In 2017, 99% translation agencies are run and staffed by non-translators who do not have the faintest idea of what translation is all about.
They are totally unaware of how a translation is produced.
They do not care about quality (despite their assurances to the contrary).
The sole and only thing they care about is: low buying prices (and high selling prices) and fast production delays, which are the exact recipe for low quality (despite their assurances to the contrary).
For the last ten years or so, non-translating crooks like SDL, memoQ, Wordfast, Lilt, etc have had “computer-aided translation” programmes designed by sub-sub-contractors, to serve as illegitimate pretexts for extortion… from a profession of freelance translators who have always been known for having modest revenues already.
In their devilish plan, those impostors – who do not belong to the translation market (despite their assurances to the contrary) – have forgotten at least two things:
1. TIME is what freelance translators are selling, as converted into per-line fees (which those crooks translated into per-word “rates” (they call our fees “rates”, forgetting that translation is an intellectual service) to serve their devilish and illegitimate – if not illegal – purposes);
2. the sole and only “BASE RATE” (or BASE FEE, rather) is the FEE CHARGED BY FREELANCE TRANSLATORS TO THEIR DIRECT CUSTOMERS.
Intermediaries are not charged a base rate: they are charged the direct customer base fee LESS AN ALREADY (TOO?) HUGE FLAT REBATE for doing the freelance translator’s MARKETING.
By the way, university-trained and experienced translators DO NOT NEED TO BE TESTED, and IN ANY CASE NEVER FOR FREE: TIME IS WHAT WE ARE SELLING – let’s never forget this.
Nowadays’ intermediaries are pursuing a “race to the bottom”: low buying prices (getting close to zero), which is driving all good and very good freelance translators out of business.
If end-customers want to be left with untrained amateurs and inexperienced junior translators, they should keep on feeding those crooks – machine translation and “computer-aided” translation tools producers included.
Freelance translators DO NOT NEED the so-called CAT tools as they are presently designed, i.e. with everything SEGMENTED so that the greedy intermediary can spot any total or even partial segment repetition and thus extort undue rebates.
Those rebates are undue for at least two reasons:
1. intermediaries ALREADY GET A FLAT REBATE over the normal price, so working for them already meant barely surviving, even before they came up with “CAT tools”.
2. CAT tools CONSIDERABLY SLOW DOWN a translator’s work, globally, when you consider the huge amount of time lost at (in chronological order):
– reading Web pages about CAT tool comparisons;
– testing new CAT tools;
– purchasing and installing new CAT tools;
– getting beginner’s, intermediate and advanced training on how to use each one of them;
– losing entire termbase entries when the system is unstable, as in SDL Trados Studio 2017;
– losing billions of hours encoding one’s terminology in terminological databases (‘termbases’) designed by the sub-sub-sub-contractors of… non-translators;
– encoding one’s terminology into different CAT tool termbases;
– dealing with bugs:
a) trying to understand how to get the appropriate help (sometimes even having to pay for it, which can be calculated in translation hours needed to pay the bill);
b) asking one’s question;
c) reading the answers and realising they don’t understand your question because those non-translators do not speak translators’ language;
d) re-asking your questions;
e) reading the answers;
f) testing the suggested solutions;
g) realising that they don’t have any solution and that they knew it in advance:
they just stole your time and your money knowingly because they are above all ruthless and merciless crooks WHO DO NOT BELONG TO THE TRANSLATION MARKET AND HAVE NOTHING TO DO ON IT.
THEY DO NOT BELONG HERE.
Nowadays most if not all translators have their own WEBSITES and ONLINE PROFILES with RECOMMENDATIONS and SAMPLE TRANSLATIONS:
END-CUSTOMERS CAN FIND THEM ON THEIR OWN.
THEY DO NOT NEED A USELESS INTERMEDIARY JUST TO ‘PASS THE PLATES’: THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY ADDED VALUE.
FURTHERMORE, 99% OF THOSE NON-TRANSLATING INTERMEDIARIES HAVE TOTALLY UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AS TO PRICE AND SPEED, SO THEY DRIVE GOOD AND VERY GOOD TRANSLATORS OUT OF BUSINESS – UNLESS THE LATTER WORK FOR DIRECT CUSTOMERS ONLY.
IF END-CUSTOMERS KEEP ON FEEDING THOSE CROOKS, THEY WILL BE LEFT WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATORS.
MACHINE TRANSLATION IS A LINGUISTIC UTOPIA, just like the artifical language Esperanto was in the previous century, even if “university researchers” worked hard on it “for years”…
MACHINE TRANSLATION DOES NOT WORK AND WILL NEVER WORK.
BECAUSE THE CROOKS WHO INVENTED IT DO NOT HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA OF WHAT A LANGUAGE IS.
AND OF COURSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE FAINTEST IDEA OF WHAT TRANSLATING IS ALL ABOUT.
THEY THINK THAT TRANSLATING IS JUST REPLACING ONE WORD BY ANOTHER, with some expressions and sentence structures being of course different, and depending on the context.
These are the few “tips and tricks” that those non-translators have gathered here and there, but TRANSLATING IS SUCH A COMPLEX OPERATION THAT MOST TRANSLATORS CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN WHAT THEY WENT THROUGH TO PRODUCE THEIR TRANSLATION – so how could non-translators like SDL and the like know?………
In the 20th century, the translation market was in the hands of agencies who competed on QUALITY.
In the 21st century, since the advent of the INTERNET, any former scuba diving instructor is improvising himself as a “translation agency”.
Since they have NO IDEA whatsoever of WHAT IT ENTAILS IN TERMS OF TIME, TRAINING AND EFFORTS to produce at least an acceptable translation, THEY COMPETE ON PRICES AND SPEED, which are the exact recipe for BAD QUALITY.
They rely on end-clients’ IGNORANCE in order to SWINDLE them. And they make them pay as soon as possible, with little or no time to CHECK the translation’s QUALITY.
Last but not least: translations produced by experienced translators DO NOT NEED REVISION – unless the intermediary has given too little time for the translator to double-check anything that he or she was not 100% sure of (an absolute rule, learned in translation schools, which amateurs totally ignore: they just write the first thing that comes to mind: I have proofread such “materpieces” on a translation platform: I had to spend the entire night RE-WRITING EVERYTHING… at revision rate, i.e. near-gratuity, of course: this was my last assignment for crooks like TOLQ, one of those non-translators’ platforms that also try to swindle GULLIBLE CUSTOMERS).
Flee away from “translation platforms”: they are populated with amateur translators translating into their… source languages and without dictionaries: they just type the first thing that comes to mind, because rates are so close to zero that they want to compensate by translating as high a volume of text as possible…
Only interpreters can translate without consulting a dictionary, but even they:
– prepare their conferences in advance (the looking up time occurs BEFORE the actual service rendering);
– get help from their booth colleague if they get stuck.
Some agencies contract out to “Chindian” agencies, at rates close to zero, then do some cosmetic work so that the final text SOUNDS professional…
Many agencies get good translators’ CVs in order to impress their customers, then contract out to much cheaper ones: this is the very “huge database of translators” concept: they DO NOT SELECT THE BEST TRANSLATOR FOR YOUR TRANSLATION BUT THE CHEAPEST ONE IN THEIR DATABASE: that is what databases are for! Stop being so NAIVE!!!!!
This also means that freelance translators MUST REFUSE FREE TESTS. The only thing they will get is being burried at the bottom of some database…
More on the REAL WORLD OF TRANSLATION and WHAT IS HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES and the SALES PITCHES OF MERCILESS, GREEDY IMPOSTORS CALLING THEMSELVES ‘TRANSLATION AGENCIES’ and ‘TRANSLATION SOFTWARE PRODUCERS’ in one of my next posts!