How to farm buddy points with PMs for linguists

14.09.2022

There are seemingly countless articles out there offering tips on how to improve your professional skills.

Check out this fancy dictionary! Attend this insightful webinar! Get another degree in linguistics! Study more foreign languages…

The list could go on forever.

But there’s one thing that often slips under the radar.

Have you ever told a PM multiple times that you’re ready for work for only crickets to be your reply?

You just might be missing PM’s buddy points, and here are a few ideas for how to earn them.

Keep the manager in the loop. (10 buddy points)

Juggling ongoing projects, a small heap of client chats, and a whole pile of DMs with different linguists drains focus for managers. SSS-tier managers have to keep track of everything going on, though you can make their life a little easier. Drop a quick message to mention that you delivered your task or raised a query. When you send those little pings, you’re conserving the manager’s “operating memory,” and that’s almost like tucking in a blanket for a child. It’s a small gesture that wins you all the trust in the world.

Valeriy Timchenko

Project manager Allcorrect games

Time and time again, I find myself syncing projects to make sure everything was delivered. But those clicks could have been spent elsewhere if I’d known I’d be getting a friendly ping. Seeing that Skype/email/insert your preferred messenger here/Discord pop-up with a curt yet relieving “DONE” is next-level pleasure.

Voice your concerns. (10 buddy points)

The project isn’t syncing? Access to the G-sheet disappeared? The references are incomplete?

If any of that is happening, there’s no point keeping your mouth shut. Ask questions, even (especially) if they’re silly. Timely questions save you time while also demonstrating your commitment to the task. Just like anyone else, managers make mistakes. Some text might be locked in a tag by accident. A file might not have been assigned to you. A wrong QA setting might have been turned on for your project, and it’s wasting your time. Solving every one of those problems is a matter of minutes for the manager, and that saves time for you.

Valeriy Timchenko

Project manager Allcorrect games

Once upon a time, I was asked if the “extra space before/after a tag in target” QA setting could be turned off. A fair question, you might say. Except for the fact that it was a ZHO-EN project, where it’s perfectly natural to have spaces around tags in the target. And the project had been going full speed for two solid months. I was aghast when I realized how much time my team had spent manually checking all those false warnings. Was it a PM mistake? Definitely. Could it have been avoided with a tiny little question? You bet!

Leave comments. (10 buddy points)

Sharing is caring! As you work through projects, don’t keep the insights you get to yourself. From a manager’s perspective, seeing a comment on a tricky string (or even a simple string for that matter) is the best thing since sliced bread. Just don’t forget to highlight them, regardless of the CAT tool you’re using. A filter with all comments makes for a pretty list of issues. And since the issues are being flagged before delivery to the client, the opportunity to fix them then is invaluable.

Valeriy Timchenko

Project manager Allcorrect games

Think the previous example saved time for a whole team of linguists? Check this one out. Whenever you leave a comment in memoQ like “Query posted, row XXX” or “Queried” or even “QL”, the time saved skyrockets. Filtering the file by those comments and jumping straight to the query log is a matter of three or four clicks. Imagine what would happen if you highlighted them as well... I’d be your best friend forever.

Be real. (10 buddy points)

Limiting work talk to “ok”, “got it,” and “done” is nice and saves some time. But that makes you feel like you’re talking to a machine rather than a real, live person (presumably, that’s what you are). Mention something random that happened to you before you got to work. Share a meme once in a while. Ask something that isn’t about work (don’t take it too far though!). While you don’t have to be friends with everyone, maintaining a friendly relationship goes a long way.

Valeriy Timchenko

Project manager Allcorrect games

Don’t get me wrong—separating work from your private life is a great thing. But sharing a funny story every now and again is priceless. Think of it as of a timely healing potion you share with a PM on a hectic day, which just about every day is.

Do what you do best. (10 buddy points)

You might be wondering what this has to do with trust. You’re just doing your job, right?

As it turns out, “just doing your job” can vary significantly from linguist to linguist. And not just because some slack off while others work much harder. That’s actually far from the reason. Sometimes we miss the obvious because we weren’t attentive enough. That actually happens more often than you can imagine. Didn’t read the PO carefully? A misstep. Flipped through the style guide in less than a minute? An oversight. Didn’t run the spellcheck? Perhaps you were pressed for time. All those little things add up, and the end result is sub-par quality. Don’t be a good translator; be a mindful one.

Valeriy Timchenko

Project manager Allcorrect games

We’re responsible for the files we give our clients. That means there are at least three quality checks we go through before each delivery, and even a non-native or non-speaker can do them with the right tools. Having someone you can trust to do flawless work is like having your own “unburdener.” And that should definitely be a word.

These are just a few things I absolutely adore in the people I work with on a daily basis. Could you have already scored those 50 points? :)

Allcorrect
Allcorrect is a gaming service company. We help game developers free their time from routine processes in order to focus on key tasks. We provide professional game translations into 40+ languages and create game art of all levels of complexity. Also, we offer localization testing, voice-over, and culturalization adaption of in-game content. Our team adores games and complex projects. We’re incredibly proud of our clients, including both world-renowned AAA developers and indie companies that have successfully entered the international market.