Translation Services Team Leader: An interview with ASTA-USA’s Professional Translation Team Leader, Tyler Longmire
ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc. employs the best staff within the professional translation services industry. Under the leadership of our Translation Services Team Leader, Tyler Longmire, our Translation Directors are a friendly, helpful presence throughout your entire translation experience. At ASTA-USA we pride ourselves in the fact that we only recruit accredited human translators. We never rely on technology alone for translation of your important documents. Our professional language translation services team gives your company an error-free document each and every time.
Tell us about yourself! How long have you been with ASTA-USA? What are the perks of working in the field of professional translation services? What are the challenges?
I began my career with ASTA more than ten years ago and could not have imagined how far we would go! Mr. Roy and I both share a passion for customer service and an entrepreneurial spirit, which has been the backbone of ASTA from day one.
My favorite aspect of the job is working and communicating with people of ALL different backgrounds ALL around the world. A conference call via Skype with Egypt in the morning, working with my team in Spain before lunch and then meeting a client in San Diego that same afternoon is something my parent’s generation certainly didn’t do and I think that is really cool.
The biggest challenge is to maintain a working schedule of 24/7/365 with our linguists and clients around the world, but we take great pride in providing a seamless process and always meeting our deadlines and exceeding our clients’ expectations. Our clients may not need document translations every day or every week for that matter, but we are always open and ready to take on the next assignment.
How do you build relationships with your professional translation services team while simultaneously maintaining a good relationship with your clients?
I would say one of the areas in my day-to-day operation that I can improve most is in building the relationships with our clients. It seems we are always in a rush to get them the quotes or the projects that they have ordered and ensuring their requirements are fully met, so the personal/relationship side of things can fall by the wayside.
I have more close relationships with the linguists and discuss their kids’ soccer games coming up that weekend or what they are doing for the holidays, but I would like to make more personal contact with our clients and linguists moving forward. Whether it is over dinner or on the golf course, that is one of my goals.
On a difficult day, what keeps you going?
Eighteen holes of golf can cure anything, right? In all seriousness, ASTA is such a great team that “difficult days” are really few and far between. What keeps me going is the positive feedback we get from the clients after a hard day’s work.
What are some of the most obscure language pairs you have encountered? How did you go about handling these projects?
We were tasked with the translation of a church document for a small village in Africa (English > Kinyarwanda). I recruited two linguists from the local university, tested them with a sample, and then shared the results with a third proofreader/reviewer. The best sample was selected and that linguist was used for the project. The result was a very happy client who was able to accurately communicate with their diocese halfway around the world.
ASTA-USA provides a great deal of legal translations. What sets legal apart from other fields?
From a project management point of view, I actually think that legal translation projects are easier than say a marketing project, for instance. Perhaps it is because so many of our teams specialize in legal texts, but I also think there is more of a “cut and dry” approach to legal documents as opposed to a marketing text with innuendos and puns that can be difficult to transfer into another language or target audience. We have had great success with all subject matters, but legal projects are my favorite.
Are there different requirements or special challenges when translating professional legal documents? What are the effects on project management?
Every project essentially goes through the same processes. Whether it’s a birth certificate for immigration purposes or a 100-page legal contract, they are just as important to our clients in their eyes and therefore we treat them with equal attention to detail. Linguists with legal expertise are obviously utilized for the necessary assignments, but that is essentially the biggest difference.
How do you choose your translator teams? Are there specific certifications or accreditations that are taken into consideration?
Our professional translators average 10+ years of experience and are certified by some of the leading groups in the industry, such as ATA (American Translators Association) and NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators). We screen them through our proprietary training course and then have our lead teams proofread all of their work before we commit them as a formal ASTA-USA linguist.