…. we need to look elsewhere!
When first starting this blog it was with the intention to write interesting articles surrounding the wonderful subject of language & all that it encompasses. Three months on from the very first article, is that vision still the same?
I have to say no! Mainly because the initial vision was a very positive one & I soon found out after only a few hours of research that the one subject area that interested me the most, the translation industry, was one of much criticism and negativity. OK there was lots of praise for the big shot companies & the wonderfully ingenious software, but with regards to human contribution I didn’t see a lot out there to make me smile – sad indeed I must say.
I have read lots of articles written mainly by people who actually benefit on the back of the hardworking translators, saying that translators should get off the “peanuts” wagon theory and should actually get on with searching for the positive side of being a freelance translator. After all, you do get to stay at home all day, sat on your backside, earning at least a meager living – come on what is there to complain about?
Is there really this belief out there that this is why translators choose their profession? That they couldn’t find anything better to do, so they decided to take the “easy” option, to stay at home, to string a few words together in the hope that somebody will throw enough scraps their way in order to keep the wolves from the door.
I should say at this point that these opinions don’t really surprise me – take a look at the news for example – if the word “news” were to be defined today what would we come up with – Doom & Gloom perhaps?
What’s going on in the backyards of Europe today should speak volumes. There are people out there, human beings that do not have sufficient resources to live on, that find the only way they can be heard is to go out in mass protest, in order that their message be heard on a much larger scale. Is their message being heard though? Or is the emphasis being put on the violence that comes with anger & desperation?
So going back to the subject of translators & their poor earnings and lack of respect; what can be done to change this situation? How can we address the critics out there who say that all we do is complain when what we should be doing is coming up with a solution to improve not only the living of the translator, but also the quality of translation itself? It’s a tough one when we are constantly told that MT is the way of the future – out with the human & in with the machine!
This is where we decided to step up to the mark in order to fight the machine in a very human way – no not through violence, but through giving! Through showcasing the great job that is & can be done by translators whilst also highlighting & supporting global causes.
A lot of thought & hard work has already been put into our project “The Great Translation Chain” but the hard work is far from over! In fact it has only just, in real terms, started.
The support that we have received so far is fantastic, yes believe it or not giving does still exist! At a time when translation work is the constant topic of criticism & when translators themselves know they do not earn what they are worth, they are still ready to offer their invaluable translation services in order to help communicate important & vital messages.
We should not be criticized, we should be praised – if these messages were left to the likes of GT to be communicated we would need to build yet another machine to decipher its strange & encoded message.
Support translators for without them the world would grind to an ill-informed stop!