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Successful Japanese Translation Projects and Stakeholder Involvement – Part 2

In the first part of this article, I looked at the role of the end user in a successful translation project, and noted their role in providing background information for the project, effective reference materials, and giving clear instructions on the requirements for the work expected. In this article, I look at the influence of the translation company on project success.

Professional Translation Company Japan Tokyo

As freelance translators experienced with using translation companies as the main source of their work know, the level of involvement of the translation company concerned may differ widely depending on the company. Some translation companies consider themselves as purely a conduit. In an extreme example of this, I have even had the case where the translation company simply forwards an email unedited from the client. In other cases, the translation company in Japan will have a very strict QA system. This system which may involve checkers and the document being returned for confirmation multiple times to the translator can be demanding on the translator, but is certainly advantageous in providing a high quality product to the customer.

Of course, not all translation companies have the resources to do this. So, what can a translation company do to assist in the success of a project? The two aspects I would like to focus on here are project control and proactivity.

So, what is project control? There is often a trade-off relationship between time and quality in a project. Of course, some clients will always want something done in an unreasonable amount of time at the highest possible quality. Translation companies may be so worried about losing business opportunities that they accept any conditions just to get the order. Inevitably, though, it is quality that suffers, and any chance of future business is lost. It is important to manage client expectations in terms of the balance between schedule and quality.

The second aspect is proactivity. In my experience, a very high percentage of projects are under time pressure. This is the nature of the beast. However, this is not helped when the translation company is purely reactive, their role simply that of passing on information and requests received from the client or Japanese translator. This process is very time consuming. The translation company needs to put themselves in the position of the translator and work with the end user in a proactive way to clarify requirements and ensure the smooth running of the project.

Even without an elaborate QA system, by implementing project control and being proactive, a translation company can contribute to the success of a project.

About the Author
Simon Way is a contributing author to SAECULII YK, the owner of Translation Company Japan Tokyo, Japan. Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news by Japanese Translation Services

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