To be successful as a freelance translator, basically, you had better understand the current state of the translation industry including its size, structure and characteristics.
According to current study from Common Sense Advisory, it is estimated that the translation industry is worthy over $33.5 billions worldwide.
The revenue is split as follows:
- Europe 49.38%
- North America 34.85%
- Asia 12.88%
- Oceania 2%
- Latin America 0.63 %
- Africa 0.27%
The latest estimate: In 2015, the worldwide market is worth $47.3 billions, an increase of 40% in comparison to 2012. The majority of the market is under the control of several top agencies, the rest is made up of Language Service Provider (LSP) such as middle-size companies and freelance translators. It is estimated that there are 640,000 translators worldwide (Source: Translators Association of China), and a quarter of whom are freelance translators. Nhìn chung, ngành này không khó để gia nhập thị trường và tính cạnh tranh cực kỳ cao. Generally, the entry is easy and the competition is critic.
The main players in the translation industry are in-house translators who work for a brand or creative agency, or a language service provider and freelance translators. A freelance translator when assigned a large project or a project beyond their capacity, he/she may decline or reassign another translators, then he/she becomes a hybrid translator/agency.
In order to reach international audience, any business will require translation services Một công ty dịch thuật nhận dịch nhiều chuyên ngành trong khi một số khác chỉ nhắm vào chuyên ngành nào đó như dược, luật và truyền thông, marketing, v.v Some agencies target specific sectors while other target legal, marketing, pharmaceutical sectors. Finance, IT, and legal services are sectors which provide the largest volume of work. Tourism and government services are showing signals of growth.
Types of translation services
Wikipedia defines localisation (or localization for our American friends) as “the process of adapting a product to a specific country or region”. The main difference between translation and localisation is that the target culture, as well as the language, must be taken into account in order to successfully adapt the product to local markets. Localisation is most often required for the adaptation of websites, software and video games and usually has a strong technical component to it. It is (or at least it should be) often followed by a QA process, carried out by native speakers. Localisation is not confined to countries where different languages are spoken: often it can be done for a single language that has regional or national differences – for example, South American and European Spanish, but also UK and US English.
It is a mix between translation and creation. Transcreators focus on capturing the persuasive and emotive effect that the original text conveys and then transferring it into the adapted translation. As a result, the creative translation may differ significantly from the original text in terms of vocabulary, but the message is preserved. Transcreation has become an important part of international communications, especially where the continuity of meaning and consistent messages are important (ex: brand slogans and straplines)
4.3. Certified translation
When clients ask for “certified translations”, the most important thing is to ask them what kind of certification they need, as there is no common certification in the world. Generally speaking, a certification is a stamp and a accompanying letter from the agency or the translator that states that the translation has completed by a professional translator and is, to the best knowledge of the agency/translator, of high quality and true to the original text. Additionally, the translation can be notarized. This means that the notary public shall certify the signature of the translator on the affidavit used to certify the accuracy of the translation. It is complicating that each country has its own certification system. In France and Spain, as an example, the translation at the course must be completed by sworn translators; while there is no such classification in the UK and the US.
CAT tools are software packages that aid the translating process for better translation and less time-consumption. The software helps with spelling checking, text alignment, creating glossaries and Translation Memory. You can translate without CAT tools but they will help you improve productivity, reduce word count and ensure consistency, resulting in cost reduce and quality improvement in the long term. Learning how to use CAT tools will increase your chances working with agencies and end-clients.
Translation memories (TMs) are databases of translated text, separated into segments. The motto of translation memories is “never translate the same sentence twice”. As the translator translates, the tools automatically build up a database of both the source and the target language. When the translator encounters a similar sentence in the source text, the CAT tool can suggest a translation based on the translation memory. At this point, the translator can decide if the translation is appropriate or if it should be changed. It is important to note this is NOT an automatic translation, as the text needs to have been manually translated beforehand and often requires manual editing. TM is very useful for large projects for repeat clients. A company with extensive Translation Memory libraries will notice huge savings in the long term, as well as consistency of terms across multiple products, websites and territories.
The term “machine translation” (MT) refers to the use of computer software to translate text automatically. There are two types of machine translation: rule-based, where software attempts to model the rules of a language; and statistical, where the computer attempts to learn from large amounts of text that have been previously translated. Although great advancements have been made in recent years, machine translation should not be used for business-critical content, as the quality is currently far inferior to human translation. The term “machine translation” (MT) refers to the use of computer software to translate text automatically. There are two types of machine translation: rule-based, where software attempts to model the rules of a language; and statistical, where the computer attempts to learn from large amounts of text that have been previously translated. Although great advancements have been made in recent years, machine translation should not be used for business-critical content, as the quality is currently far inferior to human translation.