Back in September 2020 a new team member, Brigitta Bacsai joined First Edition’s busy commercial team. She is a seasoned translation project manager with several years of experience in the industry, however, her first half a year – or 200 projects if you like – at First Edition have still brought some surprises for her and provided some learning opportunities.
Read our brief interview with Brigitta to find out more!
You have now completed more than 200 projects as part of First Edition’s commercial project management team. Do you know how many different languages you have worked with since you joined?
Since I started as a Project Manager at First Edition in September 2020, I have worked with nearly 50 different languages and language combinations from all over the world, including projects to and from the 24 official EU languages, as well as numerous Asian, African and Middle Eastern languages. The most interesting project in terms of the origin of the document came from a private client. The document was issued in Timor-Leste, a country in Asia which I had never even heard of. It is on the island of Timor which is situated north of Australia and south of Indonesia. The main language is Portuguese, but I had to check with the client who was from this country if it was standard Portuguese before finding a translator for the request.
What is the most popular type of project you usually deal with?
The nature of projects can be very different from client to client but there are some recurring requests, like translating standard operating procedures and safety instructions, as well as internal communication with non-English speaking employees for one of our regular clients. These are probably the most regular ones.
What was the most unusual request you have had to date?
I am just dealing with a request where the client requested us to issue a translation certificate for a translated contract which their own reviewer has updated. Of course, we cannot certify the accuracy of a translation which was not fully completed by us, so I have offered the client to get our translator to check all the client’s changes and correct any potential errors so that we can issue a new translation certificate for the latest version of the contract. This suggestion has been accepted by the client.
I believe you have some experience with larger language service providers. Do you find working at a smaller, “boutique” agency different?
Working at a bigger agency definitely has its own advantages, however, being a Project Manager at a smaller translation agency has its upsides too.
First of all, our clients have one dedicated person looking after their projects from start to finish. Our clients give all the necessary instructions to the Project Manager, who passes them on directly to the translator. No information is lost. At a large corporate translation company information may be handed down from person to person like in a game of “pass the message” before it reaches the translators, so relevant instructions might get lost along the way. In addition to this aspect, an experienced Project Manager also knows what kind of relevant questions to ask from their client.
Plus, it is quite cosy working as part of a small team. We have a positive, supporting work environment, we are almost like a family.
Moving forward, is there anything you’d like to focus on as a Commercial Project Manager with us?
I definitely encourage the more frequent use of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to be able to save money and time for our clients, as well as ensuring a higher accuracy and consistency with using the automated quality assurance checks and translation memories in these tools.
It would also be useful to establish a quick and easy client feedback system, so that we can find out from our clients what they are happy with and what we need to improve on.