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Your vision of the translation industry by 2025 and your immediate future as a freelance translator
Thread poster: Vladimir Pochinov

kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:51
English to Russian
Your vision of the translation industry by 2025 and your immediate future as a freelance translator Jan 29

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:
Hat tip to Aristotle. These words keep me going throughout my life.

Thanks, but with all my respect I have no time for learning what keeps you through your life and re-reading well-known facts. I expect feedback similar to my own contribution -- original, relevant content.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Busybeeing Jan 30

@kd42, how dare--especially such an anonymous damage dealer as you!--make such inappropriate points--let alone to the Vladimir?

Just to be clear: there’re professional translators who respect themselves, know their trade, and how to run the business. Also there’re “pure” translators or—as David Graeber put it mildly in his article and book... See more
@kd42, how dare--especially such an anonymous damage dealer as you!--make such inappropriate points--let alone to the Vladimir?

Just to be clear: there’re professional translators who respect themselves, know their trade, and how to run the business. Also there’re “pure” translators or—as David Graeber put it mildly in his article and bookbullshit busy-work jobbers aka pocketmoney PEMT/CAT-operators, the unskilled needy who realize they are not doing any useful and meaningful work.

These two groups are very different.

Indeed, some day those pretenders may become profi, but they have neither enough time nor options.
As far as there’re relatively too few decent translators, spongers eagerly abuse the churning mass of wannabe translators, promising easy money to everyone with a PC and the internet.
Such a weirdo overbloated system is ok for a few, but the things that shouldn't be can’t go on forever:

Who really benefits from zillions of naive self-proclaimed freelancers?

What’s more, I personally find when a real businessman needs a translator (not just a onetime stopgap-googler), it makes sense to hire a promising specialist with some foreign language skills than even the best translator with some theory. IMO.

P.S. Vladimir, if you know your worth and can negotiate the deals on your terms, then you are no “pure” translator. However, your unsubstantiated 88+% 'discounts' may badly damage the whole market.
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kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:51
English to Russian
No title Feb 3

My earlier reply was deleted without giving me a chance to correct my mistake, because I used a four-letter word in it. I sincerely apologize for thoughtlessly bringing David Graeber’s scientific terminology to the forums. I’ll try to avoid breaking any of the Proz rules again and save a copy locally, in case I fail again, for which I beg everyone’s pardon.

@kd42, how dare--especially such an anonymous damage dealer as you!
nobody is anonymous, you can easily find my real name and address, I found yours, so Vladimir can do it too. Anonymity online is an illusion.

Also there’re “pure” translators or—as David Graeber
I went to see a video by David Graeber on the subject. I am not impressed. By what he is saying I would guess he is a sociopath. (He washes his hair 3 times a year too.)
I am generally against projecting the nature of a job upon a person, and inventing terms which are even prohibited by Proz forum rules.
I know a lot of people with “S-jobs” who are generally happier and more fulfilled than most people with “real” or “proper” jobs (of whom I know many too). Some S-jobs are inevitable, we cannot do without a hotel maid or a plumber, by the way, Kiev, or any city, will do fairly well without translators, losers or successful, but not without plumbers (S-people).
Besides, when you speak about translators, you seem to be mixing BS-jobs and S-jobs. A BS-job is the one which is totally pointless. Most (all?) translators easily realize the purpose of the fruit of their work.

What’s more, I personally find when a real businessman needs a translator it makes sense to hire a promising specialist with some foreign language skills than even the best translator with some theory. IMO.
This I would carve in stone in some Global Pantheon of Human Wisdom.
or:
What’s more, I personally find when a real businessman needs a cook it makes sense to hire a promising specialist with some slicing and boiling skills than even the best cook with some theory. IMO.
or even:
What’s more, I personally find when a real businessman needs a dentist it makes sense to hire a promising specialist with some drilling skills than even the best dentist with some theory. IMO.

If possible, could you elaborate on this “a promising specialist”? What exactly does he promise? You keep mentioning the fact of your great success here without going into particulars, which is a bit childish, and confuses a newbie freelancer who might read this thread. I invite you to either stop referring to this success of yours (preferred) or tell everyone about it, in such a way which will help a budding freelancer use your valuable advice. Otherwise we all have to guess, and this spoils the atmosphere and makes you look more important than necessary.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
(1) in-demand specialist with (2) biz awareness and (3) foreign language skills Feb 4

@kd42, if you didn’t get the pun, then it must be a poor jest of mine hinting though Vladimir stated he took no anonymous opinions, he nicely communicated with you—a non-member with an abstract ava too. My bad)

David distinctly tells S-jobs (cheap and dirty but useful) from BS-workers (some 37%-40%!) engaged in futile busy looking activity. Unlike the former, nobody else even would notice such sandpounders got sacked. They literally get paid for doing nothing—invented t
... See more
@kd42, if you didn’t get the pun, then it must be a poor jest of mine hinting though Vladimir stated he took no anonymous opinions, he nicely communicated with you—a non-member with an abstract ava too. My bad)

David distinctly tells S-jobs (cheap and dirty but useful) from BS-workers (some 37%-40%!) engaged in futile busy looking activity. Unlike the former, nobody else even would notice such sandpounders got sacked. They literally get paid for doing nothing—invented titles, virtual intermediaries, surrogate frontends, bloated staff of vice-vice-vice-deputies of vice-vice-deputies... and beloved CAT/PEMT-operators without meaningful contribution. Or you believe most self-proclaimed freelancers do really know the worth and value and care what use their clients get cheap? If it were true, there would be no bottom-feeders (no-businesspersons).

While the author cares “Who benefits?”, I would add “At whose expense?”—with what consequences?

For instance, others didn’t notice that salaried educated specialist had been absent for six (6) years, nor they would notice a PEMTer wannabe freelancer working as a churning out onetime penny stopgap. No “ducttaper” category? Such disposable temporary jobs exist only because of the faulty outsourcing intermediation system.

As for ‘a promising [prospective/decent] specialist with some foreign language skills’ part, I deliberately used ‘real* specialist’ (a doctor, an engineer, a designer, a builder, a lawyer, and so on) as opposed to ‘pure translator’ (a linguist without hands-on experience), let alone CAT/PEMT-operator who badly rely on TM/MT.

A nicely speaking/writing non-specialist
is no substitute for
A specialist who can also use a foreign language


My success? I doubt it’s easily re-duplicable for real biz doesn’t require so many real or pseudo-translators. Besides, I need no rivals—at least not in near future, neither do my clients. (Thank gods!)
Most certainly, I’m no special, just lucky and brave enough not to be a “pure” translator.


Shortly, the current middlemen’s slavery market cultivates far too many ‘pure’ translators and mulch zillions of eager bottom-feeders, making more weird and stringent conditions.

So, I would recommend to:
(1) get a real* in-demand specialty [engineer, doctor, lawyer, programmer...];
(2) learn the ropes of business, and
(3) use foreign language skills to personal advantages.

Don't you agree?

Businesswise, foreign language skills are minor—just a part of auxiliary or portable skills.
Yet eventually time shall sort the things out.

>nobody is anonymous, you can easily find my real name and address, I found yours
Oh my! Could you pretty please PM me so I would ynykaTbcR be just shocked?
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
That old linguist vs specialist thing revisited Feb 4

DZiW wrote:

A nicely speaking/writing non-specialist
is no substitute for
A specialist who can also use a foreign language



Blueprints for a nuclear bomb? Yes.
99% of translations out there? No.

For example, Dizzy, you write in such a convoluted way that your points can be desperately hard to follow. It's a shame you're not a linguist, because then you'd have been able to communicate them more effectively.


So, I would recommend to:
(1) get a real* in-demand specialty [engineer, doctor, lawyer, programmer...];
(2) learn the ropes of business, and
(3) use foreign language skills to personal advantages.

Don't you agree?


No. What makes you think a "pure" translator cannot acquire sufficient subject expertise to translate technical texts? I haven't studied medicine but I know a whole lot more about diabetes than most doctors.

Not to mention the many reasons why doctors work as doctors, not translators.

Ironically, Dizzy, in your world where foreign language skills are incidental and specialist expertise is everything, human translators are redundant, "biz skills" or not. You're actually setting out a very good case for MT...


Maciek Drobka
The Misha
kd42
P.L.F.Persio
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
#10 Subject + Predicate [+Object] Feb 4

Dear Chris--do you really believe that languages is the only key? Avowedly muted!

Nowadays, besides a horde of rulemaking middlemen:

#1 There're too many "pure" meek translators at discount--with theoretical background only yet without biz skills (no pricing, no planning, no value, no negotiations, ... no equal party);
- and-
#2 Even more dirty cheap CAT/PEMT-operators (anyone with a PC and the internet), watering the market to bottom.
... See more
Dear Chris--do you really believe that languages is the only key? Avowedly muted!

Nowadays, besides a horde of rulemaking middlemen:

#1 There're too many "pure" meek translators at discount--with theoretical background only yet without biz skills (no pricing, no planning, no value, no negotiations, ... no equal party);
- and-
#2 Even more dirty cheap CAT/PEMT-operators (anyone with a PC and the internet), watering the market to bottom.

My vision of real specialists with decent foreign languages skills is just a variant, yet at least covers main points, and yours?
Indeed, it's a shame some don't want to understand simple things, preferring ignorance. No prob, let them learn it a hard way)


Unlike mere PEMTed walky-talkie-typists, real* specialists (1) do their job--are useful even without foreign languages, (2) know their value and worth, and (3) may use foreign languages as a little plus--nothing special.

Now, seeing wholesale CATed PEMTywises who often even can't human-like translate without crutches (tools), what is the use? Your vision and solutions, perhaps?

That's ok too
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Flawed logic Feb 4

The thing is, most translations simply don’t require an in-depth technical understanding. Using an expert would be a waste of that person’s skills. But what most translations do require is an ability to communicate, which a linguist ought to be better at.

I translate economics. For a central bank. So I must be doing a half-decent job of it. I have a good knowledge of economics but I’m not an economist. Sometimes there are equations and statistical analyses that are beyond me a
... See more
The thing is, most translations simply don’t require an in-depth technical understanding. Using an expert would be a waste of that person’s skills. But what most translations do require is an ability to communicate, which a linguist ought to be better at.

I translate economics. For a central bank. So I must be doing a half-decent job of it. I have a good knowledge of economics but I’m not an economist. Sometimes there are equations and statistical analyses that are beyond me and I have to get help from the authors. But I’m still the best person to communicate what they’re trying to say.

Which is the key thing here. An expert with biz skills will be busy earning three, five, ten times as much doing what they trained to do. Why would they translate?

What did you do before becoming a translator and interpreter, Dizzy? Does it really not pay better?
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kd42
Vaclav Hruza
P.L.F.Persio
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
No dilemma: Good enough Feb 4

Christ, some four years to prepare a specialist who can do the useful job -or- some four years to prepare a generalist who can only translate--after some four years of specialization... Really?

And no, unlike interpreters, most translators can't even negotiate their terms properly, let alone communicate.

Oh, have you ever happen to read the UN and other official papers? They must have used students or MT, meaning gibberish. No sob stories, hopefully one day you
... See more
Christ, some four years to prepare a specialist who can do the useful job -or- some four years to prepare a generalist who can only translate--after some four years of specialization... Really?

And no, unlike interpreters, most translators can't even negotiate their terms properly, let alone communicate.

Oh, have you ever happen to read the UN and other official papers? They must have used students or MT, meaning gibberish. No sob stories, hopefully one day you will like people who learn to live as well)

Step by step:
1) Making higher entry barriers/requirements will prevent accident people from getting into translation.
2) Eliminating the heap of middlemen will enable translators to go direct with real businesses (ultimate clients), cutting out commissions (increasing the net income for translators).
3) Complying with real biz demands will proliferate real specialists with foreign language skills.

It will take a while. And there will be some "pure" translators working in the general field and linguistics only. So what exactly makes you stumble or sad?
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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Paweł Hamerski
Poland
Local time: 16:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Vision, my foot! Feb 5

I may have visions but not on this subject.

The Misha
 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
English to Latvian
+ ...
be a translator of important texts Feb 5

Chris S wrote:

The thing is, most translations simply don’t require an in-depth technical understanding. Using an expert would be a waste of that person’s skills. But what most translations do require is an ability to communicate, which a linguist ought to be better at.


In a way it is true but not because those texts don't require an expert. A lot of texts are prepared and never read. I had to review the SOPs at one workplace and they were very well prepared for the inspection but I didn't really have time to read them all. No worker actually read them either and preferred to learn by guidance. If those SOPs had to be translated into another language, there would be temptation to use the cheapest translator available because it would make no difference except that the inspector would be satisfied.

And there are other texts which are important and are actually read and each word is scrutinized. For example, medicines information documents which are frequently referenced by health care professionals.

Which is the key thing here. An expert with biz skills will be busy earning three, five, ten times as much doing what they trained to do. Why would they translate?


I don't think it is true. Even scientists or doctors in the UK don't earn very much relatively speaking and I am sure many translators demand equally high rates.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Nicely divide and strictly rule 100,000,000 guinea pigs Feb 5

First, my purpose is not to puzzle, persuade, or call someone to actions, just to inform you.
It’s alright that some resist the ideas while offering no objections, yet I’ll be glad if one out of thousand thinks about it from different angles. So consider it a no-APA/ MLA/ CMS freewriting. Relax.

Wd40, no PM? Ok. It’s cool that after some 20 years you still remember Biology; almost O-level? It must be one of your favorite subjs at school. However, in reality wannabe tra
... See more
First, my purpose is not to puzzle, persuade, or call someone to actions, just to inform you.
It’s alright that some resist the ideas while offering no objections, yet I’ll be glad if one out of thousand thinks about it from different angles. So consider it a no-APA/ MLA/ CMS freewriting. Relax.

Wd40, no PM? Ok. It’s cool that after some 20 years you still remember Biology; almost O-level? It must be one of your favorite subjs at school. However, in reality wannabe translators—especially without general concepts—are badly confused by the very terminology aka word choice, making funny neologisms, gibberish, and memes. If one can’t explain it even in their native language… FINE.

Thus, where do low rates, unfavorable terms, poor quality, oversaturation, and other problems come from?

As mentioned before, there’re three (3) big issues in the modern translation market:
1) too many greedy middlemen imposing unfavorable terms;
2) lots of “pure” theoretical translators with no business skills to substantiate pricing and negotiate better terms; and—
3) the multitude of eager (yet unskilled, uneducated, and unwanted) bottom-feeders needy who are hyped into the motto it takes “a PC and the internet only” to make them superstars, dumping the market.

Any insights how to address these problems, involve those rejected, and improve the efficiency at least of the country’s economics?

• Who pays to middlemen? - The real businesses with real specialists.
• Why the real business pays to the in-betweens? - Because there’re too few decent specialists with foreign language skills and they know their worth and value.
• What if the intermediaries are eliminated? - . . . It’s too obvious: the issues will be resolved.
• And where should zillions of translators go? - A bitter significant re-imaging the career.


So what, anything unanswered? Please, no sisassy remarks for you already knew it, jumping to different conclusions comfortably blind.

I can’t see your—ahem—suggestions, but this is how I see it at the moment. Perhaps, one day I may change my mind, but even now there’re no bottom-feeders or “pure” translators among my nearest and dearest. Besides, I have so many duties and responsibilities that calling me just a ‘translator’ or an ‘interpreter’ is like calling a ‘man’ as a ‘hair’. As far as I’m quite curious and enjoy living languages too, I frequently visit ProZ and other places, learning something interesting. (and typing via my TabletPC)
Ain’t it nice when a professional translator can’t see the meaning behind the words, right?

It has nothing to do with Ukraine or any other country, or you truly believe there’s all happy people in Utopia Estonia? The same is about both developed and developing countries. A short quasi-parable:
A company needs two specialists, so two job applicants come to the interview. When asked about a desired annual salary, the shy seeker babbles that some $25,000 would do for the entry position. OK. The other confidently replies that it should be at least $75,000 a year net with benefits. And it’s also accepted, why?
Have a nice day.


Pawel, they say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so a Plan B and C is a must.
Take care
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Colane
 

kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:51
English to Russian
Too absent minded? Feb 6

DZiW wrote:
As far as I’m quite curious and enjoy living languages too, I frequently visit ProZ and other places, learning something interesting. (and typing via my TabletPC)
Ain’t it nice when a professional translator can’t see the meaning behind the words, right?
Why TabletPC? Do you often lose them?


 

kd42
Estonia
Local time: 17:51
English to Russian
Interpreting gadgets Feb 21

There are more and more gadgets which offer a reasonably practical level of interpreting.
Example: https://vasco-electronics.pl/426-product_thumb/vasco-mini2.jpg
They improve all the time, there are some reviews on Youtube.
Note: I do wonder if this post is going to violate any rule or hurt somebody's feelings.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Comma Feb 21

kd42 wrote:

There are more and more gadgets which offer a reasonably practical level of interpreting.
Example: https://vasco-electronics.pl/426-product_thumb/vasco-mini2.jpg
They improve all the time, there are some reviews on Youtube.
Note: I do wonder if this post is going to violate any rule or hurt somebody's feelings.


Yes. Your misuse of the comma has hurt my feelings. You could have written

"They improve all the time; there are some reviews on Youtube."

or

"They improve all the time. There are some reviews on Youtube."


 
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