Competing Translators Collaborate to Improve Translation Tool

Competing Translators Collaborate to Improve Translation Tool

September 24, 2013

By Ofer Tirosh

The translation industry is an industry that some would argue has some bubbling fierce competition. In a recent spontaneous poll conducted by Tomedes in a PROZ.com forum, roughly 45-50% of the translators responded that they believe there’s fierce competition within the translation industry. Another 5-10% said they were unsure about competition or that there was competition between translation companies but not necessarily individual translators. The rest of the respondents stated that they didn’t feel there was much competition amongst highly skilled or specialized translators.

Of course the amount of competition in the industry depends largely on the language pairing and expertise of the translator. For example, there might be more competition between English to Spanish translators than English to Bulgarian translations and so on. The responses in the poll echoed these thoughts.

One of the translators who responded in the poll stated, “I think starting out can be a difficult time. Perhaps this is when translators may feel as if they really are in direct competition with everyone else in their language pair. A newcomer might start browsing ProZ.com, and feel inadequate when they see people with multiple language pairs claiming to specialize in everything from accounting to zoology.”

Regardless, just like any other industry these days, translators are trying to keep busy and make money and get as much business as possible. But recently, instead of worrying about the competition, dozens of competing translators came together to collaborate on improving a translation tool. The word count ratio tool was launched by Tomedes about two months ago and was created to assist the entire translator’s community with their everyday translation projects.  The word count ratio tool is used to help translators predict how many translated words they will end up with for a given document, to make pricing calculations easier and guess free.

The launch of the tool was received with great interest from the translation community and since the tool was launched, a plethora of data has been collected from individual translators who have input data from their own professional experiences. Since the tool is crowd source based, the more data that is input, the more accurate the word count ratio tool will become. The more accurate the tool becomes, the more useful it will be in helping the entire translator’s community.

Have you experienced much competition with other translators in your language pairing? Do you think a tool like this can be beneficial for you? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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