Poll: Do you think your language pair is "saturated"?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:22
צוות האתר
Jul 26, 2018

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think your language pair is "saturated"?".

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Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 14:22
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
No Jul 26, 2018

I wouldn’t call it saturated on any of my language pairs, but with the economic and financial crisis and the “anyone can do it” mentality a bunch of “amateurs” appeared on the market…

neilmac
ipv
Duran Davis
Michela Ghislieri
DJ Lee & CS AN
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
מהולנדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Definitely for French-English Jul 26, 2018

Saturated is an understatement for French-English. It's a pair that anyone and everyone seems to feel they can translate.



neilmac
Yvonne Gallagher
Michele Fauble
DJ Lee & CS AN
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 06:22
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
I don't know Jul 26, 2018

One might think that Spanish-English is saturated, but I'm still getting as much work as I can handle. My second combination, Portuguese-English (second in terms of demand but first in terms of my linguistic skill), has far fewer translators, but the market is also much smaller.

Selene Desiré Bovo
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 15:22
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+ ...
Yes Jul 26, 2018

I am in no doubt at all. There are far too many non-natives translating into English for my liking, and even if we take the highly skilled and competent ones into account, I still get the impression that they are outweighed by the rest. One case springs to mind of someone whose current kudoz queries demonstrate that they are clearly punching above their weight, although site rules and politesse preclude my mentioning this, no matter how tentatively.

For me, the situation is further
... See more
I am in no doubt at all. There are far too many non-natives translating into English for my liking, and even if we take the highly skilled and competent ones into account, I still get the impression that they are outweighed by the rest. One case springs to mind of someone whose current kudoz queries demonstrate that they are clearly punching above their weight, although site rules and politesse preclude my mentioning this, no matter how tentatively.

For me, the situation is further compounded by the fact that educational institutions are offering training courses to prepare their students to do just that - translate into their L2. However, all I can do about it is sit here tut-tutting in my ivory tower and let off steam through the occasional rant on Facebook or whatever. There are greater evils in the world today…
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Connected Trans
Angus Stewart
Yvonne Gallagher
Robert Forstag
Deborah do Carmo
Fiona Gilbert Riley
Amir Arzani
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 15:22
חבר (2018)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Yes Jul 26, 2018

The most common language being English, and the most common foreign language taught in Britain being French, it's probably the most banal combination ever. At least we natives are not in a glaring minority.

Doesn't stop me from getting plenty of work though.


Yvonne Gallagher
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 09:22
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
It is even worse! Jul 26, 2018

neilmac wrote:

I am in no doubt at all. There are far too many non-natives translating into English for my liking, and even if we take the highly skilled and competent ones into account, I still get the impression that they are outweighed by the rest. One case springs to mind of someone whose current kudoz queries demonstrate that they are clearly punching above their weight, although site rules and politesse preclude my mentioning this, no matter how tentatively.

For me, the situation is further compounded by the fact that educational institutions are offering training courses to prepare their students to do just that - translate into their L2. However, all I can do about it is sit here tut-tutting in my ivory tower and let off steam through the occasional rant on Facebook or whatever. There are greater evils in the world today…


I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Criteria for what constitutes "good" and "acceptable" have become watered down to the extent that mediocre skills and performance are often considered acceptable by large agencies - as long as these agencies can pay low rates to those whose work can be thus characterized. This reality creates a market situation in which some legitimately professional translators then come to accept low rates as well just to keep their heads above water. The saturation in Spanish-English (in both directions) creates other unpleasant realities for freelancers working in these pairs, with agencies imposing (or attempting to impose) requirements such as unpaid tests, obligatory use of a CAT tool, and 60-day payment terms. The attitude seems to be that for every translator who refuses such terms, there are at least 10 others who will not only happily accept them - but also throw in a high rating and rhapsodic comment on the Blue Board just for good measure).

I would further add that "saturation" applies to agencies as well as translators. Yes, there is a place for agencies (e.g., to manage very large and multilingual projects), but many of the outfits operating in the common language pairs function mainly or exclusively as brokers, and add little if any value to the final product. This further contributes to a ferociously competitive environment in which the pie is often not big enough to leave much of a piece for freelancers depending mainly on agency work to make a decent living.

[Edited at 2018-07-26 14:19 GMT]


neilmac
Amir Arzani
Ester Vidal
 

EvaVer (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:22
מצ׳כית לצרפתית
+ ...
Which one? Jul 26, 2018

English to French? Definitely on the international market, but not locally. English to Czech? Would think so, but agencies keep asking me to do it, even though I rather avoid it, so apparently not. CZ / SK / BG to French? On the contrary. Please, someone get good at it, so that I can retire! The same goes for Romanian to Czech. Surprisingly, I am also asked to translate Romanian to French or English (or other CEE languages to English) - I would think this must be common?

 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
מקסיקו
Local time: 08:22
חבר (2006)
מאנגלית לספרדית
+ ...
Ethics. Jul 26, 2018

It's a matter of ethics. For instance, in Spanish, there are many Latin American translators from an X country translating into another country's Spanish without the related knowledge to do that.

Guess what a Spanish farmer from Extremadura would think if a Paraguayan firm starts selling "the real serrano ham from Spain".


Angus Stewart
Ester Vidal
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 10:22
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
In a way, yes Jul 27, 2018

Although the pairs En-Pt and Pt-En seem to be saturated, the demand is as high as the supply. The market is generous and there is a place or all of us. The problem is not in the quantity, though. it's in the quality. Too many "cheap" translators offering their work for peanuts, and too many agencies offering peanuts and delivering poor quality work.
As mentioned before, the translation market is very clearly split into two submarkets: the peanuts and the quality sector. We are the ones to
... See more
Although the pairs En-Pt and Pt-En seem to be saturated, the demand is as high as the supply. The market is generous and there is a place or all of us. The problem is not in the quantity, though. it's in the quality. Too many "cheap" translators offering their work for peanuts, and too many agencies offering peanuts and delivering poor quality work.
As mentioned before, the translation market is very clearly split into two submarkets: the peanuts and the quality sector. We are the ones to choose which one we want to belong to.
The peanut market is a rat race, and is saturated for sure. Nobody makes enough money there, and no one is satisfied there: wither professionally or personally. The quality market is not saturated and the gears run smoothly.
So let them fight their battles away from us and keep their peanut clients.
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
ברזיל
Local time: 10:22
חבר (2014)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Not exclusive at all Jul 27, 2018

writeaway wrote:

Saturated is an understatement for French-English. It's a pair that anyone and everyone seems to feel they can translate.



Perhaps you don't know it, dear, but the exact same thing happens in all pairs involving English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French, and certainly other pairs.


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:22
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My first thought reading the question was Jul 27, 2018

(stupidly) - saturated with what? Then I read the responses and saw that it means, with translators. I read a comment about one of my language pairs (Fr>En) that there are too many people who think they can translated from French to English. Fortunately, not that many can do it well, so it's not as saturated as it may seem.

 


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