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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Translation is the rendering of the language that will be incorporated into localized informational, digital, and physical products. Translation quality management (TQM) can be thought of as an input-process-output (IPO) chain, in which highly qualified translators are the input who process copy edited source content based upon the parameters for work set out in specifications, stylistic guidelines, and glossaries, and the output is the translation that undergoes quality evaluation to determine its suitability to be delivered to the client within translated and localized products and stored in translation memories for recycling into future projects within a product line. This course focuses upon designing workflows and guidelines to ensure that the TQM IPO chain is well optimized.
During the first part of this course, students will learn translation vendor management, with a focus upon how to recruit, screen, and onboard talent who can produce translations that are fit for purpose, given the specifications, audience, purpose, and domain. A gold standard workflow will be presented that includes vendor recruitment, screening, and onboarding, that incorporates the automation necessary to drive efficiency and the evaluation capabilities necessary to cultivate vendor databases that produce consistent quality results.
During the second part of the course, students will learn translation quality management, and the quality management systems (QMS) that set talent up for success. Types of quality evaluations that will be covered include those conducted on human and machine translations in bitext and in-context environments, with a focus upon addressing root causes for issues, thereby building capacity for growth over time.
Vendor and quality systems, when managed well, enable us to achieve what standardization bodies define as the principal among quality objectives: consistently meeting stakeholder requirements with translated and localized services and products – no matter the language pair, service, or content type.
Notes on blended schedule: This course is hybrid and will take place partially online. We will have in-person class meetings during weeks 1-3, 8, and 13-15. We will meet via Zoom during weeks 4-7 and 9-12.
Notes on variable credits: The Translation Quality Management (TQM) course combines topics from these two courses taught in the spring of 2022: TRLM 8642 Localization Vendor Management and TRLM 8655 Localization Quality Management.
If you enrolled in either TRLM 8642 or TRLM 8655 in the spring 2022 semester, you’d need to enroll in this Translation Quality Management course for 1-credit, to learn the modules from the course (LVM or LQM) you did not take.
If you enrolled in both TRLM 8642 and TRLM 8655 in the spring 2022 semester, you have already taken the modules that will be presented in the TQM course.
If you have not taken either TRLM 8642 or TRLM 8655, you must enroll in TQM for 2-credits.
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
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.
Middlebury Institute Translation and Localization Management Professor Alaina Brandt worked with a team of graduate students to create a code of ethics and professional standards for localization managers.