Q&A with Cristian Martín, Translation Project Manager

Hi Cristian, why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself…
My name is Cristian Martín, and I’m a Project Manager at McFelder Translations. I was born in Castelldefells, Barcelona and have Spanish nationality. Initially I began working for McFelder in 2012, in the commercial department. Not long after I moved over to the production department to train and work as an in-house designer. Further training and development followed, and I switched departments again to become a Translation Project Manager.
When I’m not working, I love keeping fit; things like running and going to the gym. I also love the outdoors… including sunbathing at the different beaches along the Costa Brava of course!

Don’t we all! So, what exactly does a Translation Project Manager do?
Well, essentially it’s a customer facing role where I have my portfolio of clients and I manage all of their translation needs. This covers a huge range of media, it could be the translation of a user guide, a press release, a legal contract or even subtitling a video.
I would definitely say that the role carries many responsibilities. Our clients rely on us for their international communications, so we’re used to producing translations that have to resonate with a vast and varied audience…
One of the best things about working at McFelder is that we use all the latest translation technologies, so I’m trained in the most up-to-date translation management processes.

What led you to your current career path and McFelder Translations?
Before moving to Girona, I was working in the retail sector and decided to broaden my skill set by embarking on a business administration degree. As part of my business experience I completed a one year placement at McFelder Translations, and I have been here ever since!

What sectors do your clients work in?
My clients work in a diversity of sectors such as industrial engineering, digital marketing, welding and medical devices.

What is your specialisation?
That would have to be desktop publishing (DTP). Essentially it’s the job of making sure that any translated text is typeset perfectly within the original design, the correct fonts are applied per language and the respective language rules are respected. I do this across communications such as presentations, user guides, corporate brochures, annual reports, magazines (and many more). To give you an example, with the DTP of a Chinese text we might advise our client on the appropriate fonts to use if their chosen corporate fonts do not support Chinese characters. Then there’s the linguistic technicalities. In Chinese there are no spaces between a full stop and the start of the next sentence. Nor does Chinese use a line break between the characters – otherwise the sentence would then make no sense. This is the type of knowledge that you develop as your experience grows.

It sounds like consistency and having an eye for detail are important in your role? How do you make sure these qualities are maintained in your work?
Since I have nearly 8 years’ experience at McFelder, I work closely with my portfolio of clients, and this really makes a big difference in that respect. It’s fundamental that I have a good understanding of the company, the brand and their specific place in the market. Working with the latest translation software certainly helps us to offer a truly bespoke service tool. There’s a big emphasis here at McFelder to work with clients as a partner, not just a supplier… and our genuine interest in their business coupled with technological innovations goes a long way in terms of quality.

How have you evolved throughout your career at McFelder?
I’ve really grown in my time here, both professionally and personally. In the past, Project Managers didn’t have direct contact with the clients or generate quotes for them. This changed a few years ago, and as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with the end client. This was the key to transporting me to more of a front office role. Initially I was nervous about this change but it’s worked out well. Not only in my role but it has also helped me to take my English language skills to a much higher level. I’m even becoming a pro at understanding Scottish accents too!

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