On October 16, an open online panel was held as a follow-up on the roundtable panel of the TFR (Translation Forum Russia) 2020. The event focused on the importance and the opportunities for collaboration between Russian suppliers of language services. The agenda included, among other items, possible synergy scenarios and common problem spots, collaborative development of professional standards as an attempt to achieve a rapprochement of interests, diversification of the production landscape, and professional interests within the sector.
The featured speakers were all representatives of the translation industry: heads of translation companies, leaders of regional associations, the self-employed, and freelance translators.
In her opening address, founder of the Business Agency of the Translators’ Association Elena Kislova noted that the current context demands that the members of the translation industry join their efforts in a most constructive and efficient manner; that is, if they wish to successfully overcome the current challenges, a well-considered mobilization of efforts on the part of the entire translator community is essential.
Founder and director of T-Service, TFR speaker and panel moderator Svetlana Svetova emphasized the importance of organizing a series of discussions between various representatives of the translator community seeking to exchange ideas and professional viewpoints on the current issues affecting the market of translation services.
“In the eyes of the authorities, the translation industry is something of a single entity. And at that, the IT industry, for example, is in itself quite vociferous and distinguished. What the suppliers of translation services should strive to do is to enhance the prestige of this profession”, – Svetlana Svetova believes.
Here the moderator referred to the European practice as an example where Internet resources are created for the use by professional communities to serve as a platform accumulating common knowledge. Similar experience could be most beneficial for Russian translator unions and associations.
The panellists highlighted a number of issues plaguing the translation industry. Among them is the flourishing bootleg market of translation services, low-skilled freelance translators with little interest in professional growth, a lack of professional standards that would be institutionally established.
By the end of the discussion the speakers had agreed that the synergy among providers of translation services in Russia can be found, yet is highly localized, and it would be most advisable to do the following in this regard:
– promote cooperation under specific projects;
– develop a mentorship system;
– facilitate the development of a skill certification system for freelance translators;
– assume the responsibility for the translation at every stage (on behalf of the client and the entire chain of contractors).
A representative of TechInput was among the panellists. TechInput is well aware of the protracted crisis in the industry caused by the low service prices and unfair market relations. The company firmly believes that the solidarity and coordinated actions on behalf of the Russian translation industry members will facilitate the emerging of a transparent market of language services. And that would include a tough crackdown on price dumping, stipulation by the market participants of the bottom limit of a fair market value of translation services, the quality control, establishing an educative platform for both clients and contractors for a prompt and comprehensive immersion into the intricacies of the translation industry.