Picture of Professor Alaina Brantner
Office
McCone Building M125
Tel
(831) 647-6542
Email
abrandt@miis.edu

While completing my MA, I entered the field in quality control at a global language services provider. Reviewing translated content after the native language, formatting, and final proofreading stages helped me build an understanding of issues common to each stage for romance, character, and script languages. As a project manager, I’ve used that experience to plan preventions for common errors and ensure the efficient processing of products through localization production processes for thousands of projects in sixty-plus languages. My PM work has been carried out at three language service providers of varying organizational maturity, and in my various roles, I’ve streamlined processes and integrated administrative stages into billable time on jobs. I’ve transitioned clients and vendors to new technologies and cloud-based systems. My work in vendor management has included the design and implementation of translator onboarding and testing procedures. My recent research interests include data security. I read the terms and conditions for all systems and organizations that I interact with.

While at UWM, I completed a Master’s thesis, “Translating Hugo Chávez: Telling Stories of the Storyteller” and was awarded a High Pass with Distinction for that project.

I serve on the Leadership Council of the Translation Company Division of the American Translators Association. I was a director of the Midwest Association of Translators and Interpreters (MATI) from 2012-2016.

In 2017, I launched my translation consulting firm, Afterwords Translations, LLC.

Courses Taught

Course Description

This course is recommended for those who want to go into the localization industry. Students can satisfy the requirements for this course through a paid or volunteer ongoing internship in the localization industry, volunteering for Globe Multilingual Services, or working on a special or research project such as the internally produced ROAR podcast. The course is designed to give students real-world experience. Students work in roles that correspond to either their future career goals or a role he or she would like to explore.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS, Fall 2021 - MIIS, Spring 2022 - MIIS, Fall 2022 - MIIS

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Course Description

Localization Project Management

This course is designed to introduce students who are at the very outset of the TLM track to the fundamental principles of Localization Project Management. For many students, this is their first introduction to localization, so we will cover the basics with an emphasis on concepts, processes, and tools. We will cover the essentials of business communication, and how to develop strong project management skills for translation and localization projects, such as the ability to manage a wide variety of stakeholders while producing work efficiently in teams.

Students will work in teams to take a simulated project from start to finish through a basic localization workflow consisting of translation, editing, and proofreading (TEP), plus formatting. Teams will develop essential documentation for their projects, including specifications, work orders, queries logs, and risk trackers. They’ll learn strategies for building and curating strong linguistic assets, such as glossaries, style guides, and translation memories (TMs). Finally, they’ll get practice at collaboratively managing the triple constraints of time, cost, and quality, while participating in ongoing cycles of production, reflection, and improvement to get things done.

Obviously not all translation and localization projects are alike, so students will be asked to think outside the box for novel solutions to potentially complex project requirements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021 - MIIS, Fall 2022 - MIIS

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Course Description

This course introduces students to the basic principles and methods of terminology management. While the emphasis is on applied terminology, students learn the theoretical background and best practices, including relevant aspects of linguistics, terminography, and classification. Students explore representative aspects of research, typical methods for recording terminology data, database record structure, and computer-based systems for terminology management.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021 - MIIS, Fall 2022 - MIIS

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Course Description

The focus of this course is the fourth rendition of the WIPO-PCT MIIS Terminology Collaboration. Students in the course will select a subject field within which to develop terminology records in collaboration with the WIPO-PCT Terminology Unit for potential publication in the WIPO Pearl terminology database. To develop terminology records, students will learn and follow the terminology processes of the PCT Terminology Unit. Individual contributions to the project are as follows:

· Students will contribute appropriate documents to a class corpus in the original entry language (OEL) of English.

· Students will carry out term extraction from the class corpus and identify terms to work with in the subject field. (No single concept may be repeated by more than one student.)

· Students will collaboratively build a concept map that reflects the concept relations among their terms.

· Students will build the English-language term blocks for their terms according to WIPO specifications.

· Students will research equivalencies and build target language term blocks for their terms, also according to WIPO specifications.

As a class, we’ll make a number of deliveries to WIPO terminologists for their validation (approval) as we progress through the project, including our OEL terminology and final termbase entries. The validation process over final termbase entries by WIPO is very strict. Final termbase entries that are validated (approved) by WIPO will be published in WIPO Pearl.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS

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Course Description

Project managers often carry the heaviest of loads of the organizations they work for. They often make more purchases on behalf of their organizations than their managers or company owners. They have an intimate knowledge of a product that is often in a language they can’t read. They know the smallest details of the strengths and habits of the partner translators who provide that product. Yet all this knowledge is not usually developed or supported through training or documented work instructions. Instead, PMs overcome a myriad of production, processing, and people issues on-the-fly. This course serves as a response to that lack of on-the-job training. Students will first consider the importance of emotional intelligence, partner translator management, and data security to the role of project management. Students will then work through a series of case studies that present examples of the problems that can arise at each stage of the production process. Through this experience, students will develop an understanding of the importance of preventative processes, and problem-solving strategies for overcoming common issues.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS

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Course Description

The localization industry is largely unregulated at national and international levels. Within this landscape, international standards of best practice define industry regulation as ensuring that work is assigned to professionals with the required competencies. Standards of best practice clearly assign responsibility for this regulation to LSPs, who in turn pass this responsibility on to the project and vendor managers who assign localization-related work. As the on-the-ground regulators, project and vendor managers must be aware of the impact of their project assignments, since translations and related language work are core components of both the primary language product delivered to the client and the highly valuable bilingually-aligned content that is leveraged into all future projects for a client through translation memories or machine translation.

During this course, students will learn a gold standard workflow for vendor recruitment and onboarding that incorporates the automation necessary to drive efficiency, the data security necessary to protect confidential intellectual property, and the evaluation capabilities necessary to cultivate vendor databases that produce consistent quality results. Students will explore strategies for customizing workflows for specific languages and subject fields, and workflows that will be discussed include those related to screening, testing, onboarding, and performance management.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS, Spring 2022 - MIIS

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Course Description

Localization Quality Management

The localization industry is experiencing explosive growth in language-access needs, alongside the rapidly evolving technology that is impacting traditional localization roles. This landscape could be very advantageous for our industry if lack of standardization and the race to the bottom at per-word prices and sentence-by-sentence translations were not the norm. The subject of this course is the state of quality in the localization industry at mega-, macro-, and micro-levels. Translation quality will be considered through close analyses of individual language pairs, processes, and multilingual productions. Ongoing developments in artificial intelligence and machine translation will be another area of focus, since the evolution of technology further blurs the boundaries around what is already a difficult concept to define. The big picture structures, practices, and models that impact localization quality at a market level will also be covered, given their influence on the design of quality management systems. Those systems, when managed well, enable us to achieve what standardization bodies define as the principal among quality objectives: consistently meeting stakeholder requirements with localized services and products – no matter the language pair, service, or content type.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021 - MIIS, Spring 2022 - MIIS

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Areas of Interest

Expertise: project management, vendor management, translation, localization production processes, data security, political discourse in translation

Programs

Academic Degrees

Master of Arts in Language, Literature and Translation specializing in Spanish to English translation from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Spanish and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Publications

My publications include two articles in The Chronicle of the ATA, and various articles on the MATI blog. I presented twice at the 58th Annual Conference of the ATA on project management and data security.

Key Components of Translator Recruitment

 

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