Why (some) translators have the blues and what to do about it
An article published in The Economist on May 27th, 2017, and entitled “Why translators have the blues”, highlighted perfectly the reasons why, a couple of years ago, I decided to write and talk about coaching and change management in the translation industry.
According to this article, our profession is under pressure due to “fierce global competition” and “the rise in higher-quality machine translation”. While high-end work requiring specialised knowledge and excellent writing skills shouldn’t be affected by these changes, translators “in the bulk and middle markets will inevitably be doing more editing [of machine translation], or will be squeezed out”.
I became truly aware of the changes translators are facing during a talk by Stefan Gentz (“10 facts about the future the translation industry cannot afford to ignore”) at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Conference held in Newcastle, UK, in April 2015. Soon after the talk I wrote “What does the future hold for translators”, my most popular blog post with over 9,500 views so far. My aim was to raise awareness about change and to encourage my colleagues to embrace and shape technology, instead of fighting or ignoring it.
Soon after publishing my post, I was invited to give talks at the annual conference of state-authorised translators in Norway and at the BP16 international translation conference in Prague. I also presented a webinar series entitled “The Future-Proof Translator” in December 2015 through eCPD Webinars, a provider of continuing professional development courses for translators and interpreters. I shared change management ideas and coaching principles that are widely used in business today, because I felt they could help translators adapt to change.
In September 2016, my article entitled “Translation in Transition” appeared in The Chronicle, the official publication of the American Translators Association. It highlighted some of the points I discussed during my talks, and I was very pleased with the growing interest shown by translators around the world.
The article published in The Economist inspired me to share these ideas with an even wider audience by giving access to a webinar I recorded in May 2017 with Jenae Spry of Success by RX. This one-hour recording combines the talks I gave in Norway and in Prague, and is a summary of the Future-Proof Translator course I taught in 2015. It explores change in the translation industry from three different angles: the technological side of change (what is changing), the human side of change (how we process change) and the business side of change (the timing of change).
To view this recording, simply click on the Play button below. Alternatively, feel free to continue to read my blog for posts about change management, time management, business and performance coaching, etc. I hope you find it useful.
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Photo by David Marcu