MET workshops

Beat the agencies at their own game: develop a watertight translation workflow process

Summary: Freelance professional translators and editors working for agencies all experience the frustrations of being forced to satisfy a host of time-consuming certification and quality control requirements. But things can be very different if you take control of the same methods to step up from being just a professional linguist to providing a professional translation service and cut out the middleman.
Developer and facilitator: Juliet Haydock

Purpose: To persuade translators and editors that putting a little effort into designing a foolproof workflow process can bring big rewards in terms of professional confidence and better clients.

Description and structure:
Part 1: After discussing freelance translation workflow processes with reference to ISO 17100:2015 and other standards, we will discuss and draw up our own translation workflow processes, describing the various stages of the service we provide at present, from first contact with the client about a job to the final stages, e.g. filing work and dealing with feedback.
This is likely to cover, amongst other things:
  • CPD
  • professional liability insurance
  • translation management systems – from very basic systems to off-the-shelf dedicated programmes
  • use of CAT tools
  • use of revisers, reviewers and computerised checking systems, e.g. Xbench – possibility of different charging tiers according to level of checking, colleagues checking one another's work to ensure "four pairs of eyes", etc.
  • disaster recovery
  • filing of work
  • dealing with customer feedback
Part 2: We will look at some sources of information about public/international contract notices and go on to look at specific tender documentation and contract notices and think about how we would respond, with reference to the workflow processes we discussed in part 1. This might prompt us to go back and amend our original workflow processes as more things occur to us.
Conclusion: Participants will be able to take a critical look at their working practices and address any shortcomings. They will be able to share their own good practices and pick up some good ideas from others.

Who should attend? The workshop is likely to be of interest to freelance translators and editors who already have some experience of working in the translation industry as a freelance.

Outcome skills: Participants will have a working knowledge of all the factors that should be considered to ensure an effective translation (or editing) workflow process. This is useful primarily for personal reasons of professional confidence and instilling trust in clients but could be developed for certification purposes. Participants will also gain a working knowledge of TED and the process of tendering for work from European and other public institutions.

Pre-workshop information: Come with an open mind because standards should be fitted to your processes, not the services to the standard – there are potentially many ways of achieving the desired result. We will be sharing our working methods at the workshop, so try and think of problems in your translation workflow that you have had to overcome, or think of something you do that works particularly well and that you can share with the group. If you have any examples of corporate questionnaires given to prospective translators to assess their suitability, please bring them along.

About the facilitator: Juliet Haydock is based in Cardiff (UK) and Rome. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and former coordinator of the ITI Italian Network with more than 30 years’ experience as an in-house and freelance translator. She has also lectured, acted as external examiner and given talks on life as a freelance translator at UK universities. She is a former Examiner for the CIOL DipTrans exam. She has been tendering for, and winning, contracts with the European Commission and the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU since the early 1990s, specialising in sci-tech and institutional translations. She also had training with Chris Cox, author of ISO 17100:2015, with a view to BS EN-15038 certification.