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Your vision of the translation industry by 2025 and your immediate future as a freelance translator
Persoa que publicou o fío: Vladimir Pochinov

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Don't worry, be happy :) Jan 19

Guofei_LIN wrote:

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:
Thus, there were, there are and (hopefully:) there will be clients willing to pay premium rates for an impeccable AND TIMELY translation product.

Since there have always been such clients and there will always be, what's the worry? What has changed?


I have clarified already that I am interested in turning emerging opportunities to advantage rather than in coping with an imminent collapse.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Sinecures and international bureaucracies Jan 19

Dan Lucas wrote:

It seems to me that there are very few sinecures left out there. Possibly hidden away inside large international bureaucracies (UN, IMF, World Bank etc.) where there is no element of competition and no need for the organisation to justify its own existence. Or, at the other end of the scale, in small firms where the boss is still closely involved and doesn't care about a small loss of efficiency resulting from one rubbish employee.


The client I mentioned above was one of the UN agencies. As far as I know, I don't have any family ties to Mr. António Guterres.


 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:56
Membro (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
My assumption is possibly based too much on my own domain Jan 19

... and on experiences with a specific scene of translators and technical writers who I know from my terms of studies 14 years ago and who are mainly involved in writing / translation of technical documents now (like manuals etc.): They do have their network, based on relationship, and don´t ask me, what technical background most of them have (none) and what content they are allowed to produce and who does care at the end of the day (manuals are assumed to be left unread by the user or normally... See more
... and on experiences with a specific scene of translators and technical writers who I know from my terms of studies 14 years ago and who are mainly involved in writing / translation of technical documents now (like manuals etc.): They do have their network, based on relationship, and don´t ask me, what technical background most of them have (none) and what content they are allowed to produce and who does care at the end of the day (manuals are assumed to be left unread by the user or normally are regarded as unreadable anyway, therefore they just have to be done. When spelling is fine, everything else is assumed fine as well).

Dan Lucas wrote:

It seems to me that there are very few sinecures left out there. Possibly hidden away inside large international bureaucracies (UN, IMF, World Bank etc.) where there is no element of competition and no need for the organisation to justify its own existence. Or, at the other end of the scale, in small firms where the boss is still closely involved and doesn't care about a small loss of efficiency resulting from one rubbish employee.

Dan


[Bearbeitet am 2020-01-19 12:02 GMT]
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Dan Lucas
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:56
Membro (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well... Jan 19

I have no concerns with my immediate future, provided I’ll manage to keep my existing clients happy and coming back and maybe attract a few more new customers. Will I still be around in 5 years time? We’ll see…

 

Guofei_LIN  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 17:56
Chinese
Success Jan 19

Dan Lucas wrote:
The Misha explicitly argues that you need to have the skills and you need to create value for the client. I can't see that approach ever not being popular, regardless of the specific steps required to achieve it, and whatever the industry.

As a general rule, yes. But we are talking specifically about our situation as human translators, aren't we? We are not talking about translators acquiring the skill set of, say, neural translation system developers and then creating value for clients in the new role as IT professionals, right?
When we are faced with this looming revolution in translation industry, IMHO, before you decide you "need to have the skills" as a translator and "need to create value for the client" as a translator, it is better to assess the situation carefully to find out if the jobs will still be there and will still carry the same remuneration that meets your minimum expectation.

The cruel, hard truth is that not everybody has the right mix of skills to become successful as a freelancer, and it takes more than language ability. You yourself recently admitted that you have exited the translation industry due to a lack of success, which may be related to your language pair, or personal competency or whatever. Well, some of us are successful today, and were successful five, ten, or twenty years ago.

Did you read my posts carefully? How did you come to the conclusion that my "lack of success... may be related to ... personal competency"? And how do you define 'success' or lack of it?


I'm not convinced that somebody who has had difficulty succeeding in this industry is well-positioned to comment on its future. In that sense, I think your pessimism will prove unfounded. Most of those freelancers who are successful today will remain successful, provided they adapt. I still see older freelancers in my language pair arguing about CAT tools and so on - decent people, but still fighting the last war, while the rest of the world has moved on.

And over a long-enough time horizon, we're all dead anyway.

Regards,
Dan

Again, please define 'success' before you talk about 'somebody who has had difficulty succeeding in this industry', and it would be nice to use yourself as an example for a change, if you don't mind.


 

The Misha
Local time: 03:56
Russian to English
+ ...
Vladimir, I did not mean you personally Jan 19

Something is telling me you are not agitating in the square:)))

I am not against new technology if and where it makes sense.What I did mean was that all this fancy stuff you mentioned may be all nice and good and useful for you as a project manager handling a complex job, but in the end of the day it will still come down to a bunch of folks like me who will sit at their desks through the weekend to do your project, often working off of dead PDFs where all this fancy technology of yo
... See more
Something is telling me you are not agitating in the square:)))

I am not against new technology if and where it makes sense.What I did mean was that all this fancy stuff you mentioned may be all nice and good and useful for you as a project manager handling a complex job, but in the end of the day it will still come down to a bunch of folks like me who will sit at their desks through the weekend to do your project, often working off of dead PDFs where all this fancy technology of yours is still pretty useless. And you - and your client, of course - will depend on us to know our stuff and do the job right the first time, because there's not going to be time enough to fix it if it is bungled. That's why they pay us something approaching "premium" rates - technology or no technology. But I am sure you know all this just as well as I do, so there's really nothing for the two of us to argue about. Cheers, man.

P.S. On a tangential issue, could someone please start a petition or something somewhere to have all the known inventors and developers of the PDF format taken out the back door and summarily shot?:)))))))))
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Vladimir Pochinov
 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Dealing with dead PDFs Jan 19

The Misha wrote:

... all this fancy stuff you mentioned may be all nice and good and useful for you as a project manager handling a complex job, but in the end of the day it will still come down to a bunch of folks like me who will sit at their desks through the weekend to do your project, often working off of dead PDFs where all this fancy technology of yours is still pretty useless.
...
P.S. On a tangential issue, could someone please start a petition or something somewhere to have all the known inventors and developers of the PDF format taken out the back door and summarily shot?:)


Mikhail,

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal from Nuance Communications, Inc. -- https://www.nuance.com/index.html -- is one of the possible solutions to dealing with dead PDFs. Regretfully, it does not support Russian at this point but as far as I know you translate primarily into English so it might come very handy. Have a look at what it can do with very high accuracy at the speed of up to 160 words per minute (the action starts at minute 1:00 and it is quite impressive):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTRe331_BBA

This is one of the examples of how AI and continuous speech recognition (a.k.a. voice-to-text) may help "a bunch of folks ... who will sit at their desks through the weekend ... often working off of dead PDFs."

P.S. By the way, their Dragon Dictate for Mac, Android, iOS does support Russian.


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Definitions of success Jan 19

Guofei_LIN wrote:

... please define 'success'


Understandably, the topic of success has been a hot one for ages. By way of example, Remez Sasson offered his definitions of success taking the words out of my mouth.

https://www.successconsciousness.com/success_definitions.htm

... it would be nice to use yourself as an example


The words above are meant for Dan Lucas but I may use myself as an example. I think of myself as a rather successful language professional with 30+ years of active participation in the translation industry. My professional skills provide for a happy life in my own comfortable apartment in the seaside resort town on the Baltic Sea (Zelenogradsk, former Kranz) between Poland and Lithuania.

• I love English and Russian languages

• I love being a translator (and a consecutive interpreter occasionally)

• I have always wanted to be an independent language professional, although I did work many years in the corporate settings

• I got a 10-year mortgage to buy a two-bedroom apartment while working in Moscow in 2006-2015 and repaid it within 3 years

• I can travel with my family across Europe and overseas (I am planning to visit my old-time colleague and friend in Canada this year)

• I can travel on my 4-years-old Mazda CX-5 crossover to be replaced (hopefully) with an electric car within this year

• I can afford higher-end appliances, audio & video equipment for my home

• I can buy and use the latest Apple products, rather expensive software products, such as SDL Trados Studio Professional, Terminotix AlignFactory Light, and Adobe Creative Cloud, for business purposes (e.g. I use SDL Trados Studio on a 27" 5K iMac under Parallel Desktops 15)

Citing a very popular Soviet 'eastern' "The White Sun of the Desert" (1969), "a nice home, a good wife... what else do you need to have a dignified life in your old age?"


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:56
Membro (2014)
Japanese to English
Success Jan 19

Guofei_LIN wrote:
As a general rule, yes. But we are talking specifically about our situation as human translators, aren't we? We are not talking about translators acquiring the skill set of, say, neural translation system developers and then creating value for clients in the new role as IT professionals, right?

No, I'm not. I don't believe that the latter is either necessary or inevitable, any more than translators have been required to become CAT tool developers over the past two decades. Many freelancers have become CAT tool users, but they are still translators, as much as they ever were. I personally see MT as a super-charged version of CAT tools.

Again, please define 'success' before you talk about 'somebody who has had difficulty succeeding in this industry', and it would be nice to use yourself as an example for a change, if you don't mind.

That's very simple. I don't care what your language pair is, or what mix of projects you undertake, but if you have enough work flowing your way to allow you to comfortably support yourself and your dependents (if any), then you're successful. That's my situation and has been for the past five years. It's no big deal.

However, if you can't make a living from a certain activity then you're not successful, evidently. Last year, you stated that you had quit the profession. That sounds like an admission that you couldn't hack it and for that reason I perceive your views to have less value. I tend assign more weight to the opinions of those who have a track record, just as I tend to pay more attention to the ex-champion tennis player providing commentary on TV than I do to the guy sitting next to me in the pub who never played above high-school level.

Regards,
Dan

[Edited at 2020-01-20 13:33 GMT]


Vladimir Pochinov
Jorge Payan
Maciek Drobka
 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
It turns out a similar topic was started in November 2019. I missed it. Jan 19

@Dan Lucas: Thanks for providing the link to another thread on the same topic.

 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 15:56
Membro
Chinese to English
+ ...
5 years Jan 20

I wouldn't recognize my life from 5 years ago, and I don't suppose I will 5 years from now. As a translator, however, practically nothing has changed for me in terms of the working process. I still use the same tools and processes, and they are still the most effective ones available. There are no technological advances that would increase efficiency, and believe me I wish auto-complete/auto-translate was more robust to deal with some of the more repetitive elements of my work.

What
... See more
I wouldn't recognize my life from 5 years ago, and I don't suppose I will 5 years from now. As a translator, however, practically nothing has changed for me in terms of the working process. I still use the same tools and processes, and they are still the most effective ones available. There are no technological advances that would increase efficiency, and believe me I wish auto-complete/auto-translate was more robust to deal with some of the more repetitive elements of my work.

What has changed is that my corner of the market has grown exponentially (the market size of my field has grown 5 times in the past 5 years). I have gained a client that could have filled my every waking moment for the entirety of the past year, if I chose to do so. So financially I am also doing much better than 5 years ago, but I'm not actually any more secure other than in the sense that I have enough savings to last me for a decade or so; my business is no less susceptible to suddenly drying up completely than it was 5 years ago.

In 5 years, I expect my work process will not change dramatically. Nor do I expect the nature of my work to change dramatically; some clients may come to find machine translation acceptable, but at this point that still seems unlikely, because machine translation is really bad at dealing with badly written text, and it will continue to have to be if it wants to get better at translating well-written text. At some point I will probably actually learn to speak Japanese and undergo basic training in interpreting so that, if the manure does hit the rapidly moving air-stirrer, I will be able to make at least a basic living.

[Edited at 2020-01-20 13:15 GMT]
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Dan Lucas
The Misha
P.L.F.Persio
David Lin
 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 09:56
Membro (2016)
German to French
In 5 years Jan 20

I expect to have taken a part of the work load of the old generation dinosaurs who complain having too much in their hand while needing thrice the time for twice the price and no better quality (in my eyes since they still write in my mother tongue).

If I don't then, my market skills will have been poor.


Jorge Payan
 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
funny- same premisses, different conclusions Jan 21

Dan Lucas wrote:
I personally see MT as a super-charged version of CAT tools.

So do I but I also see a supercharged discount grid
So as a former financial analyst, why don't you see the financial consequences of
your own premisses
Is there a secret to avoid the super-charged discount grid?


 

Vladimir Pochinov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:56
Membro
English to Russian
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
CAT discount grids Jan 21

David GAY wrote:

... I also see a supercharged discount grid

Is there a secret to avoid the super-charged discount grid?


Is it really necessary to avoid discount grids?

Do you charge your clients for repetitive texts?

On one long-term translation project (2007-2012) requiring the use of a CAT tool (namely, SDL Trados Studio) where repetitions and 100% matches were paid at 10% of my regular rate, and context/perfect matches were locked, I managed to earn up to $200 per hour.

The texts -- computer owner manuals, computer service manuals -- contained 90-95% of repetitions and 100% matches.

N.B. The client provided their TM at the start of our collaboration. I became their preferred supplier rather soon. Thus, my TM was primarily populated by the translation units I could trust.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Dutch to French
+ ...
MT Jan 21

Vladimir Pochinov wrote:

David GAY wrote:

... I also see a supercharged discount grid

Is there a secret to avoid the super-charged discount grid?


Is it really necessary to avoid discount grids?

Do you charge your clients for repetitive texts?

On one long-term translation project (2007-2012) requiring the use of a CAT tool (namely, SDL Trados Studio) where repetitions and 100% matches were paid at 10% of my regular rate, and context/perfect matches were locked, I managed to earn up to $200 per hour.

The texts -- computer owner manuals, computer service manuals -- contained 90-95% of repetitions and 100% matches.

N.B. The client provided their TM at the start of our collaboration. I became their preferred supplier rather soon. Thus, my TM was primarily populated by the translation units I could trust.


The output of MT gives AT LEAST a 50 to 70 match for any segment
I've been offered a job: it was a 3500 word text that had been shrunk to a 300 word job: not even
10% of the original size!
But don't worry be happy

[Modifié le 2020-01-21 09:56 GMT]

[Modifié le 2020-01-21 09:57 GMT]

[Modifié le 2020-01-21 09:58 GMT]


 
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