Is There A Difference Between A Project Manager and An Account Manager in Translation Industry?


  • Author Henry Ogwang
  • Published December 1, 2018
  • Word count 650

Some people ask whether there is the difference between a project manager and an Account manager in the field of translation. The fact is that there is no difference between the two terms in translation industry. Account manager is just the synonym of project manager in the industry of translation. However, Account manager should not be confused with Accountant in translation industry. This is because these two are different and do entirely different duties. Whereas Account manager deals with translation project management, Accountant deals with finance management of the industry. Therefore, we have to be careful when using these two terms depending on the industry you’re in.

What is project management in Translation industry?

This refers to the process of identifying translation requirements, organizing business plans, identifying right resources, organizing such resources, matching projects to the right translators, monitoring the translation process till the project is delivered to the client and later closed.

What are the major roles of translation project managers/ Account managers

Translation project managers perform different roles to see it that the translation process is completed with a lot of ease. Some of the major roles include;

Look for translators. The project managers find translators that best suit the content to be translated in to a needed language. It’s the duty of the project manager to ensure that the project is allocated to the translator with right credentials and experience in the needed field. Therefore, the project managers are responsible for matching the projects to the right translators.

Work closely with the translators. The project managers work closely with translators to see that work is completed with in agreed time. It’s the duty of the project manager to provide answers to queries raised by the translator in the translation process. Some times as translation goes on, there might be some issues the translator comes across that the client might have not sighted. So, it’s the project manager to handle such issues either internally or with the client to see issues are addressed amicably. This will enable the translator to produce the right work.

Communicate with the client. Its paramount for the project manager to keep on informing the client the stage the translation process is in until the last stage. Also, it’s the duty of the project manager to advise the client before and after the translation process. Furthermore, the project manager has to closely work with the client for top quality output.

Quality. It’s the role of the project managers to review the files before sending to the client. They should check for typos, punctuation, inconsistency and many other errors. In fact, the project manager should ensure that all is well with the documents until the last stages. Therefore, a project manager has to do quality assurance to ensure that the document is as professional as possible.

Linguistic understanding. The project manager has to understand the text before forwarding to the translator. They should know what’s required, how it should be done and other technicalities. Clear linguistic understanding of the document will help to give clear guidance in producing top quality work.

Quotation. Project managers give quotations to clients. However, it’s not just the matter of quoting but the project manager has to first understand the complexity, true word count and other things before quoting. Therefore, project managers have to forward the work to the translator to assess first before giving any quote. Otherwise the quotation may not exactly match the nature of the work.

Qualities of a good Translation project manager/Account manager


Good communicator

Good adviser

Well experienced in translation industry

Good time manager

Good coordinator

Good planner

And others

All in all, translation project management entails coordination, planning, teamwork and controlling entire translation process. Therefore, project managers/Account managers should be highly experienced personnel and multitaskers so as to run the entire process smoothly.

Henry Ogwang is an Account Manager at Global Gate Translations an agency in Uganda. He also writes articles in various translation topics languages.

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