But, couldn’t it be done without the rush?mar 10 2023
Monday, December 30ᵗʰ, 2019 in our translation agency in São Paulo. Everyone is getting ready to celebrate the New Year. An email arrives from the communications agency that works with one of the world’s largest manufacturers of notebooks: the press-releases for CES 2020 have just been finalized in English, and are to be published on Saturday, January 4ᵗʰ. Our job: translate everything into Portuguese.
The press release files are attached to the email. Leaving out the holiday, we have only 4 workdays to do the translation. So, let’s get to work?
No. Wait a minute. The email comes with this request:
“Can you send us an estimate for this job? We need the OK from the client.”
So, we cannot start the work yet. No problem. Let’s send the quote and just wait for the go ahead.
The 30ᵗʰ passes. Then the 31ˢᵗ.
At 6 pm on the 31ˢᵗ, when regular folks are already donning their New Year’s outfits, the message arrives: budget approved.
Geez. Two of the four workdays we had to do the work have been lost.
Forget about workdays. Let’s work on January 1ˢᵗ. Immediately, we create a package in our translation memory tool and send it to the translator, finishing the message with “Happy New Year”. Ha, ha.
Thursday, January 2ⁿᵈ. The translator returned the material. Let´s do the final revision and deliver it, right?
No. In the afternoon, changes to the original documents arrive. Well, with a new run of the originals through the translation memory we will have the updated translations in a few hours and deliver everything on Friday.
However, on Friday morning more PRs arrive for translation, and we also receive this innocent request:
“Regarding the turnaround time, can you deliver everything within a few hours please? We need the client’s approval of the Portuguese version.”
Fortunately, after 35 years in the business, we were guessing that something like that could happen, so we had resources available for an emergency. Before the end of the day, everything had been delivered. The client approved it and the material was published on Saturday.
A happy ending!
— But wait a minute. Isn’t there another way? Couldn’t it be done without the rush?
Of course not. In a world in which a product is obsolete in a year, time is a scarce and precious resource that cannot be squandered. The timing of these processes is like that, and service providers just have to deal with it. In this instance, the marketing agency and our translation company worked together as a team and delivered.
Chalk one up for us.
Marcos Chiquetto is an engineer, Physics teacher, translator, and writer. He is the director of LatinLanguages, a Brazilian translation agency specialized in providing multilingual companies with translation into Portuguese and Spanish.