The meeting was scheduled for Wednesday morning at the company’s office located in the center of Moscow. It normally takes you 5 hours to get from our city, Ivanovo, to Moscow. Ideally, you would arrive in Moscow in the evening on the day before, stay at a hotel, go to the meeting in the morning, and then return home immediately. However, arranged this way, the whole trip takes 2 days, which is rather disproportional for a 2 to 4-hour meeting. To save time, you can yet leave early in the morning directly on the meeting day. Unfortunately, this means that you are already tired because of the long way when you arrive, and there is always a risk of being late for the meeting due to a traffic jam or vehicle breakdown. This time, I had to go in the morning.
Due to ongoing construction activities, which are typical for Moscow centre, I had hard time finding the customer’s office, although it was supposed to be just near the subway station. It turned out that the regular street passage was obstructed by a construction site, so I had to find an alternative route. As soon as I reached the address, I first met with the project manager of the translation agency, which we are partnering with to service this customer. At the meeting, we represented this agency as (a) project manager and (b) English-Russian editor.
The customer is a large global company with several affiliates and factories across Russia. Their Moscow office, the national headquarters, is located in a business center and occupies almost the entire building.
We met with two employees who are, among other things, responsible for writing and editing the company’s documents, including editing our translations. The meeting was called to discuss a long-term translation project in detail and get to know each other in person after almost one year of communicating via e-mail or phone.
The customer’s employees provided some general information about the project and explained its importance to the company. They also answered our general project-related questions and asked which type of documents was the most difficult translation-wise. In turn, we answered their general questions: the project manager shared a few facts about the agency, and I explained our translation workflow in detail. Because this project has the highest priority, the regular workflow was extended to ensure excellent quality: translator, editor, second editor, proofreader, quick review by project manager.
The customer’s employees answered some of my more specific language questions based on the recently translated documents. They also shared how they deal with various translation challenges. Interestingly, it is not uncommon for them to come across the source text that is unclear despite of their experience and subject matter knowledge, so they have turn to experts for help or consult the legal department. They also provided positive feedback on our translations.
What I liked about this trip: I finally got to meet the customer’s editors after a year of communicating via e-mail or phone; customer’s friendly attitude.
What I did not like: typical Moscow traffic jams (I could be late); the trip itself took 12 hours, while the meeting lasted for just 2 hours.
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