Text of the PowerPoint presentation posted in YouTube and SlideShare on June 1st to summarize the talking points discussed during the BrauerTraining Forum # 1 held on May 25, 2013.
On May 25, 2013 BrauerTraining hosted its first open monthly virtual forum for translators & interpreters to talk about the future of the profession in the 21st Century.
- The purpose of these informal forums is the exchange of opinions, in the hopes of eventually having “action-able” ideas to participate in the design our own future.
- Background to the forum:
Claudia Brauer believes the profession of translation and interpreting could become extinct in the next decades if translators and interpreters don’t wake up to the reality of the world today.
Productivity is replacing Quality
(#s above content)
Utility is replacing Eloquence
(usefulness above expression)
- Translators and interpreters need to adapt quickly to the digital, virtual, instant, mobile world of the 21st century.
Further reading : http://brauertraining.com/blog/neo-luddites-or-technocrats
- There is a “food chain” with an ecosystem in itself, this means there are people at the bottom of the food chain and others at the top
- Translators and interpreters are almost at the bottom
- Current translation process sample: Slideshare screenshot excerpt chart from www.smartling.com/agile_translation_agile_world
#1 Process Content via APIs – Automatic
#2 Leverage Previous Translation Work, aka Translation Memory – Automatic
#3 Implement Customizable, Structured Workflows – Automatic
#4 Translate with Context Using Best Practices – Human
#5 Automatically Deploy Multilingual Content – Automatic
- What makes us – translators and interpreters – relevant in the 21st Century (i.e. what makes us unique)?
- What new skills do we need in order to adapt to the new roles of translators and interpreters?
- How do we create a power broker for the profession to speak with one voice?
- In-house translators vs. freelancers – different needs, different perspectives
- How can we help? (ask in-house T&I)
- T&I really want to know what is going on in the industry, understand it
- Clients do not understand what translation entails – impossible to price it right
- Also, the market has changed dramatically in the last decade
- We are loosing clients to other markets
- Quality is not the target for many users – they just want the gist
- Google translate and Bing translate used by people AND companies – if they can get the gist, even not congruent, it is OK for them
- Clients think first of all of bottom line, they will go for the lower cost
- Price competition drives the market
- Clients want agility, fast response, immediate product delivery, low cost
- Younger generations want Tweeter, Facebook, social media translated fast – they accept things as they come, no grammar, no spelling – “sort of” a translation suits the needs of the new user
- The role of interpreting is also changing because of text-to-voice-to-text. The user does not mind that it is “kind-of” incorrect as long as they “kind-of” understand the content
- Users speak to their phone, the phone converts to text, the text is google-translated, the phone returns the sentences spoken in another language.
- The user is OK with the “gist”
- Only way to market yourself to compete with CAT and MT is becoming a specialist
- T&I now have to understand and pursue filling “specific” needs of the clients
- Market your experience and capability to adjust the final version – Localization is the new role of the translator
- Market your “being human” and being able to differentiate content, culture, audience, nuances Our uniqueness is in being human, that is what makes us special.
- How can we market that capability to a “bottom-line” (price-based) client base?
- Many clients like to “know” humans are the translators, but do not want to pay the price
- How do we reach a market that does not know what to expect from us
- How do we compete with the “bottom line”
- How do we keep our part of the market share when immediacy is vital in today’s business world
- The client wants to have results now and here, within the hour, or “same day” service
- Will CAT replace humans?
- Not in the immediate future
- Yes for basic translation within the next decade
- Probably for basic interpreting too (voice-to-text-to-voice)
- We have an attitude of denial
- Many people have been saying “that will not happen”…
- It has already happened
- We must stop the denial to move forward as a profession (as a group)
- CAT was expected to grow pursuant to storage capabilities – now computers can store more in smaller spaces
- CAT and MTs have gone mobile
- MTs have been uploaded with good CAT info that was once translated by Humans, so many are starting to have good levels of quality
- Today humans can TRAIN machines, that is why CAT and MT are becoming more sophisticated, exponentially
- There is no stopping technology
- Machines are replacing humans in many parts of the world
- This is a worldwide trend even with professions established for centuries.
- Why can’t we make translation and interpreting a reputable profession again?
- How do we become important for the LSP an the end client?
- For example, nurses do not perform surgeries:
Why are bilinguals performing translation and interpreting?
How do we adapt to the changes in our competition?
- Our client is no longer found on a person-to-person relationship but rather on a person-to email or freelance-to-corporation for assignments anywhere in the world
- Many colleagues worldwide are highly trained translators and interpreters who live in countries where GDP is much lower and therefore their rates are sustainably lower than ours
- Other untrained and un-experienced newcomers to the field are competing with low quality but high rate of market penetration
- They are using the “business” aspect of the profession
- All in all, our largest competitors are not our peers but the software and technology industries that have entered the T&I industry with technology and huge negotiating (leverage) power
- Looking for a relationship human-to-human is now time consuming and client/LSP do not want to be “dragged” into it – they prefer their own anonymity to be able to have you or discard you at will
- The sharing of information is at every level of the human experience today. Skype, Facebook, create video, etc., gadgets
- Crowdsourcing is going viral
- “In your language of preference”
- What do we need, then?
- Train the end user about what T&I entails
- What do we need, then?
- Train ourselves to respond to the new millennium
- Training is vital to our survival, but, what do we need to learn
- Translators and interpreters need to train in code of ethics and standards of practice to have a unified minimum quality and requirements
- Newcomers need to be forced to acquire training – how?
- Translators an interpreters need to learn about the technology of our day, about communication tools (the new mobile devices), networking (social media), cloud computing and virtual world “stuff”
- We have to become proficient using the tools of our trade today (which include devices everyone uses!)
- For example, smartphones are now networking devices, not just “communication” tools
- T&I also need to learn who to trust in the cyber world: how to contract, how to ensure payment, how to protect identity
- T&I need to understand underlying factors of jurisdiction in the virtual world – What is the jurisdiction of the cloud? It affects legal and privacy issues
- Confidentiality is key – books that have not been published for example cannot be translated with on the cloud tools
- Privacy issues in most realms of translation and interpreting
- Legal possession of data is a great concern – Public vs. nonpublic issues must be fully understood
- But # 1: We need representation in the big scenario of the decision makers
Some T&I associations do not prioritize needs of translators and interpreters (they are also catering to the LSP)
- End of discussion in Forum #1 at the top of the hour.
Notes taken on power point will be made public via YouTube and Slideshare
Attending Forum # 1 – May 25, 2013: EGS, FN, PC, AB, CB – Excused DR, LD, SA
- Monthly meetings: On the 25th at 11 a.m. EST USA (check your local time)
- Want to participate?
- Register for our newsletter at http://www.Brauertraining.com and you will be automatically invited, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forum # 2 June 25, 2013 at 11 a.m. EST USA (check your local time) – See you there…