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Poll: In ten years' time, what language other than English will be generating more jobs for translators?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 16:06
SITE STAFF
Jul 28, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In ten years' time, what language other than English will be generating more jobs for translators?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


 

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:06
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Portuguese Jul 28, 2009

I wonder whether I`m the only one here who thinks that Brazil, and thus Portuguese, will create considerably more translation work in the future.

I´m also glad to read that German is ranked "relatively" high, however, I wouldn´t see why the amount of German work should rise a lot over the next 10 years.

Best, Manuela


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:06
Member (2006)
German to English
Chinese followed by Indian Jul 28, 2009

Would also say after reading the question a second time

[Edited at 2009-07-28 19:03 GMT]


 

Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 20:06
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Chinese.... Jul 28, 2009

....if we take into account population growth and market growth...

 

Umang Dholabhai  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 05:36
Member
English to Gujarati
+ ...
Hindi..and the indic languages Jul 28, 2009

Looking at the stable economic trends of India in such times with a continuing upturn of the GDP, a well managed stock market situation with quite some safety nets in place and a positive looking inflation scenario, I am surprised to see the ratings that Hindi has had in this poll. I feel India is not just represented by Hindi but all the indic languages put together.

 

Wil Hardman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
China closely followed by India Jul 28, 2009

Looking at the way the world is developing economically and in terms of population then my guess is that the above two countries will be the most prominent. However as Umang mentioned India is not represented by one language alone, nor is China...

 

Niraja Nanjundan (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:36
German to English
Indian languages will be very important Jul 28, 2009

Umang Dholabhai wrote:
I am surprised to see the ratings that Hindi has had in this poll. I feel India is not just represented by Hindi but all the indic languages put together.


Yes, Umang, I agree with you. There is also an increasing interest in translation from European languages into Indian languages and vice-versa. I attended a translation conference in Delhi in April, and representatives from the Instituto Cervantes (Spanish) and the French Cultural Centre (run by the French government) spoke there and mentioned that both the Spanish and French governments are providing funds for translation in this area. The representative from France mentioned French to Malayalam and vice-versa as an example, and said that the only problem was that there weren't enough translators in these language pairs. What a pity!


 

Reed James
Chile
Local time: 21:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Two observations Jul 28, 2009

Ten years is a very short time to measure a change of this nature. We are talking about two and a half U.S. presidential terms, two and a half generations of university undergraduates. The English language took centuries to take root, first spread by the Queen's emissaries and later by U.S. capitalism and then swept up by the momentum of globalization. I really think we need to measure this phenomenon in centuries, not decades.

The other point I feel I should make is that languages, cultures and economies are not spread by mere numbers. Look at how small some of the mightiest colonial powers are. Spain is tiny compared to the size of Latin America and the Philipines. Yet Cortez and Pizarro conquered the Mayas and Incas and the Spanish language has permeated these territories ever since. Indeed, ideas outstrip populations.


 

Mark Thompson  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:06
Member
Portuguese to English
Brazil Jul 28, 2009

I agree with Manuela - I believe (and hope) that Brazil will enjoy a period of sustained economic growth and increased foreign investment over the next ten years, boosted by the 2014 world cup.

I've already seen this development first-hand over the last six years - the demand for translation has increased significantly after Brazil's trade agreements with China and international involvement focused on petroleum, biofuels and industry in general.


 

Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:06
English to Croatian
+ ...
well... Jul 28, 2009

Reed D James wrote:

Ten years is a very short time to measure a change of this nature. We are talking about two and a half U.S. presidential terms, two and a half generations of university undergraduates. The English language took centuries to take root, first spread by the Queen's emissaries and later by U.S. capitalism and then swept up by the momentum of globalization. I really think we need to measure this phenomenon in centuries, not decades.

The other point I feel I should make is that languages, cultures and economies are not spread by mere numbers. Look at how small some of the mightiest colonial powers are. Spain is tiny compared to the size of Latin America and the Philipines. Yet Cortez and Pizarro conquered the Mayas and Incas and the Spanish language has permeated these territories ever since. Indeed, ideas outstrip populations.



This is 21st Century. The World is moving fast, very fast, faster then some of us can imagine...

Sorry Mr James, but... yeah, I'm sorry...


 

Christina Paiva  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:06
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Portuguese Brazil Jul 28, 2009

Manuela and Mark - You bet!!!

 

Anne Bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:06
English to French
I took the first step, I am learning Chinese Jul 28, 2009

Well, just for fun... I will be over 70 then, and certainly not fluent enough to translate from Chinese.
But I find this language and this culture really fascinating.


 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:06
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
How do languages spread? Jul 28, 2009

Reed D James wrote:

The English language took centuries to take root, first spread by the Queen's emissaries and later by U.S. capitalism and then swept up by the momentum of globalization.


Quite apart from the fact that most British monarchs have been kings and that, unless you have a particular queen in mind, they aren't capitalised (what a dreadful pun), what do you mean by "emissaries"? Perhaps Her Britannic Majesty, Queen Victoria's emissary to the Australian aborigines and King George's emissary to the Sioux nation graciously persuaded them, over a few bottles of Scotch (in nostalgic memory how the Scots generously chose English over Gaelic), of the merits of the English language over their own languages? I think not. The English language was spread through the barrel of a gun - well, rather a lot of guns, not to mention infected blankets and other such weapons that spread British capitalism which is how Americans (the majority of whose ancestry was not English speaking), came to speak English rather than Native American languages, German, French or Spanish... US capitalism and globalisation have used both military and economic imperialism to spread the English word. These things do happen quicker nowdays; so yes, decades rather than centuries.

Reed D James wrote:

The other point I feel I should make is that languages, cultures and economies are not spread by mere numbers. Look at how small some of the mightiest colonial powers are. Spain is tiny compared to the size of Latin America and the Philipines. Yet Cortez and Pizarro conquered the Mayas and Incas and the Spanish language has permeated these territories ever since. Indeed, ideas outstrip populations.


No, the Spanish didn't win the linguistic argument by the superiority of their ideas either. The motor of linguistic change is military and economic. I just hope that the spread of Chinese as an heir to English (as English was heir to Latin and who speaks that now?) occurs through economic rather than military persuasion. Of course, mass culture is also a motor of linguistic change, but there are good economic reasons for the domination of English in e.g. the film industry and, for reasons I fail to grasp, the French seem to prefer their films dubbed rather than sub-titled. I prefer to hear the dialogue in Chinese when watching a (sub-titled) Chinese film.

icon_wink.gif


 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:06
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm a don't know Jul 28, 2009

There's more than demographics at play here. You can have as many people speaking a language as you want but if they are subject to certain restrictions, for instance, in trade or movement, it's an uphill struggle.

Conversely, the number of speakers is no guarantee of the direction of discourse. What are the chances that these numbers will be speaking more?


 

webred
Belgium
Local time: 01:06
Member (2007)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I don't know Jul 29, 2009

but as a translator of German, I hope German of courseicon_wink.gif!

 
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