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Poll: When it comes to translation industry news, I consider myself
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:27
SITE STAFF
Jul 18, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When it comes to translation industry news, I consider myself".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Somewhat Jul 18, 2012

Looks like everyone else is going for the "meh" option too...

I am wary of the unquestioning assumption of the concept of translation as as "industry" as "a good thing".

There. I've said it. I still think it's an art, and damn the torpedoes.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:27
Member (2006)
German to English
Morning Ty Jul 18, 2012

someone is watching us

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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:27
English
+ ...
Pretty much in line with NeilMac (as usual), Jul 18, 2012

I don't really care.



Edited to clear up ambiguity.

[Edited at 2012-07-18 08:58 GMT]


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Don't stay abreast of industry news Jul 18, 2012

I'm sorry but I'm going to have to plead ignorance on this one.

Whether or not translation is an industry per se (thanks, neilmac), a lot is going on -- (I'm guessing) too much for a translator with his/her hands full to get to grips with. I think that alone would be a full-time job.
I'd rather devote my time to learning more about the content I'm translating and translation tools, marketing myself, and keeping my customers happy.

Now, if there are any online daily bulletins about developments in our "trade" that I can read over my morning cuppa, I'd be very interested.

If anyone out there knows of one, please be good enough to post a link. Thanks in advance!


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not interested Jul 18, 2012

Too busy working and having a life

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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:27
German to English
+ ...
Prefer reading blogs Jul 18, 2012

Some translators have very interesting blogs which occasionally bring news within our *profession* to the fore.

If it is really interesting, someone else will always bring it to my attention.

In the meantime, like others, I am busy improving my art whilst earning a living.



(Edited: Nervous twitch in finger doing double commas!)

[Edited at 2012-07-18 09:46 GMT]


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:27
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I used to be Jul 18, 2012

but now . . .

Chris S wrote:
Too busy working and having a life


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Hebrew to English
You never know! Jul 18, 2012

Michael Harris wrote:

someone is watching us


This one isn't asking my bank balance, so it doesn't offend me

Unfortunately, the pendulum has swung a bit too far and it's just dull as dishwater

What's "translation industry news" anyway? The release date for the new version of Trados?


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:27
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Hmm Jul 18, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:the pendulum has swung a bit too far and it's just dull as dishwater :


Maybe this is why the person suggesting it preferred to remain "anonymous." Not a lot of room for thought-provoking, lively discussion.

But then after three nights with precious little sleep, I don't need any shocks to my metabolism.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:27
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Industry? Jul 18, 2012

For me, translation is, and will be, an artisan product, not an industrial one…

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
A refreshing collection of opinions Jul 18, 2012

Thanks, Ty, Julian, Chris, Allison, Muriel et al for your enlightening comments.

I knew there was something good going to happen when I got up so early this morning. Seriously, I've had misgivings about the 'translation industry' misnomer. Translation is a craft, an art, or part slavish detailing and part carefree writing, but not an industry in the traditional sense. We owe that gem of a buzzword to the Americans (and I'm one!).

I think the big players such as Trados+SDL, Systran, SAIC and other companies (and their main apologist, Common Sense Advisory) like to push the title 'translation industry' over everything. They also use another misleading term, 'translation market' as if it were a single, homogeneous piece of real estate where translators (aka, 'language service providers') and clients coexist in a more or less balanced exchange. Baloney.

It took me a while to realize —thanks to some veteran translators such as Chris Durban— that there is more than one market for language services, open to anyone with the guts, experience and drive to make a name for themselves...without the pedantic and patronizing help of the biggies.

I try to keep pace with what's going on in language technologies (Visual Thesaurus, anyone?) because I gravitate towards innovative solutions (which is a double-edged sword anyways). By the way, it is interesting to observe that infatuation with technologies affecting translators, from MT to the latest in Twitter, goes hand in hand with the marketers of the phrase 'translation industry.' As if translation as a process and a craft were just as easily codified in ones and zeroes as a tax return.

Thank you, guys! You've given me food for thought. Allison, by the way, I write a little-known blog on translation matters, Wordsmeet, to be found in Wordpress: wordsmeet.wordpress.com. You are all invited to read and chime in.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Semantics Jul 18, 2012

Translation is an art because it involves using craft and creativity. But it's also an industry - people work in translation to make a living and provide a service that adds value to other segments of the economy. I don't see 'art' and 'industry' as conflicting forces.

In this context industry merely means 'a particular branch of economic or commercial activity' and to claim that the multi-billion-dollar translation business does not fall under this category but exclusively under the loftier designation of 'art' is a bit vain if you ask me.

[Edited at 2012-07-18 11:05 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation as an economic activity Jul 18, 2012

Simon Bruni wrote:

Translation is an art because it involves using craft and creativity. But it's also an industry - people work in translation to make a living and provide a service that adds value to other segments of the economy. I don't see 'art' and 'industry' as conflicting forces.

In this context industry merely means 'a particular branch of economic or commercial activity' and to claim that the multi-billion-dollar translation business does not fall under this category but exclusively under the loftier designation of 'art' is a bit vain if you ask me.

[Edited at 2012-07-18 11:05 GMT]


Simon, we all would agree that translation is also an economic activity that influences other economic activities. What I think I, for one, have an issue with the 'industry' moniker is that it's more consumeristic than descriptive. If anything, the term 'translation industry' only emphasizes its economic value. Why should we translators be reduced to talk about our profession, our craft, our trade as if we were BusinessWeek readers or just business owners?

As for the multibillion dollar business the translation industry is purported to be worth, that monetary measurement is meaningless to most translators. Let the government contractors (SAIC, are you there?) and big-volume language service players use the term 'industry' if they want. We don't have to, unless we are focusing on the economic aspects of the profession.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
No one is being 'reduced' to anything Jul 18, 2012

Mario Chavez wrote:

Why should we translators be reduced to talk about our profession, our craft, our trade as if we were BusinessWeek readers or just business owners?



'Translation industry' is a completely benign term that merely denotes a sector of the economy. To deny this is to distort reality for purely cosmetic purposes. There's no reducing going on, we are all (not least because we are linguists) capable of making our own context-driven language decisions.


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