Poll: In general, how would you describe your outlook on the future of freelance translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:16
Jul 8, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In general, how would you describe your outlook on the future of freelance translation?".

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 09:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Personally, positive! Jul 8, 2017

I have no crystal ball and my guessing is terrible (I missed the mark by a long, long way regarding Brexit and Trump’s election victory), but I'm one of those people who always see the glass as half full!



Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:16
Italian to English
Keeping an open mind Jul 8, 2017

I think the industry is in a state of great ferment, and evolving rapidly in a way that's difficult to predict.

For me, the biggest threat to our profession is machine translation and translators who market their services at low prices by sacrificing quality.

Since I work in the medical field, one that's relatively unaffected by the horrors of PEMT, or whatever it's called, I feel fairly "safe", coupled with the fact that quality in this field is imperative. I don't think human translators will ever become "redundant"; what remains to be seen is how their role will change in various fields with regard to the increasing automation of the translation process. I think it's also important to realise that not all customers want top quality, or are able to recognise quality when they see it, meaning that lower priced, machine generated translation output is often a tempting option for these clients.

Currently keeping both mind and options open.


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jul 8, 2017

Personally, I feel quite positive about my current situation. My only worry for the immediate future might be my fading faculties, as I hope to be able to keep on working indefinitely.

As for translation freelancing in general, I think it will continue to evolve in a generally positive way, although many previous tasks and preconceptions will no doubt need to be recycled due to technological advances and the usual issues of intrusion... etc.


Local time: 14:46
English to Tamil
+ ...
Freelance Translation Jul 8, 2017

I believe freelance translation will grow from strength to strength in the years to come.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Positive Jul 8, 2017

Our market is growing, our demand is growing.
The market that is afraid of being replaced with machine translation and post-editing is not our market. It's market B. Let those who work for peanuts worry.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:16
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Neutral Jul 8, 2017

I would not want to be starting out at this point. There is too much pressure to lower rates and use CAT tools, which really constrain the quality of translation. I do my best work when I look at a sentence, close my eyes and type what comes through my fingers. The sentence may get turned upside-down and backwards; nouns may become verbs or adjectives and vice versa. My brain has processed it in the best way it knows how and the result is invariably better than anything a machine could ever do.


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Poll: In general, how would you describe your outlook on the future of freelance translation?

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