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Future of Translation
Thread poster: SD Platt

SD Platt
Local time: 20:53
Member (2003)
German to English
Aug 7

Anyone any thoughts of how a typical translation business might look in 5 years?

Some ideas:

1 (Private server) MT + revision comes to replace pure raw translation in general technical areas
2 Niche 'hand-crafted' translation/transcreation only
3 Translation as-a-service integrated in actual creation process via a plugin/API
If most content is created via Word for example, the source would be sent automatically to an online translation server which would return the target language text in real time. The API could handle payment per segment/document.
4 Agencies become network of translators with no physical presence. Contractual terms simplified. Instant payment (see 3)


 

Daniel Frisano
Switzerland
Local time: 20:53
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Future of inputting text Aug 7

This is what I would love to see: gloves with contact pads for inputting text, say 1 pad for the thumb and 2 for each non-thumb finger (1 at the tip and 1 at the base). That's 98 "virtual keys" (10 fingertips each with 9 possible contacts on the opposite hand, plus 8 non-thumb fingers with the thumb on the same hand). Mouse movement can be simulated by sliding your right thumb on the left hand palm or a regular mouse pad. Add a virtual (holographic) monitor via AR glasses and suddenly your computer doesn't need to be larger than a credit card, or wearable like a watch, with obvious benefits. The only drawback is that some genius would start using it while driving or walking in crowded areas.



[Edited at 2018-08-07 13:55 GMT]


SD Platt
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 19:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No idea! Aug 7

I have no crystal ball and I’m really bad at predicting the future (I missed the mark by a long, long way regarding Brexit and Trump’s election victory), but I will keep adapting myself to change as I’ve been doing since 1985!

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Valérie Ourset
Angie Garbarino
 

Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:53
Chinese
an oxymoron Aug 7

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.

 

SD Platt
Local time: 20:53
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yes but.. Aug 7

Guofei_LIN wrote:

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.


within 5 years?
I still think agencies will get 'wiped out' first and there will still be a demand for MT post-editors who understand more than one language perfectly.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
90% of translators work for agencies Aug 7

deutschenglisch wrote:

Guofei_LIN wrote:

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.


within 5 years?
I still think agencies will get 'wiped out' first and there will still be a demand for MT post-editors who understand more than one language perfectly.


90% of translators work for only agencies. So if a lot of agencies get wiped out, it will also be the case
of translators, especially those who are at the bottom of the market, who work for peanuts for the worst
agencies. No doubt that the agencies that are not quality oriented (and the translators working for them) won't survive.


 

SD Platt
Local time: 20:53
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
not necessarily as bleak as that Aug 7

David GAY wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:

Guofei_LIN wrote:

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.


within 5 years?
I still think agencies will get 'wiped out' first and there will still be a demand for MT post-editors who understand more than one language perfectly.


90% of translators work for only agencies. So if a lot of agencies get wiped out, it will also be the case
of translators, especially those who are at the bottom of the market, who work for peanuts for the worst
agencies. No doubt that the agencies that are not quality oriented (and the translators working for them) won't survive.



why? Companies will still need translations and the trend has been to disintermediate...why would that not continue?


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
a trend to desintermediation Aug 7

deutschenglisch wrote:

David GAY wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:

Guofei_LIN wrote:

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.


within 5 years?
I still think agencies will get 'wiped out' first and there will still be a demand for MT post-editors who understand more than one language perfectly.


90% of translators work for only agencies. So if a lot of agencies get wiped out, it will also be the case
of translators, especially those who are at the bottom of the market, who work for peanuts for the worst
agencies. No doubt that the agencies that are not quality oriented (and the translators working for them) won't survive.



why? Companies will still need translations and the trend has been to disintermediate...why would that not continue?


I don't see any trend to desintermediation. 30 years ago companies employed translators inhouse.
Then translators have been outsourced and most of them used to work for direct clients.Now most translators
work for agencies and don't have any direct clients. Is it a trend to desintermediation really???



[Modifié le 2018-08-07 19:23 GMT]


Jorge Payan
 

SD Platt
Local time: 20:53
Member (2003)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
true Aug 7

David GAY wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:

David GAY wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:

Guofei_LIN wrote:

"future of translation" is an oxymoron if by that you're thinking about an industry in which we translators are still relevant and have a significant role to play.


within 5 years?
I still think agencies will get 'wiped out' first and there will still be a demand for MT post-editors who understand more than one language perfectly.


90% of translators work for only agencies. So if a lot of agencies get wiped out, it will also be the case
of translators, especially those who are at the bottom of the market, who work for peanuts for the worst
agencies. No doubt that the agencies that are not quality oriented (and the translators working for them) won't survive.



why? Companies will still need translations and the trend has been to disintermediate...why would that not continue?


I don't see any trend to desintermediation. 30 years ago companies employed translators inhouse.
Then translators have been outsourced and most of them used to work for direct clients.Now most translators
work for agencies and don't have any direct clients. Is it a trend to desintermediation really???



[Modifié le 2018-08-07 19:23 GMT]


was thinking of other industries. There is nothing that special about translation that it needs to be organized in this inefficient way.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
English to French
+ ...
sub-contracting Aug 7

There are plenty of other industries which use endless layers of sub-contracting, leaving underpaid performers (I didn't want to use "poor s**'s" for fear of being censored) do the actual production work.

Constructions trades in Europe come to the mind, for a start. Has everyone forgotten the Polish plumber?

Such systems are quite efficient for the intermediaries who do not do the actual work, when one thinks of it. Otherwise, why would they?

but, hey, I'm one of those poor s**s, so what do I know?


was thinking of other industries. There is nothing that special about translation that it needs to be organized in this inefficient way.


 

Juan (JP) Campaya  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:53
Member (Jun 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No one is willing to adapt? Aug 7

I see only gloomy views about the future of the industry. Like machines are taking our job!!

I don't think that our participation won't be needed any more. It's not that easy to get MT to be of a great quality and it hasn't been used for that much either to be afraid of it (yet). I believe that a big jump forward will be needed from our side to adapt to the future of translation -as it happens in any other job.

The end of the world is not around the corner, come on!

[Edited at 2018-08-07 20:47 GMT]


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Valérie Ourset
SD Platt
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
What did it look like in 2013? Aug 7

deutschenglisch wrote:
Anyone any thoughts of how a typical translation business might look in 5 years?

When I was first looking at freelance translation in 2013, it was pretty much as it was now, at least in my language pair. Clients are - finally - pushing for greater use of CAT tools but, on the whole, the situation seems to be similar to what it was five years ago.

So, while committing the ultimate sin of extrapolating the trend, I suggest that the situation in 2023 will not be that different to what it is today. Maybe, hopefully, tools will be more sophisticated.

I apologise in advance if this is not considered a sufficiently
pessimistic view.

Dan


Iris Schmerda
Joe France
SD Platt
Michele Fauble
Nina Snoj
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
JP>EN Aug 8

Dan Lucas wrote:

deutschenglisch wrote:
Anyone any thoughts of how a typical translation business might look in 5 years?

When I was first looking at freelance translation in 2013, it was pretty much as it was now, at least in my language pair. Clients are - finally - pushing for greater use of CAT tools but, on the whole, the situation seems to be similar to what it was five years ago.

So, while committing the ultimate sin of extrapolating the trend, I suggest that the situation in 2023 will not be that different to what it is today. Maybe, hopefully, tools will be more sophisticated.

I apologise in advance if this is not considered a sufficiently
pessimistic view.

Dan

Hard to compare.
The most efficient MT engines don't work in this pair yet.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:53
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Oh dear, what a big foot! Aug 8

Juan (JP) Campaya wrote:
The end of the world is not around the corner, come on!

Oh, why did you have to go and say that??? Are you really that sure? I'm not icon_frown.gif !

But if that doesn't happen, I think it's going to be the big agencies that fall by the wayside. The big end-user companies are already training their own MT systems - really customised ones. They won't need international agencies to charge them a fortune for it. Instead, I think there will be teams of translators specialised in a particular sector or in particular pairs, where some members also have other specialisations, such as DTP, project management, file handling... and they'll do mutual proofreading. They'll handle the translations using a CAT tool fed with input from the client's MT engine, and they'll handle the whole process. Boutique agencies will survive too. So there will be a maximum of one intermediary between the translator and the end client. The current hierarchical system of long chains of intermediaries has come about because it hasn't been possible for end-user clients to find suitable suppliers directly (and it just hasn't been feasible for them to contact separate people for every language and every skill). The future is that we're becoming ever-more connected. Those multinationals that rip us all off (if we let them) are dinosaurs.


SD Platt
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2008)
Italian to English
desintermediation Aug 8

In the future the English language will have become unintelligible and translation will not be possible.

"Desintermediation" (which I discover here for the first time) is almost as horrible a word as one I heard today on the radio - used by a man from Australia who runs a theme park and was describing the increase in visitor numbers.

He referred to these numbers as "visitations".

His theme park must be quite a place. Here's what a visitation is:

https://visitationbvm-brooklyn.org/what-is-the-visitation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/

[Edited at 2018-08-08 13:38 GMT]


 
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