Summer Internship and Translation Management Training Report By Beti Levensteinas Brazilian Portuguese Translator

17. 08. 24
posted by: Beti Levensteinas
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By Beti Levensteinas

A brief of internship
Mr. Ravi Kumar offered Modlingua internship. During its activities, interns watched online classes and videos about translation management, content writing, quality standards, quality management, personal branding and personal marketing in course modules.
Prof. Joanna Daskalopoulou has given one of those classes and the topic of her class was personal branding.
Teaching methodology
Internship system and methodology were very helpful to freelance translators who are very busy and could follow activities online at their convenience. In addition, since freelance translators are in different time zones, the method employed assured more interest and participation.
Lessons learned
In the first assignment, I identified points relevant to my language pair: English into Brazilian Portuguese. I could see a prominent outlook and future for English into Brazilian Portuguese translation industry, since United States and England are developed countries, with a lot of new technologies, patents and contents. Since Brazil is a developing country, what would be within the definition of dominated country as per research reference provided. So the country requires a lot of translation from English. When there’s special know-how requirement.
In the second class, marketing strategies were covered. Interns learned the difference between online marketing and mass media. Online marketing is different from mass media because it is a platform with a two-way communication, enabling interaction with people, two machines whereas, in mass media, there’s only one machine and people. According to chart shown in video, search engine marketing industry is a much more effective strategy. It can take more time, you have to put out many Web pages and it may take many months for people to visit them, but they will come freely and willfully, it is not an aggressive strategy, it is not an invasion of privacy. Google search is considered pull marketing, where people come to your branding. On the other hand, discounts based on previous sales and email campaigns are deemed as push marketing, which is aggressive and not so effective. AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) strategy was presented in video as very effective, and when a user searches something, that strategy is being employed in Google search. As shown in video, companies using social media increased marketing effectiveness.
In the third assignment, it was discussed the role of translators as entrepreneurs. It was shown that entrepreneurship is certainly an option for language professionals to move forward. In order to achieve that, translators must build and maintain their professional identities and create their personal brand. They must also need to devise ways to stand out from the crowd in the competitive translation industry. They need to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset, continuously adapting to the dynamics of market forces, marketing themselves as professional translators, promoting themselves, using online tools, social media platforms, growing their professional network, spending lots of personal time and effort in customer prospecting, acquisition and retention. When prospecting customer, the translator can send out his/her CV, fill out applications at Websites or associations, quote for jobs listed, advertise your services or write articles to social media, letting customers find the translator, use word of mouth communications, contact local companies, attend translation meetings and workshops and think locally. In translator’s contacts, applications materials should be error-free, state clearly what translator is applying for, start his/her email with objective information, be always quick and responsive to any customers’ requests and do a follow-up, get final confirmation from manager before starting a translation. Following up customers is important as prospecting them. It is worthwhile to keep a log of communications, contact periodically customer to let them know you’re still interested and available.
Translators play an entrepreneurship role in the world and they must integrate translation with IT. Technologies have potential roles in promoting entrepreneurship among translators because technologies provide translators with cost-effective and/or free online resources, open source platforms, free online services, making easier to network with peers, develop online communities through social media platforms. Technologies minimize costs and, in addition, they are not, thus, damaging to translators, one might think they are cutting jobs, reducing translation work available, but even translation memories require translators because strings need to be confirmed and validated. Machine tools may reduce translation to basic phrase replacement process and phrase and formal equivalence, so translation work may be changing, but not decreasing. Technologies enable translators networking and cooperation. Work experience, combined with various available opportunities enable translators to play entrepreneurial role in society. If freelancers do all of that, they will be adding value to their work, walking the extra mile for their customers, nurturing long cooperation with customers, showing customers that they care.
In the following assignment, standards in translation industry were discussed. We learned that globalization helped in the rapid growth of translation and localization activities. However, there has been a mismatch of expectations, assumptions and goals between those who request a translation and those supplying a translation, affecting, thus, project quality. In view of that, national standards were developed in different parts of the world. Concerted efforts were endeavored to implement quality standards and maintain consistency in translations in the whole world. There are basic standards and also subjective standards. One standard may be used in a field at an office, for a client at an office, at one office as a whole, at various offices, at a region, in a country etc. Standardized definition of quality applied to translation refers to correct form and content expected from customer. Many countries have their own standards. They can be based on linguistic and nonlinguistic aspects, There is no agreement on a universal concept of quality, one agency may say it is a mix between creative and normative, but different areas have different requirements, in order to use a particular product. The large amount of standards causes confusion. There’s a need to harmonize the definitions to be adapted universally by all national standards.  Indian translation industry has a lot to learn from leaders in terms of developing well organized translation management processes involving terminology management and standardization of terms, quality control standards, customer satisfaction and the use of technology, including human assisted machine translation. Indian industry wants no more regulation and burden, but it has a culture of being economical. In translation industry, one cannot be aloof and s/he/it will be forced to apply market standards.
In the last assignment, project management aspects were discussed. We learned that some critical aspects to be taken in account in a project are time, scope, quality, cost. Resources, cost, time, scope has to be defined for managing a project. Management is the technique of understanding the problems, needs and controlling the use of resources, cost, time, scope and quality. When managing a project, one has to apply knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet stakeholder needs and expectations about a project. A good idea is engaging stakeholders early in the project, ideally during the planning stage so that everyone can get a common understanding of the scope, the timing, the budget and the resource demands. Project has to be completed on time and within budget without compromising quality. Some of current project challenges in translation business are connected with resources, cost, time, scope, communication.

Conclusions

Along this internship, I learned that translators need to be active in social media, and produce a lot of content, e.g., blogging, for an effective marketing strategy. Email marketing is ill-advised currently. Multilingual writers have an even wider market, since they can post texts in several languages. In view of that, translators looking for direct customers would have to start blogging a lot in order to be kept at the top of Google search, be seen and read. They would have to dedicate a great deal of their lives to accomplish that. A successful freelancer must dedicate himself/herself at least 10% of his/her time on marketing, customer prospecting and marketing himself/herself as a continuing process; if a translator stops chasing it, s/he becomes invisible, so s/he should never give up. Marketing is an endless task to become and keep visible. A successful freelancer is a multi-talented and multi-tasked person. The freelancer may choose to work with translation agencies and direct customers. Working with translation agencies provides a steady workflow, but lower rates. On the other hand, working with direct customers may provide occasional jobs, but higher rates. Translators can develop required competence through online training and they can promote themselves by designing Websites and using social media marketing, search engine optimization.

Personal evaluation
The internship offered an opportunity to interact with peers and colleagues. In addition, I learned that quality national standards were developed in different parts of the world. But those standards vary too much. So translators always need to keep up-to-date on requirements.
Sometimes, translators may be explored due to their struggles in getting jobs. The internship helped me to keep focused on continual marketing, as well as quality, what can help translators find direct customers on their own. It also made translators get used to producing contents on a weekly basis.
 
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