On 11th May I had the privilege of attending the launch event of the UK Translator Survey Report at the European Commission Representation in London.
In a standing room only, six panellists and over 120 translators and linguists were interested in finding out the results of a survey which most of them completed in 2016.
All participants received a printed copy of the actual report, which was compiled by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the EC Representation in the UK.
The findings were presented in the form of statistics, including some comments from translation professionals who took part in the survey.
Panel members Karen Stokes - Chair of Council, CIOL-, Sarah Griffin-Mason- ITI Chair-, Geraint Wyn Parry -Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymry-, Antonia Lloyd-Jones - Co-chair of the Translators Association and Dr. Jo Drugan- Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia- shared their opinion about the results of the report as Paul Kaye, Language Officer at the EC was leading the discussion.
One of the topics that generated more questions was "Remuneration and pricing". It is not surprising that the survey results showed that translators do not feel well-equipped in business skills and therefore their strategies for negotiation of rates may be poor. As Sarah Griffin pointed out, Translation Associations are not entitled by Government regulations to set a guidance on pricing, but all they can do is look at past patterns which may be helpful for translation professionals who would like to have an idea of how the industry was valued on previous years. I could not agree any more with what Karen Stokes (CIOL) mentioned on that respect: "We need to encourage people to act more in a business-like way". She also stated that, as other professionals do, prices (in translation) should be set on a per job basis or per hour, rather than per word.
Taking into consideration those comments, the different associations agreed that there is a need to educate clients about their views on the translation industry. As the general public would surely choose a Chartered Accountant, or a Chartered Surveyor over a non-chartered professional, now Chartered Translators can demonstrate their competence and offer quality services to clients.
I think that the Professional Associations in the UK have increasingly evolved in educating the public and graduates about the importance of professionalism in translation. A new vision over the Translation Industry would result in more appealing pricing strategies if translators were actually seen as other professional contractors or consultants who hold professional qualifications, have undergone training or learned on the job, and are continually developing their skills and knowledge, following a code of ethics to offer the best for their clients.
|Chinese-English Translator: Sidney Wu, Greek-English Translator|
Vasiliki Prestidge, Spanish-English Translator Jaquelina Guardamagna &
French - English Translator Karine Chevalier-Watts
The survey may take place again in the future and further comments or suggestions for potential editions could be added to this blog or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
As per your opinion on this review, your experience on the day, professionalism in the translation sector, translation rates and pricing, please leave your comments below.
Thanks for reading!
Jaquelina Guardamagna BA MCIL, IAPTI, APARU
Translator in London, Chartered Linguist
BA English-Spanish Translator
BA Teacher of EFL