he Internet is a good way to make a name for oneself, but not to get new clients. At least, this is what a survey conducted by Okodia Translation Agency on the professional translation sector found. The survey revealed that most professional translators get more clients through their contacts and via recommendations than through online methods such as websites, blogs or social media.
More than fifty language professionals took part in the survey, which showed that professional translators hardly use personal blogs and websites despite frequently using social media. According to Okodia’s CEO, Luis Rodríguez, “some translators consider dedicating time to this type of platforms a waste of money instead of an investment”.
The majority of them admit that they get clients by word of mouth and through the translation agency they work for instead of cyberspace resources.
Aside from this, the translators spoke about the practices being employed by some translation agencies which use machine translation as a complement to human translation. They all agree that it will “never” replace human jobs, wherein quality is much more than a literal translation of words taken out of context.
According to Rodríguez, the evolution of new technologies—specifically the deployment of machine translation—has led to “less appreciation” for translators’ work by clients “that increasingly demand translations with shorter turnaround times and at lower cost. I get the feeling that clients expect translation professionals to do their jobs at the same speed as machine translation, at very low cost but with a very high level of quality”, he added.
The translation industry is characterized by—as shown by the survey—primarily freelance translators. In fact, most of the respondents have more than ten years of experience and work on a freelance basis for translation agencies.