically evolves from time to time and so does capability. We reflect on our past experience and the experience others may have. Translation is not merely about certification. It is about professionalism. It means that the project is supposed to be handled by the right person with the right approach and sent in time, regardless of the certification the translators have. Certified translators do not guarantee that their translation is free of errors. Senior translators do not guarantee that the translation will be better than junior translators' or newbies'. The focus is professionalism and we target this professionalism in our project assignment. It sounds a bit complicated, but this is what we do to assure that the next runs well.
We have an in-between process that we always do; we can say that this is a must for us as the process of producing good quality translation. What is the process like?
1) Project check
The project check is intended to make sure that we do not mistakenly assign the project to the translators with no relevant expertise and experience. It also includes file and material check, involving term relevance check to glossary creation for translation process. When this phase is completed, we directly assign the project to the translator for further process.
2) Project monitoring
The project is with the translator and we do not know the approach the translators adopt to handle one single project. It is the reason that we do the regular monitoring on the project we assign. This is to ensure that the project is well handled and what we expect from the translation the translators are supposed to produce is on track; the quality is okay, term used conforms to the glossary we agreed upon before project assignment and so on. We will regularly check with the translators on hourly basis if the project is an at-the-same-day-delivery project and on daily basis if the project is an at-later-day-delivery project. We normally ask for the file the translators have already completed and check at the day and make sure that everything is on our expectation. If we found anything irrelevant, we will directly remind the translators of this, with shared good intention of creating best translation product.
3) Project completion
This is the last phase we have with our freelance translator. When the project is delivered back to us and we check that everything conforms to what we have expected, we confirm receipt of the file and mark the project as complete. We will say thanks to them for their help. If there is anything unclear about the translation, we will directly contact the translators for clarification. This may be the normal thing you do in your company as well.
Yes, this is how a project is assigned to a freelance translator and handled in ProBahasa Translation. This phase only involves the company as an outsourcer and a linguist as a translator only. We actually have further process before final-delivery of the translation to our client or partner. This involves initial QA by the team lead, editing by the editor, proofreading by the proofreader, final QA by the team lead, project finalization by the team lead and final delivery. We will share them with you in detail later.
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