Getting back to basics in a tech-driven industry

Roman Zelenka

Roman Zelenka

23. 10. 2017

ZELENKA Events: Bringing our VIP clients, translators and well-known industry experts together to share experiences and make the translation process smoother for everyone.

This year we went “back to basics” with 70 industry experts, colleagues, vendors, and VIP clients from some of the world's top brands (Google, Lenovo, Adidas, Continental...). This meant dividing into 5 groups, each focused on exploring the human-to-human approach in a specific aspect of the language industry. And what did we find?

 

"By going back to basics, a discussion about the past turned into innovative ideas for the future." - Roman Zelenka

Have a look at what our first expert group, focused on industry IT solutions, came up with:

Staying out in front of an ever-changing industry

In this industry, sensibly investing your resources into future technologies, processes and education can pay dividends in the future. For this, CEO’s typically rely on their IT departments for insights as to where to invest. There are challenges, just like in every business, but here are some ideas our group of IT professionals came up with to tackle some problems facing our industry today, both now and looking ahead:

  • Machine translation (MT) is an inevitability in our industry. Prepare for it by raising, educating and training a new generation of post-editors straight out of school.
  • Invest in checking the quality of the source text, which can be used for training MT software, as well as in training PMs to decipher these texts.
  • Training, instructing and convincing translators of the benefits of embracing MT and securing their jobs alongside it.
  • The human value should lie in the communication between the translator and client because of the complexity involved in bringing the human value into MT.

Traditionally, the best investment is software that makes the correspondence between translators and clients easier. That will change in the near future as MT takes on a more prominent role in the translation process. The job then will be to inform the client of its benefits—not just its speed and economy, but its confidentiality, as well.

When human-to-human meets sci-fi

When tasked with brainstorming a super-funded miracle cure to the translation industry’s most pressing IT issues, the group presented two ideas that emerged from the discussion:

  1. We need a new tool that would bring individual CAT tools together! Right now none of them are compatible. Allocate funds to hire lawyers and IT experts to come up with a central system that would easily integrate other tools to enable sharing of content and translation memory (TM) as well as other interfaces between individual CAT tools, making it more compatible and interconnected.
  2. Find a way to bring a shared economy to the translation industry. This could be done by setting up a shared marketplace where clients, translators, and reviewers could all be connected. An all-in-one automated process; calculated fees based on supply and demand, not fixed rates and an automated payment guarantee from the client to the translator.

Recent years have seen a lot of skepticism in the discussion of technology (particularly MT) vs the human element. The reality, however, is that there will always be a need for those personal discussions with clients.

Future development of MT will only serve to free up project managers from daily, mundane activities, letting them instead concentrate on providing individual services to vendors and clients. An entire system built to include immediate feedback from the client to the translator would give the PM more time to focus on ways to improve services based on that feedback.

 

Don’t miss the other four articles packed with knowledge from language all-stars on how to improve your business! -> http://www.zelenka-translations.com/news/complete-series-of-straight-to-the-point-zelenka-event-2017-articles

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