Who manages your translation projects?

5 months ago

DWL is proud to have attracted and retained a fantastic team over the years. While we do miss our vibrant polylingual office environment, we are embracing remote work and are ensuring that our staff have access to everything they need.

There are a few basic skills that every staff member brings on their first day: translation and language expertise, of course, but also creativity and a ‘can-do’ attitude, which are of great interest to us.

Our staff are trained in our core specialisms, which they then go on to develop and shape.

We have carved a niche for ourselves around translations for EU regulatory submissions, clinical research, pharmacovigilance and other post-marketing activities, and our staff undergo rigorous training to sustain these specialisms.

When a project manager joins us, they embark on a steep learning curve towards handling every aspect of these complex translation projects. Once they find their feet, and can manage the translation of a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical materials in multiple languages, they will invariably find new and tailored approaches to address their customers’ needs.

It shows in the consistently positive feedback on our Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey.

The language industry is also changing and it’s our responsibility as a company to respond and adapt.

It takes a hardworking and open-minded team to develop technological capabilities and solve our clients’ linguistic challenges while maintaining excellent customer service.

So we thought we would share an insight into the calibre of the professional project manager employed by DWL in 2020, as many end-clients and even translators are often unaware of who is working behind the scenes on their projects.

Project managers at DWL:

Experience: many of our colleagues achieved Masters Degrees in translation before they joined our company. This, or equivalent career experience in translation, ensures that project managers not only talk the talk, but can also be relied upon to perform valuable Quality Control activities, working alongside translators to produce a high-quality product.

Translators first: some of our staff came to project management after working as freelance translators for other language service providers (LSPs) and end-clients. They bring to us plenty of industry expertise that is crucial to our company’s development.

In fact, there are occasionally members of our project management team who become sufficiently experienced in the linguistic aspects of the medical and pharmaceutical world to go on to succeed as freelance translators.

Translators are at the heart of what we do. It follows that understanding and collaborating effectively with them is paramount to us, particularly as many of our linguists are in high-demand from other global LSPs.

Multi-lingualism: for most of our team, English is not a first language, and many boast some level of proficiency in 2 or 3 languages. This results in an exciting mix of cultural and linguistic awareness, and enables us to deliver top quality customer service to non-UK clients in many languages.

Among our small team of project managers alone we can offer customer service in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Portuguese and Greek.

As a company we are language-learners and language-lovers: our staff like to dabble in more diverse languages such as Catalan, Swedish, Japanese, Russian and Persian – it all contributes to an overall awareness of language requirements that helps us better serve our customers.

Technology-minded: DWL’s CEO, Sam Wirth, has seen first-hand how the translation process has evolved over the decades – from a typewriter and post-box through to Customer Portals, Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools and Neural Machine Translation (NMT).

Our project managers will have trained on various translation tools either professionally or through University study. Thus they understand how to harness these to deliver a consistent and high-quality translation service.

As we now move into the era of machine translation, we are pleased that our project managers are able to help us harness its potential, overcome any client challenges and roll-out new technology when it is ready.

Remotely possible: even before COVID-19 necessitated a move to remote working, Dora Wirth (Languages) Ltd. had already embraced a remote setup for those staff members who needed it. As a result, quite a few in our team were already well-accustomed to remote working going into the recent pandemic.

Of course, we look forward to the opportunity to meet under one roof again, but for now our weekly coffee mornings over Skype will have to suffice!

Staying power: we are loyal to our staff and as a result they tend to stay and develop their careers in-house, driving various aspects of our business including marketing, systems maintenance, business development and quality management.

With relatively low staff turnover, we are able to boast a real depth of subject specialism that we rely upon to navigate the linguistic aspects of clinical trials, regulatory submissions and many other medical and pharmaceutical activities.

We hope this gives you a flavour of the skills and experience our DWL project managers have, as well as an insight into what it takes to be part of our specialist language services team.

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