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The Power of Professional Translation Services with Fiona Woodford

Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning

8 September 2023

The Power of Professional Translation Services with Fiona Woodford - Voquent

Professional translation services have the power to expand your audience and drive the international success of your project.

Content of all kinds is reaching larger audiences than ever before. Effective and accurate translation services are essential for businesses to thrive on a global scale and engage new audiences with your project.

We recently sat down with Fiona Woodford, our new Head of Localisation at Voquent, to gain insights into her background and experience, our new and improved translation process, and the numerous benefits our services provide to our clients.

Join us as we delve into the world of translation and discover how Voquent can help your content reach every corner of the globe.

 

Q: What is your background and previous experience in the field of Translation?

Fiona: Well, my passion for languages started when my mum was a French teacher and spending long summers in France made me want to be able to converse with the locals. I always loved languages at school and chose to study a MA Hons in French and Hispanic Studies at Glasgow University, including 3 stints abroad in the Pyrenees, Gran Canaria and Lisbon. After graduating, I embarked on my first steps into the localisation industry. Fast forward almost 15 years, and I now have significant experience of working as a Project Manager, Senior Project Manager and Head of Localisation in various industry sectors covering video games, the public sector, and corporate clients.

Q: What are your main responsibilities as the Head of Localisation at Voquent?

Fiona: My initial remit at Voquent has been to implement a procedure-driven translation process, which ensures all quality objectives are met on every project. I’ve also implemented a CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tool into the translation process system, along with increasing the translator database we work with. Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, I have assembled an extensive list of contacts, and I’ve been working to recruit and onboard linguists to our team at Voquent. Over the years, I’ve honed an intensive onboarding process which ensures our clients will be working with the best quality and most committed translators. Moving forward, my main role will be overseeing the translation project cycle, ensuring we deliver on time and to the highest quality, which our clients deserve and expect.

Q: What are some of the most common issues caused by a flawed translation process?

Fiona: Not using a professional service and underestimating the mammoth undertaking translation can be…unless you work with an expert. A managed service such as Voquent ensures that your translations are carried out by highly skilled, experienced professionals using top-end translation tools, which ensure a high-quality and polished product. Our translators are thoroughly vetted prior to working with us, and their work is continually assessed to ensure they continue to provide high-quality work. They’re also significantly experienced in creating and maintaining client-specific terminology lists, which ensures your translations are always consistent and your preferred phrasing is maintained across multiple projects.

Q: What strategies do you employ to ensure accurate & high-quality translation?

Fiona: Our translation process keeps the quality high. A quality translation starts with recruiting experienced contractors with the proper industry knowledge. The recruitment and selection of these translators are integral to the QA process. The effort we put into recruitment and onboarding means we have an extensive database of professional contractors with a wealth of reliable information about each. We can then examine our database, ensuring only the best-suited translators are selected for the project. We consider the translators’ experience, area of specialisation or interests, tools, availability, and rate before translators are paired with projects.

Once a translator is assigned, all client instructions are provided so they fully understand the project requirements. Our CAT tools can perform language-specific QA checks so any grammar issues are highlighted and returned to the translator for review or correction. The tool also checks basic things such as numbers, punctuation, missing text etc., so the project manager can ensure all text is present and correct. Once we export the translation, we also perform a manual QA check of the formatting to ensure nothing is missing and there are no other formatting or timing issues.

Proofreading follows the same process as translation and is recommended for any text that is used in the public domain or is of a creative nature. Proofreading isn’t a rewrite; it’s more of a review and final check of the grammar, spelling, terminology, style, and language. It’s also valuable for checking our translators’ ongoing performance so they are under continual assessment. We use this as a peer review stage and complete a small assessment sheet to record in our translator’s personnel file. This ensures the quality of work always remains high.

Q: What is the vetting & approval process for new translators?

Fiona: We’re constantly testing and verifying new translators, but we’ll prioritise language pairs or industries based on our client’s needs. Firstly, we look at the experience and qualifications of the translator: we contact the translator requesting their CV, capabilities, and proof of professional translation experience. We’ll also ask for rates for various services, such as their per-word rates for transcription, translation, or proofreading.

The next step is to assess the candidate’s English fluency. All contractors must be able to write fluently in English, as our team predominantly communicates in English. Once this is confirmed, we compare their rates against peers and negotiate as required to ensure our customers get the best value for money.

Confidentiality and protection of our client’s concerns are extremely important to Voquent. As such, all translators must sign our standard non-disclosure agreement to protect the privacy of our clients’ information. The final step is seeking ID & professional references: we request a government ID and two professional references from businesses to which the translator previously provided services. We then email the contacts to gather feedback, and once the team approves the translators’ credentials, they are ready to begin work.

Q: What are the most popular languages for translation, and is the process always the same?

Fiona: Our client’s translation needs can be extremely varied, but some of the main languages we work in are European and Asian languages, and the quality process is the same for each language we translate. However, more work on formatting or synching may be required depending on the language combination, as some languages read longer than others. This is a skill our team is fully trained to work with, ensuring that all translations we carry out are fit for purpose, whether it be for subtitling, voiceover, or something else.

Q: How do you collaborate with the rest of the Voquent team?

Fiona: The translations team are very integrated with the projects team. For any voiceover project which requires translation, both teams collaborate together to ensure a full handover of instructions and deliverables. Communication between teams is paramount and something that Voquent excels in. We keep each team updated with regard to timing queries and specific requirements to ensure a smooth process for everyone.

Q: How do you manage client feedback or requests during the translation process?

Fiona: Our team will frequently liaise with the translator and client throughout the project, resolving queries and keeping the deliveries on track. The translators will highlight any potential issues with the source text, and we will communicate all queries and client responses to all translators working on a project. Within the CAT tools, any file updates happen seamlessly. We update the file, pre-translate the text, and then the translator can continue working on the new file without losing their work or causing any delays to the client. Any client feedback is assessed internally and discussed with the linguist. Where we feel a client’s change is an improvement, we will update our translation memories or glossaries to ensure this updated term is used for future translations.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in the translation industry, and what motivates you?

Fiona: I love working on multiple projects and different tasks at the same time. I am an excellent multi-tasker and like being busy. I especially like troubleshooting for new and different projects and coming up with ideas of how to streamline a process to enhance the client’s experience. I enjoy working with all the translators and working as a team to deliver an amazing end product for our clients, and helping them achieve their project’s goals.

 

Summary

Thanks, Fiona! A deeper understanding of how we translate our clients’ projects helps make clear how we can skyrocket the reach of your content.

As the Head of Localisation, Fiona’s primary responsibilities include implementing a procedure-driven translation process that ensures top-notch quality on every project. She has introduced cutting-edge computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools into our system and expanded our database of skilled translators.

The Voquent translation process is stronger than ever, with quicker turnaround times and an extensive library of translators for any language worldwide. Whether for voiceover, subtitles, dubbing or beyond, our translation process can take your project global, expanding on the size of your audience and profits alike.

Get in touch today for a quick, no-obligation quote.

 

Discover the Voquent Translation Process

Translation Services

Dylan de Koning

By Dylan de Koning

Dylan de Koning is a narrative writer, script reader and film buff from Scotland.

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