Women in Localization – Professional Insertion and Development for Translators

On November 19th, 2019 the Argentina Chapter of Women in Localization (WIL) hosted a gathering of working professionals and translation students in Belgrano, Buenos Aires. Around thirty women attended the event, Professional Insertion and Development for Translators, which was supported by several sponsors. Terra Translations was proud to be one of these sponsors. 

Who Participated

Our Director of Human Resources Natalia Quintás presented at the event alongside two other speakers. Natalia has been with Terra Translations for more than five years and has experience working as a vendor manager, permanent staff administrator, and training and development manager. She has more than 15 years of experience working in first-level global companies and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She’s an invaluable member of our team and we knew her experience and expertise would inspire the women attending the event. 

The Event

The event composed of a variety of presentations about the translation industry and kicked off with a brief introduction to WIL by Virginia Minhondo, the Argentina Chapter Manager of WIL. Her presentation explained the history of WIL, how the organization supports volunteer work, and how translators can join WIL. 

Natalia’s Presentation

Natalia’s presentation was titled “Keys to Develop Your Professional Career” and provided attendees with tips on how to enter the translation industry market. She covered a variety of helpful topics ranging from perfecting your resume to how to use LinkedIn to your advantage during a job search. 

She also provided insight as to what different roles linguists can work in and how important is to plan a career path that lines up with your goals. Natalia discussed which skills will make translators stand out within the industry and how they can become part of a high-performance team. As well as how if someone wants to have a successful career in the translation industry, they must develop particular abilities relating to problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, team spirit, decision-making, detail-orientation, negotiation skills, and cognitive flexibility.

The Presentation Key Ideas

There were multiple speakers at the event. One of which spoke of her own professional experience navigating the translation industry as a recent graduate. She shared her perspective on how the industry evolved over the past decade. This speaker offered invaluable insight into how translators can insert themselves in the professional translation market when they first begin their career. She emphasized that learning new software and embracing CAT tools is a necessary part of keeping up with the latest trends in our industry. She argued that these tools are not our enemies, but can help enrich our work and make our lives easier.

Another speaker, focused on how freelance translators can obtain work-life balance. She advocated that time management is one of the most important skills to be learned by freelance translators. She also shared tips for how freelancers can organize important, yet sometimes neglected, tasks such as invoicing and project tracking with the help of templates and digital sheets.

Our Commitment Continues

We’re proud to report that Natalia’s presentation was positively welcomed by the audience, who appreciated having a Human Resources professional’s perspective on how translators should be inserting themselves in the translation industry. After her presentation, many young professionals approached Natalia to discuss details about their own experiences as translators. At Terra Translation we always strive to support other women in the translation industry, so we would say this event was an outstanding success. 

Extra! Extra! Terra’s Team Spotted in Buenos Aires

If The Terra Times were in the press tonight, no doubt the front page would be devoted to the event we were all waiting for: Terra’s annual dinner. On Saturday, November 16, Terra Translations’ in-house team and vendors gathered in the Robles Hall of the Howard Johnson Resort in Pilar, Buenos Aires. A beautiful spring evening was the setting for surprises, emotion, camaraderie… and even dancing.

After an exciting afternoon engaged in team building activities, Terra team members welcomed vendors at the reception. Attendees chatted face-to-face with long-time colleagues as well as met new ones. 

As Terra operates under a virtual model, having the chance to meet in person is crucial for the team. Andrea Bianchimano, an experienced translator who has been working with Terra for so many years that she can’t remember when she started, never misses a dinner. 

“Because of the nature of our jobs, we are always on one side of the computer,” explained Andrea. “So it’s very important to meet face-to-face.”

Why we talk about family and friendship

After the reception, during which welcome presents were given, Marina Ilari, Terra’s CEO, and Beatriz Cirera, Terra’s Executive Advisor, shared a few words with the attendees. Marina recounted how Terra started as a small family business. She graciously thanked the whole team for their hard work and commitment to the company’s development. Additionally, Beatriz encouraged the attendees to never give up and keep pursuing the goals they establish for themselves and for the team.

Although the business has grown, it’s not unusual to use the word “family” when talking about Terra. For example, Andrea says she likes collaborating with the company because, for her, “it’s a big family.” She had the opportunity to develop relationships and friendships.

Finally, Marina and Beatriz surprised three important team members, who believed and trusted in Terra from the very beginning: Project Manager Silvia Inés Malpassi, Quality Assurance Manager Paula Morguen and Account Manager Natalia Atab. They received lovely bouquets in appreciation of their continued support and magnificent work all these years.

Speaking of commitment

Afterwards, guests enjoyed dinner and  dancing. Some attendees chatted and others chose to dance and sing together. “When you work with someone and you don’t know them personally, I think there is a different energy,” said Emily Miller, before the dancing began. She is a Spanish into English translator that has been collaborating with Terra since 2014 and really enjoys attending the annual event. For her, having the chance to see the people she works with makes a huge difference. It’s key to establishing better communication and to building stronger relationships between vendors and PMs, or even among vendors, she explained. 

Andrea Bianchimano and Emily Miller at Terra´s annual dinner

Emily remarked that, for her, meeting face-to-face also contributes to her commitment with the company, so such opportunities are valuable. She added that working with a women-owned business means a lot to her, as it’s a way of supporting fellow females in the industry.

Midnight as conclusion

After all the drinks, chats, laughs and tears were shared, the stroke of midnight brought closure to the event. The whole team said “cheers” and hoped for an even better year to come, full of teamwork, new challenges and accomplished goals.

Take a look at our photo album from the event here!

Translation Style Guide 101: Purpose, Content, Usage

Typically, when someone thinks of a style guide they view it as a means to maintain a consistent content style. What some international businesses may not realize is that you can create a translation style guide. This version of a style guide can assist with improving the quality and speed of a translator’s work, as well as encourage consistency. A translation style guide serves many purposes and can provide great benefits to both brands and translators.

 What is a translation style guide?

A style guide creates a template that improves consistency when a text requires translation into multiple languages. These guides can address cultural differences, linguistic difficulties, and required formats or structures. Every language presents unique challenges, sometimes even for each variant. Spanish is a language where variants occur, as it is widely spoken in many different geographic regions. Different Spanish-speaking countries may use a distinct Spanish variant. When translating from American English to U.S. Spanish, a translator should leave the date format as is (mm-dd-yyyy). However, when translating into Argentinean Spanish or LATAM Spanish, the date format should be changed to dd-mm-yyy. One should always have in mind who the target audience is. Which is why there is usually a style guide dedicated to each language or language variant that translators must translate a text into.

This type of style guide can also dictate word choice, which is particularly helpful if terminology can be translated multiple ways. Using the same terminology throughout a text lessens chance of reader confusion. The same goes for any area of text that one can format in a variety of ways, like dates and times.

 What does a style guide contain?

A translation style guide will in many ways be similar to a traditional style guide, but with a heavy focus on terminology. Generally, you can expect to find the following things in a style guide used to assist translation.

  • General Linguistic Considerations: In order to have consistent grammar usage, a style guide can outline preferred syntax and semantics. Rules about grammar choices such as verb forms, tenses, and capitalization can be included.
  • Punctuation & Orthographical Marks: Oxford commas, spaces, quotation marks, and other punctuation based rules deserve a spot in the guide.
  • Formatting: If your translators should make select words bold, use a certain font, or stick to other formatting rules, those choices should be clearly outlined.
  • Bulleted Lists & Tables: How bulleted lists or tables are to be formatted can be specified. As can instructions for formatting a table of contents, such as if the table of contents should be in alphabetical order. 
  • Tone: Now is the time to define your voice. Do you only want a translator to write in active tense? Do you have a set tone you’d like to portray? Include any tone preferences in this guide. For example, for style guides regarding Spanish or French, a preference for the “formal” or “informal” tone should be noted. 
  • Localization: Address how you’d prefer a translator format symbols and units of measurement. For example, money, time, acronyms, and dates. As well as how URLs need to be localized.
  • Branding: Set guidelines for brand

 Why is this guide so important?

Translators use these style guides to recreate a global brand’s voice in local markets. These guides allow a translator to replicate your brand’s style and vision throughout your target markets. Doing so helps brands cement their global corporate identity. And they can provide a consistent customer experience around the world. Speed is also a benefit of using a style guide. Both translators and reviewers can work more efficiently when they have less guess work.

A translation style guide is not one and done. It’s important that a style guide changes over time. Language, culture, and styles evolve frequently. Feel free to update your guide as necessary.

Translation of Pharmacovigilance Documentation

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. But what makes the medicine work? That’s a process that pharmacovigilance aims to improve. Pharmacovigilance is a facet of patient care. One that aims to utilize medicine and data in the best way possible. To treat and prevent diseases. It is also a field that requires high quality translation services in order to ensure the proper translation of pharmacovigilance documentation.

What Is Pharmacovigilance?

Pharmacovigilance deals with the detection, understanding, assessment, and prevention of adverse effects. As well as other medicine-related problems. The World Health Organization outlined three main goals of pharmacovigilance:

  1. The rational and safe use of medical drugs.
  2. The assessment and communication of the risks and benefits of drugs, on the market.
  3. Educating and informing of patients.

Pharmacovigilance is a critical part of the pharmaceutical and health-care industries. It aids continuance, drug approval, and the ability to safely promote the use of their products. And it allows medical practitioners to better communicate their knowledge while practicing. It is also the source of all drug safety information and education for patients and the general public.

This undeniably important discipline has a tough job to do. The nature of the issues they are dealing with are undesirable, particularly when it comes to pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Adverse events inevitably arise and the reporting of these events is necessary in order to create valid pharmacovigilance programs. Ideally, these programs identify undesired events before public health is affected by them.

Public health spreads wide. Across many regions and languages. Which is why there can be no language barriers in the reporting process of these events. The adverse events are reported in the local language, but proper translation will allow these reports to do more good across more groups of people.

Who Needs Pharmacovigilance Information

Primarily, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations, and other outsourcing partners such as language translation organizations like Terra Translation are interested in pharmacovigilance.

When is the translation of pharmacovigilance documentation needed? Pharmacovigilance databases often require translation from a range of languages into English and vice-versa. Adverse effect reporting, adverse drug reaction databases, and documents related to these subjects generally need translation.

Why Access Matters

 Health and wellness are the primary reasons why it is important pharmacovigilance information is readily available to anyone who desires it. Pharmacovigilance can only work successfully if information is shared in a timely fashion. Which is where the world wide web comes to the rescue.

 The internet has made this information more accessible than ever before. Any concerned party can obtain information about an adverse event online. The ease of access is good. The risk of misunderstandings due to translation errors is not. If the reader does not have access to a properly translated document, then misinformation can spread. Which is highly dangerous. Medical organizations, regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical firms, medical device firms, and the public all need access to properly translated pharmacovigilance information. Translation errors can have dangerous results. Which can cause harm to the public and unnecessary expenses on behalf of stakeholders. Working with a qualified language services provider can help mitigate the risk of mistranslation.