Translator and globalization
We live in the era of globalization. This term usually refers to the integration of economic, political and cultural systems across the world. People, wherever they live, feel a stronger bond with each other, information and financial flows have become freer, the goods and services, produced in one part of the world, are available in all the other parts. The profession of a translator, like no other, has been subject to change as a result of the rapid development of globalization, and for the better. Distance and national borders are erased while multilingualism remains. Translation industry has become part of international communications, the development of which, as a consequence of globalization, is very fast in recent years. According to the Canadian Association of translators the global translation market is growing for 15-25% annually. Perhaps it is a too optimistic estimate as in Canada translations between the two official languages occupy three quarters of the volume of all translations, but in any case, this increase is unlikely less than 10%. Particularly fast-growing market is that of technical translation, where annual growth is estimated at 30%. Meanwhile, however, some new problems appeared on the global translation market, associated with the inclusion of more people in the field of translation services, and often of those who previously did not think of translation work at all.
The profession of a translator is perhaps the best to fit in with the modern scheme of international communication and exchange of information. This scheme became the basis of the Internet global network. The benefit the Internet can grant a translator as a universal technical tool was well described before, thus I will focus on the business side of the issue.
Internet for translators is, above all, a unique opportunity to enter the world market. Experienced translators remember the conditions in which a translator had work in the USSR: either as a staff interpreter in any large organization, including translation agencies, or switch the specialty, and turn a penny by making translations for randomly found customers and friends (it should be noted that hereafter I will mostly speak about technical translators, like me as the translators of literary works are aside). In the first case, the translator was working, receiving a fixed (not very high) payment which, generally, wasn’t related to the quantity and quality of translations he made, he translated every order given and had no opportunities and incentives for career and professional growth. The second case was not much about professional translation activity. Free translator or a "freelancer" was an ultimately rare case. Such translators began to appear in the late 80s of the last century, but they immediately faced the challenge to find customers. How could you make a name in almost complete absence of electronic media? Local press ads was almost the only way and considering the small circulation of such publications, the "hit ratio" was extremely low. Working outside your district (city) was almost impossible. Moreover getting and delivering orders required physical contact with the customers, i.e. either to receive them in an office, or to visit them to get the original and deliver performed work. That is why the Internet has become truly manna from heaven for translators.
The situation has changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet. A whole world suddenly opened before a translator. This was not only due to the wide spread of information, but due to the possibilities of processing the orders translators acquired. The fruit of the translator’s labor is a pure intellectual product, which is easily digitized and likewise easily (and quickly) can be transmitted by means of electronic communication. That is to say that for a translator and potential customer the concept of distance in its physical sense has ceased to exist. The changes in the profession of a translator are so enormous, that the consequences of this are hardly possible to estimate. Obviously the main thing is that freelance translators play now more important role. Globalization has hardly affected full-time translators and had no effect on their activity, but a freelance translator was able, on the one hand, to offer his services on a global scale and, on the other hand, to work within his specialization, not grasping any available work. Again, I remind you, we are talking primarily about technical translation.You can order a test translation —