Translators’ Aunt is in Agony!

I started my day in the usual way – something to wake me up, followed by something to combat the stress, followed by OK let’s see what the day brings.

Browsing the Net looking for signs that there are other people in the language industry that are being forced into believing they have no choice other than to put up with earning a meager sum for a hard days graft, I came to many a conclusion but none of them conclusive!

Apparently Machine Translation is here to stay – haven’t we learnt anything from the massive suppression of “human positions” in order to make way for machines? Some humble bods out there are from the “old school” what are they supposed to do with their practiced skills? Reskill, reskill and reskill again I suppose.

From Machine Translation to Crowdsourcing – is this a new wave in sport?  Oh no that would be crowd surfing – something that the “old schoolies” could relate to. Crowd surfing across a mosh-pit almost has more appeal than losing your job to an undefined large group of people! …

Would you call somebody doing everything they could to get a precious promotion, in order to give his family a better quality of life, greedy? No, surely you would encourage him. Would you fight on the side of somebody working an 80 hour week for below the minimum wage? Yes, I think you would……

So why not for us poor translators? Who’s going to fight for us?

So I end with this question – Why when there are more and more freelancers out there, mainly due to there being fewer salaried jobs, are they being expected to work for next to nothing or else working their butts off to pull off a reasonable income?

I am a language consultant, translator and proofreader – I am a human-being incapable of matching the work rate of an unpaid crowd. I am not about to be taken to an undisclosed place to be implanted with an unnamed chip that will give me super-human talents to match those of a machine – does this mean I am ready for the scrap-heap?


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Filed under languages, Proofreading, Translations, Translators

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