“A lot of people are of the opinion: ‘anyone can translate’. That’s not the case.”

Our senior project manager Gabi has been working for tsd for many years and looks after many of our clients from the fields of medicine, medical technology and pharmacy.

Today, in a short telephone interview, she took a few minutes to tell us about her motivation and experiences in project management.

tsd: Dear Gabi, you are a state-certified translator and interpreter. What is it that fascinates you about the translation and localisation industry?

Gabi: I love languages and languages suit me (laughs). I’m also fascinated by the intercultural aspect of localisation. You have to deal with many different people from different countries and cultures.

tsd: So how did you end up deciding to pursue a career in project management?

Gabi: That came more by chance. I initially joined tsd as an intern for translation and editing. The team was much smaller at that point. Then the opportunity arose to supervise a multilingual project as project manager and I simply enjoyed it. For me, the profession of project manager is a good mixture of translation, customer contact and mediating. The work simply has a certain excitement to it, because you never know what to expect in the morning.

tsd: When tsd founded the medical tsd (m-tsd) department, you were one of the first project managers on board and played a major role in shaping the department. What made you decide to partially specialise in medical content?

Gabi: Before m-tsd existed, I was already working with clients from the medical and medical technology sector, so it seemed like the logical step. “Medicine” is a very broad field and has its own language, which is very exciting. You always learn something new and can constantly develop in your work.

tsd: What has been your most exciting project so far?

Gabi: I especially enjoy big projects that can last a long time. A customer once had over a hundred package inserts that had to be translated into several languages, which took several months.

tsd: In your opinion, how does the localisation process for medical content differ from that of other specialist areas?

Gabi: In general, I wouldn’t say that project management processes are very different. In the medical field, however, translations are often validated by a third person as standard, so there is an additional correction loop.
Just because the customer is active in the medical sector doesn’t mean that the content is only medical. We also translate marketing material, contracts, presentations and so on.

In project management, we always pay attention to the content of a document and use a linguist who has the appropriate expertise. Not every translator is familiar with every specialist area or likes to translate marketing material. As a lay person, medical texts are often difficult to understand.
I think that the differences in the processes are more dependent on the customer and the product the customer produces.

tsd: Have you ever stumbled upon products in your private life where you were jointly responsible for the localization process? How does that feel?

Gabi: Of course, and it is always great to see something you know and have been involved in. Sometimes you look extra closely because you know that we work for this client.

tsd: Do you have any localization tips for companies in the medical field?

Gabi: You can’t beat a really good translator! A machine can’t keep up with that. Many people are of the opinion that “anyone can translate”. This is not the case. Writing texts is also an art.
We have so many good translators. I have been happily working with many of them for years now. I can rely on them completely and they deliver really good translations.

tsd: Thank you very much for taking the time to give us a little insight into your work.