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Unit PTra1 – Maintain skills and systems for managing translation tasks


Unit Overview

This unit is about the general maintenance and development of translation and other skills which underpin the work of the professional translator. This means that you keep your language skills and cultural knowledge up-to-date. You carry out research in translation and draw on a range of information sources to compile glossaries of terms. You maintain electronic equipment and software and ensure their security and confidentiality as well as that of client documents. You have communication skills which enable you to maintain good relationships with clients and translation companies. You are fully aware of the role of the professional translator and the principles of professional practice.

Performance criteria

• You maintain up-to-date knowledge of the languages into and out of which you translate
• You carry out regular research to maintain and develop your ability to translate to a professional standard
• You acquire knowledge of domain-specific language
• You compile and update glossaries of terms
• You make effective use of general word-processing and translation packages
• You present translated text in commonly requested formats
• You ensure the security and confidentiality of electronic equipment, client documents and translated texts
• You have quality assurance systems in place to monitor the effectiveness of your work
• You seek advice from other translators and subject specialists to clarify terminological and other queries
• You communicate well with clients, translation companies and colleagues
• If you work in a freelance capacity, you maintain skills and administrative systems to handle business aspects such as invoicing, payment, and indemnity insurance

Knowledge and Skills

• K1 the languages in which you translate, with the ability to function at level 6-7 Writing for the language(s) into which you translate and level 4-5 Reading for the language(s) out of which you translate (see the Reading and Writing units of the UK Occupational Language Standards for performance and knowledge requirements)
• K2 suitable means to keep up-to-date with the languages into and out of which you translate, and with the cultures of the countries where these languages are spoken
• K3 sources of information and research relevant to the field of translation
• K4 techniques to research and verify general and domain-specific terminology
• K5 commonly requested formats of text presentation
• K how to select, maintain and evaluate suitable translation software
• K7 health and safety requirements when using equipment and how to troubleshoot technical problems
• K8 methods and software to compile, store and access information
• K9 standard quality assurance processes and procedures, such as checking, revising and reviewing translations
• K10 interpersonal skills and how to build and maintain good communication skills with clients, translation companies and colleague translators
• K11 sources of general and specialist information to assist with assignments, e.g. dictionaries, technical journals, publicly available glossaries and the internet

Unit PTra2 – Manage new translation assignments


Unit Overview

This unit is about the management of new translation assignments. This involves dealing with requests for translations by clients and translation companies. You establish the nature and purpose of the text which is to be translated and the context and setting in which it will be used. You consider whether you have the right skills to perform the task and decline the assignment if you do not. You plan how you will meet the client brief and produce the text to the agreed deadline. You use a range of information sources to prepare for the assignment and use suitable general and translation software to produce the translation.

Performance criteria

1 you establish:

– the language and, if relevant, the language variants of the source and target texts

– the subject matter and purpose of the assignment

– the context in which the translated text will be used

– the projected deadline for completion

– the format in which the text is to be delivered to the client

2 you establish the skills and resources which will be needed to translate the text

3 you do not accept assignments which:

– are beyond your competence

– you cannot complete to a professional standard within the proposed timescale

4 you explain the principles of professional practice to the client, if unethical demands are made on you

5 if you work in a freelance capacity, you agree contract details and payment

6 you familiarise yourself thoroughly with the client’s brief

7 you schedule the work to meet the deadline agreed with the client

8 you plan so that you will be able to manage the task effectively and to deadline by anticipating:

– the type and complexity of the assignment

– domain-specific requirements

– the impact of localisation requirements including cultural differences, language and stylistic features

– any special requirements, including the need to use specific software

– the format and presentation of the translated text

9 you clarify any queries with the client

Knowledge and skills

K1 the languages in which you translate, with the ability to function at level
6-7 Writing for the language(s) into which you translate and level 4-5 Reading for the language(s) out of which you translate (see the Reading and Writing units of the National Language Standards for performance and knowledge requirements)
K2 the process of translation from one language into another and how to manage differences between languages
K3 the cultures of the languages in which you translate, their conventions for communication, and the implications for localising translated texts
K4 techniques to anticipate the degree of difficulty of the translation and how to meet the client’s and readers’ needs
K5 techniques to research and verify general and domain-specific terminology
K6 techniques to compile and maintain glossaries of terms
K7 sources of general and specialist information to assist with assignments, e.g. dictionaries, glossaries, technical journals, leaflets and the internet
K8 the role of the translator and the principles of professional conduct, specifically the need to:
– disclose any information, including conflict of interest which may make you unsuitable for an assignment
– be impartial, maintain integrity and professionalism
– treat all information you receive in the course of your duties as confidential, unless required to disclose by law
K9 the ethics and working practices of other professions and respect for these

Unit PTra3 – Translate written texts from one language to another


Unit Overview

This unit is about producing translations to a professional standard. This involves translating text presented in the source language accurately and fluently in the target language. You reflect the type and purpose of the text and its register and tone. You meet the client’s specification and manage the task effectively and within the timescales agreed. Any omissions, additions, grammatical errors etc are minor and do not significantly affect the meaning of the translated text. You ask colleague translators to proofread and review your work on a regular basis. You check and revise the translation before it is sent to the client. Your conduct is consistent with the principles of professional practice and your professional or registration body’s code of conduct.

Performance criteria

1 you produce a translation that accurately reflects the overall meaning and function of the source text in the target language
2 your translation reflects the source text in terms of:
– the type and purpose of the text
– register, attitude and tone
– concepts, factual information and opinion
– cultural conventions and style
– the role and relationship of the writer with the intended readership
3 your translation meets the client’s specification, such as domain and localisation requirements, and the required closeness of the translation to the original text
4 you manage the translation task effectively and within the timescales agreed
5 you manage the expectations and priorities of the client by communicating regularly, especially in case of queries and difficulties
6 you make adjustments to the task if the brief changes
7 any omissions, additions, grammatical errors, inappropriately literal translations and inaccuracies are minor and do not significantly affect the meaning of the translated text
8 because you are aware that the text may not be perfect, you ask colleague translators to proofread and review your work on a regular basis
9 you check and revise the translation before it is sent to the client
10 if for any reason the text has not been revised, you inform the client
11 you alert the client to any outstanding queries on the text, producing translators’ notes where appropriate
12 your conduct is consistent with the principles of professional practice and your professional or registration body’s code of conduct

Knowledge and skills

·        K1 the process of translating written text from one language into another
·        K2 the languages in which you translate, with the ability to function at level
·        6-7 Writing for the language(s) into which you translate and level 4-5 Reading for the language(s) out of which you translate (see the Reading and Writing units of the National Language Standards for performance and knowledge requirements)
·        K3 techniques to localise translated text to the culture of the intended readership, including conventions for communication
·        K4 register (frozen, formal, colloquial, informal, intimate) and the transfer of register from one language to the other
·        K5 techniques to check on the meaning of vocabulary, set phrases and expressions
·        K6 the domain(s) in which you translate
·        K7 task management skills and how to work to deadlines
·        K8 interpersonal skills and client handling techniques
·        K9 techniques to assure the quality of the translation, such as proofreading, review, revision and back-translation, and when these techniques are best used
·        K10 techniques to produce translators’ notes and when to apply these

Unit PTra4.1 – Evaluate your performance as a professional translato


Overview

This unit is about developing your performance as a professional translator.

This involves reviewing your ability to produce translations to a professional standard. You analyse a sample of translated texts to monitor the effectiveness of your work. You actively seek feedback from colleagues. You take their comments into account and use these together with your own observations to create a personal development plan. You use this plan to develop your knowledge and skills and performance as a professional translator.

Performance criteria

  • You select a sample of texts which is representative of your work over time and in terms of work across domain(s), difficulty and type of task.
  • You use commonly used criteria to review:
    • Your ability to maintain and enhance the skills and systems needed to produce professional translations.
    • Your management of new assignments.
    • Your ability to translate text from one language into another.
    • Quality assurance of the translation process.
    • Your client-handling skill.
  • You evaluate your selected translations in terms of:
    • The effectiveness of the translation.
    • The appropriateness of the language used, grammar, style etc.
    • How you can improve on the accuracy of the text, grammatical errors, omissions and additions.
    • How well you met the needs of the client and the intended readers of the text.
  • You seek feedback from others on the quality of the translated text, such as from colleague translators, your manager and clients.
  • You use the results of your own reflections together with feedback from others to produce an accurate and justifiable analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of your performance as a translator.
  • You identify ways in which your performance as a translator can be improved.

Knowledge and skills

  • Concepts and methods to analyse translated texts in terms of quality, accuracy and fitness for purpose.
  • Methods to review your handling of new assignments, including your initial assessment of the difficulty of the task and of the skills and resource requirements needed to produce the translated text.
  • Methods to review your management of the translation task in terms of:
    • Time management skills.
    • Ability to meet the needs of the client.
    • Client handling skills.
    • Ability to resolve textual and formatting difficulties.
  • Methods to check that your analysis of strengths and weaknesses is accurate and justifiable.
  • How to engage with other language professionals, such as colleague translators and managers, for advice on your development needs, and the accuracy of your self-assessment and development plan.

PTra4.2 – Plan and implement your continuing professional development


Overview

This unit is about developing your performance as a professional translator.

This involves reviewing your ability to produce translations to a professional standard. You analyse a sample of translated texts to monitor the effectiveness of your work. You actively seek feedback from colleagues. You take their comments into account and use these together with your own observations to create a personal development plan. You use this plan to develop your knowledge and skills and performance as a professional translator.

Performance criteria

  • You use the evaluation of your performance to plan how you can improve your translation skills.
  • You identify relevant opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge.
  • You check with other professionals, for example your manager, mentor or a colleague translator, that your development plan is sound and that it is consistent with the evaluation of your performance.
  • You set relevant criteria to evaluate the development activities which you plan to undertake.
  • You undertake and record professional development you regularly monitor and evaluate your professional development against the criteria which you have set.
  • You update and revise your plan in the light of the progress you make.
  • You seek appropriate advice, if your progress and development do not meet your expectations.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Strategies to improve your knowledge and performance.
  • Opportunities for continuing professional development, e.g. professional qualifications, training courses, use of published materials and self-study.
  • Criteria and techniques to evaluate your development programme.
  • Sources of information on continuing professional development available, e.g. from professional bodies.
  • Sources of advice on your professional development, such as your manager, a mentor, colleague translators and peers.

Unit APTra5 – Act as a mentor to trainee and colleague translators


Overview

This unit is about acting as a mentor to trainee and/or colleague translators. This involves supporting them in the development of their translation and other work skills. You encourage individuals to evaluate their skills and performance. You make use of feedback received from clients and colleague translators. You give the mentee constructive feedback and agree on action to be taken to further develop his or her skills.

Performance criteria

  • You plan how you will gather evidence of the translator’s performance.
  • You review the translator’s work in terms of its quality and fitness for purpose.
  • You use information available from quality assurance procedures and feedback from clients and other translators.
  • If you make use of source and translated texts, you observe confidentiality requirements, asking the author and/or client for permission to use, if necessary.
  • You make an initial assessment of how you can best support the translator.
  • You make a judgement on feedback to be given and on priorities for action before your meeting with the translator.
  • You make a judgement on feedback to be given and on priorities for action before your meeting with the translator.
  • You encourage the translator to take an active part in the evaluation of their skills and performance.
  • You give feedback that is constructive and is based on reliable data about the individual’s performance and achievements.
  • You are sensitive to the needs and skills of the individual while providing feedback and advice.
  • You agree action to be taken with the translator and the timescale in which this is to be achieved.
  • You produce a written summary of conclusions and action plan, if this is appropriate.
  • You follow up on action taken.

Knowledge and understanding

  • performance measures and success criteria.
  • How to plan for the gathering of evidence from which objective judgments can be derived.
  • How to gather evidence on performance in a manner which is sensitive to the needs of translators and clients.
  • Methods to ensure that confidentiality requirements are met.
  • Techniques to evaluate evidence and make objective judgements.
  • How to encourage translators to assess their own performance.
  • How to give constructive feedback.
  • Suitable types of action to develop the skills of the translator and how to select and agree these.
  • The level and type of direction and supervision which individuals may need.

Unit SFTra1 – Manage translation projects


Overview

This unit is about the management of translation projects. This involves managing not just your own work but also that of other people involved with the project, such as translator(s), designers and programmers. You take projects from the moment of first contact with a prospective client to its implementation and evaluation. You establish the ‘big picture’ of the project, i.e. what the purpose of the translation is and in what context and setting it will be used. You create realistic and cost-effective work schedules and review progress against milestones. You communicate effectively with clients, translators and other partners involved with the project, such as the client’s production team. You evaluate the project and use your findings to further improve the delivery of translation services.

Performance criteria

  • You establish the nature of the project, the context in which the translation will be used, its target readership and the expected time scale for completion.
  • You negotiate a realistic price and time scale for completion of the project.
  • You allocate resources for implementation which are realistic and cost-effective, including the right combination of professional and advanced professional translators.
  • You produce a plan to manage the work-flow, covering the production of the translated text, any checking and revision to be done in-house and by the client, layout, formatting and final sign-off.
  • You set clear targets for delivery and identify who will do what against specific deadlines.
  • You carry out a risk assessment to identify any weaknesses in the project plan and put measures in place to overcome these.
  • Once the project has started, you review progress against milestones on a regular basis and take action if problems arise.
  • You make sure that the client’s requirements, including localisation and formatting requirements, are met.
  • You keep the client informed of progress on a regular basis.
  • You make sure that the client has sufficient information to control the production process of which the translation forms a part.
  • If more than one translator is involved with the project, you make sure that conventions, vocabulary and style are consistently applied both within and across languages.
  • You make sure that the translated text is reviewed and revised internally before it goes to the client.
  • You build in the opportunity for clients to carry out their own review.
  • You evaluate the project on completion and feed back any comments on the quality of the translation and teamwork to translators.
  • You use the outcomes of the evaluation to further improve the delivery of translation services, e.g. by amending procedures and updating glossaries.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Methods to plan for, cost and set milestones for projects.
  • Methods to monitor delivery and take effective action if slippage or problems arise.
  • Processes to make sure that the project is completed to a consistent standard.
  • Strategies for monitoring resource utilisation and costs.
  • Methods to evaluate the success of the project in terms of efficiency against set targets.
  • Strategies to use the outcomes of evaluations to improve quality assurance processes and documentation.

Unit SFTra2.1 – Evaluate and improve translation services to meet client needs


Overview

This unit is about your evaluation and improvement of translation services.

The functions involve making use of performance indicators and identifying opportunities to develop the service. You select suitable criteria to evaluate quality assurance systems and carry out risk assessments of new projects. You monitor the effectiveness of translation provision over time and evaluate how well you meet the needs of the client. You orientate yourself on new developments in translation, e.g. the introduction of new technology, and identify suitable applications for your service. You create realistic and cost-effective implementation plans and monitor improvements, involving staff and colleagues as appropriate.

Performance criteria

When you evaluate your performance, you must show that:

  • You regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the language service.
  • You set up and/or review quality assurance systems to manage staff in terms of:
    • Allocating the right translator(s) to each job.
    • The vetting of new translators.
    • Dealing with work for which it is difficult to attract suitably experienced translators.
    • Supporting and monitoring newly-recruited translators.
    • Conducting performance reviews with existing staff.
  • You carry out a risk assessment of new projects, identifying potential weaknesses in their delivery and plan how to overcome these.
  • You monitor the progress of translation projects over time and the steps taken to assure quality, including any reviews carried out by the client and/or external reviewers.
  • You reflect how well your organisation meets clients’ requirements.
  • You clearly explain the quality assurance system to those involved and make use of their feedback on effectiveness.
  • You review your organisation’s quality assurance systems on a regular basis.
  • You update, on a regular basis, procedures and documentation used to maintain quality.
  • You make sure that your organisation’s quality assurance systems:
    • Make good use of resources.
    • Offer the greatest potential for adding value and quality to the translation service.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Quality assurance and control systems which are relevant to the recruitment and performance review of translators.
  • various processes which may need to be undertaken to guide a translation task from concept to reality
    • Checking of the accuracy and appropriateness of the text at multiple stages, by humans and electronically.
    • The review process, including the effective engagement of external reviewers.
    • If the text is to be handled electronically, the format in which it should be presented at various stages of development and review.
  • How to gather data effectively.
  • How to estimate the value for money offered by different systems.
  • Methods of establishing, defining and reviewing objectives and performance measures.
  • Techniques to analyse how well the client’s needs are met.
  • Relevant guidelines and standards relating to quality.

Unit SFTra2.2 – Identify improvements to meet client requirements


Overview

This unit is about your evaluation and improvement of translation services.

The functions involve making use of performance indicators and identifying opportunities to develop the service. You select suitable criteria to evaluate quality assurance systems and carry out risk assessments of new projects. You monitor the effectiveness of translation provision over time and evaluate how well you meet the needs of the client. You orientate yourself on new developments in translation, e.g. the introduction of new technology, and identify suitable applications for your service. You create realistic and cost-effective implementation plans and monitor improvements, involving staff and colleagues as appropriate.

Performance criteria

  • You collect relevant and reliable information on customers’ requirements for language services.
  • You make use of the outcomes of quality assurance reviews.
  • You analyse translation activity and client relations which were problematic and the extent to which interventions were successful.
  • You analyse new approaches which were developed for a specific project and identify whether these can be applied elsewhere.
  • You orientate yourself on new developments in translation, technology and data processing and identify suitable applications for your service.
  • You identify improvements which offer the greatest potential for meeting client requirements.
  • You decide if your organisation has sufficient resources, e.g. in terms of budgets, staff and equipment, to implement identified improvements.
  • You produce an implementation plan which is achievable and which has realistic time scales.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Methods of collecting and analysing relevant information on the delivery of translation services, technology and resources.
  • Techniques to analyse customer requirements.
  • Techniques to analyse the outcomes of quality assurance reviews.
  • Processes and outputs of services and systems identified for improvement.
  • Methods to monitor resource utilisation and costs and analysing efficiency and effectiveness.

Unit SFTra2.3 – Implement improvements to language services


Overview

This unit is about your evaluation and improvement of translation services.

The functions involve making use of performance indicators and identifying opportunities to develop the service. You select suitable criteria to evaluate quality assurance systems and carry out risk assessments of new projects. You monitor the effectiveness of translation provision over time and evaluate how well you meet the needs of the client. You orientate yourself on new developments in translation, e.g. the introduction of new technology, and identify suitable applications for your service. You create realistic and cost-effective implementation plans and monitor improvements, involving staff and colleagues as appropriate.

Performance criteria

  • You allocate resources for implementation which are realistic and cost effective.
  • Your plans clearly identify who will do what, and what outcomes and benefits are to be achieved.
  • You evaluate the impact of the planned improvements against targets and expectations.
  • You modify the implementation plan if any problems arise during its implementation.
  • You consolidate the implementation plan, when there is enough evidence that it is working effectively.

Knowledge and understanding

  • The current processes, targets and outputs of the service you manage.
  • How to plan for the implementation of improvements.
  • Change management and how to anticipate the effects of change on people, processes and outputs.
  • Methods of establishing, defining and reviewing objectives and performance measures.
  • Strategies for monitoring resource utilisation and costs.
  • How to analyse efficiency and effectiveness against targets.
  • How to evaluate short and long term achievements against improvement plans.