The world is changing fast and there is a huge pressure on everyone to adapt to the changes or fall behind. Some of those changes that have been apparent over the last two or three decades especially include the effects of ever increasingly efficient technological development and the amount of international communication, travel and trade. The need for effective translation has never been greater, yet the pressure on existing translators to keep up with the times has also never been greater. It seems a paradox that the demand for translation work has not made it any easier for translators to succeed from a business point of view.
Translation in the past almost always meant manual, word for word, phrase by phrase translation. Professional translators have always been in demand but take time to complete their work the traditional way. With the rise of the internet and the existence of automated technology there are now numerous free or at least cheap translation sites available which provide “cheap and cheerful” translation for the least discerning. Of course, the translation is unikely to be god enough for any communication which is important, such as business, legal, medical or immigration requirements, but doe sput pressure n exisiting translators that there is competition out there.
In addition to the existence of free translation sites on the internet, the fact that the internet is universal means that just about anyone anywhere ca advertise translation services. All that needs to be done is to have documents or website material uploaded on to the net and it can be processed anywhere in the world and then returned duly translated. The client and translation provider can easily be separated by time and place and never meet personally. Of course, this development does not in itself mean that quality is ensured. In fact, the existence of many more “translation providers” may reduce quality, not increase it. It means that anyone who needs a good translation service has to be much more careful about who does the translation for them, and not just go for who can do it the cheapest.
The third development that can impact on quality is the availability of translation automation and software that use wisely can help to speed up translation tasks without becoming a direct substitute for the work of the human translator.
In short, the person, individual or corporate, that is looking for professional translators to deliver good quality translations has a much wider choice than ever before, but this does not reduce the need to be careful about choosing the right translation provider. There is no really cheap solution when good quality is desired and like many other things in life, you tend to get what you pay for!