Regarding “The End of the World for Translation as We Knew It”

Rob Vandenberg wrote an article on Wired, all about his predictions for the translation market in 2013 and about how if you don’t think about “Big Data and the cloud,” you’re screwed.

Look, I understand where he’s coming from. There are so many time- and money-saving tips and tricks and techniques that businesses and regular ol’ people can use to make translation easier. There’s the CAT tools. The globalization analytics. Online management systems (I think the acronym is WEM, for web experience management). Social media and crowdsourcing. Some of these things are good, some are, well, not so good, both for business and for the translators themselves.

There is a place for all of this. Projects with high repetition and consistency issues blossom with CAT tools. International companies can hit unprecedented numbers of markets with globalization analytics. All of this is great, and business is booming, so they say.

Yet it takes the focus off of the artistry of translation and shines the light squarely on commerce, efficiency, and money. Again, that’s fine, especially in the financial world, or the legal world, or the pharmaceutical world. But.

BUT.

That is not what I love about translation.

And that is why I will endeavor to translate literature and other creative types of writing for as long as my brain keeps humming along.

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