A few weeks ago I was working on finding resources for a potential new multi-language project. There are many steps that need to be taken prior to selecting a highly qualified linguist for a localization project. I thought about the time it would take to find a linguist if our database was not fully updated with approved linguists clearly identified according to their language pair and subject matter expertise. In this blog I will discuss how you can ensure you have a well-organized vendor database for localization projects.
Avoid Chaos and Confusion
Let's make a funny comparison. Suppose you are walking down the street wearing a purse that is full of papers, lipstick, perfume, candy, pens, tissues, old tickets, etc., and someone asks you for a pen and says he needs it urgently. After rummaging around your purse looking for it and after several attempts to find one that works and apologizing a few times, you might be able to lend the pen to that person, if you find one that works.
Now imagine that messy purse is your vendor database and one of your clients requests a rush translation project in several uncommon languages. I bet you will not be ready to start the project very quickly.
How to Organize Your Vendor Database
In order to keep an efficient and well-organized vendor database that is an effective resource for project managers in your company, especially under rush circumstances, there is a lot of work that needs to be done on a daily basis. A few of these tasks include:
- Identify linguists according to their source and target languages.
- Request those linguists to complete a sample translation.
- Have those sample translations reviewed and approved by previously qualified linguists.
- Store the approved samples together with the linguists' (yearly) updated resumes under the corresponding Language Pair record, which should be previously created in your database.
- Add easily accessible comments to each linguist record regarding: current rates, subject matter expertise, number of words they translate/edit per day, if they provide interpretation services, if they translate, edit and proof or translate only, the accounts they are generally assigned to.
- Identify desktop publishers, developers, etc. according to their source and target languages and add any necessary comments under each entry.
- Remove all vendor records that do not qualify to be ready to start working on a certain project right away.
I cannot emphasize enough how important and time-saving it is that your vendor database is well organized, user friendly, up-to-date and comprehensive so you can quickly find the proper linguists. When your database is organized you can avoid wasting several hours and even days trying to find and then qualify linguists that are there but have not been evaluated yet, or even worst, having to look for vendors outside your database and evaluate those vendors when you should be launching your project.
The process of looking for and evaluating vendors outside your database is what a vendor manager should work on daily. Continually updating your database with new resources will help if the teams you usually use for a client are not available, or the translator you always contact for certain language are too expensive for the project budget.
In summary, I strongly suggest that you organize, and regularly evaluate and update your vendor database. This will save you time, money and a few headaches!
Additional Resources for Localization Project Management
You can optimize project management on your next project, by reading GPI's previous blogs on translation project management: Project Management for Translation Projects, Part 1 and Project Management for Translation Projects, Part 2 and Best Practices for Localization Project Managers.
Translation and Localization Resources
You may gain further insight into global e-business, global SEO and website translation and country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:
- Website Translation Tips and Best Practices by Country Series
- Language Translation Resources
- Translation Portal and Localization Tools
- 10 Tips for Website Localization
- Global SEO: 4 Top Factors
- Social Media Localization
- Doing Business via the WWW in China
- Creating Culturally Customized Content for Website Translation
Please feel free to contact GPI at email@example.com with any questions about our translation services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.
About the Author
Hebatullah (Heba) Mahmoud Nady is a native Arabic speaker who lives in Cairo, Egypt. She has 11 years of experience in client relations and project management, working in different industries, such as publishing, oil and gas and translation and localization. Heba holds a B.A. degree in English Language and Literature from Ain Shams University, and has a great passion for language and culture. She has been actively managing many localization and translation projects for major clients since 2008 and is well versed in a wide range of localization tools and practices. Heba enjoys working with teams from different cultures and bringing people together to achieve a common goal. For her, translation is a mission that contributes to enriching Arabic and other cultures and languages. In her free time, Heba likes to read about literature and management and go sightseeing.More Content by Heba Nady