Discussion on the Characteristics of the New Generation of Translators from the Perspective of Resource Management

2020-01-12 17:23
2020-01-12 17:23
Discussion on the Characteristics of the New Generation of Translators from the Perspective of Resource Management

From spring 2015 to March 2019, I have been working in the translation industry for four years. These past years have witnessed some changes in the industry. From the shrinking of the traditional translation business to the flourishing of the telephone interpretation business, to artificial intelligence, and then the continuous iteration of the business model of ,machine translation plus post editing in recent years, the translation industry is facing huge challenges. Localization giants, traditional translation companies, small translation teams, and freelance translators are all under unprecedented impact. In this situation, every practitioner in the translation industry is confronted with the problem of how to improve the quality and efficiency.

I have been working on resource management for almost three years. It is roughly estimated that, over the past three years, I have got in touch with more than tens of thousands of translators and nearly a hundred translation teams. Since last year, I gradually found three distinctive features with those translators:

I. New generation of translators stand out
When I stepped into the translation industry in 2015, I behaved very prudently when communicating with translators who were born in 1980s, and inquired meticulously about their translation experience, project experience, frequently used tools, and others. Despite all those I had done beforehand, the test results were often quite contrary to expectation. However, based on the resources development records in 2018, the post-90s and even post-95s had gained much better test results than I had expected. Through careful observation on these translators, I find that they have demonstrated stronger command of language, which can be perceived from their educational background and test results.

Among the new generation of translators, some of them have achieved 600+ in CET6 test, "Excellent" for TEM8, 8.0 in IELTS, or the first prize in the National English Competition for College Students. Although they are still young, they deserve to be treated with respect.

II.Good learning ability
Two weeks ago, I heard that the MTI team of English major from an ordinary university in the south won the first prize in a domestic translation project management competition. The reason is that these postgraduate students have quick wits, newer thinking and methods for project management, and mastered more tools to assist in completing projects. Such an achievement has fully demonstrated the good learning ability of the new generation of translators.

III. Positive cooperative attitude
I have often encountered undergraduate or postgraduate students who actively contacted me to ask if there were some suitable projects for them. In addition to expressing their strong willingness to cooperate, they have also introduced their translation experience, the tools they use, and their preferential quotation for long-term cooperation.

If these young translators have good cooperative attitude, strong learning ability, strong command of languages and are proficient in tools, I believe that each resource manager and project manager is willing to give them an opportunity!

What are the drawbacks when we work with these translators? At present, young translators also have some inherent problems. For example, their quotation is often much higher than an average level on the market; the translation quality cannot be accurately determined without evaluation on their previous jobs; we may encounter a credibility risk when working with translators we haven't worked with before.

However, the problem is not the result of the new era, but a common one for all practitioners in the translation industry.

Furthermore, we can mitigate risks and solve problems through various methods in the links of resource development, testing and project management. The more problems we encounter, the more we solve them, and the more powerful our team will be.

With the rapid progress of AI-powered translation technology, regular translators without their own unique strengths may be eventually squeezed out of the industry. We need to continuously expand our talent pool, keep track of the development of new technologies and ideas, and keep the team move forward. The new generation of translators are bound to play an active role in this new era of translation industry.

(By Glodom, adapted when published)
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