Translation services market
Thread poster: sonique92

sonique92
Macedonia (FYROM)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
May 18, 2015

Hello everyone!
At the beginning I must say that I am new on this forum, I have just signed up. This website seemed like a great and reliable database for me. I have seen that many of you have already become experienced translators/interpreters, and I would like to gather some pieces of information from your personal views and experiences.
I opened this topic, mainly because I've been assigned to do a research project for Translation services market. So, I would like to ask you some questions (I hope that my experienced colleagues will find a couple of minutes to answer).

So here are my questions, and I thank you in advance for your answers:
1. Which qualifications/what kind of knowledge should a translator have if he/she wants to start working as translator?
2. Are individuals or agencies the ones that most frequently ask for translations?
3. Which topics/which types of texts are most frequently being asked for translation?
4. Literary translation - is it commonly being requested? Tell me everything you know about literary translation.

Thank you once again guys!

[Edited at 2015-05-18 13:34 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yet? May 18, 2015

sonique92 wrote:

I have seen that many of you have yet become experienced translators/interpreters


What do you mean by "yet" ?


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 10:38
English to German
Yet doesn't mean Yeti, anyway. May 18, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

What do you mean by "yet" ?


Just read it as "already". SCNR.


 

sonique92
Macedonia (FYROM)
English to Macedonian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
correction May 18, 2015

Oh, "yet" was a mistake in my writing.icon_biggrin.gif I corrected it.

Will you be so kind to answer my questions? Thank youicon_smile.gif


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:38
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Answers May 18, 2015

Q1. Which qualifications/what kind of knowledge should a translator have if he/she wants to start working as translator?
A1: Complete fluency in the target language, without even the smallest error or infelicity. Nota bene.

Q2. Are individuals or agencies the ones that most frequently ask for translations?
A2. In my experience:agencies.

Q3. Which topics/which types of texts are most frequently being asked for translation?
A3: It is impossible to generalise. All translators should expect most of their work to be in their specialist fields.

Q4. Literary translation - is it commonly being requested? Tell me everything you know about literary translation.
A4 (a). It is unusual, via Proz, to be asked to do literary translation.
A4 (b I cannot possibly tell you everything I know about literary translation. To begin, I would recommend this marvellous book: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_Babel

[Edited at 2015-05-18 14:23 GMT]


 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:38
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Context? May 18, 2015

You might wonder why we are not all jumping in to answer your questions, but in the translation world a lot is about context.
You wrote "I've been assigned to do a research project for Translation services market."

Who are you? Who gave you this job? One of these consulting companies, that are trying to sell us their reports for obscene amounts of money? Or was it a professor at a university where you are studying translation studies? In the first case, bad luck, no free information. In the 2nd case also bad luck as your questions are so broad that in my opinion they make no sense. If you want to get some answers that make sense, please try to give us some information about you and your project.

Otherwise you might end up with the kind of answers I am giving you below:

1. Which qualifications/what kind of knowledge should a translator have if he/she wants to start working as translator?

He/she should be a qualified translator if he/she wants to start as a translator. If you are a student, I would hope that you are studying all the things that are required to become a translator. If you don't know, ask one of your professors, they should know.

2. Are individuals or agencies the ones that most frequently ask for translations?

Agencies don't ask for translations, they don't need translations. It is either individuals, companies or institutions that need translations, we call them customers. These customers give the job to agencies or freelancers or their own employees.

3. Which topics/which types of texts are most frequently being asked for translation?

What do you mean? Context? By language pair, by geographical location or by specialty field? Translation is an industry with a yearly turnover of > 30 billion USD. There is no single translator who can answer which topics/types of texts generate which percentage of these 30 billion.

4. Literary translation - is it commonly being requested? Tell me everything you know about literary translation.

How would I know, if I go into a bookshop, I see new translated books every time I go there, but I know as much about literary translation as a Formula 1 driver about the demand for lorry drivers in Michigan.

[Edited at 2015-05-18 16:04 GMT]


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:38
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
how long is a piece of string? May 19, 2015

Hello sonique,

the translation services market is very diverse, so depending on who you ask, you will get lots of different answers and all of them will be correct...
Here is what I think/have found, but it is no more than one person's personal experience.

1. Which qualifications/what kind of knowledge should a translator have if he/she wants to start working as translator?

You have to be fluent in both your source and your target language, be familiar with the subtleties and completely at home with the grammar of both. Apart from that, a qualification and/or working experience in your the area(s) you specialise in is really useful and may be necessary in order to understand and translate the texts you may be asked to work on.

2. Are individuals or agencies the ones that most frequently ask for translations?

I suspect this depends strongly on the field you work in. For me (mostly medical translations) almost all my work comes via agencies (from pharmaceutical, biotech and other companies, mostly).

3. Which topics/which types of texts are most frequently being asked for translation?
This question is too general for me to answer.

4. Literary translation - is it commonly being requested? Tell me everything you know about literary translation.
Lots of people would like to translate literature and as far as I know it is difficult to get your foot in the door.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:38
Member
English to French
Overwhelming scope May 20, 2015

sonique92 wrote:
...research project for Translation services market...

It is probably as fragmented as the medical services market, with the added benefit of not having a single barrier for entry in most countries. And customers and providers have a global reach to each other.

So there are zillions of self-proclaimed translation providers (including me), and the world population as potential customers.

Big Language Service Providers (LSPs), with billions of turnover, shiny headquarters and their name codes on the ticker still only capture a small fraction of the translation business, which is good. A market controlled by Internet-style "big four" players or retail-style consolidation would likely be sad news.

These companies have long understood the proverb "there is a lot of money to be made in the translation business, provided you're not a translator".

Fortunately for us, we still can't "manufacture" or "process" translations to a satisfactory level in this "industry".

Philippe


 

PatrickMoreschi
United States
Local time: 02:38
Demand for expert translators Nov 27, 2015

Currently, the translation industry has seen a rise in the demand for expert translators. According to the studies published by the Common Sense Advisory, the translation industry in 2012 was measured to be worth $33.5 billion. As per a recent report by the Ibis World, translation services are required and are expected to reach $37 billion by 2018.

In order to succeed as a professional translator, one needs to be certified and trained with good knowledge about a target language along with the one in which the source may be written. A multilingual person can be the best translator. One should have deep knowledge about various languages. This will help in knowing how it works and how different people in different regions of the world make use of it.

Translators are often needed by individuals traveling overseas, businessmen, or educational institutions. They use these services to get their documents, websites or even notes translated. Language and Culture go hand in hand. In order to understand a language and maintain the meaning of a document, one needs to understand the culture too. A single language can cross multiple borders.

[Edited at 2015-11-27 12:02 GMT]


 


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