Welcome to the Translation Buyers Wing!

Are you a (potential) language services buyer?

Buying language services for your business is like stepping into a whole new and unknown jungle. Regardless of your industry, your products, services and the language of your country: if you seek international business, you will sooner or later need translation/ internationalization services. So, where to start?

Video (in German):
“Übersetzungen: Auswahl der Dienstleister – Arbeitsabläufe – Vorbereitung – Überwachung – Qualitätskontrolle” > click here

Buying language services

What type of service(s) do you need? How to find and select a reliable and qualified provider? Where can you find suitable service providers (freelancers or a translation agency) By which criteria can you check their suitability? What processes are there in the translation profession? What do you need to do in order to prepare a translation project and to monitor its correct progress? How can you check quality? What does it cost?

Plus… :

  • Do you know the difference between an interpreter and a translator?
  • Did you know that this is a real, full-time job that requires years of academic training?
  • That there are hundreds of different fields of speciality and that a qualified translator is also a true specialist in their respective field?
  • Do you really think that “speaking another language fluently” makes your assistant/ secretary/ co-worker/ marketing manager/ intern, etc. qualified to translate your company’s marketing material, localize your website or translate your technical documentation?
  • Do you know what localization is? And cultural adaptation?
  • ….

MP900433182This Wing in the Alexandria Library aims at collecting and providing resources, information and training to answer these and more questions, and helping you to navigate the language industry waters, the “biggest industry you’ve never heard of“…

Here you will find webinars, but also videos, e-books, guides, brochures… Stay tuned as resources will be added in time!


“The biggest industry you’ve never heard of”

To give some background, let’s start with some excerpts from an article published on 13/11/2012 in Forbes magazine by Nataly Kelly, Chief Research Officer at the Boston-based research firm Common Sense Advisory and author of Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World (Penguin).

“(…) tens of thousands of people throughout the United States work in jobs similar to hers, overcoming language barriers. The language services industry – which encompasses interpreting, translation, localization, and the accompanying technologies – is worth $33 billion globally, according to the latest market size estimates from Common Sense Advisory.

People tend to think of translators and interpreters as niche professions. However, these workers can be found in every conceivable industry sector. Contrary to popular belief, most interpreters (who work with spoken or signed languages) do not work at the United Nations. Instead, like Callis, they are more typically found in government offices, hospitals, courtrooms, and schools. Likewise, the majority of the world’s translators (who deal with written words) do not translate books.  The largest amount of work in this field comes from the manufacturing sector.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for these two professions will expand by 42% from 2010 to 2020, making it one of the fastest-growing professions in the country. In 2010, there were an estimated 58,400 jobs in translation and interpreting. These jobs are well-paying, with an average national salary of $43,300. Salaried interpreters and translators can earn up to six figures annually, depending on where they live and work. Many of these professionals work as freelancers.(…)

Read more here.