Translation business is constantly facing new challenges and needs to adapt to new trends in the field. What are some of the most prominent changes in the translation industry and how do professional translations deal with them?
The translation memory technology is highly improved
This is a huge plus for professional translators, as it enables faster delivery and therefore the capacity to take on more projects.
Translation management systems are more common
Yes to that! In running a smooth translation business, having systems in place is paramount for maximum productivity. Managing your translation projects is not an easy feat when you are starting out (nor when you are already established and have to deliver several projects at once) and having an accounting and/or invoicing tool is also of high importance in the running of a successful business.
Machine translation is improved and is more widely used
Far from posing a threat to human translation, machine translation should be considered a tool for better, faster and more consistent translations. It also created new job opportunities such as Post-editing.
Projects are often shorter but more frequent with the same company
Time-consuming but lucrative if you have made a good deal from the start. Some translators find working for fewer (but stable) clients works best for them even if it is for smaller projects.
Project timelines are in many cases tighter – companies need “translation-on-the-go” for their current projects
As above, you might find it is more convenient to set your rates at the beginning and bill at the end of the month/period than invoice every single project. It is also helpful to establish relationships with companies and clients that might need more from you in the future than go after one-off deals. Still, it all depends in your vision for the future, your needs and your style as a professional.
In general, work load is up while rates are still the same (or less)
This is one of the negative things in the current translation business situation but it is in our hands as freelancers and translators to keep prices as high as our services and make no discounts in quality.
Quality expectations are constantly higher
And should be, as long as they are appreciated and paid accordingly.
Interpreting services can now be delivered remotely rather than in person
This opens up the interpreting industry and enables aspiring interpreters to seek projects away from their base. Interpreting is no more restricted by location and can easily adapt to the freelance lifestyle.
What do you think? Are there more changes in the translation industry and how can or should a professional translator react to them?
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