Patricia Rousseau, who happens to have a degree in translation herself, is the communication and PR officer at Vlerick. When she needed a new translation agency many years ago, an acquaintance referred her to Blue Lines. Rousseau takes us back to the moment she fell for Blue Lines.
The proof of the pudding
“I joined Vlerick nine years ago, as the communication and PR officer. My predecessor gave me a list of the suppliers the school was used to working with, including a translation agency. But I wasn’t very happy with the agency: their translations were often sloppy and sometimes even downright incorrect.
After a while, more than five years ago now, my previous boss posted something about Blue Lines on Facebook. She’s a qualified translator (just like I am, in fact), so her post piqued my curiosity. I went to your site and requested a test translation on the spot. You can’t really draw any conclusions on the basis of a single test, but it did mark the start of a fruitful collaboration.”
Check and double-check
“At Vlerick, we want our texts to be translated fluently and correctly, with the right terminology. In Dutch, for example, we always say ‘professor’ rather than ‘hoogleraar’. And we prefer ‘programme’ to ‘course’. I love Dutch; wherever possible, I prefer to avoid all those English terms that tend to be thrown around so liberally in Dutch business texts. And you know that. It’s great that I don’t need to repeat myself with every translation assignment, because you’ve already set up a glossary. I also really appreciate that you let three pairs of eyes scan a translation before it’s delivered. The fact that the text is checked by more than one person is a huge bonus.”
Experts in meeting deadlines
”My faith in Blue Lines has only grown as the years have passed. You keep your promises and carry on doing so, even with clients you reeled in a long time ago. Punctuality is just as important as the quality of translations. You never start on a project before we’ve approved the quotation, for example. And you always estimate how much time you think you’ll need. As soon as we give the go-ahead for a translation request, we receive a concrete delivery deadline. That punctuality really helps with our editorial planning.”
“And it’s so important to actually meet deadlines, even if they’re incredibly tight. That is the case when the Financial Times publishes its international rankings, for example. The rankings are always published on a Monday, but the business schools that are included in the rankings get the embargoed information a bit earlier, on the previous Wednesday evening. That gives us just two working days to write our content, get a quote from a programme director or the dean, and then get everything translated on top of that. It’s always a race against time. But with Blue Lines, we never fail to get it all done.”
Neighbours popping round for coffee
“Sometimes, I feel like Blue Lines is more of a family business, a group of friends who happen to be working together. I love the friendly atmosphere in your office: it’s laid back but still very professional. The way Stef talks about his team when he calls me to meet up for coffee is genuinely inspiring.”
“Then there’s the fact that we’re geographically so close to each other, so we can go for coffee together and you could cycle here today for this interview – brilliant, really. Not that I needed any more reasons to work with Blue Lines, but it just makes the whole process even more enjoyable.”