What does a project manager do in a translation agency?

Published on 26/01/2024

Translation agencies play a crucial role in today's globalised world, facilitating communication between different cultures and languages. At the heart of these operations is the project manager, a professional whose role goes far beyond simple coordination. In this article, we will explore the responsibilities and skills required to excel as a project manager within a translation agency.

Strategic planning

The project manager at a translation agency is the strategist behind every language project. They start by understanding the specific needs of the client, establishing a detailed plan that includes deadlines, necessary resources, and required language skills. This phase is crucial to ensure the success of the project.

Example: An international client wants to launch a new product in multiple global markets. The project manager develops a detailed plan, determining the target languages, specific delivery deadlines for each market, and the necessary resources. They take into account cultural specificities to ensure that the translation effectively reflects the product's message in each region.

Human resources management

Recruiting and managing a diverse team of translators, proofreaders, and localisation experts is at the heart of the project manager's role. They must assess the language skills, areas of expertise, and availability of each team member, while ensuring a high level of quality and consistency throughout the project.

Example: For a complex technical project, the project manager selects translators specialised in the specific technical field. They assess their skills, ensure they understand the specific nuances of the subject, and create a team capable of meeting the challenge.

Transparent communication

Communication is the key to success in the field of translation. The project manager is the main point of contact between the client, the translation team, and any other parties involved. They must ensure that all parties clearly understand the expectations, deadlines, and specifications of the project.

Example: A client has specific requirements in terms of tone and style for their marketing content. The project manager clearly communicates these guidelines to the translation team, ensuring that each member understands the importance of maintaining linguistic consistency while meeting client expectations.

Quality management

Quality is a non-negotiable aspect of translation. The project manager is responsible for implementing rigorous quality control processes. This includes a thorough review of translations, correction of any errors, and ensuring terminological consistency throughout the project.

Example: Before the release of a multilingual user manual for a technological product, the project manager can organise a thorough review session. A professional proofreads the text, detects and corrects potential errors, while ensuring the consistency of technical terms. User tests can also be integrated to assess the understanding of the content by the target audience.

Technology and project management tools

Translation agencies offering modern translation services use a variety of tools and technologies to improve the efficiency and quality of translation projects. The project manager must be familiar with these tools, such as translation memories, project management platforms, and localisation software, in order to optimise processes and ensure fast and accurate project delivery.

Example: The use of a translation memory allows the project manager to maintain terminological consistency across multiple projects for the same client. Project management tools, such as online dashboards, facilitate collaboration within the team, while localisation software ensures accurate adaptation of content to the cultural specificities of each market.


In summary, the project manager plays a central role in a translation agency, actively engaging in planning, human resource management, communication, quality management, and the use of technological tools to ensure the success of translation projects within the given deadlines. Their versatility, effective communication, and deep understanding of languages and cultures mean that they are an essential element for the ongoing success of translation agencies.

Emeline PADIEU's picture
Emeline PADIEU

Emeline holds a Master's degree in Applied Foreign Languages, specialising in International Management and International Trade Techniques. She completed her end-of-studies internship at AbroadLink Translations and now works there as a sales and marketing assistant

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