On Wednesday, the 23rd of June, our Working Lunch focussed on relationships. More specifically, the relationship between freelance translators and interpreters and translation agencies. The topic was suggested by NWTN member Hilary Wilson, who is carrying out research on this topic for her MA in Translation.
Hilary helped focus our session on a few central topics –
- Who holds most of the power in relationships such as these – agency or freelancer? Has this changed in recent years?
- Has the use of CAT tools impacted the relationship?
- How have online portals affected the way agencies and freelancers interact?
- Can we make any assumptions about how the relationship between the two parties will change when we look to the future?
In general, the consensus was that yes, indeed, our relationships have changed over the years. There are many knock on effects that we can see already, such as lack of personal interaction, improved turnaround time when selecting a translator, price pressure, and focus on price over expertise. It is, of course, impossible to be sure of the long term impact of this shift. To that end, as part of a paper for her Masters in Translation, Hilary Wilson will delve deeper into this topic.
In order to further her research, Hilary has created two questionnaires for professionals in the language industry to complete and have their say. Links to these have been provided below and if you’d like to get involved, the deadline for completion of the questionnaire is the 4th of July, so you’d better get your skates on!
- For freelance translators and interpreters who work (or have worked) with agencies – click here.
- For agencies and their employees, or freelancers who sometimes act as an agency, or work for a sole agency – click here.
Many thanks to all who get involved and in particular, to Hilary Wilson for furthering research in the language industry.