As translators, we hate to admit it, but translation is only part of the foreign language communication process. Language Management is the method used to make sure that the translation process delivers a well-crafted translation as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
So Language Managers become the ringleaders for the entire translation show ― but they stand alone. When we provide translation services to our clients, our language managers stand aside, looking on from on high, since we don’t want them to be influenced by the translation team. So it’s not “church and state,” as the magazine ad salesman promises with a wink, but more like New York and New Jersey: side by side, but commuting back and forth.
Language Managers pull all the details required for good translation from every source. It’s a lot more than just managing traffic, since herding all the translation cats takes more diplomacy than UN diplomats do. (We should know!)
Really good translation management requires an experienced project manager with an intimate knowledge of client requirements, translation industry best practice, and translation language native-speaker expertise.
That’s a tough bill to fill, and often tough for our clients, most of whom aren’t interested in entering the translation industry (not that I blame them).
So we do it. It takes a special breed of linguists. Some aren’t such good cat-herders, and some don’t know the ins and outs.
More on language management soon.