Katja Virtanen

Katja Virtanen

The fastest translation agency in the pit lane

language technology, translator and translating

A few years ago, I was at a conference where project management in translation agencies was being discussed. You know, what steps take place in a translation agency from receiving a source text to the delivery of the final translation. The service process may appear simple but, in fact, behind the scenes it could be compared to a pit stop during a Formula 1 race.

Everyone knows the pace of Formula 1 racing is fast. Tyre changes and refuelling must be smooth and lightning fast so that the car can continue racing. At the Indianapolis 500 in 1950, the quickest pit stop clocked in at 67 seconds. Today, the teams have refined the pit stop process down to a mere couple of seconds. Lightning fast tyre changes are routine for pit stop crews today as they have done them thousands of times in countless races.

Translation agencies are like Formula 1 pit stop crews. No longer are floppy disks collected from the customer on foot or ticking telexes received as the source text. Translation work is not about a single translator, sitting alone at their keyboard or browsing through reference material dug up in the library. Customers deliver their source texts electronically or they are fetched by connecting directly to the customer’s system, and translations are expected back right away. More often than not, this is how we do things at Delingua.

How is it even possible?

By definition, the work of a pit stop crew is based on meticulous choreography in which only the best survive in an unforgiving battle against the clock. Cars hurtling into the pit lane are like a complicated localisation assignment involving specified roles for a project manager, language technology experts, translators, terminologists and quality controllers. In order to complete a project according to the customer’s desired timetable, we need skillful coordinators, clear tasks for different actors and strong competence from the whole team.

Delingua’s translation service is known for its ability to usually meet even the wildest timetable requests of its customers. To accomplish this, we don’t need to use any gimmicks other than existing professional tools, as our speed is based to a large extent on our staff’s professionalism and our refined working methods.

Have you ever seen a Red Bull pit stop in slow motion? What can happen in 2.05 seconds! I think about my own company’s magnificent mechanics—translators, proofreaders and IT specialists—who handle files with the help of modern tools and get them ready for translation. Project managers direct pit stops like an orchestra conductor and set new records while maintaining quality. Different software, systems and term banks. Everyone trusts one another’s expertise and knows their roles in near real-time operations where the goal is to meet the customer’s timetable and deliver a quality translation. If anyone runs into a problem, a substitute or Plan B is ready and waiting.

As for my own role, I’m the watchful team boss who keeps an eye on the chequered flag, always requiring better results and planning a one-stop strategy. Success, however, is based on the efforts of the whole team. With thousands of repetitions and good team work, we have risen from the pit lane of folk racing to perhaps the fastest translation agency.

With the start of the Formula 1 season, we are sure to see action just as fast as in our translation agency. If you need a fast translation service that doesn’t compromise on quality, get in touch with our efficient team.