By nature of the profession, a good translator is an invisible translator. Typically when they do a good job, no one notices them. No one will even realize that they do exist until things go wrong.
So recently I started to wonder, if you rarely get appreciated for a job you have done correctly but you are almost always notified when you make a tiny mistake, is translation a sad profession?
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
This week we got a new client. And it is not just any client. It is a major one, our first enterprise client outside of Canada and the United States. They saw a sample of our work and liked what they saw. No cold calling involved, no trying to persuade someone to buy something they don’t want. But of course, there is always some hesitation on that first project, especially since we are “slightly more expensive” than translation companies in the client’s country. Luckily the first project we got was English to German translation. What a relief! Right from the start I knew we had it. For one thing, our German colleagues always do a great job. We all know know the stereotype, they keep things in order! But this one translator that is on our team makes things even simpler. Thanks Niels for keeping up the excellent work.
But it was not only Niels who helped us to build trust with our new client. Hülya and Meltem, two Turkish translators on our team, have been working seamlessly on a 180K subtitle translation project for educational videos for the last four months. They are the ones who helped us to get noticed.
And then we have Arterm, our Russian translator who not only impresses everyone with his translation quality but provides deep linguistic knowledge and valuable input on almost every project he works on. Angel, Federica, Lorenzo, Francisco, Daniel and a few other linguists – all of them shine in the quality of work they provide to us, but remain invisible to our clients and end-customers.
Great Work in Action
Often translators don’t know what happens with their work after they deliver it. They move on to another project and life keeps going. But they are the ones who are partially responsible for the success of a brand in their country when they translate product information and website content. They can take some credit for millions of dollars in sales when they translate text on product packaging and marketing collateral. What about the translation of subtitles? Have you ever watched a movie with bad subtitles? If not, believe me, watching the same movie with very good, not so good and pretty bad subtitles creates a completely different experience.
Lately I had the pleasure of watching a documentary called Girl Rising. We had translated some internal research material for the movie, as well as a scene that took place in Egypt. First thing when I got home, I sent our Arabic team a link to the movie so they could see how powerful their work was.
I love what I do, but I have never thought that working in the localization industry is sexy. Even so, I have found a purpose in the work I do. Being involved in building a great company, having a comfortable work environment, connecting with people all over the world and providing them with jobs is fulfilling to me. And when our clients are happy and see us as their partner and not just a vendor, I am very happy.
As a language solutions provider, we are in charge of implementing efficient processes for multilingual translation, and developing tools, connections and technologies. But at the root of the process are all of our translators whom we cannot thank enough for helping us to be successful.