Time and Translation

Today, whether in the world of translation or any other, there never seems to be enough time. We are always running behind, always getting places late and always running out of time.
It really is something so absolute and so relative at the same time.

Many times we try to “buy” time and we could “pay for” time too. And sometimes, simply, no money and no amount could get us the time we need.

Often, in the world of translation, as in many other service industries, “time” is a very crucial factor. Sometimes, much more than the price and quality. Time may be all or nothing.

Now, can we get the same accomplished in a short time, often half the time or even less, as we can in a more natural time schedule? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Usually we can, but you can save time by sacrificing other factors. It is difficult to get everything you want without losing anything along the way. More so when we are talking about human resources.

When a customer needs a job can be completed in much less time than naturally necessary, we try to do everything we can to minimize those “losses” of which we spoke. You have to plan in detail the full scope of the project: analysis of possible risks, anticipation of complications, contacting the most appropriate resources for this particular task, in order to ensure that the time factor is less aggressive in relation to the others.

Of course we do not always emerge completely unscathed from a marathon. It may happen that important aspects have to be sacrificed to prioritize this time we do not have. If you have to divide work among many translators and editors, work may not be entirely consistent. This can generate details of inconsistency, because when time is short you can not always work with the whole team together, and it happens that communication takes too long to get where it needs to go, as we said at the beginning of this article. Sometimes there are certain points that can be neglected, such as an instruction not being fully understood, a delivery made late, a technical error that delayed the whole chain depending on it, a format that is not a reflection of professional work. It also often happens that sometimes it is the client itself that brings about these problems, perhaps realizing that the version they sent for translation is not the final version, which requires them to send another in the middle of the process, or adding a small string of text that they forgot to include, or being confused by the “flavor” of the language.

In short, working quickly has complications, but sometimes we cannot escape these requirements, they are part of our world because we are immersed in a network that rushes us just as we rush others. It’s a whole endless chain that must be considered at every step of the process.

As mentioned in past articles, if we all communicate well and know what to prioritize and what the customer expects, and the client knows what it expects to receive and how to communicate that to the agency, much of the race is already run.

For more information, see “Translation Services.”