Detailed global survey results show a decline in translation and localization prices

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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:09
Portuguese to English
+ ...
link? Aug 14, 2010

Could you post a link to the Common Sense Advisory article, please?

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 22:09
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Rising supply and diminishing demand Aug 14, 2010

Now we are about to go out of the hamburger crisis where many jobless people start to be (freelance) translator. At the same time, translation demands drop due to lower economic activities in recent days. I hope economic recession will end quickly for a better business cycle of us the translators.

Best regards,

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:09
English to French
+ ...
@ Anthony - links Aug 14, 2010

Hi,
The link is mentioned in Romina's news as "source", in fact it's a press release made available by CSA: http://www.release-news.com/index.php/automotive/20806-translation-and-localization-industry-pricing-survey-reveals-while-demand-is-up-prices-are-down.html

I was also interested in reading more about this and checked: it seems the whole study is available only to CSA members: http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com/Research/Report_Abstracts/100731_R_Translation_Pricing/tabid/2047/Default.aspx


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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:09
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
In what way are these findings new let alone surprising? Aug 14, 2010

.

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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Exactly Aug 14, 2010

Sebastian Witte wrote:
In what way are these findings new let alone surprising?
.


That is probably why it is called "Common Sense Advisory"

[Modificato alle 2010-08-14 19:33 GMT]


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Claudio LR
Local time: 17:09
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Translation demand has not dropped Aug 15, 2010

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:

Now we are about to go out of the hamburger crisis where many jobless people start to be (freelance) translator. At the same time, translation demands drop due to lower economic activities in recent days. I hope economic recession will end quickly for a better business cycle of us the translators.

Best regards,

Soonthon Lupkitaro


If you read the articles, you will see that translation demand has not dropped (it may have slowed a little during the crisis but now is stronger than before the crisis). What has dropped are prices as companies have aggressively tried (and managed) to cut their costs during the crisis. This is not just translations, it concerns IT, advertising, in-house salaries, etc. Of course this is a general trend, it doesn't mean that all translators earn less than before.


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Olli Leroy
Other
Local time: 16:09
English to Dutch
+ ...
Consequences Aug 15, 2010

I wonder how this affects professional translators with a relevant degree, not the jobless people Soonthon mentioned as I assume they will not find problems in lowering their prices.

When I read discussions on Proz I get the impression many, most if not all qualified translators jointly stick to their pricing no matter what and that's a good thing. However, if - as the article states - there's a decline in prices buyers are willing to pay due to automation and machine translation, how do qualified translators respond in order to survive/make a living?


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Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:09
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Strategies Aug 15, 2010

D' Allon wrote:

I wonder how this affects professional translators with a relevant degree, not the jobless people Soonthon mentioned as I assume they will not find problems in lowering their prices.

When I read discussions on Proz I get the impression many, most if not all qualified translators jointly stick to their pricing no matter what and that's a good thing. However, if - as the article states - there's a decline in prices buyers are willing to pay due to automation and machine translation, how do qualified translators respond in order to survive/make a living?


Non-translators or non-linguists don't know usually what translations are. Here they come with the idea that machine translations are good enough and... free. What we, as translators should do, is to publish, to write, to communicate them all that we can add value to the target text, we can manage to transform it into a marketing solution (when the client is marketing products, for example). And we can do that, because most of us are enough creative.

The general idea about translations should be changed, because many of them there, our potential clients, think that translation is only about replacing words and they could certainly do that with a good dictionary and more free time. Well, should we stop talking about prices and crisis and start marketing our business in a different way?

A first step i made... I am working part time in an office and I was given an Italian 100 words text to "translate". I told my supervisor (not a translator) I don't know Italian. Then he said that he only needs the general meaning and asked me to translate it in Google Translate. It took me 5 seconds to "translate" the text into English, and 5 minutes to add some illogical structures in the translated text (more of "the", illogical "to"-s and "into"-s, etc.) After reading the already "proofread translation", my supervisor sent an email to his old friend, who spent several years in Italy and got the TRANSLATION back. I have no idea if i broke any rules, if so, please let me know and I won't do it again and probably i will edit my post The idea is that I know for sure that my supervisor and probably other people in this Company will never trust machine translations again.


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Claudio LR
Local time: 17:09
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
CAT tools and MT + an additional reason Aug 15, 2010

D' Allon wrote:

However, if - as the article states - there's a decline in prices buyers are willing to pay due to automation and machine translation, how do qualified translators respond in order to survive/make a living?



This is not the only reason, however CAT tools increase productivity, so this is supposed to compensate for the discounts (we could only complain that we may not profit from this increase in productivity...). As for machine translation this might affect the low end of the market but definitely not the high end (where clients check the quality of their translations).

Having said this, another reason for prices going down is that companies, in trying to cut prices have taken advantage of the competition to try new LSP. Now, sometimes they have realized the quality was lower and have come back to their previous LSP, but sometimes they have found new LSP that were at least as good but "less expensive". This is a problem that the translation community doesn't (like to) talk about. Some of the high rate LSP/translators did not have a quality that was up to their prices, and were lucky enough that their clients didn't take the time to go and see the competition. Now as long as things go well this goes on, but when things turn bad, these companies/people are the most "in danger"...
As Warren Buffet said "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked..."

[Modificato alle 2010-08-15 08:35 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On price anxiety Aug 15, 2010

Common Sense Advisory wrote:
Less than half give discounts. Price anxiety remains a big concern among suppliers. Forty-two percent of the respondents give some type of discount, based on customer loyalty, frequency, or volume. Respondents overwhelmingly stated that they face price pressure and client sensitivity driven by competition from large LSPs and low-cost (and sometimes unqualified) translators both in their home markets and abroad.


I find it interesting that they regard discount schemes as a symptom of prince anxiety and not merely as a competitive advantage generating mechanism that is a normal part of any business.


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