There is always the first time for everything. It’s true in translation too.
When I first entered this translation industry on a freelance basis, I have this fear of failing to succeed, let alone survive. However, gaining information and knowledge from reliable sources and acquiring thorough, more than adequate understanding of translation business intricacies have greatly helped me survive and thrive in this growing business.
With the unstoppable incoming wave of novice translators, more seasoned translators must creatively and professionally find ways to stay in high demand and at a high or, at least, standard tariff while consistently maintaining high quality.
Novice translators increasingly tend to bid and accept low tariff in order to get their first jobs. This might be acceptable in their first few years of working as freelance translators. However, they must not be carried away too long with the consistently low tariff throughout their career. Once they reach a more steady level, they should also increase their tariff to a more decent one. Low tariff almost all the time relates to low quality.
It is indeed true that there is always an editor as part of quality control process. Nevertheless, a novice translator must not blindly rely on their editor and submit poor quality translation. Agencies must not practice similar reliance. In any circumstances, any translators must submit their high quality translations: no grammatical mistakes, no spelling errors, no referential errors, and no major errors.
Yes, translators are indeed humans who are prone to make mistakes. Hence, second and third eyes, the so-called editors or proofreaders or reviewers, are no doubt needed to ensure faultless translations. An editor must avoid making preferential edits. Instead, when the translation is close to flawless, they should make encouraging comments. A widespread opinion among editors is they fear of being falsely assumed not to work when they do not make any revisions to a translation. Instead, editors must bear in mind that when they do make some edits to such flawlessness, the edits must aim to increase the translation’s readability, rather than trying hard to make up nonexistent mistakes.
With the correct, shared understanding of the flow of translation work and the functions of each role, either as a translator, editor, or agency, translation industry will gain an increasing reputation in the eyes of other industries and may eventually take the same position as other more established industries. When translation business actors respect each other, we are paving the way to a more established, reputable translation business.