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Vova

“Translation business Argentina-style”

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In the wake of our meetup in Buenos Aires, I wanted to share an interview with @Cecilia Maldonado from our blog.

The full article is here, and here are some snippets.

On education:

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The level of education in Argentina is very good but lacks a connection to the real world. Therefore, when translators graduate they are not ready for the reality they’ll face.

On the industry:

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The translation industry in Argentina is pretty new and therefore there is a lot of work to be done, such as focusing on fixing the disconnection between academia and the marketplace. 

 

On acceptance:

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Companies in Argentina (well, people in general) don’t consider professional translation as key element of their businesses or supply chain. It has been difficult to educate clients, change their mindset.

 

On customer relations:

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Ivan: What is your approach towards customers?

Cecilia: Loyalty. When I start a business relationship with a customer, I like it to be about loyalty. If they have an urgent project, or a complicated one, we will move mountains to help them look good in front of their clients, and I expect the same sort of loyalty the other way around. 

 

On quality:

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Everything is more transactional these days. Quality is about what the client thinks quality means, and nothing else. You won’t find that many translators questioning what the client thinks is best, even though they may not agree.

 

What do you guys think?

@Virginia Monti, @mistermaxis, @Jimena Ysaia, @Ines J. Rotaeche, and everyone from the Silver Country and beyond :) 

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3 hours ago, Vova said:

The level of education in Argentina is very good but lacks a connection to the real world. Therefore, when translators graduate they are not ready for the reality they’ll face.

This is so true. When I was a student we only learned about the nuts and bolts of translation, but nothing with relation to CAT tools, workflows, agencies, project management, the industry translation needs, etc. I believe this is changing now. In any case, if including this in the curricula is not possible, having short in-company internships could bridge the gap.

 

3 hours ago, Vova said:

The translation industry in Argentina is pretty new and therefore there is a lot of work to be done, such as focusing on fixing the disconnection between academia and the marketplace. 

I agree. Again, internships could help bring academia and marketplace closer.

 

3 hours ago, Vova said:

Companies in Argentina (well, people in general) don’t consider professional translation as key element of their businesses or supply chain. It has been difficult to educate clients, change their mindset.

In my opinion, this might be in part due to the fact that translation has not yet been assimilated in the collective unconscious as a profession. On the contrary, translation is considered a task that can be done as a favor by your cousin Pepe (cousin Pepe might do a great job, but this is not always the case).

The consequence is, translation requests are done in an informal fashion. Companies/people have a hard time accepting that when translating, the whole process requires, at least, a minimum formality (from quotation to execution and delivery) and a logical time, among many others. 

 

3 hours ago, Vova said:

Everything is more transactional these days. Quality is about what the client thinks quality means, and nothing else. You won’t find that many translators questioning what the client thinks is best, even though they may not agree.

This relates to the previous point. If the client thinks cousin Pepe will be fine for the task, or that automated translation will do, then a translator's and that client's perception of what quality means is sure to differ widely.

Likewise, if the client submits a document for translation that is poorly written in the source language, it might be an indication that quality is not a top priority for them. 

What should a translator do in this case? Well, this is very personal. One can point out the things that can be improved, not only with reference to the source document itself, but also to the variables implied in the translation process that can lead to the best result possible.

Or not. :)

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