FACING EVOLVING INDUSTRY DEMANDS

Customized service leads to success for language service providers. BY DEANA SMALLEY

The first General Meeting of 2011 took place on Saturday, February 12 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus. Outgoing President Tuomas Kostiainen presided.

Thirty-four people attended, and six newcomers introduced themselves: Eric Rea (Spanish), Elena Ow-Wing (Russian), Hsiao-Ming “Sheree” Wu (Mandarin), Leonor Delgado (Spanish), Kamel Khailia (Arabic), and Miriam Barraza (Spanish).

Association Business

Incoming president Paula Dieli thanked Barbara Guggemos for serving as guest editor for the January issue of Translorial and recognized outgoing Board members. Tuomas Kostiainen served as Vice President from 2003 to 2005 and as president from 2005 to 2011. Vice President Yves Avérous began his tenure on the Board in 1999 with the Ethics portfolio, went on to Publications, and was elected Vice President three times. Events Director Raffaella Buschiazzo was elected to the Board in 2005, and Membership Director J. Mónica Pérez was elected in 2009.
As of February 7, NCTA had 487 individual members (up from 484 at the same time last year) and 51 corporate members (up from 41 last year) for a total of 538. The association had 319 Translorial readers (up from 251 last year), 368 Yahoo group members, 131 LinkedIn members, and 125 lifetime “likes” on Facebook. NCTA had income of about $49,500 and expenses of roughly $48,000, leaving a surplus of about $1,500.

The bulk of NCTA’s income last year came from workshops on such topics as preparing for court interpreters’ written exam, working with PDF files, translating literary works, learning how to run a T&I business, improvising as a way to learn to think on your feet (for interpreters), preparing for the ATA Certification Exam, using computer-assisted translation tools, getting started with—and getting the most from—Trados Studio 2009.

Between workshops, NCTA organized happy hours in San Francisco, Berkeley and Redwood City, two lunch socials, a picnic, a New Year’s party, two ATA Certification Exam sittings and four general meetings. Among the association’s other achievements were, to quote Tuomas, “four incredibly beautiful issues of Translorial.

Paula Dieli, who has served as NCTA’s Webmaster, became the new President. Sonia Wichmann, serving on the Board as PR/ Marketing Director, became Vice President. Kristen Corridan, Scott Saylor and Afaf Steiert were elected Directors.

Presentation

Newly elected NCTA Board member Kristen Corridan, Manager of Procurement and Quality at LUZ, Inc., gave the presentation, entitled “Facing Evolving Industry Demands.” The company’s tag line is “Delivering peace of mind to global life science companies.” Established in 1994, LUZ is an ISO 9001:2008 certified, woman and minority-owned business that offers translation and localization services into all European and Asian languages, as well as selected Middle Eastern and African languages. LUZ’s client list includes industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Siemens Medical Solutions, and Stryker Corporation.

Most of LUZ’s clients are medical device manufacturers that must comply with diverse and evolving international standards and regulatory and patient-safety measures. The challenges clients face drive them to impose demands on language service providers (LSPs), thus shaping their translation environment and service delivery.

In terms of service delivery, clients want LUZ to understand the pressures they face, accommodate their specific requirements, meet the needs of diverse groups and departments, provide custom solutions, and offer scalability at a competitive price. In terms of quality, they want the company to develop a quality framework, comply with the standards and regulatory requirements imposed on them, and then measure and report on performance.

LUZ’s response to these demands is to implement a comprehensive quality assurance (QA) model, provide technology and process solutions, and accommodate the specific challenges of life science companies. Its quality-driven process approach across all QA activities provides peace of mind for clients by sharing responsibility for patient safety and global regulatory requirements.

Adapting to Challenges

Translators have direct impact on the success of a project and the success of a client relationship. LUZ encourages translators to adapt to evolving challenges and trends and to understand what drives LSPs and their clients. The company provides a customized service — a whole process — and continuously receives client input during the production of that service. The demands made on LUZ are passed on to translators, whose help the company needs in order to meet these demands.

To work for LUZ Inc., translators must be proficient native speakers of the target language with a minimum of 3 years’ professional translation experience. They must be subject specialists in the life sciences; an advanced degree in sciences is preferred. They must be detail-oriented, conscientious, and technically savvy. Experience with translation memory tools is required. Prospective translators undergo a qualification process. Once approved, they are provided with feedback on their first two projects and undergo ongoing evaluations afterward.

Many thanks, Kristen, for an interesting and valuable presentation and to our sponsor, translation and localization company LUZ Inc., for providing refreshments for the meeting. DS

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