“Every silver lining has a cloud.” – Mary Kay Ash
Being clever with words is, in my opinion, part of the job description when searching for a quality translator. Furthermore, I have to believe that considering present working conditions (underpaid with unachievable deadlines), the only reason anybody would want to get into this line of work is because they seriously believe they are professionals dedicated to producing translations of the highest caliber.
This as you may be aware is a subject close to my heart and my associates and I have been actively pursuing support of like-minded professionals to achieve a common platform of conditions for all.
Imagine then if you would at how astounded I was to read that professional linguists are weak, act as if they are uneducated, live on the streets and beg for their life! I beg your pardon? And if that is not bad enough – wait for it – also treated like peasants of the 19th century workers during the era of the Industrial Revolution! [sic]! The article went on to say that translators are “sweatshop workers” living in developed countries such as Spain, France, Italy and the US!
Hold on a minute, why are people getting away with rubbishing a skill that is needed by almost every country trying to get international business and recognition? Why? Because we are not “shouting out loud”, “banging on” about our rights and allowing small minded people to make rash statements about something they know nothing about!
Which small minded person was it that felt qualified enough to make such rash and scathing remarks? Well, of course the undisclosed person was an “employer of freelance translators” who also went on to say that they have the ultimate ethical obligation to treat their people well!
At this point I would like to refer back to my opening line “being clever with words” – Quite honestly, as far as I am concerned, there was nothing clever in this article other than this “person” used it to make an attack on translators in order to advertise their very own cloud-based translation tool. A poor ploy indeed, ensuring translators stay poor & insulted whilst he promotes his own little “tool”. Another little thought – If the “cloud” was used to translate this, take it back to the workbench.
Why am I writing this – am I in my own sick way promoting his article? The answer honestly – NO WAY – Once again I am pointing out that in keeping silent and putting up with an unregulated industry, we deserve no better! If enough people voice their dissatisfaction, put a name to their voice and make an assertive effort to gain support we can do something to halt the hacking & distributing of partial texts to translators in different corners of the world, the inability to demand rates that reflect hard-worked for experience, and most of all stopping these “employers” from making baseless decisions on whether the work is eligible for payment or not!
Watch out if the crowd doesn’t get you the cloud will!