The Supertext Language Manager: a primer

People unfamiliar with Supertext’s MO are often bewildered by the somewhat ambitious-sounding title of “Language Manager”. What exactly do our language managers do and what sets them apart from project managers? And, most importantly, what advantages do they offer on a highly competitive translation market?

How it usually works

Most translation agencies are made up of project managers who work with a large pool of freelancers. Project managers generally oversee orders in an array of different languages, and often aren’t qualified to assess the quality of the texts they pass on to clients. Instead, freelancers are ultimately responsible for the final product that a client sees. This becomes a problem when high volumes of orders mean that many different freelancers are working on a project at the same time.

What sets Supertext apart

Supertext has both project managers and freelancers, but we also have a not-so-secret weapon: language managers. While our project managers continue to act as the first point of contact for clients, language managers are responsible for establishing relationships with freelancers. Unlike project managers, they are native speakers of the languages they are responsible for, and perform a final review of all jobs before they are sent to clients. They recruit new translators based not only on their CVs, but also on practical tests, and give constant, concrete feedback to freelancers to ensure that quality never wavers.

The best of both worlds

Each language manager is responsible for their own set of clients. This means that they are familiar with each client’s specific glossaries and stylistic preferences and can ensure consistency across all their written materials. Freelancers’ availability can vary wildly, making it nearly impossible to ensure that the same person translates all of the content for a given customer. This is where language managers come in: they choose suitable alternative translators, educate them regarding client needs, and review texts before delivery to guarantee that customer expectations are met. At the same time, we are able to offer much greater capacity than agencies where all the translators are in-house.

Making language skills a priority

All our language managers are qualified language experts, holding degrees in linguistics, translation and similar subjects. At Supertext, they get to put these skills to good use: in addition to maintaining linguistic standards for customers, they also have the opportunity to translate themselves. Furthermore, their backgrounds allow them to cultivate an excellent rapport with freelancers, who know that their concerns are being handled by professionals who often have experience working as freelancers themselves.

After all, the key to being a top-notch translation agency isn’t just keeping clients happy – it’s also keeping translators happy.

Cover image via Pexels

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