Discover How Localization can Boost Growth in the Learning and Development Industry
09/08/2022

How localization can boost the Learning & Development Industry Growth

The learning & development industry saw a big uptick in a need for their products during the pandemic when suddenly countless workplaces sent all of their employees home to work remotely. Learning & development specialists devote a lot of time and resources into creating their educational materials, which are then used by companies to help train their employees. When these training are available in more than one language, companies can extend these training materials to more of their employees. Being able to offer their courses in more than one language can help L&D companies in this industry expand rapidly.

Keep reading to learn more about how localization can benefit the learning & development industry.

Popular Learning & Development Trainings

Digital training materials have become increasingly important for corporations as they make it easier to conduct training for their employees. Typical trainings include courses on how to be safe on the job, how to perform their duties, etc. While these general trainings still occur, training focused on diversity and inclusion, soft skills, and how to improve employee wellbeing have become more relevant. To better understand what types of learning & development materials can benefit from localization, let’s look at a few different popular types of learning & development training.

It’s worth noting that the following topics are strongly culture related. This is why localization is a better fit than translation in this case as a localization specialist can adapt the content in a course to be suitable for the specific target audience that will be taking the course.

  • Diversity and inclusion training. These days, companies are revisiting their values, training programs, and hiring practices to create a more inclusive workplace. Localized diversity and inclusion training can help them reach their goals in this space more effectively.
  • Employee wellbeing efforts. In light of the Great Resignation, companies have a lot of motivation to try to retain their employees. Companies can incorporate employee well-being into their learning & development materials. These trainings focus on the skills and habits employees need to feel content at work and in other areas of their lives. Localization can help make these learning materials more thoughtful.
  • Soft skill development. There are a lot of soft skills we don’t learn in school that we need in the workplace to thrive. Companies who invest in teaching their employees soft skills through learning & development can build a stronger workforce.

How Localization Can Maximize Learning & Development Trainings

Localization goes a step past translation by taking the target audience’s unique language and cultural habits and preferences into account. This more custom approach can be a game changer in the learning & development industry and can maximize the usability of their educational content. Large companies get more bang for their buck when they invest in multilingual courses as they can accommodate their global workforce when they offer training. Everyone benefits when more thought and care is put into creating learning & development resources.

As an added bonus, by having access to localized learning & development materials, companies can create a more unified and stronger company culture even if their workforce is spread across the world. This is especially relevant considering that remote working remains popular even after pandemic related workplace closures have come to an end.

The Right Voice-Over Narrator for Audiobooks
02/08/2022

How to Find the Right Voice-Over Narrator for Audiobooks

Anyone who likes to hit the treadmill or who frequently gets stuck in bumper to bumper traffic is probably familiar with the ease and convenience of audiobooks. Listening to books is a great way to squeeze in a little recreation time while folding laundry or wrapping up mindless work tasks. 

It’s easy to see why audiobooks have grown so much in popularity in recent years. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, audiobook sales rose by 28.8% and in 2016, 24% of Americans listened to at least one audiobook, which was an increase from the 22% of people who reported doing so in 2015. 

With so much interest in audiobooks growing over the years, this leaves a lot of room for authors and publishing houses to benefit from this trend. Almost any book has the potential to become an audiobook, but for it to be effective, it has to be done well. There’s a lot more to making a good audiobook than just reading it out loud. The voice-over narrator in particular plays a key role in the success of an audiobook. 

Skills Audiobook Narrators Need

The bulk of the audiobook experience for the reader centers around the narrator, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced narrator who is up to the task. These are some of the skills you should look for when hiring an audiobook narrator. 

  • Acting ability. A good narrator doesn’t simply read text, they act it out. When someone narrates an audiobook, they need to embody different characters and be able to authentically relay their stories. Having a background in acting can make accomplishing this task much easier. 
  • Voice abilities. To differentiate between characters, the narrator will need to alter their voice, to make it clear which character is speaking. They may even need to adapt accents or speak in different dialects. While no listener expects one narrator to completely change their voice for each character, they won’t be able to follow the story if the narrator doesn’t use a variety of voices. 
  • Stamina. Narration is a tiring task and one that requires stamina and a decent amount of breath control. Recording days can be long and tiring, so you’ll want to work with a narrator who is experienced working on these types of projects and who knows what to expect during a day of recording. 
  • Research. A narrator who is also a good researcher will be most effective at their job. The whole process will go a lot smoother if the narrator does some leg work and reviews the text in advance to confirm they know how to pronounce all the words. That way, they won’t stumble through the narration any time a new name or place they haven’t heard of before comes up in the text. 

How to Find the Right Narrator

To find the right narrator for an audio project, it’s important to compare work samples of any narrators you’re considering for the job. Here’s a few things you should pay attention to when reviewing those audio samples. 

  • Their voice. This seems like a no-brainer, but the narrator has to have the right voice for the project. No matter how good they are at their job, sometimes they may sound too young or too old for a role. They may have a flair for the dramatic or pronounce words in a specific way that doesn’t work for the tone of the book. Pay close attention to their voice to get a gauge if they can help your specific text come to life.
  • Their speed. How fast do they speak? Do they speak too fast for anyone to understand? Or too slow to keep the audience’s attention?
  • Their equipment and surroundings. If your narrator will be recording the audiobook using their own equipment in their own recording space, make sure you pay close attention to background sounds, echos, and other factors that can be influenced by their location or technology. 

Every book (or audiobook) is unique, which is why it’s only logical to be in doubt about what narrator to choose. If you’re about to embark on a project like this one, feel free to reach out to the Terra team and get advice and suggestions for your specific project. The last thing you want is for a great story to fall flat because the narrator wasn’t the right fit!

Brazil as an emerging market key industries Portada
22/07/2022

Brazil as an emerging market: Key industries

The Brazilian market provides nearly endless business opportunities thanks to its massive population of more than 211 million residents. While many different types of businesses across multiple industries have the chance to thrive in this market, the video game, e-learning, and healthcare and pharmaceutical industries in particular have a lot to gain by entering and embracing the Brazilian market. Let’s examine why these industries can benefit so much by properly entering this vibrant market. 

Video Games

Because only 5% of the Brazilian population speaks English, localization into Portuguese is a must if you want your video game to be widely accessible to Brazilians. It’s extremely important that you localize your video game for the Brazilian market. Especially when you consider the fact that this country is home to over 66 million gamers, which is almost as many people that make up the entire UK population. An important factor to understand about the Brazilian market is how much they rely on their mobile devices because of how much they rely on their mobile devices, in part due to long commutes on public transport and affordability when compared to other platforms. Localizing mobile games in particular should be a priority for video game creators. 

E-Learning

Those that focus on the corporate training sector in particular have great potential to break into this market right now. Because only a minority of people in Brazil speak English, this language barrier prevents them from taking online courses that are not in their native language. Data suggests that Brazilian industries are developing fast, but their workforce is not adequately trained and can lack specific skills. If you adapt your online courses to their native language you can help address this need and expand your reach in this market. 

You also have the opportunity to adapt your e-learning courses to a mobile format which will appeal to this unique market. By 2023, the Latin America e-learning market is anticipated to generate more than $3 billion in revenue, so this is not an opportunity that e-learning content creators want to sleep on. 

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

Circling back to those 211 million Brazilians, that’s a lot of people who need access to translated and localized healthcare and pharmaceutical information. As of 2018, there were more than 250 health-focused startups in Brazil. This isn’t surprising when you consider that Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest health market. 

From prescription packaging to medical records to insurance claims, there is a great need for proper translation and localization in the Brazilian healthcare industry. Brazil’s pharmaceutical market in particular is one of the largest in the industry and rapidly growing. With many pharmaceuticals developed in English-speaking countries, this leaves a large need for translation in this space. 

Mobile comes into play here once again. To help make healthcare as a whole more accessible (including advice, diagnosis, and monitoring), telehealth services are growing in Brazil. Part of the attempt to make healthcare more accessible is to embrace telehealth, which often takes advantage of mobile applications. 

Translation and localization in the healthcare and pharmaceutical space does not just lead to business opportunities, but also opportunities to create safer and more effective care for Brazilians.


19/07/2022

The Role of Technology in the Translation Industry

Technology has impacted all areas of our lives greatly and the translation industry is no exception. In the past, translators did their work using paper and pen, typewriters, and dictionaries. As you can imagine, without the aid of technology, the translation process took a lot of time to complete. Fortunately, much has changed since the rise of the computer and the internet—word processor, access to many more digital resources (dictionaries, glossaries, corpus), reduced research time (no need to go to the library and flip through big books), faster communication with clients and between peers, and access to the best talent in the world make translation work easier and more effective.

Let’s take a closer look at how technology has impacted the translation industry. 

How Technology Has Impacted the Translation Industry

The advancement of computer technology and the internet created a wide range of tools and convenience for every industry, but the translation industry specifically started its road of exponential growth when technology stepped in. As technology expanded, so did our access to other corners of the world. Given the amount of content that needed to be translated to reach other markets and audiences, technology also needed to provide enhanced productivity, communication, and quality assurance tools.

CAT tools were the first big revolution in the translation field and absolutely changed how translators worked thanks to the implementation of translation memory, term bases, and QA checks. While at the beginning CAT tools were deemed to be a threat to human translators, it soon became clear how much they had to offer. Linguists became more efficient and productive, and found in them ways to reduce human errors. Now it seems inconceivable to work without them.

Machine Translation (MT) can be considered the next big revolution. This technological solution was created to help meet that vast demand for fast translation services at a cheaper cost. While the quality standard with MT can be questionable and there’s a lot of room for improvement, there’s no denying that to some extent and in some fields the use of MT can prove to be invaluable.

As demand for translation services grew, other technological tools came to the rescue in order to keep track of everything. Translation Management Systems in particular provide a wide variety of solutions to common translation struggles. This tool organizes all kinds of translation and localization workflows. Some of the benefits of a Translation Management System include: 

  • 24/7 access
  • Automation of workflows
  • Assignments by AI
  • Centralized linguistic assets
  • Easy collaboration
  • Progress tracking
  • Simple integration
  • Built-in accountability
  • Scalability
  • Deadline management
  • Improved translation quality
  • Transparent ROI

The Takeaway 

Technology has its faults—there’s no doubt about that—but in the translation industry it has been an enabler for progress. As long as all parties involved in the process understand that technology has its limitations, it can be used to do more, better, and faster work. In a world where access to information in a language everybody understands has become critical, having technology on our side is an enormous help.

Why-is-it-important-that-the-translator-has-a-translation-degree-or-certification
12/07/2022

Why is it important that the translator has a translation degree or certification?

The translation industry is made up of talented translators that hail from a variety of backgrounds. While some translators have earned a translation degree or certification, many other translators haven’t pursued a formal translation education. This begs the question, why isn’t there a set education standard in the translation industry? And is it important for translators to have a translation degree or certification? Let’s investigate.

Global Standards Vary

The translation industry is a global industry and one of the reasons that translators can have differing educational experiences is because every country has their own unique set of academic standards. In some countries you can attend a university and earn your translation degree after four or five years of study. In other countries, the universities may not offer an equivalent degree, but you may be able to take short translation courses focused on specific fields . Some countries only have translation associations that offer certifications like ATA. Point being, the education opportunities and therefore the hiring standards to become a translator, can vary greatly depending on where a translator lives. 

Why Do Translation Degrees and Certifications Have Value?

A translation degree or certification illustrates that a translator has the knowledge necessary to do translation work and do it well. This is especially helpful for those who are new in their career without much work experience under their belt. While some translators learn the necessary skills to do this job on their own through a lot of practice, not having credentials to account for what they know can create a roadblock for them. 

Pursuing a translation degree or certification plays an important role in learning how to work as a translator and how to create a linguistically and culturally accurate message. Some people believe being bilingual is enough to become a translator, but in reality being bilingual does not ensure that you have the skills necessary to be an accurate translator who can tackle all the important aspects of communication in both languages. 

The Benefits of Extending Education

Translators tend to be curious creatures, or at least in an ideal situation, they should be. A good translator must always be learning about new tools and reading about the latest developments in their fields of expertise. Some translators, after obtaining their degree in translation, go on to earn a degree in finance, the arts, history, or another subject relevant to their expertise. This desire to continue their education shows how committed a professional translator can be to delivering a top quality service.

What Employers and Clients Need to Know

To be on the safe side, always work with people who have become experts in the translation of specific language combinations through extensive studies. We know that literally everything can be translated, but not every translation has the same impact. There are fields that are very sensitive, such as those that have anything to do with health, security, and law. When it comes to the legal industry, some documents require a certified translation and having credentials is a requirement not an option. Certain industries allow no room for error, so working with a professional with vast linguistic and subject matter knowledge and experience is always your best bet. It’s worth noting that for some language combinations, there are no official certifications or academic programs available, so it’s important to do your research before hiring to be aware of what standards your candidate can realistically meet.


05/07/2022

Transcreation vs Copywriting—Are They The Same?

Nowadays, there’s more potential than ever for businesses to reach new audiences around the world. So, how can businesses spread the word about their product and services? Transcreation and copywriting are two different areas of focus in marketing—both of which can help a business tell their brand story, distribute their offerings, and reach new audiences.  

Let’s take a look at how copywriting and transcreation vary and when each is needed.  

What is Copywriting? 

The art of copywriting combines creative writing with persuasive writing with the goal of reaching a target audience and persuading them to do something in a given medium. For example, the goal may be to have the potential customer click on a link, provide information about themselves, to fill out a form, or to make a purchase. 

With copywriting projects, the copy is created from scratch in a given language, based on a brief and reference material the client provides the copywriter with. At this point, no translation is involved and the copywriter is likely writing in their native language.  

Copywriting services have evolved a lot during the last decade. In the past, copywriting was something that newspapers and magazines required to come up with catchy headlines, cover story titles, and other forms of copy that would increase their readership and sales. Today, people’s attention spans are a lot shorter and new mediums like email, social media, and websites require a different form of copywriting. The aim for copy today is usually to be clear and concise.  

While the message may be brief (a slogan for example) the work that entails is not. Copywriting requires a lot of creative skill in order to come up with effective copy while balancing the data-backed needs of SEO.  

What is Transcreation? 

Transcreation is very different from copywriting, yet involves copywriting skills. While it requires the same creative writing skills that copywriting does, transcreation adds in the essential element of translation to the process. 

Transcreation services are used in the field of multilingual communication and marketing. The result is a persuasive, creative text in a different language. The transcreator works with the copy already produced in one language and comes up with new text in a different language that creates the same effect as the original. As a result of the translation work required, transcreation projects can be much more complex than copywriting projects and bring a number of challenges.  

Before starting a transcreation project, it’s essential that the trancreator receives a transcreation brief. This brief ensures that the creative liberties the transcreator takes are in line with the brand and with what the client ultimately wants to achieve.  

The Takeaway 

Both copywriting and transcreation play pivotal roles in helping businesses extend their reach globally. Copywriting usually comes before transcreation. Once it’s time to reach a new audience that speaks a different language or belongs to a different culture, that’s when you need to transcreate the copy you already created during the initial copywriting phase. 


What is proofreading and why is it necessary in translation?
26/04/2022

What is proofreading and why is it a necessary step in translation?

Every translator and translation team has their own process in place for delivering what they feel is top quality work. While some translators follow a two-part process that involves translation and proofreading, at Terra Translations we suggest a three step process that includes editing. At first glance, editing and proofreading may seem somewhat redundant, so let’s look at why that isn’t the case, how these steps vary, and why proofreading is such a necessary step in the translation process. 

The Difference Between Editing and Proofreading

The point of undergoing both editing and proofreading is to ensure accuracy and create a quality translation, so it’s not surprising that many people use these terms interchangeably. However, there is a difference between editing and proofreading, and they should be treated as separate activities. 

Editing is when you execute changes to the translation and make suggestions to improve the overall quality of the product. Ideally, editing will lead to the translation becoming more consistent, sharper, and error free. An editor typically takes on the following responsibilities: 

  • Doing a bilingual review between the original text and the translated version
  • Identifying and correcting any translation errors
  • Pointing out inconsistencies and adjusting to better suit market and audience needs
  • Ensuring the correct use of language
  • Confirming that the translated message is conveyed correctly in regards to both language and culture
  • Double check that the style is correct and make suggestions to improve it

Proofreading focuses on correcting any superficial errors in the translated content, such as spelling or grammar errors, formatting, punctuation, or syntax. The proofreading process begins once you have a potential “final” version of the content to work with. As this is the final step of the process, the proofreader should read the text and try to make sense of it as if they themselves were the target audience. This is especially helpful as they are the final pair of eyes on the content before submission to the client or publication.

The Importance of Proofreading

Proofreading is such an important step because during translation and editing, your original text can undergo many variations as it is reworded into a different language. When translating, the goal is not to translate word by word but to think how the same message would be said in the target language. During this process, translators may copy structures seen in the source language unintentionally and when the editor is fixing issues like this, they may introduce unintentional mistakes such as typos, double spaces, a missing word, repeated articles, and misplaced commas. These are the type of mistakes that ideally a proofreader will spot and fix.

Proofreading is a valuable step in the translation process and helps lead to an error-free translation product that illustrates how carefully translated the work is and what high quality work the translator does. 

When Should You Proofread?

The proofreading step should be the last part of your quality assurance process. You won’t dive as deep during proofreading as you did during editing. Proofreading gives you a fresh opportunity to catch any mistakes not found in the editing stage and as you’re more focused on looking for superficial errors than making massive changes to the language and expression, it can be easier to catch small errors such as grammatical or spelling ones. 

Ideally, you’ll have a second translator carry out the editing and a third translator take care of the proofreading process, as a fresh set of eyes can more easily spot errors that the first translator and editor may have overlooked. Proofreading is a challenging task and it can be tempting to make changes relating to personal preference, but at that stage the translator should focus on just fixing mistakes and syntax issues.

Should you hire a freelance translator or translation company?
09/02/2022

Should You Hire a Freelance Translator or a Translation Company?

If you find yourself needing a translator, you may be wondering if you should work with a freelance translator or a translation company. There is no clear-cut answer to this question, because both options have some really amazing benefits for you to consider. That being said, there are reasons why one option may be better for you than the other. Let’s take a closer look at what it’s like to work with freelancers or a translation company so you can make the right call for your business. 

Working with Freelancers

Freelance translators can be very helpful and valuable when translation services are required. If you need the translation of a very technical or specialized subject matter, it makes sense to go to the expert. Chances are, there’s a great freelancer out there who can fit your language, culture, and industry needs, no matter how niche they are. 

Freelancers are known for putting in a lot of effort to keep their clients happy and don’t shy away from hard work. For example, if you need a certified translation of a legal document, when you work with a freelance translator who specializes in legal documents, they will work very closely with you to make sure the documents that require translation (birth certificates, marriage certificates, academic certificates, etc.) are not an obstacle towards getting a scholarship or your dream job abroad.

Despite the many benefits of working with a freelance translator, sometimes you might need more than they can provide. You may have a project on your hands that is on the more complex side and that requires many steps that would be better handled by a translation company

Here are some examples of when a workload may be too much for a single freelancer to handle. A brochure may require a DTP step at the end. Marketing campaign materials could require a back translation performed by a different linguist. If the materials are for publication, then you probably need a translation, editing, and proofreading workflow (aka the TEP process). It may also be the case that you need materials translated into several languages. 

All of these are examples of tasks that require the expertise of several different professionals. In other words, a project may require a dedicated team that can help you complete it from start to finish. The last thing you want to do is have to hire and manage multiple freelancers who will work separate from each other. A translation company will fill your project management needs and make sure the work is cohesive throughout the project. 

Working with Translation Companies

As previously noted, translation companies are experts at managing large translation projects. They can handle the whole project management process from start to finish. From the first scope analysis, to establishing the right workflow, to creating timelines, to selecting the right team of linguists, to making sure everything gets done in time.

Translation companies also employ in-house teams which ensures staff availability even when there’s a high volume project. These teams are dedicated to you and will be there for you long term. You won’t need to worry about inconsistency or new translators not knowing the specific needs or requirements of your projects.

Because of the organized processes translation companies have in place to ensure quality (such as ISO, which is a top industry standard) and the professionals they work with, they can achieve the highest quality for their customers.

Which is Right For You

We can’t make this call for you, your translation solution totally depends on your company’s needs and the specific requirements of the project. Choose carefully to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and that you’re happy with the end product!

In-House-Translators-vs.-Freelance-Translators
01/12/2021

Pros & Cons: In-House Translators vs. Freelance Translators

Whether you crave the stability of a nine to five or like to hit the road and let the world be your office, you may find working as a linguist or translator suits your needs. While some benefit more strongly from being in-house or working as a freelancer, there are some pretty solid pros for translators considering either option. Of course, there are a few downsides we’ll cover too, but let’s try to keep things positive!

In-House Translators

Working as an in-house translator is probably a bit easier to picture for most as many have held full-time in-house positions before. 

Pros

  • Fixed income. One of the main perks of working in-house is the income stability it provides. You know exactly how much money you’re going to earn each year and have consistent paychecks coming in. You’ll also qualify for unemployment in the event you do lose your job, which can be trickier for freelancers to obtain. 
  • Benefits. In-house employees typically have access to benefits that freelancers don’t such as healthcare, retirement, paid vacation, and more. 
  • Convenience. When you work in-house, there is no need to worry about the logistics of running a freelance business. There are other employees that will handle things like accounting, marketing, and looking for new clients.
  • Teamwork. You can rely on a team of peers to help you complete big projects. There’s no need to wear all the hats, which freelancers often have to do. When you need to take time off, ideally there will be someone there to cover your workload. And if you need help with a tricky project, you should have teammates you can lean on. You can learn from each other and grow together. 
  • Professional development. Typically in-house employees receive valuable training from those who are further along in their careers. Many companies invest in employee professional development on an ongoing basis. The company may offer to send you to conferences, to pay for educational resources, and to train you in new skillsets.

Cons

  • Less flexibility. Some in-house employees may have to work in a specific office each day at an agreed upon schedule. Not to mention, there are dress codes and other office rules to worry about. That being said, while most in-house translators used to work in a company office, nowadays it’s very common for them to work from home.
  • Cap on earnings. While working in-house provides stability, in many ways you have less control over your earnings. Freelancers have lows, but they can also have major highs. 
  • Less autonomy. When in-house, you typically have to do as you’re told. You may have little control over what types of projects you work on and might have to follow company protocols.

Freelance Translators

If you haven’t worked as a freelancer before, it can be hard to picture what that career path looks like. There are some major benefits of freelancing worth considering, but there are also some downsides that not everyone is ready to handle. 

Pros

  • Ultimate flexibility. Want to work by the seaside today and in a mountain cabin tomorrow? No problem. Are you a night owl who does your best work when everyone else is asleep? Good for you. Don’t like a client or aren’t interested in certain types of projects? Send them packing. As a freelancer you’ll be able to decide when and where you work, who you work with, and what your vacation schedule looks like. 
  • You’re the boss. Freelancing is essentially running a very small business of one. You’re a business owner, even if it doesn’t look like it from the outside, which means you get to do things your way. 
  • Earning potential. Freelancers get a bad rap as being “underemployed” at times, but many freelancers can tell you that when you’re retaining the whole profit from a project (and your company isn’t taking a cut) that your income can soar. You get to set your rates and can choose to only take on projects that work for your budget. 

Cons

  • Stability not guaranteed. Working as a freelancer provides a lot of excitement and the wins can feel really big since they’re all your own, but a stable income is not guaranteed. This can be challenging for people on a tight budget or who have a family to support. 
  • No benefits. You’ll have to purchase your own benefits and accept that there is no such things as a paid vacation anymore. It’s important to remember to aim to make more than you would in-house in order to pay for benefits yourself. 
  • Loneliness. Working as a freelancer can be lonely at times. If no one else in your household works from home or if you live alone, you may find you have a lot of solitude on your hands. The lack of teamwork can also feel very isolating. 
  • Out of pocket expenses. Office supplies, computers, and professional development will all have to come out of your pocket which can sting a bit.

The Takeaway

There is no “better” option here. Both in-house and freelance translators have some major perks to look forward to. At Terra, we employ in-house linguists as well as collaborate with freelancers. So whatever your preferences are, we can work together. The key is to find which is the best fit for your goals, personality, and lifestyle!

Multilingual Solutions Meet Multilingual QA Managers
09/06/2021

Global Needs, Multilingual Solutions: Meet Multilingual QA Managers

Due to the fact that some language service providers offer integral solutions for globalized markets or products, they sometimes tackle projects that don’t involve a unique language pair, but rather multiple combinations. To assist in these endeavors, there are specialized reviewers that know how to perform quality checks in multilingual projects: the Multilingual Quality Assurance Managers (QAMs). Like any other QAMs, Multilingual QAMs review the material and manage resources and instructions, but for projects with more than one language pair—three, ten, fifteen or more! This doesn’t mean they master all the potential languages a project may involve. Multilingual QAMs rather use their linguistic knowledge from the languages they do speak to comprehend glossaries or instructions for other combinations. In addition, they use Quality Assurance (QA) automation tools in their favor.

We talked to two of our most experienced Multilingual QAMs at Terra to offer expert insight on this challenging task.

The Three Functions

Both Verónica Ríos (Senior Multilingual QAM) and José Antonio Buzón Carbajo (Multilingual QAM) agree that the position has three main functions. On the one hand, they perform the final quality checks before delivery. They use QA features in CAT tools or specific software to do so. “We have the capability of searching for severe errors or incompliances with client’s instructions or glossaries in any language,” José explained. Stylistic or preferential changes are not under their scope, since that’s what native editors review.

On the other hand, their second function is to make all the client’s preferences, style guides and instructions easily accessible to vendors. As Verónica said, “We manage and update all the resources and instructions regularly, because our job is both corrective and preventive. We try to define guidelines for issues that we know may pose challenges among vendors. By doing so, we try to avoid mistakes or incompliances before they happen.” Because of this, Multilingual QAMs need to be very rigorous and organized to correctly classify and update the materials and instructions for every language pair.

Lastly, QAMs manage feedback. They receive and analyze clients’ evaluations, and try to translate them into clear instructions for the teams. However, they also provide feedback to vendors. “At this point, building a solid communicational approach is key for us,” José added. As he explained, it’s the basis to provide constructive feedback to receptive linguists, who likewise help QAMs when they have questions about text in their native languages.

QAM Starter Pack

QAM in general and Multilingual QAM in particular rely on specific IT resources, such as CAT tools’ features or QA software. These are mandatory tools that ensure quality by avoiding or detecting evitable errors that the human eye may fail to catch. “We as QAMs take full advantage of the resources memoQ offer,” Verónica explained. Term bases, translation memories, QA rules, auto-translation rules, non-translatable lists, all allow integrating important guidelines into CAT tools, and that reduces the margin of error or incompliance.

Moreover, José and Verónica recommend collaborative online resources to share information, like Google Spreadsheets. If supervised, updated and organized, they allow sharing in real-time valuable information with vendors around the globe. They can be helpful for many uses, like Q&A sheets, instructions or feedback.

Curiosity and Imagination

Regarding the skills needed for Multilingual QAMs, Verónica thinks that experienced editors “have a trained eye to know what to correct and what to prevent,” she explained. Furthermore, being enthusiastic about QA automation and organized with time management and resources are, for her, mandatory assets.

Apart from that, as José sees it, a Multilingual QAM must be creative and willing to find new solutions to the projects’ needs. “Too much imagination is never enough in this role,” he concluded. Any challenge is a new opportunity to search for ways to boost a team’s capabilities, always with QA tools as allies.