Tag Archives: translation

Nice or nasty? Which translators finish first?

In a previous post, I looked at a phenomenon known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma. In the translation industry this is where competitors cannot resist the temptation to win more work by undercutting each other on price. Simple mathematics shows that they … Continue reading

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Collusion and betrayal in the translation industry—which do you choose?

Are translation industry players locked into a self-defeating paradigm where they end up taking actions which are against their own best economic interests? In this post, I look at the translation industry in terms of a prisoner’s dilemma—the canonical example … Continue reading

Posted in Getting paid, OpenBorder, The Multi-factor auction, Translation Industry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Will the best and most talented translators benefit from the disruptors?

One of the few things we can count on is that “things change”. When I started out as a translator we used typewriters and listened to music on cassette tapes. We got our translations typeset on photographic paper—a revolution that … Continue reading

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“Liar, liar! Pants on fire!” Who can afford to tell the truth about translation quality… and who can’t?

When everyone else is shouting that they deliver “quality”, is there some trick translators can use to get paid more for doing a better job? Is there some realistic way for customers to figure out if you are telling the … Continue reading

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Paying translators – let’s stop tearing out our hair and just fix the system!

Dear Translator, XYZ Translations is a leading language service provider in London, UK. Attached, please find a document in German which we need to have translated into US English. It is an analysis of the German market for fixed-income government bonds … Continue reading

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The headache and heartache of paying translators. How LSPs feel about cross-border payments.

Paying and getting paid – it’s a pretty touchy subject. Few of us are immune from strong feelings on the subject. In a previous post, I looked at what freelance translators felt were the main frustrations of getting paid across different … Continue reading

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The Banks vs. Translators: What do freelancers think about how they get paid?

After you’ve done the hard work – it’s great to get paid. But getting paid is not always as straightforward as we might prefer it to be. In a previous post I posed the question – Does the global banking … Continue reading

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Does the global banking system disadvantage translators? Can we fix it?

Is someone taking an unjustified cut from the payments you receive from your local or foreign customers? Do you always receive the full amount you are owed when you are paid? Or is a proportion of your income disappearing into bank … Continue reading

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Can crowdsourcing coexist comfortably with professional translation? Or is it a threat? #xl8

In a previous post I suggested that the share of the global translation pie available to professional translators is not shrinking in favour of machines or crowdsourced amateurs,  but rather the whole pie is expanding – potentially to everyone’s ultimate benefit. As … Continue reading

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The end of linguistic diversity? Or a bonanza of new opportunities for translators?

In 2004, I remember picking up a magazine from a street kiosk in Milan because it had an article which predicted that within 10 years or so, Italians would be speaking English at work and the local language would only be … Continue reading

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