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Articles for Translators and Translation Companies
Translation Job Market




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Rosetta Stone and Translation Rates
The conversation slowly and lazily drifted into the matter of rates. There was general agreement that we are underpaid. Different people said that Indian and Chinese agencies were spoiling the market, Latin-American agencies were no good and even some North-American and West-European agencies offered terrible rates far below what anybody would consider fair…
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Milengo leverages Google Translator Toolkit with Google Adwords
Last month when Milengo announced they had been selected by Google as an official localization vendor to help open translation accessibility to millions of users globally we contacted Adam Blau, Rebellion Leader at Milengo, for comment...
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The Value of Translation
It is hard to embark on a career in translation without guansi, or connections, in the Chinese society. The so-called guansi resembles a network of people, where referrals of translations can be directed. Student translators studying in the home country would benefit from this network well before they graduate with client referrals passed down from teachers who are too busy with other projects, whereas overseas student translators would have to start from scratch for a humble income that could barely keep them alive…
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How to Make More $$ without Really Trying
Have you noticed how different businesses are constantly inventing new ways to nickel and dime their customers? Airlines have first stopped offering free in-flight meals; then introduced a fee for checked-in luggage; they reduced the leg space of their seats and are now charging for "special" (exit row and bulkhead) seats that leave you less cramped at the end of a two-hour flight…
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How a medium-sized LSP survived an economic crisis
2009 was tough. In our company we all had to take pay cuts back in April. Everyone took pay cuts and we were happy to do that and keep our jobs rather than end up in the unemployment line. So let’s talk about last year and some of the challenges that we saw and how we changed our business model to adapt and survive it. Not just survive but change the way that we are doing business permanently because of it…
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The European Library Opens Up 48 Jewel Boxes using TransiBar
In 2007 the collection descriptions from the European national libraries were only available in the native language and in English via The European Library portal. The European Library Office aimed to have all 330 collection descriptions available in 27 languages by mid 2008…
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Find Jobs Using RSS Feeds
In addition to actually seeking a job, there are also other valid reasons to monitor the job market. Perhaps you are satisfied in your current position, but just want to keep an eye on new positions in a specific sector. Perhaps you are just curious to know what the wages are for similar positions. The job market can be monitored quite easily using RSS feeds…
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Everything’s Comin’ up Roses (with apologies to Stephen Sondheim)
I often wonder whether the leaders (if one wishes to apply such lofty nomenclature) of this country's numerous translator and interpreter organizations live in some kind of blessed land of milk and honey, a land of beautiful aromatic flowers and streams and brooks of pristine water, a land of sunshine and smiles, where n'er a cloud darkens the day. And if such land of milk and honey exists, I surely want to go there…
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The Influence of the Market on Translating — A Tentative Study of the Market-oriented Translation in China
It was not until the late 1970s, to be more exact, in 1978, the year of reform and political opening-up, that the real market-oriented translation appeared in mainland China. By market-oriented translation I mean a kind of translation service which every individual or organization can access. Before 1978 China was relatively closed, only open to socialist and Third World (Chairman Mao's term) countries…
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People, People Who Need People
Your best sales person has just been headhunted elsewhere, your strategic account manager for your biggest client is soon off on maternity leave - or paternity, depending on where you are, there’s a large new project coming in and you’ll need to hire new project managers with a specific technical experience and German, plus an engineer, and one of the new recruits is not working out…
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How to use a GILT Job recruiter
Keeping your career afloat can often feel like you’re navigating through hazardous, murky waters, especially during times of company mergers and acquisitions, downsizing, “right sizing,” and “offshoring.” Indeed, many things might lead us to reinvent our careers, and we invariably need to understand our job markets. Every career-minded person faces this reality, and the world of localization offers no exception…
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ESL Jobs FAQ
Are there really any ESL jobs for me? Yes, there are. Rightly or wrongly, the whole world wants to learn English. People everywhere, especially young people, are convinced that speaking good English is their passport to a successful career. What is more, they are being encouraged in this by many governments. Worldwide, there are many more ESL jobs than there are native-speaking EFL teachers to fill them…
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Why I don't like bidding systems
I don't think many people could imagine a lawyer bidding to get a contract in reply to an ad saying, "Legal advice needed for big company, please offer your best price, no more than $ 5 an hour please." Yet this type of ad is seen every day on the main translation portals, with price being the main, if not only, selection criteria…
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Inttranews Special Report: Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union
The Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union is one of the smaller translation services of the EU, regularly translating documents in an extremely varied range of subjects into and out of all 20 official languages of the European Union. So how does it operate? What are its deadlines? How does it meet them? What are its quality criteria? Inttranews set out to find the answers, which will no doubt be of keen interest to freelancers and translation companies alike …
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Why Are Most Translators Underpaid? A descriptive explanation using asymmetric information and a suggested solution from signaling theory
It is a common observation that most professional translators are not paid well. Most attribute this to the low perceived status of translators and their work. Because of the low pay, many good translators have left the profession for other jobs. This line of thought sounds reasonable but it is also highly evaluative which makes empirical testing impossible …
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From Tea Leaves to Coffee Grounds
Here's the doom and gloom, using the U.S. high-tech sector as the bellwether. According to a survey of 100 CIOs (chief information officers) at leading U.S. companies conducted in December, average spending on hardware and software will decline by 1% compared with 2002. And perhaps even worse, the percentage of those expecting to delay higher IT spending until 2004 or later has jumped from 26% in an October survey to 43% in December…
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Major mistakes when responding to job offers
Wondering why you never got an answer to your e-mail? Sometimes potential clients do not have the time or simply do not need your services. Other times, it could very well be that your message is the real reason. Have a look at the following mistakes to see if any of them sound familiar and find out how to avoid these mistakes in the future…
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Why communication is so important when selling to a global market
Today it is easier than ever to start and run a global business. Our advances in technology has made the world shrink into one manageable market…
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An Easy Translation Job
The client who claims the job is easy just wants a discount and quicker turnaround. There is no such a thing as an easy translation job. This does not mean the guys are lying: they may believe their own words. However, whatever people say, no matter why or how they say it, there is no such a thing as an easy translation job. Often the translator is unable to identify the difficulties posed by the job—but that is altogether another story, and often a tragic one…
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Translation Economics 101
Translators, like everybody else, with the possible exception of monks and vagrants, wish they could make a little more money and work a little less for it. There is nothing wrong with this. However, many of us try to justify this yearning for a better material life by claiming we are paid comparatively less than other professionals or than our due. To support those claims, some of us often compare our earnings with those of others, mainly bilingual secretaries, plumbers, and sanitation workers. This is a question of ethics: we want to show we are nice guys shortchanged by society, not greedy hogs. In addition, we usually compare our earnings with those we consider ourselves superior to…
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Translation: A Market in Crisis?
Colleagues who attended the 2002 ATA meeting complained that there was a significant reduction in the number of agencies present. Nothing wrong with the ATA itself: just a sign of the times, for our trade is in a state of crisis and the signs of deterioration are seen everywhere, not only in the paucity of participants in the ATA job exchange. Responses to the crisis have been many, diverse and often lacking in objectivity. It seems that translators, usually so logical in dealing with technical issues, tend to be a little bit emotional and subjective when the matter is money…
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The Nine Markets
From the point of view of the translator, all the languages spoken and written in this world may be divided into three groups, although borders between groups are not always very sharp. Classifications always imply a certain degree of generalization; generalization, in any degree, entails loss of precision. However I hope the basic ideas derived from this article may be of some interest, if not of any use…
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Test translations - an update
There are two kinds of test translations. A translator should learn to differentiate between them and respond accordingly…

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