Oddball Translation Projects

Simple translation projects are, well, simple. That is they’re relatively straightforward to complete. They’re just plain vanilla text on a page in a Word files, or something along these lines. For a translation company these are good projects to have yes? Well, not entirely.

Projects that are more difficult, either in the subject matter, or in the skills needed for successful completion are actually better business for translators. Whereas virtually any competent group of linguists can handle easier projects, complex translation projects are more challenging. Competition is reduced for more complex projects since there are fewer qualified service provider options for clients.

What are some of the factors that make some projects more challenging? A few are:

  1. difficult subject matter
  2. rush deliveries
  3. special formatting
  4. application specific engineering (e.g., elearning applications such as Storyline)
  5. detailed client instructions (e.g., preferred terminology, character limitations)
  6. high text volume
  7. file formats
  8. source document organization, legibility

Difficult translation projects require more skill to successfully complete. Some translators might prefer to be assigned projects with fewer complexities. Still complex projects can be better business.