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Sunday, December 11, 2011



The pressure that many translators face today is the result of the chain of events that lead to a translation assignment. Translators are commonly called in at the end of a project to translate the sum total of the material that has been generated; contract specifications, training manuals or user guides are just a few examples.

The work that is required of the translator is the one that is usually more time restricted which means everyone connected to the project is anxious because there is no margin for error. In many cases, a missed deadline could result in millions of dollars being won or lost.

Although this scenario takes nerves of steel to navigate, the other side of this drama is complicated further by the sheer size of the assignment to be completed within a certain timeframe; expecting a single translator to manage a job of 1 million words in less than 60 days is completely unrealistic to anyone who is knowledgeable about the translation business, but unfortunately many agencies accept these jobs because they fail to accept that translators have limitations.

Translators who decline large assignments with unrealistic time restrictions from clients can be the reason for agencies making choices that favor new comers in the translation business and many times assignments are handled poorly, without the benefit of appropriate equipment.

Our professional is affected by time more than others; we are more often the last resort to salvage a project where other professionals, such as doctors usually have another means of remedy if they are unavailable, such as a hospital emergency room. Translators face more last-minute calls to perform work and usually the chance of referring another translator to do the work doesn’t exist.

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