The World in Crisis And the Language Industry? Le monde en crise et les industries de la langue? Die Welt in der Krise - und die Sprachenindustrie?

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1 International Conference The World in Crisis And the Language Industry? Geneva, 13 & 14 November, 2009 Conférence internationale Le monde en crise et les industries de la langue? Genève, 13 et 14 novembre 2009 Internationale Konferenz Die Welt in der Krise - und die Sprachenindustrie? Genf, November 2009

2 International Association Language and Business International Vereinigung Sprache und Wirtschaft Association internationale Langues et Économie ASTTI IALB/IVSW/AILE, 2010 Association suisse de traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes Schweizerischer Übersetzer-, Terminologen- und Dolmetscherverbands Associazione Svizzera dei Traduttori, Terminologi e Interpreti Compiled and edited by JM Vande Walle Editions Tradulex, Genève PDF version distributed on CD ASTTI - IALB 1

3 The World in Crisis And the Language Industry? Geneva, 13 & 14 November, 2009 Proceedings Le monde en crise et les industries de la langue? Genève, 13 et 14 novembre 2009 Actes Die Welt in der Krise - und die Sprachenindustrie? Genf, November 2009 Akten ASTTI - IALB 2

4 Committee Prof. dr. Jean Klein, President IALB Nicole Carnal, President ASTTI Dr. Catherine Greensmith João Esteves-Ferreira Manfred Schmitz Catherine Gachies Jean-Marie Vande Walle ASTTI - IALB 3

5 Contents Sommaire Inhalt Deborah Fry 1 Crisis, What Crisis? Industry, What Industry? Nancy A. Locke 23 Translation: From Art to Industry Kristiina Abdallah 32 The Language Industry in Crisis? Translators Agency in Production Networks Luigi Muzii 41 Community, collaborative, social. Will the language industry survive crowdsourcing? Manfred Schmitz 52 Normung für Übersetzungsdienstleister: Qualität ist schon längst messbar David J. Kosh 65 Navigating the Economic Downturn Áurea Fernández Rodríguez - Iolanda Galanes Santos 93 La traduction de textes économiques et financiers : les métaphores et la dernière crise mondiale Marie-Evelyne Le Poder 110 Le langage de la crise à l étude Viviane Grisez 122 Crise économique, crise linguistique: la petite histoire belge Sofia Moreno de Cayeux 131 How language professionals can cope with the new situation : From the Standpoint of a Freelancer Siôn Aled Owen & Eleri Llewelyn Morris 138 Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Languages Teaching in a Time of Recession ASTTI - IALB 4

6 Ralf Lemster 153 Internationale Netzwerke gemeinsam den Herausforderungen begegnen Wie Sprachdienstleister aktiv Nutzen aus der Globalisierung ziehen können Anne van Wylick 168 Freelance Translators and Interpreters : An Integral Part of the IMF s Language Services Team Anne Aboh-Dauvergne 189 La terminologie comme une piste de réflexion linguistique pour répondre à la crise? Dagmar Dichtl 201 Gefragt in der Krise: Der ÖNB-Sprachendienst Herausforderungen und Kooperationen Helen J. L. Campbell 207 How International Organisations and Universities cooperate in training ventures an example: Universities Contact Group of the IAMLADP Working Group on Training Anne Rosnoblet 209 Le traducteur économique et la crise : situation et perspectives ASTTI - IALB 5

7 Crisis, What Crisis? Industry, What Industry? Deborah Fry Fry & Bonthrone Partnerschaft Abstract The financial crisis of the past two years has impacted the top and bottom lines of many language service providers, from individual freelances to global corporations. Nevertheless, the current recession does not in itself represent a new quality, even though it is undoubtedly a catalyst for further change. More interesting - and more profound in their implications - are the underlying business and technology trends that continue to dominate what can now clearly be called the language industry. In the past twenty years, there has been an unprecedented change in the way we work. Speed and integration, differentiation/specialization and sophistication have increased dramatically, as has the size of some of the players. In the aggregate, these processes are set to continue, thanks to ongoing globalization, the unfolding digital revolution, and far-reaching structural and content-driven changes in our own and our clients' sectors. This presentation positions language services providers in this complex environment and examines key factors driving the development of the language industry and its submarkets. Leading on from this, it identifies and analyzes critical success factors for language service providers in a world in which multilinguality - of whatever level of complexity - can increasingly be seen as a component of other, often highly standardized processes. Goals of this Presentation My goal today is to promote thought and debate. In the past few months, both I and my partner and husband Robin Bonthrone have talked with many other colleagues. These people are in various functions, subsegments of the market and locations around the world. What we all have in common is a widespread feeling that translation is about to change radically. This presentation attempts to examine why this should be, with a focus on the broader trends that are driving developments. I would like to stress at the outset that I am neither an economist nor a banker, nor am I a tools specialist. I lay absolutely no claim to infallibility in these areas. Equally, my views are subjective, anecdotal and impressionistic rather than the result ASTTI - IALB 1

8 of rigorous academic research. Nevertheless, they represent a systematic attempt to make deeper sense of the signals we are now receiving, and I look forward to hearing your take on them. The situation we are now facing is a new one. Riding the globalisation wave for the past fifteen years or so has been an exciting and dynamic experience, but a linear one. Visibility has been clear, growth more or less continuous, and the human-centric process of translation unchanged despite certain technological advances. In my opinion, this model is now under threat. In the longer term, economic dynamics, technological innovation and of course wider environmental and social issues will profoundly change the way in which we do business. Theses (Slide 1) Before I go any further, let me set out my main theses. The first point to be made is that we are all still standing. This may sound obvious, but it was not a given. Last autumn, Armageddon was averted with about 48 hours to spare. What is more, many eminent economists are cautioning that we are still not out of the woods, having built up massive debt with no clear way of paying for it. Nevertheless, for most of the translation professionals I have spoken to, things could have been worse. Despite this, I maintain that a new paradigm is emerging for translation: that of an industry, rather than a profession. Of course, industries are not necessarily bad things. They produce the cheap, generally reliable goods on which all our lives are based. And, at least in theory, large companies may ASTTI - IALB 2

9 offer advantages such as career paths, fringe benefits and pensions that small, undercapitalised ones may not. However, industries are definitely characterised by highvolume, largely automated throughput and largely interchangeable, commoditised output. One consequence of this is that the role of humans, and particularly of human translators, is being redefined. Translators already need to do less and less of the work associated with standard jobs, and this process will continue. Equally, the new translation and project management systems, coupled with client-side developments, will change the role and position of project managers in the next few years. And the larger the client and supply-side companies concerned, the more far-reaching and rapid this process is likely to be. The implications for translation are significant. In certain defined environments, machines can already offer time and cost benefits that humans (including crowdsourced ones) cannot. Moreover, even on the quality front the high ground where human translators regularly stake their colours the gap between a good system and a poor translator is closing. We therefore need to think seriously about what makes us unique in this brave new world. There is, in my opinion, no one single answer, and flexibility in this changing environment is important. But passivity let alone denial is not an option. The Financial Crisis Credit superbubble emerges, fuelled by securitisation, derivatives, ratings, low interest rates Severe lack of transparency Market turns, first bankruptcies, widespread uncertainty Interbank market stalls, central banks pump liquidity into the system Fully-fledged panic breaks out, major bank failures Governments bail out/nationalise systemically relevant institutions Global financial crisis, global recession Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 ASTTI - IALB 3

10 The Financial Crisis (Slide 2) So, what actually happened? In an extremely small nutshell, 1 cheap debt over several years fuelled a superbubble in a number of different areas, including subprime mortgages and credit card debt. This process was made possible, among other things, by what is known as securitisation. Securitisation pools non-tradable assets and repackages the pools as securities, which are backed by the cash flows from the underlying assets. Once created, the securities (enhanced by ratings) can be sold on to investors, who share in the underlying profit or loss. Since the debt and hence the risk is no longer on their books, banks are free to lend all over again to other people, while also earning fees for performing the securitisation itself. Investors benefit by gaining exposure to asset classes that they cannot easily invest in directly. And, at least in theory, the securities high credit ratings satisfy investment criteria while offering a superior yield. This process quickly became a self-perpetuating machine. Assets of dubious provenance were vacuumed up, repackaged and sold on to investors. In addition, a number of other types of derivatives became established in other areas. What all these instruments have in common is that they are highly complex financial products, and that they were black boxes to many investors. In some cases, they were also not recorded on banks books but issued and managed via off-balance sheet special purpose vehicles. Then, in , US interest rates rose by over 4%, subprime teaser mortgage periods ran out and defaults on housing loans started ballooning. 2 In 2007, the first specialist US mortgage lender filed for insolvency, and banks and hedge funds were hit by the debt it had sold on. As the crisis spread, banks ceased doing business with each other, as there was a lack of transparency as to who was holding what securities and what these were worth. The interbank market where banks lend to each other dried up. Institutions refinancing themselves via this route rather than via more long-term funding found themselves in trouble. 1 For those wishing to delve further into this issue, the best single account of the origins of the financial crisis that I have read is: Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett, 2009, Little, Brown, ISBN: The information in this paragraph is taken from: Timeline: Credit Crunch to Downturn, available at ASTTI - IALB 4

11 At the same time, insurance companies such as AIG and monolines (specialist bond insurers) found that securitisation had not diversified risk as they had thought, but had in fact aggregated it with them, since they insured the securities against default. They, and a number of banks, had to be rescued or went under, and the shock and uncertainty that this caused sent the markets into free fall. The central banks stepped in, shoring up the money markets and with the help of governments around the globe avoiding meltdown.nevertheless, the crisis spread from Wall Street to Main Street and around the world. The size of the rescue operation mounted by the national governments is spectacular. To quote the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King 3 : The sheer scale of support to the banking sector is breathtaking. In the UK, in the form of direct or guaranteed loans and equity investment, it is not far short of a trillion (that is, one thousand billion) pounds, close to two-thirds of the annual output of the entire economy. To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And that was just one country, and just one sector. Even despite this level of support, losses have been and will continue to be horrendous. The IMF estimates that global write-downs by banks will amount to US$2.8 trillion between 2007 and 2010, of which $1.5 trillion still have to be charged. And although forecasts have improved in the course of the year, the IMF is still predicting that global output in the real economy will fall by 1.1 percent in The stimulus measures taken will cause G20 debt to hit an average of 118% of GDP in We and I mean all of us will be paying for all of this for a long time to come. In other words, the next decade or so will be dominated by economic and financial rebuilding and recovery, plus other minor issues such as global warming, resource shortages, and demographic change. Even in the bestcase scenario, we are entering a much more sober and constrained age. This will inevitably take its toll on our business environment. 3 The full speech is available at: Speech by Mervyn King, Governor 20 October In: IMF World Economic Outlook 2009, available at: 5 Quoted in: Ten years of cuts and tax rises lies ahead, IMF says, Financial Times, 4 November 2009 ASTTI - IALB 5

12 The Effect on Translation General growth trend unbroken, fuelled by ongoing globalisation Pinpricks rather than sledgehammer blows Operational management is more difficult Price pressure (but not just for this reason) Longer-term developments are much more important Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 The Effect on Translation (Slide 3) Let me now turn to translation. The first thing that can be said is that, at the high end of the industry, the healthy levels of business seen over the past decade do not generally seem to have gone into reverse. As one colleague said, the effect has been more one of pinpricks than sledgehammer blows. Another pointed out that the collapse of Communism twenty years ago had much more of an effect on peoples lives. These impressions would seem to be borne out by research firm Common Sense Advisory. In his speech to the BDÜ conference in Berlin in September, its president Don De Palma indicated that initial soundings for 2009 suggested a slight slowdown for the crisis period but nothing dramatic. 6 That having been said there are, of course, variations within this general picture. 6 Oral aside by Don De Palma in his speech to the BDÜ conference in September 2009: The role of language and translation services in a global economy. In Übersetzen in die Zukunft: Herausforderungen der Globalisierung für Dolmetscher und Übersetzer: Tagungsband der Internationalen Fachkonferenz des Bundesverbandes der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.v. (BDÜ): Berlin, September Eds: Wolfram Baur et al. Berlin: BDÜ, 2009, ISBN: ASTTI - IALB 6

13 The first is due to the quality of management. As Warren Buffet famously said: You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out. 7 Risk management, long-term business relationships, solid funding and client diversification suddenly took on a new urgency for translators in the course of the crisis. Of course, sheer luck or the lack of it also played a role. Unsurprisingly, pain also tended to be greater in those areas most affected by the crisis, although some saw a short-term increase, due to all the words being written on the subject. What is more, translation in sectors such as the extractive industries has been seeing buoyant growth regardless of the turbulence on the financial markets. Additionally, for business as normal projects, operational management became more difficult. Clients in large organisations were often overworked, making interaction and project planning more difficult. Some projects suffered additional rewrites, while for others recycling of existing texts reduced the load. Another common issue was more pronounced peaks and valleys in demand and a growing number of on-off-on projects. This increased the management effort, often without any opportunity to charge clients for the trouble. Now that the acute phase of the financial crisis is subsiding, it seems that cost sensitivity is increasing, both in terms of unit prices and with respect to total budgets. This will continue as corporate cost-cutting programmes, which in some cases runs into the billions, gather steam and as the supplyside trends we shall look at in a moment take effect. While buoyant demand accompanied by simultaneous cost pressure may seem like a paradox, it is in fact typical of many expanding sectors and heralds a fundamental structural shift. 7 Available at: ASTTI - IALB 7

14 Is Translation an Industry? Large headcount and capital? Manufacturing paradigm? Similar technological infrastructure of production? Technically substitutable goods? Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 Is Translation an Industry? (Slide 4) This brings me to the second part of my presentation. Is translation an industry, and if so, what does this actually mean? A couple of years ago I was talking to a client at a major bank and mentioned the term translation industry. His reaction was one of genuine surprise. He had not thought that there was such a thing unless prefixed by the word cottage. Equally, when I worked for LISA, the Localisation Industry Standards Association, in the 1990s a venture capitalist told me that he and his peers were not interested in translation, as the human factor meant that it was nonscalable. In other words, at that point translation for him was not an industrialised, automated process. Nevertheless, a quick linguistic test suggests that we may be onto something. Can you talk about the accounting industry? No. The legal industry definitely not! But what about the translation industry? Does the phrase sound right? I think so, and so does Google. Typing in the relevant words reveals 147,000 hits for translation industry, but only 28,100 for translation profession 8. However, since the Internet can be used every day to prove that 100,000 lemmings can t be wrong, it is worth taking a deeper look at what an industry actually is. 8 Results as of 8 December 2009, ASTTI - IALB 8

15 According to Webster s Third New International Dictionary 9, an industry is a division of productive or profit-making labour; esp: one that employs a large personnel and capital, esp. in manufacturing. It is also a group of productive or profit-making enterprises or organisations that have a similar technological structure of production and that produce or supply technically substitutable goods, services, or sources of income. In other words, there are four tests that we can apply to discuss whether translation is in fact, or is becoming, an industry: Does it have a large headcount (to someone from the United Kingdom, the phrase a personnel sounds horrible) and capital? Does it produce according to a manufacturing paradigm? Do its enterprises have a similar technological infrastructure of production? And are its products technically substitutable? Large Headcount and Capital? Yes! Large companies with triple-digit million revenues Thousands of smaller companies Hundreds of thousands of freelance translators US$ 14.25bn revenues for translation in 2008 (CSA) But... Still minnows compared with other industries Consolidation has some way to go Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone Merriam-Webster, 1993, ISBN: ASTTI - IALB 9

16 Does Translation Have a Large Headcount and Capital? (Slide 5) As you will know, it is very difficult to obtain reliable data on translation. So when I started asking people recently about the size of the market, I was not really surprised that I did not get any precise figures. Everyone is agreed, however, that the number is pretty large. Of course, the fact that a large number of people are involved in doing something does not make it an industry. Nevertheless, a look at the corporate end of translation reveals that a group of productive or profitmaking enterprises does now in fact exist. According to research firm Common Sense Advisory, there are now six companies with revenues in excess of US$200m p.a., and seven with revenues in excess of US$ m p.a. 10 What is more, a generation ago almost all translation companies were small entities financed from cash flow, but the top tier today shows a much more sophisticated mix of funding sources, including listed enterprises and private equity-backed organisations. Equally, Common Sense Advisory says that language services as a whole have also grown rapidly to the point where revenues are in the doubledigit billions worldwide. Of course, we should not get carried away here after all, the figure of US$14.25bn 11 is less than one quarter of what US insurer AIG lost in the fourth quarter of And our sector is still dwarfed by the telecommunications industry, for example, where annual revenues are forecast to grow from under $1.7 trillion in 2008 to over $2.7 trillion in Similarly, despite this new tier of large players, translation is still fragmented. According to Common Sense Advisory, the 30 largest players only account for somewhat more than 26% of the market. 14 This goes against the Rule of Three outlined by management consultants Jagdish Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia, whereby the top three full-line companies in an industry hold between 70 and 90 percent of the market. 15 So there is still some way to go on the consolidation front. Moreover, the many 10 In: De Palma, Donald A., op. cit. 11 In: De Palma, Donald A., op. cit. 12 US takes another crack at AIG rescue. Wracked by turmoil in the credit markets, the insurance giant posts $62 billion quarterly loss. Quoted in: 13 Available at: 14 In: De Palma, Donald A. op. cit. 15 Quoted in Caution: Rough Road Ahead, available at: 1.html ASTTI - IALB 10

17 variables involved in translation mean that there are natural limits to the economies of scale that can be produced. Nevertheless, a trend is clearly discernible. Manufacturing Paradigm? Increasingly: Taylorisation of translation process; role differentiation Cost-driven: as volumes rise, series production is the only way to cut (unit) costs Time-driven: market pressures require large capacity Complexity-driven: allows secured production, variations on a theme Intermediation (aggregation/sourcing/management) Translation integrated into other, taylorised workflows Combination of humans and technology Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 Does Translation Comply With a Manufacturing Paradigm? (Slide 6) The second test of an industry is whether production uses a manufacturing paradigm. Webster s Third New International Dictionary 16 defines the verb to manufacture as to produce according to an organised plan and with division of labour. Here, too, this is increasingly the case. The corporate translation process is becoming taylorised, or split into simpler component parts. Even an extremely small company like ours differentiates between the translation, administration, technology, terminology and resources, project management, quality assurance and corporate management functions, and larger companies are much more complex. This organisational approach is necessary to meet client needs and preserve our own sanity. As we all know, translation volumes have increased dramatically over recent years, while turnaround times have been slashed. The need to seriously manage large projects, and hence in many cases large numbers of translators, has grown. 16 op.cit. ASTTI - IALB 11

18 At the same time, clients rightly do not see this as their core business. For them, translation is a means to an end. It is a complex ancillary process that requires a large number of non-core skills, entails a large number of variables and is often time-critical. This is precisely why they want to delegate it. In return, they need to be sure that they will get the right translations in the right place at the right time and at the right price. This leads on a point that is often overlooked. For us as translators, globalisation has meant a ten-year period of buoyant demand. For companies, it has meant rapidly increasing costs and, if things go wrong, a threat to their business goals. This combination of cost and strategic importance necessarily attracts management attention. The pressure to increase efficiency and therefore cut unit costs if not absolute costs is therefore on. And the only way to do this is to adopt an increasingly manufacturing-based approach. These developments explain the emergence of the larger supply-side companies. These act as intermediaries, sourcing, aggregating and managing the translation process. But they often go beyond this, delivering a range of additional services and/or a finished product of which translation is only an embedded and subordinate component. Good examples include film subtitling, the delivery of localised and fully tested software, and the multilingual translation, printing and fulfilment of documents such as IPO prospectuses. Here, too, these flexible and sophisticated workflows depend on organised structures and differentiated functions, both within and across enterprise boundaries. This is light years away from the envelope-changers of a generation ago with their all languages, all subject areas model. These large organisations also make heavy use of technology, enabling the blending of human- and machine-based offerings. Although we have all shifted to a computer-based production and delivery model, they are taking automation further, linking systems and putting the machine at the centre of the workflow. To this extent, they are increasingly offering a service that also looks more like a manufacturing process in the narrower sense of the word. ASTTI - IALB 12

19 Technological Infrastructure? Yes, and rising! Basic infrastructure (IT/Internet, retrieval, security ) Source text management (controlled language, reuse ) Target production (TMs, MT...) Workflow and process management Format/delivery technology (CMSs, DTP...) Issues: Expensive automation is for large organisations Growing gap between proprietary and generic tools When does the competitive advantage become critical? How far down the chain will this stretch? Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 Does Translation Have a Technological Infrastructure? (Slide 7) The issue of automation naturally leads on to the next test whether there is a similar technological infrastructure of production. Here, too the answer is an increasing yes. The dominant infrastructure for translation is now computerised, whatever the size of provider concerned. This applies throughout the entire production chain: to the general infrastructure, to the management of the translation workflow and, increasingly, to the narrower linguistic process itself. The pace of change is incredibly fast. Within my own working life we have gone from much-loathed daisy wheel typewriters, dictating machines and telexes to paperbased faxes and word processors, which were followed by standalone and then networked computers and now the Web. These new resources have been a great help to human translators producing high-quality work. Nevertheless, technology also has a disruptive potential that is becoming increasingly evident. Many conventional tools, such as translation memories, aim at redefining rather than replacing the role of humans in the translation process. These can be categorised as computerassisted human translation. At the highly industrialised end of the market, however, humanassisted machine translation the reverse paradigm is gaining ground. In addition to ASTTI - IALB 13

20 process automation, the old, comfortable idea that machine translation (MT) is for gisting and hacking wood, while humans are a prerequisite for accuracy and style is breaking down. Machines are getting better with the ability to feed them large corpora. Of course, this does not mean in the slightest that they are perfect. It will take a long time, and quite probably cost much more than the one billion dollars currently on offer, before President Obama gets his automatic, highly accurate and real time translation between the major languages of the world Nevertheless, there is a growing feeling that technology is coming to dominate translation and that MT, in defined areas, is about to go mainstream. What is more, in the real world there are also limits to the humans. In the ATA press release American Translators Association Cautions White House on Future Language Policy, Association president Jiri Stejksal replied to the Obama initiative by saying that only an experienced human translator has the skill and cultural awareness to convey every nuance when you absolutely have to get it right In practice, a great deal depends on the word experienced, and on having access to such people. With all due respect to the eminent colleagues with whom I am privileged to work, on a bad day sourcing specialist human translators can remind one of the old Woody Allen joke: The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small. 19 Moreover, in a seamless and highly automated process the distinction between humans and machines is increasingly meaningless anyway. All that clients care about are effective and cost-effective solutions. Talking about the big players, a recent BusinessWeek article stated that: Companies have combined the power of humans and computers to simultaneously double the speed of translation and nearly halve its costs. Where each translator once converted 2,500 words a day at a cost of some 25c per word, they can now offer 5,000 words per day at around 12-15c a word. 20 The article also gave concrete examples showing that MT is alive and well in a large company near you. The reason is obvious: no client in 17 Available at: 18 In: A Strategy for American Innovation: Driving Towards Sustainable Growth and Quality Jobs, available at: Innovation_Whitepaper_FINA L.pdf 19 Quoted (among other places) in: 20 In: White House Challenges Translation Industry to Innovate BusinessWeek, 1 October 2009, available at ASTTI - IALB 14

21 the multiverse is going to turn down a business proposition like that, if companies can indeed deliver on it. This means that conventional translators now have a growing structural problem. Since it costs large amounts of money, heavy automation is the preserve of the big battalions. For around two decades, large technology and translation companies have been pouring big dollars into tools development. The BusinessWeek article suggests that this is paying off. Conversely, progress for the rest of us has been relatively slow. One of the frustrating things over this period has been how little non-proprietary technology has made it into the public domain for the long term. Consequently, the rewards of automation will not be evenly spread. Does this mean we shall reach a tipping point at which the advantages of the new business model blow away the old one? Of course, economies of scale work in reverse to protect niche players. At present, for example, real gains can only be obtained in machine translation with high-volume, homogeneous client environments, but this may not always be the case. Technically Substitutable Goods? Yes! Technological substitution: Reuse (TMs, CMSs) MT Crowdsourcing, etc. Inter-translator substitutability through standards (reproducibility and repeatability) Client/translator and vendor substitutability (improved knowledge of English, supplier triage, FYI MT) Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 Does Translation Offer Technically Substitutable Goods? (Slide 8) This brings me to my last test, technically substitutable goods. For any selfrespecting translator, the knee-jerk answer is clear: I produce high-quality translations and clients come to me because they get a service they can t ASTTI - IALB 15

22 find anywhere else. For any fan of Garrison Keillor, this sounds in the aggregate a bit like Lake Wobegone, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average. 21 In practice, many translations and hence translators are already more substitutable than we would like to think, and this trend will increase in future. Firstly, increased text reusability is already serving to reduce volumes over time. This applies both to translation memories and to source-based technologies such as multilingual content management systems. Secondly, to the extent that MT can indeed replace human translators, these translations are substitutable as well. Of course, technology also expands the overall market, by allowing material that would never otherwise be translated to be made available. Nevertheless, the boundaries are often muddied in practice. Thirdly, the use of technologies such as crowdsourcing, which aggregate translators, also entails a risk of substitutability at the translator level. On the one hand they make large translation projects possible, but on the other they increase the pool of translators and therefore allow their translations to be substituted by those from other suppliers. In addition, there are also at least two sources of human-human substitutability, despite the increasing automation of the translation process. Firstly, translators can be defined as being substitutable. At the logical level, standards with both a small and a large s by their very nature permit and accelerate individual translator substitution by increasing reproducibility and repeatability. These are the characteristics needed for an industrial approach to translation. It is therefore no coincidence that the large translation agencies are so interested in this area. This obviously has implications for pricing models. If translator quality is perceived to be interchangeable, it inevitably becomes less of a driver: price, timing and value-added features become more important. Access to a large number of alternative suppliers always increases client choice and drives prices down over time. Incidentally, this, and the related ability (at least in part) to dictate supplier rates, is probably another reason why large 21 Quoted at: ASTTI - IALB 16

23 translation enterprises can charge such competitive prices. What is more, clients are increasingly triaging their quality requirements, with single or multiple providers offering different levels of defined quality to cater to this. Lastly, it should be borne in mind that other humans can also be substituted for translators. The need for translations is not constant, especially during recessions. Although we are profiting from an age of globalisation, we are also seeing the supremacy of English as a global business lingua franca. For example, many business professionals now receive part of their training in English. This means that non-native clients increasingly understand documents in this language. In consequence, the volume of for your information translations outside the MT area is declining, and their average complexity is increasing. What Does All This Mean? The industrial, automated paradigm will increasingly dominate the industry Heavy IT use/standard workflows mean success A lot of translation is (or will become) a subordinated, commodity business Two legs good, no legs bad no longer works The future of translation is not just with translators More and less qualifications are required Translators, associations and trainers need to see the big picture Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 What Does All This Mean? (Slide 9) So, if we pull all this together, what do we come up with? Firstly, we are looking at an increasingly automated industry. To recap: this means a process that generates economies of scale from high throughput, standardised workflows and increasingly heavy use of information technology. ASTTI - IALB 17

24 What this means is structural change. As more of the process disappears into the machine, the role of humans will adapt. Firstly, translators in the narrower sense of the word will occupy less of the value chain, and therefore have less of a stake and a say in the process. Linked to this, we will see a deskilling in some areas. To give just one example, most people are seeing a rise in what we at F&B call fill-in-the-gaps translation. Moreover, where knowledge and technological barriers are low, commodity status exists or is fast approaching. Conversely, though, job requirements at the high end are likely to be even more complex and require more intellectual input and judgement. In such a situation, the role of associations and trainers becomes increasingly crucial, as forums for debate and facilitators. Much progress has been made in recent years, but there are still issues to be solved. Universities in particular are faced with an almost impossible task. It was absolutely necessary for them to broaden their curricula so as to capture the increasing diversity of the translation chain. However, it has led to an ever-larger gap between university graduates skills and what employers providing translation in the narrower sense of the word need. Especially when coupled with the introduction of B.A. courses, this has become painful for all concerned. Naturally, M.A. courses are designed to provide more of these in-depth skills. Nevertheless, our experience is that, in practice, the chasm is widening. Above and beyond that, the past few years have seen a fragmentation of industry bodies. While perhaps inevitable, this is not beneficial. In addition to a certain tradition of internecine warfare within translation associations, translation has split along sub-segment lines. Localisation became a separate industry in the early 1990s and has since fragmented in its own right. Equally, in both Europe and the United States translation companies have their own organisations. And, last but not least, relations between translators and computer linguists have long been characterised by mutual incomprehension and/or suspicion. This is not helpful. What we need now is a clear view of the bigger translation picture. ASTTI - IALB 18

25 So You Want to Be a Translator? Offer quality: Stylistic specialisation *Real* subject area specialisation Offer related skills: Linguistic (post-editing, terminology) Technological Aggregate, integrate, consolidate Define and manage your space professionally Build a brand Adapt to reality *all the time* Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 So You Want to Be a Translator? (Slide 10) Of course, this also applies at the personal level, too. Increasingly, massmarket translation no longer generates enough for single translators to live off comfortably, and this will be even truer in future. This slide outlines a number of potential solutions to the problem, which are naturally not mutually exclusive. The most crucial thing is, obviously, to have something to sell i.e. something that is not easily substitutable. And first up here is to offer quality. In practice, there are two main axes of quality for translation in the narrower sense of the word: stylistic quality and content quality. The former is becoming an increasingly popular topic at the moment, as highend translators seek to maintain their margins. However, while absolutely agreeing with its necessity, I have my doubts about its viability as a general strategy. Firstly, despite not being easy to achieve in practice, it is the niche that everyone is trying to pile into. The reason is simple: it frequently has the lowest barriers to entry. In principle, good style spans all text types and subject areas, even though registers will, of course, vary. However, this also means that it may be threatened by commoditisation in the longer term. Secondly, as we have seen, clients are sometimes surprisingly ASTTI - IALB 19

26 insensitive to quality, and this trend is set to increase in price-driven market segments. With so many words being produced every day, the question of what quality is needed for what texts is a real and thorny one. Thirdly, for individuals this approach is limited by throughput constraints even with the intelligent use of technology, single human translators simply cannot handle some of the larger jobs on the market. Since many clients demand a single point of contact, splitting up such jobs may not be an option if you want to retain control of the client relationship. The next line of defence is subject area specialisation in the meaningful sense of word. Industrial processes require a certain scale, meaning they focus primarily on mass or semispecialised content. Niche expertise offers a good defence. Equally, understanding the texts (in the sense of understanding what the words are about) is something that machines can t yet do properly. However, true expertise is rare. Of course, a lot of translators offer commercial, technical and legal translation, but this is not what we are talking about. Specialisation goes much further and is not easily reproducible. It is hard to build up and hard to maintain. At the high end, understanding your clients business and subject areas means reproducing knowledge systems in multiple languages that clients themselves spend years to acquire, and that are also changing rapidly. This is a lonely business. Indeed, it has to be so in order to be effective as a strategy. And a further word of warning: even here, the process of commoditisation is surprisingly rapid. Another tack is to provide complementary skills in other areas, be they linguistic or technological. In other words, you are aiming to change your position on the human-machine continuum. This strategy can be interesting, although there is also competition in these areas. In some cases, it may also come from non-translators (such as MT post-editors) and may also be locale-independent. People frequently tend to forget that diversifying away from one s own core business generally means diversifying into someone else s, and that this may conceivably entail more rather than less competition. All these approaches depend on deepening and/or broadening translators offerings. As such, they are open to the justified criticism that they require translators to assume a greater and greater burden. There are a lot of very tired people in this industry, even or possibly especially among the successful ones. Since individuals cannot hope to cover the entire spectrum, increased integration and aggregation, in the form of networks, crowds, or whatever will be needed. Judging by a number of presentations ASTTI - IALB 20

27 at this conference, this idea is alive and well. Alternatively, translators can consider stopping being freelancers and pool their activities, or can join an existing enterprise. Such consolidation is a common feature of maturing industries. Whatever approach is adopted, though, it is important that it is chosen and implemented professionally, and that translators promote themselves. A strong brand image is an important way of convincing clients that you are non-substitutable, and also helps reduce your marketing effort. Above all, though, we must recognise that we shall need to adapt to change on an ongoing basis. The developments I have attempted to set out today are long-term trends that will not materialise overnight. There are also many variables involved in the process. As the Arab proverb says, Anyone who pretends they can foresee the future is lying even when they are right. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we should not try. A Closing Thought Trend is not destiny. The future based on a logical extrapolation of existing trends is not inevitable, and neither is doomsday. René Dubos Deborah Fry, Fry & Bonthrone 2009 A Closing Thought (Slide 11) Allow me to leave you, therefore, with a comforting thought. One of the great advantages of researching this presentation has been that it has taught me about people I had previously never heard of. ASTTI - IALB 21

28 René Dubos is one of them. This French-American microbiologist and environmentalist is credited as being the author of the phrase think globally, act locally. 22 This makes him a particularly appropriate choice for a conference of people involved in globalisation. In the context of our looming and serious environmental problems, Dubos said, Trend is not destiny. The future based on a logical extrapolation of existing trends is not inevitable, and neither is doomsday. 23 I hope for the planet and for translation that we can prove him right. About the author Deborah Fry has been involved in the language business on a professional basis since She is a managing partner of Fry & Bonthrone Partnerschaft, a specialist financial translation company based in Mainz- Kastel, Germany. She has tertiary and professional qualifications in law and translation and has worked as an encyclopaedia compiler, technical writer and press officer, among other things. She also set up and ran the language services department for a major German software manufacturer before cofounding her present company in 1995 with her partner and husband Robin Bonthrone. In the course of this work she developed a keen interest in terminology, serving on a number of industry association boards. She also edited the LISA (Localisation Industry Standards Association) newsletter for several years. In addition to her day job as a company manager, reviser, specialist translator and trainer, she lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as translation quality and style, and developments in the translation profession. Deborah Fry can be contacted at Fry & Bonthrone Partnerschaft Language Consultancy and Services In der Witz Mainz-Kastel Germany 22 See 23 Quoted in ASTTI - IALB 22

29 Translation: From Art to Industry 1 Nancy A. Locke Writer, translator Abstract At the beginning of the 19th century, weavers in the English Midlands militated against new technology. They blamed new-fangled looms for the downward pressure on wages, and decried abuses in the organization of production and the shoddy quality of the final product. United under the banner of the mythic leader Ludd, the militants came to be known as the Luddites. The story of the Luddites figures prominently in the history of the Industrial Revolution. Now, almost exactly two hundred years later, another revolution of breathtaking scope and magnitude, and intimately tied to economic globalization, is underway: the Information Technology (IT) Revolution. Translators, like many knowledge and creative workers, find themselves buffeted by a rapid evolution of their professionals lives engendered by technological innovation in a context of a quickly shifting political and economic landscape. Some translators readily embrace information technology. Others see the evolution of their working lives as inevitable and the nature of the changes immutable. Many, however, fear that new tools may taylorize, automate, commoditize and banalize their work so thoroughly that the creative essence may simply disappear. Like the Luddites, translators worry about producing work inferior in quality, not marketable at home and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. Not surprisingly then, the term luddite has regained currency to describe those who do not embrace new tools or, according to Canadian scholar John Ralston Saul, anyone who wants to work out a non-exclusionary approach to technical progress. The working hypothesis of the proposed paper is that the current crisis is one episode that threatens to accelerate and deepen a more far-reaching economic/political transformation comparable to the Industrial Revolution. The IT Revolution will inevitably and irreversibly alter the professional lives of translators. As such, if translation and translators still form its core, the language industry is, indeed, in crisis, (defined by the Merriam- Webster dictionary as a radical change or a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function ). The paper poses a fundamental question: Are translators destined to go the way of the weavers? 1 This paper distils the concepts and arguments developed in a book-length work in progress. ASTTI - IALB 23

30 By the adoption of one species of frame in particular, one man performed the work of many and the superfluous labourers were thrown out of employment. Yet it is to be observed, that the work thus executed was inferior in quality, not marketable at home and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. 2 In 1811, in his maiden speech to Parliament, the Romantic poet Lord George Gordon Byron took up the cause of weavers whose violent militancy against the adoption of new technology had the English Midlands in an uproar. The weavers blamed new-fangled looms for the downward pressure on wages, decried abuses in the organization of production and the shoddy quality of the final product. United under the banner of the mythic leader Ludd, the militants came to be known as the Luddites. The story of the Luddites figures prominently in the history of the Industrial Revolution. Now, almost exactly two hundred years later, another revolution of breathtaking scope and magnitude is underway: the Information Technology (IT) Revolution. This time, translators, like many knowledge and creative workers, find themselves buffeted by a rapid evolution of their professional lives engendered by technological innovation in the context of a quickly shifting political and economic landscape. Some translators readily embrace information technology. Others see the evolution of their working lives as inevitable and the nature of the changes immutable. Many, however, fear that new tools may taylorize, automate, commoditize and banalize their work so thoroughly that the creative essence may simply disappear. Like the Luddites, translators worry about producing work inferior in quality, not marketable at home and merely hurried over with a view to exportation. Not surprisingly then, the term luddite has regained currency to describe those who do not embrace new tools or, according to Canadian scholar John Ralston Saul, anyone who wants to work out a non-exclusionary approach to technical progress. 3 The working hypothesis of this paper is that the current crisis is one episode that threatens to accelerate and deepen a more far-reaching economic/political transformation comparable to the Industrial Revolution. 2 From Lord Byron s maiden speech to Parliament in 1811 cited in Bailey, Brian, The Luddite Rebellion ( 1998, New York University Press), page Saul, John Ralston, The Collapse of Globalism ( 2005, Towards Equilibrium Inc., Viking Canada), page 94. ASTTI - IALB 24

31 The IT Revolution will inevitably and irreversibly alter the professional lives of translators. As such, if translation and translators still form its core, the language industry is, indeed, in crisis. This paper poses a fundamental question: Are translators destined to go the way of the weavers? Craft Becomes Art Translation, to repeat an old chestnut popular with word nerds, is the second oldest profession in the world. In fact, and at the risk of offending, if by profession we mean exacting payment for an activity that, in other circumstances, might be offered naturally, for centuries translation was no more a profession than the infamous first. If, however, we use a more modern notion of profession, i.e., the practice of an activity that requires formal training or apprenticeship and vetting, and adheres to a set of established recognized processes and best practices, translation is in its infancy. Indeed, initially and for centuries, translation happened quite naturally as needed and was performed by those best suited, but not specifically trained, to undertake the task. What skills suited a translator to the task of translation? Typically, mastery of the subject relevant to the task came in handy as did a firm grasp of two or more languages one being, of course, the mother tongue. Educated bilinguals or polyglots usually fit the bill and they frequently provided translation as a sideline not a fulltime occupation. As for tools, traditionally translators relied on those used by writers. They used dictionaries, grammars, subject-specific references, lexicons and style guides, and, to transcribe their work, stylus and clay, pen and ink, papyrus then paper, manual then machine stenography, typewriters. Later, electricity and audio technology would make recording and transcription tools available. These tools increased efficiency and volume, and no doubt lowered costs. They also had a significant impact on what languages could be translated. What training a translator received came in the form of apprenticeship, informal at first, then more formally within the framework of guilds and association. Indeed, the very fact that translators first sought formal training within guilds suggests that translation, at least initially, shared a stronger kinship with traditional crafts than with the arts or sciences faculties of the universities. ASTTI - IALB 25

32 Translation finally did make the leap, albeit a slow and gradual leap, from a craft to an art when universities began teaching translation-specific curriculum. By the 1970s, universities taught translation as a sort of auxiliary discipline within established academic departments such as modern languages, comparative literature and linguistics. As a result, the study of translation became conflated with the study of literature, i.e., texts used to teach translation tended to be literary despite the fact that the vast majority of texts have always been and will continue to be of a technical nature. As translation curriculum matured, questions of prerequisites, course content and competency evaluation were debated. In addition, academic discussions focused on whether translation studies should be a full-blown undergraduate degree requiring four or five years of study, whether the discipline should continue to be taught as a specialization embedded within more traditional disciplines like comparative literature or modern languages, or whether it should be a light-weight one- or two-year degree that would complement practically any discipline. Today translation studies have gained hard-won respectability as a distinct discipline still firmly rooted in arts faculties. No global consensus about the length or content of translation programs, however, has emerged. The translator s toolbox didn t really evolve much until the advent of the PC and low-cost, high-speed Internet. Except for integrating transcription and recording technology, and despite well-funded and vigorous research projects devoted to developing the elusive translation machine we find translators functioning much as they had for centuries until almost the end of the 20th century. In the 90s, however, as more and more translation companies began adopting CAT tools, these tools became a hot topic in debates about course content. Another topic, again related to market realities, also emerged: the translator s role in production models that integrated translation into increasingly complex, increasingly industrialized processes the most talkedabout being localization. As the world prepared for the new millennium, a globalized scramble commenced to re-think translator curricula as well as to re-position graduates for the brave new world of translation. Thus began what I call the one brief shining moment moment for translators and translation. ASTTI - IALB 26

33 One Brief Shining Moment As the millennium dawned, globalization was in full swing. Multinationals flourished; a new international non-governmental organization without borders was born daily. Both multinationals and INGOs advanced their objectives through multilingual web sites and that was only the tip of the communications iceberg. Globalization took a hit when the tech bubble burst in 2000 and yet another on September 11, After 2001, national governments began taking a serious look at, then acting on cultural and linguistic diversity. Diversity caught on in the private sector, too, as companies who never envisioned straying far from home discovered the wonders of culturallinguistic market segmentation. In the book The World is Flat, author Thomas Friedman fairly vibrates with wonder as he writes, A computer tracks how many pallets each employee is plucking every hour to put onto trucks for different stores, and a computerized voice tells each of them whether he is ahead of schedule or behind schedule. You can choose whether you want your computer voice to be a man or a woman, and you can choose English or Spanish, explained Rollin Ford, Wal- Mart s executive vice president, who oversees the supply chain and was giving me a tour. 4 Never before had there been such a demand for translation and predictions were that demand would continue to rise at a phenomenal rate for the foreseeable future. Pundits appeared. Specialized journals, surveys and reports flourished, and confabs were organized in chic hotels in worldclass destinations. Norms and standards were hammered out and globalized. Worries about the critical lack of qualified translators surfaced. Orthodox economic theory would predict that there was gold in them thar hills. Heady times for translators and translation. A debate over the role for translators in the modern workplace ensued. Some architects of translation curriculum hewed to a conservative position. Translators are professionals; professional translators translate. Teaching translators the use of computer-assisted translation tools is a waste of precious time akin to teaching architects the finer points of hammers. And, lest we forget, architects don t actually use hammers. 4 Friedman, Thomas L., The World is Flat ( 2005, Farrar, Straus, Giroux), pages ASTTI - IALB 27

34 Others imagined an expanded role for translators in what were, after all and despite the integration of CAT tools, translation-centric processes. This school of thought produced the profile of the über-translator: [A] profile emerges for that particular species of translators: that of the ultimate translator in terms of domain specialisation, writing and rewriting skills, control of ergonomics, quality management abilities, project management skills, project team management know-how, and naturally enough, mastery of anything that has to do with computer science, computer technologies and computer assisted whatnots. 5 A third opinion weighed in unofficially, perceived variously as a deafening silence or a smug indifference evidenced by the unpronounceable encodings assigned to the new processes (l10n, i18n, g11n), since it came from the ranks of the computer geeks. Had they been aware of the debate raging among translators, the IT contingent might have found it amusing given the obvious, obvious to them anyway, IT-centricity of localization, internationalization and enterprise-level globalization. A fourth and ultimately more realistic point of view might be described as PMs LOL (translation: project managers laughing out loud). Life Is What Happens while you re busy making plans. John Lennon In the wake of all this fomentation, new-fangled programs in translation studies have come; some have come and gone. New tools content has found its way into translation course curricula. Labs have been built; some have been built and then neglected or even abandoned. And the debate about the new and improved future for translators has quietened to a dull roar as university translation schools settle down to the business of producing (ideally instantly) productive graduates for the still growing language industry. With a significant boost from globalized markets, together industrialization and commoditization of translation and other knowledge fields have turned orthodox economic theory on its head. Lower supply and high demand has not meant higher wages and more respect for translators and translation. 5 Gouadec, Daniel, Le baggage spécifique du localiseur/localisateur : Le vrai «nouveau profil» requis, (META, vol. 48, no. 4, 2003 Les presses universitaires de l Université de Montréal), page 526. ASTTI - IALB 28

35 Armed with new IT tools, processes and standards, translators the vast majority freelance, unschooled and unaffiliated with any professional organization and translation have become another link in a complex production chain with a global shop floor. Hundreds of thousands of translators (if you can believe the brag) regularly haggle for contracts in online reverse auctions, contracts awarded on the basis of cost and speed-ofwork, contracts that must pay for all the social benefits insurance, training, vacations, sick days traditionally assumed by employers. Professional translators, the minority with diplomas and sterling credentials, might scoff at those reduced to such strategies. They do so at their peril for the sheer numbers of translators working under disturbingly sweatshop-like conditions cannot but have a depressive effect on all translators. The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different. Aldous Huxley Historical parallels, as seductive as they are, have their limits. Indeed, the Luddites of the 19th century and translators in the 21st century are completely different in some very important ways. First, the original Luddites enjoyed an advantage that their contemporary translators do not: geographical proximity that promoted a sense of community impossible in the virtual world. Translators and many other knowledge workers, telecommute or work freelance from home offices. What on the face of it might seem like independence can, in reality, be experienced as profound isolation as they battle an inchoate but oppressive sense of helplessness in the face of faceless forces. The inevitability of technological progress 6 coupled with daily news and rumors of aggressive outsourcing and off-shoring only exacerbates an increasingly profound sense of insecurity. In the 19th century, as weavers and other artisans left their cottages to work in the mills, guilds and associations evolved to become powerful unions built on Marxist notions of class struggle. While it s hard to dismiss the importance of unions to workers as a counterbalance to the profitdriven power of the employers, traditional unions rooted in the concerns of the manufacturing sector have lost much of their power and many see them as a soon-to-be-extinct relic of the 20th century, an institution that 6 Saul, op. cit. ASTTI - IALB 29

36 has lost all relevance. Without the counterbalance of unions, however, profit-driven power continues to grow. Unlike the mill workers, translators and other knowledge workers, once lumped into the white collar category (a designation that has become almost meaningless), don t benefit from powerful unions with their interests at heart, interests that might not always be the same as their employers and clients. Taking into consideration history and its limits, the crisis as I see it is the on-going race between professionalism and industrialization. And, in my opinion, it s a dead heat. While the growth of professional associations, the re-thinking of professional orders and standards initiatives are a step in the right direction, larger, more inclusive, more active and more vocal professional organizations so that they are heard above the deadening din of the bean-counters and technocrats might give professionalism an edge. If industrialization wins out, translators will indeed go the way of the weavers. A tiny number might survive providing services to haut couture boutiques. The rest will be confined to long hours, lousy conditions and poverty wages on a virtual assembly line without borders that is until the demand for quality dips so low that machine translation becomes an attractive, translator-free alternative. ASTTI - IALB 30

37 About the author A freelance writer and public speaker specializing in language matters, Nancy A. Locke draws on twelve years experience in the language industry as a desktop publisher, translator and reviser. An instructor at Université de Montréal, and director of the localization certificate program (2003 to 2004), she teaches courses on language and globalization, and the professional environment to translators. A regular contributor to Multilingual, her work has also appeared in The Globe and Mail (a national Canadian daily), The Chronicle (ATA), Intercom (STC), Localisation Focus and tcworld. Ms. Locke has also been invited to speak as an expert on language matters at a wide range of conferences in Canada, the United States and Argentina including Localization World, American Translators Association (general conference and translation company division), Society for Technical Communications, Usability Professionals Association, UAWriters, Association de l industrie de la langue/language Industry Association (Canada), IMTT (Argentina). Contact ASTTI - IALB 31

38 The Language Industry in Crisis? Translators Agency in Production Networks Kristiina Abdallah University of Tampere Abstract Economic globalisation with its ensuing crises, including the degradation of work, has not spared the translation industry, where production networks have been identified as the prevailing working environment. Production networks consist of inter-firm relationships that bind a group of firms of different sizes, including micro entrepreneurs, into larger economic units. A typical, although simplified, case in the translation industry consists of a client company needing translation services, a translation company providing such services, and a translator, either inhouse, freelancer or subcontractor, doing the actual translating. (Abdallah and Koskinen 2007: ) This paper approaches translators' agency through their own experiences in production networks. I want to find out how translators are able to perform their work in this economic configuration, and more importantly, what is translators' ability to act for the primary principal, the end-user of translations. In looking for answers to these questions, I will draw from my interview data that includes in-depth interviews conducted during with eight Finnish translators, who, at the start of the interview process, worked for various translation companies, either as subcontractors (3), freelancers (1), or in-house translators (4). Purposeful sampling method has been used to select interviewees for this in-depth study (see Patton 2001). The theoretical framework relied on in the analysis of the translator experiences is agency theory. Agency theory deals with cooperation in principal-agent relationships, which can be detected anywhere where someone works or acts on someone else's behalf. (Eisenhardt 1989: 58). When the interview data is analysed within the framework of agency theory, goal-conflicts, including moral hazard and asymmetry of commitment, are revealed between principals and agents in translation production networks. ASTTI - IALB 32

39 This paper is based on an article that is in press at the moment. It is also part of my forthcoming PhD thesis Translation Quality in Production Networks. From Conflict to Cooperation. Translators are a typical muted group. By focusing on translators experiences, the aim of this research is to give voice to the otherwise silent and invisible translators (Simeoni 1998: 12) and to find out what factors their agency and power depend on. By telling you about this ongoing research, I also hope to answer the question whether the translation industry is in crisis or not. I will first define some of the most important concepts that I use here. Concepts Agency = the ability to act for oneself, the ability to act as an agent for the Primary Principal, i.e. the end-user of translations Production network = inter-firm relationships that bind a group of firms of different sizes, including micro entrepreneurs, into larger economic units Moral hazard opportunism= purposeful selfinterested behaviour ASTTI - IALB 33

40 Example of a translation production network Production networks have been identified as the prevailing working environment in present-day translation industry. The salient point is that these vertically organised and therefore highly hierarchical and undemocratic production networks consist of multiple actors whose roles and performances are defined in interaction. In this economic configuration, subcontracting translators are at the outskirts of the network and its central hubs. Research data and research question In-depth translator interviews with 8 Finnish translators (3 subcontractors, 1 freelancer, 4 in-house translators in translation companies) How do the translators perceive their agency in production networks? How are they able to act for the end-user of translations, the Primary Principal? ASTTI - IALB 34

41 I have used agency theory in analysing the translator interviews. Agency theory originates from information economics and it deals with principalagent relationships, which can be discovered anywhere where someone works or acts on someone else s behalf (Eisenhardt 1989: 58; Kivistö 2007: 11). Agency theory focus: economic cooperation in principal-agent (P-A) relationships which can be discovered anywhere where someone works or acts on someone else s behalf consider: the roles of incentives, interests and information assume: self-interest, opportunism and goal conflicts explain: the consequences of delegating authority beware: moral hazard/hidden action (Eisenhardt 1989; Kivistö 2007) Agency theory explains the consequences of delegating authority and it can be used to analyse cooperation from an economic point of view in principal-agent relationships. It forces us to consider the role of incentives, interests and information in organisational thinking, as it assumes that much of organisational life is, at least to some extent, based on people s self-interest, opportunism and goal conflicts. It has been said that agency theory arises from mistrust, control, and compliance, as it assumes that once principals delegate authority to agents, they cannot simply trust the latter but need not only economic incentives but also certain instruments to monitor their agents actions. Korten discusses the importance of complete information in market theory, emphasising that information should be freely available to all. This would require, then, that when buyers and sellers, or principals and agents, enter into business relationships and sign contracts, they should be fully aware of the attributes and the quality of the goods or services in question. Agency theory, however, takes a different baseline from market theory by admitting that there is asymmetric information and uncertainty in most business relationships. ASTTI - IALB 35

42 This being the case, opportunistic action tends to occur, leading to moral hazard. Moral hazard may arise in situations where the principal cannot monitor the agent s actions and where the self-interested agent pursues his private goals at the expense of the principal s goals. Furthermore, agency theory assumes that when it is difficult for the principal to observe the agent s actions, the agent tends to produce poor quality or exercise too little effort in the work required. The four principal-agent dyads in Production Networks Abdallah (in press): Translators Agency in Production Networks The translation production network can be seen to consist of at least four different dyads as depicted in the figure underneath. Dyad 1: the relationship of the primary principal (PP) - the end user of the translationand the client company as the agent (A). Dyad 2: the relationship of the client company as the intermediary principal (IP) and the translation company as the agent (A). Dyad 3: the relationship of the translation company as the intermediary principal (IP) and the translator as the agent (A). Dyad 4: the relationship of the primary principal (PP) and the translator as the agent (A). Translators do not only feel responsibility towards the party paying for their work, but by way of their professional ethics, they also feel that the Primary Principal has delegated authority to them to represent their interests in production networks. In this model the end user of translations, always holds the role of a principal: he/she is the primary principal (PP) for all the other actors. This is the case even though there is no explicit contract to that effect. Here, it is useful to note that ASTTI - IALB 36

43 although contracts are a central element in agency theory, they do not need to be written and signed but can be metaphoric as well. In other words, even if the contract is implicit, it is, nevertheless, ethically binding and ties all parties to it. No economic actor can deny the fact that consumers and buyers do have their rights in the marketplace, and these rights include the right to have true information about the products and services. The end-user always has the role of a principal, the translator always holds the role of an agent; the translator is agent to two principals, the reader and the translation company. The client company and the translation company, however, have dual roles; they either have the role of an intermediary principal or an agent, depending from whose point of view we are approaching their role in the production network. Dual roles, as we know, can lead to conflicts of interest between the two roles, i. e. opportunism. Agency as perceived by the translators 8/8 networks -> asymmetric information ( The translator does not know whether the gadget in question is roomsize or palm-size. ) 6/8 no contact with the major client, 2/8 sometimes have contact 5/8 conflicts of quality ( Quality has gone down the tube ) -> ethical stress 4/8 powerlessness at work ( No one listens to the translators. ) 7/8 salaries and fees are low 5/8 translator status is low Second round of interviews: 4/8 had left the translation industry! Information does not flow freely in production networks. As we saw from the previous figure, the translator enters the economic configuration only in the third dyad as the agent, and, as to the accessibility of information, this position is by definition structurally unfavourable because of the general principles of scale-free, and therefore highly undemocratic, networks. But it is not only the structure of such economic networks that impedes the flow of information but also the fact that the translator has to serve two masters, which makes their work difficult, particularly if these ASTTI - IALB 37

44 masters, or principals, have conflicting interests. The salient question here is whether the translator is able to perform his/her work properly in this economic configuration. As agency theory gloomily points out, opportunistic, i.e. self-interested and unscrupulous, behaviour is not uncommon in principal-agent relationships, and ethical dilemmas and an agent s opportunism leads to moral hazard. Putnam has pointed out that in vertical patron-client, such as in principal-agent, relationships opportunism manifests itself on the part of the patron, or principal, as exploitation and on the part of the client, or agent, as shirking. Conflicts of quality arise in this data when the translator as the agent tries to satisfy the unaligned demands of the two principals, the reader and the translation company. Being in between a rock and a hard place causes translators much consternation, in some cases even ethical stress. This stress is due to the fact that the translators would like to do their work well, i.e. to act in the best interests of the primary principal by fulfilling the requirements of their professional ethics, but they do not receive support from the intermediary principals in this task. Conclusion: there is a crisis Asymmetric information -> restricted agency Opportunistic, self-interested behaviour -> ethical dilemmas, moral hazard -> double moral hazard Lowering of the quality of the products/services produced in the network (market for lemons!) Principals and agents in the various dyads define quality using different criteria -> their goals regarding quality are in conflict with each other Based on my interview data, there are delegation failures between principals and agents in translation production networks, such as informational asymmetries and goal-conflicts, and these conditions, in some cases, give rise to moral hazard and asymmetry of commitment. As long as the translator compensates for the inadequate working conditions provided by the intermediary principals by putting in extra effort into ASTTI - IALB 38

45 his/her task, there is a case of moral hazard in the production network. However, if and when the translator succumbs to the demands of the intermediary principals (faster, cheaper), moral hazard turns into double, even triple, moral hazard, resulting in the client company, the translation company, and the translator collaborating to cheat the primary principal by producing poor quality services/products. The conclusion of the analysis is that translators agency and ability to act in the interests of the primary principal is presently highly restricted in translation production networks. It is therefore important to start looking for ways to solve moral hazard problems by creating incentives that prevent quality cheating. And this concerns all the three agents. Thank you! Tähdenlennon siilit Careers at Sea org: One solution could be the development of a quality classification system that coordinates the unaligned definitions of quality in the various principal-agent dyads. Creating such an information system can be considered an investment in trust formation in translation production networks, where lack of trust is currently widespread. Promoting translators ability to participate as legitimate experts in translation production networks is an integral part of sustainable development in the translation industry and this should be in the interests of all the parties in these dyads. So, lets solve the crisis in the industry and work together. ASTTI - IALB 39

46 About the author Kristiina Abdallah, MA, is a graduate from the School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies at the University of Tampere, Finland. She works as Assistant at the Department of Translation Studies, and is currently pursuing her post-graduate studies, specialising in translation quality and translators' agency in production networks. Kristiina has worked as a freelance translator and subtitler as well as a technical writer. She has held several posts at the Department of Translation Studies, including those of a researcher, coordinator, and lecturer at the Technical Communications Programme. Contact References Abdallah, Kristiina and Koskinen, Kaisa (2007): Managing Trust: Translating and the Network Economy. In Héléne Buzelin and Debbie Folaron (eds) Meta: Translation and Network Studies, 52(4), Abdallah, Kristiina (in press): Translators Agency in Production Networks. In Koskinen, Kaisa and Kinnunen, Tuija (eds.) Translators Agency. Tampere Studies in Language, Translation and Culture, Sarja B. URL: Eisenhardt, Kathleen (1989): Agency theory: An assessment and review. Academy of Management Review, 14(1), Kivistö, Jussi (2007): Agency Theory as a Framework for the Government- University Relationship. Academic dissertation. Faculty of Economics and Administration, Department of Management Studies, Tampere: University of Tampere. Korten, David C. (1999): The Post-Corporate World : Life after Capitalism. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. Putnam, Robert D. (1994): Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Sturgeon, Timothy J. (2001): How Do We Define Value Chains and Production Networks? IDS Bulletin, 32( 3), URL: Accessed ASTTI - IALB 40

47 Community, collaborative, social. Will the language industry survive crowdsourcing? Luigi Muzii Università degli Studi "S. Pio V" Abstract In a report of December 2007, Renato Beninatto and Don DePalma of Common Sense Advisory envisaged "The End of Localization Taylorism and the Beginning of Postmodern Translation". The economic crisis and the consequent turmoil affected the language service industry too. Translation has traditionally been viewed as a craft, now it's time to shift to a different approach where highly skilled individuals are no longer enough to perform increasingly composite jobs. Translation is a business and should finally be considered as such. Translators must speak money and tune their business on their clients' business. Translation is increasingly bound to money, time, and accuracy. Contents increase in volume, volatility and complexity, and many a company invest in machine translation to meet this growth. To keep pace with the changing situation, the translation process must be rearranged. Agile should become the new buzzword of the industry. Not only are highly skilled individuals no longer enough, technology is no longer enough. A combination of the two with a new process model could be one answer. The new process model will be based on real-time collaboration: the whole cast concurrently work on a project. The model is inspired to the scrum iterative incremental framework, a holistic approach to increase speed and flexibility in software development. Scrum enables the creation of selforganizing teams by encouraging co-location of all team members, and verbal communication across all team members and disciplines that are involved in the project. In the collaborative translation model, projects revolve around communities that come together for each project. It is a distributed model based on the concept of "participation" as the defining feature. Wikinomics will eventually change also the language service industry, and the problem is in transition: crowdsourcing will prevail; is it convenient to hamper the power of the crowds? ASTTI - IALB 41

48 ASTTI - IALB 42

49 We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein Despite the unchanged and even increasing demand for translation, the economic crisis and the consequent turmoil have spread their effects on the language service industry too with lower and lower pays and worse conditions, and a deep change is approaching. The approach to crises is usually of two kinds, conservative or innovative. The conservative approach is typical of the language services industry, where any change is seen as a major change. Companies resorting to the conservative approach to face crises usually go for cutting costs. Since reducing staff is impractical in an industry almost entirely based on outsourcing and freelancing, cutting costs is pursued through lowering pays and using but not investing in technology. Unfortunately, as a recent Common Sense Advisory report showed, the translation industry is generally a low-tech industry where do more with less is an imperative that very few can follow. The innovative approach to crises relies on products. However, since very small product innovation is possible in a century-old activity, this could happen only with the so-called value-added services. This could explain in part why many still look at translation as a cost, and the consequent competition on prices. Therefore, only process innovation can be effective, but for process innovation standards and interchange are needed to build productive solutions. Developing standards, however, is not enough per se; standards should be used, and industry fragmentation retards or even impedes the adoption of standards. Again, technology is used to make process simpler, lean, and parallel, while being open, easy, lean, agile is the only way to face the new translation industry mantra of cheaper, faster, and better. Doing more with less costs more, and technology is not enough; technology can help increase volume and speed, but it is almost useless to streamline processes. Processes pivot on people, and there are not enough good people in translation. The demand for translation is increasing; content is doubling every year, while the number of translators can t follow the same growth rate: it takes many years to create a professional translator. The only way to approach this growth in content is by increasing translators productivity, but ASTTI - IALB 43

50 education and training play different roles in building a translator s profile, and language skills and domain-specific knowledge should be kept separate from productivity skills. In fact, technology alone can produce only poor quality increase or no increase at all, and customer satisfaction decreases, together with industry reputation. Translation has traditionally been viewed as a craft, now it s time to shift to a different approach where highly skilled individuals are no longer enough to perform increasingly composite jobs. Translation is a business and should finally be considered as such. Translators must speak money and tune their business on their clients business. Translation is increasingly bound to money and time, while quality has also definitely lost the meaning it has had for long in translation studies. Quality is doing it right the first time. This means having efficient processes in place and first-class people at work, as everyone could translate but few can do it right. To keep pace with the changing situation, the translation process must be rearranged. As it was for the software industry a few years ago, agile should become the new buzzword of the translation industry. On the contrary, the translation industry is still tied to the axioms of quality and assets. Quality is the unique selling proposition of the whole industry, making offers indistinguishable, whereas, to customers, quality is a prerequisite, a condition of existence, and is hence totally irrelevant from a sales perspective, especially the way it is postulated and talked about in the translation industry, because it is based on the premise that customers can assess and appreciate it. For quality to be make sense it must be backed up by proof. No quality exists until it cannot be defined and measured. The quality axiom goes together with the corollary that fewer translators produce more consistent output, as if a reader could distinguish some ten thousand words in a million. This is used to justify the asset axiom, where assets are glossaries and translation memories. Assets are supposed to carry some value, but ASTTI - IALB 44

51 glossaries and translation memories not necessarily carry and intrinsic value, since in this case value comes from their exploitation, and this depends on the translator s ability. Hence, not only are highly skilled individuals no longer enough, technology too is no longer enough. A close combination of the two with a new process model could be an answer. Nevertheless, the main concerns of LSP s are for the ongoing commoditization and the demand for more free translation. In the ATA Chronicle issue of June 2009, ATA President Jiri Stejskal reported the globalization threats identified by the ATA Board in global outsourcing, crowdsourcing, the economic downturn, certification by other entities, machine translation, the increased competition for revenue streams, the international expansion, and licensure. Vendor management is the largest cost budget item, and could be huge for companies with hundreds or thousands vendors. Vendor management requires dedicated technology and staff, and involves delicate tasks like quality assessment. To keep healthy relationships with vendors, several vendor managers could be necessary to rotate. Few concepts in business have been as popular and appealing in recent years as the emerging discipline of open innovation. It is variously described as crowdsourcing, the wisdom of crowds, collective intelligence and peer production. Low cost electronic communication enabled by the Internet now makes it feasible for crowds to do many more things than ever before. Peer production models leverage the connected-but-distributed nature of the internet to bring broad human resources to bear on specific tasks or problems. Wikipedia stands as the flagship example of this. Collective intelligence can be defined very broadly as groups of individuals doing things collectively that seem intelligent. By this definition, collective intelligence has existed for a very long time, even in the translation industry. However, recent cases and research of the Center for Collective Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggest that open-innovation models succeed only when carefully designed for a particular task, and when incentives are tailored to attract the most effective collaborators. ASTTI - IALB 45

52 The reasons for crowdsourcing are reaching totally new markets, better serving markets that are currently under-served, and increasing the value of global brands by further engaging users as a competitive strategy, as for the Facebook translation model. This compelling engagement strategy requires the entire user experience to be in the user s language. This is the reason for translation crowdsourcing, and the reason for Facebook, for example, to be available in almost 100 languages. Yet, its help is available in less than 10: according to Facebook itself, if chunks to be translated by the crowd are bigger than two lines there are no takers. The typical practice in translation has been the same for centuries. The appearance of commercial translation approximately a hundred years ago gave birth to the industry as we now know it. The translation industry has always been almost entirely based on outsourcing and freelancing, and vendors are the necessary link between customers and translators. Similarly, fragmentation has always been a typical trait, with vendors duplicating the same tasks at each stage before reaching the last link in the production chain, in a top-down serial process, going backwards when the translation is ready. Consequently, the TEP (Translation, Editing, and Proofreading) model has been central to the translation workflow: a translator does the job, somebody else (possibly another translator) reviews the job, and then a final check must be performed to have quality. In a post of 16 October 2007 for Common Sense Advisory s blog Global Watchtower, Renato Beninatto and Don DePalma envisaged The End of Localization Taylorism. TEP is connected to the standard, axiomatic, view of quality. The translation industry developed the concept with the idea that every translation is worked on and looked at by three different sets of eyes, even though smaller translation teams might not have or afford such a plenty of resources. As a matter of fact, the traditional translation process does not work well for every type of project, and yet, even in the translation industry, fordism has prevailed: any effort is committed to make everybody do the same, not ASTTI - IALB 46

53 necessarily the best job. The best job is meeting the client s expectations which include timely delivery and fair price while making a profit. The TEP philosophy is based on the idea that quality comes from catching errors. The reviewer s job is to catch errors that the translator (supposedly) made, and the proofreader s job is to catch errors that the editor didn t see. The problem with this process is consecutiveness; it is a chain/serial process, while in a parallel process quality can be improved by adding actions. Excellent translators know how to prevent errors using a style guide and a glossary rather than just catch them once asked to review a translation. Excellent translators need no reviewers, they need knowledgeable support. Translation crowdsourcing is simply a different way of selecting, collecting, and connecting the people to perform the roles in the various stages of the workflow. Crowdsourcing is the new black these days, but, despite the trend, companies should be very careful before embracing the model. Few of them are translation worthy, and there is always the risk of translator backlash or burnout. It is an unexplored territory, and as more companies pursue this model, more and more efforts will backfire. Translation crowdsourcing is not about saving money. In a collaborative translation project following a typical crowdsourcing approach only the best translators in the project subject field are engaged, to work on their most productive side. Translation crowdsourcing is simply faster. Whoever has worked with contracting services for a specific business knows how long and painful the process can be. Translation crowdsourcing can bring results in a fraction of the standard time. Yet, a translation crowdsourcing platform costs money to put in place. In most cases, the initial investment is likely to be higher than the cost of one-off professional translation services, and the ROI needs to be there for the long-term to justify it. There is possibly a problem with translators when a profitable company goes for building a community and paying engineers to set up a complex software infrastructure rather than hiring a translation company for a cheaper one-off translation project. Maybe translators skills are simply not worth spending, or, once it is up and running, the translation platform can be expanded to help developers localize their applications, leased, or opened up to partner sites, etc. ASTTI - IALB 47

54 Twitter, for example, has only a thousand or so text strings requiring translation. In the time the company devoted to building its translation platform, it could probably have had the site localized in fifty or more languages. Over time there probably will be cost savings, but they should not be and probably were not the motivator for Twitter. The top-down localization model is giving way to the bottom-up model, and this is a profound change, even if it is limited to a handful of companies, maybe with a few hundred million users. The collaborative model makes reviewers no longer necessary. We learned from translation studies that there could be several correct translations. Why should experienced and skilled translators, possibly assisted by qualified subject matter experts not be capable of delivering high-quality translations without the necessity of further improvements by a reviewer? The typical collaborative translation team is made up of a pool of subject matter experts and translators led by a project manager to manage the flow of information among team members. One of the more time-consuming and unnecessary problems in communicating with clients is for disagreements on supposedly wrong maybe better imperfect translations. Typically these disagreements come once the project is finished and often require a lot of effort on both sides to fix. They do not concern errors, but simply stylistics or other preferences. In the collaborative model the whole cast concurrently work on a project. The model is inspired to the scrum iterative incremental framework, a holistic approach to increase speed and flexibility in software development. Scrum enables the creation of self-organizing teams by encouraging colocation of all team members, and communication across all team members and disciplines that are involved in the project. In the collaborative translation model, projects revolve around communities that come together for each project. It is a distributed model based on the concept of participation as the defining feature. In a collaborative translation project, the project manager is actually a facilitator whose job is to create a community with the translators, a subject matter expert to answer questions about the topic, all the tools to run the project, and to assure support to translators where they need help. A few consultants will also be hired to handle the shared translation ASTTI - IALB 48

55 memories, the term base, develop the style guides, and tune the machine translation engine. In a collaborative translation project there is no need for reviewers and editors that could be disruptive for harmony and confidence in the project team, while the project facilitator and the consultant will do their best to have translators strictly follow the style guide and glossary. The collaborative model challenges the traditional, aged TEP approach to translation and translation quality. On its website, the U.S. company Mojofiti offers a comparison of crowdsourcing and machine translation through their pros and cons. Crowdsourcing is free, with abundance of knowledgeable human translators, 100% accuracy, and demonstrates openness to the public, while security measures must be in place, content accuracy reviews are needed (especially from a cultural perspective), and no full-time recruits can be staffed. Machine Translation allows for fast time to market, servers can be used for a variety of applications, and content can be changed ad lib. On the other hand, it is generally very costly (based on the number of language pairs and sometimes overall use), and often leaves out cultural references; in addition, no machine translation service has been able to promise 100% accurate translations, yet. Nothing precludes inherently quality, at least as it is conceived in the translation industry, in a translation crowdsourcing platform, as long as crowdsourcees are professional translators. The wisdom of the crowd comes from the cross check of each other s work. In fact, crowdsourcing initiatives can be dangerous when cost is volume based, and since money matters compensation is a critical issue. Bad money would drive out good. If translators are paid low hiring qualified professionals will be harder and harder. Anyway, not only does a collaborative translation platform require resources, even the management of the platform and the management of the team members require resources. Any savings should be used to pay the team members, not only to make profits, and retain professional, knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced translators. In general, LSP s share the same pool of resources, and testing freelancers is expensive and not reliable. Then, the solution to reduce overhead is shortening the production chain. ASTTI - IALB 49

56 The next step in translation technology will be collaborative (crowdsourcing) platforms combining workflow and computer-aided translation capabilities into one application. Humans can translate text of any kind, rank the translation for accuracy and provide final edits, all via a browser from anywhere in the world. Machine translation will capture translated text and then suggest the translated text when the words or phrases appear again, reducing the overall time and effort required for translation. No overhead for administrative activities, no duplication of work. Therefore, a new scenario could dawn soon: translators organized in large pools with a certain amount of work and income guaranteed every month provided that they check in on a regular basis. Technology is running fast, even translation technology, although no winning translation technology has come from the translation industry so far: all disruptive innovations in translation have come from the outside. Social networking sites were not the first to resort to crowdsourcing, the software industry has been crowdsourcing for years. When translation tools first hit the market, the majority of translators received them as a threat, crying hysterically at the very poor quality these tools would surely produce. Almost twenty years later, the scene has not changed. As a matter of fact, the hostility of translators led translation tools to meet the requirements of paying corporate customers, not those of translators. Should they have embraced the technology from the very beginning, the landscape would be different now. In a May 2009 survey, Common Sense Advisory estimates over 20,000 translation service providers, and more than 300,000 individuals earning all or part of their living in translation business. The survey also showed that many translation professionals employ less automation than they could and should. Translators are conservative, so they will be slow to accept cloud-based computing and the collaborative approach. Crowdsourcing will greatly depend on the nature of the business. Pro bono work is usually done for a cause. The free translation crowdsourcing caused an uprising against LinkedIn with most insurgent convincingly arguing that they would not donate their time and expertise to a business which will generate revenue out of their free contribution, and that the LinkedIn call was not fair. ASTTI - IALB 50

57 This does not mean, however, that crowdsourcing is an unethical practice. The negative international media coverage made LinkedIn cancel the project altogether more than ATA s official stance against LinkedIn s translation crowdsourcing project misguided, troubling, and clearly incompatible with the operation of a for-profit enterprise. Freeconomics is the new frontier in translation industry, at least for having introduced freemium (a portmanteau of free and premium ) a long time ago. In fact, test translations are a kind of freemium, like shareware. Translation is gradually shifting to online economy, and the costs associated with online economy are trending toward zero at an incredible rate. The translation industry, and translators first, should rapidly adapt to freemium, offering basic services for free, while charging a premium for advanced or special features. Translation crowdsourcing is here to stay. It will combine rather than compete with machine translation and professional human translation and will find its niche. The collaborative translation model will eventually change also the language service industry, and the problem is in transition: crowdsourcing will prevail; is it convenient to hamper the power of the crowds? In 2006, in suggesting the Edge annual question for the Edge Foundation, paraphrasing Oscar Wilde 7, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker wrote: «the history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time». What is your dangerous idea? 7 An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. ASTTI - IALB 51

58 About the author Luigi Muzii has been working in the language industry for 27 years as a translator, localizer, technical writer and consultant. He spent 12 years in several departments of a major Italian telecommunications company, and two in a broadcasting service company, then started a consulting firm on his own to act as an information design and delivery consultant. He is visiting professor of terminology and localization at Libera Università degli Studi "S. Pio V" in Rome, the author of a book on technical writing, and of many papers and articles. He has been one of the founders of the Italian association for terminology and of Gruppo L10N. Contact References Beninatto R. & DePalma D., Collaborative Translation, Common Sense Advisory, 2007, ISBN (Pending) Anderson C., Free: The Future of a Radical Price, Hyperion, 2009, ISBN Brockman J., What Is Your Dangerous Idea?: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable, Harper Perennial, 2007, ISBN DePalma D. A. & Sargent B. B., The State of Freelance Translation, Common Sense Advisory, 2009, ISBN Howe J., Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, Crown Business, 2008, ISBN ASTTI - IALB 52

59 Normung für Übersetzungsdienstleister: Qualität ist schon längst messbar Manfred Schmitz Intertext Fremdsprachendienst e.g. Abstract Der Autor stellt mehrere Normen für Übersetzungsdienstleister vor und geht auf die derzeitigen Normungsvorhaben auf internationaler Ebene ein, die einen deutlichen Trend zur konkreten Messbarkeit der Qualität von Übersetzungen erkennen lassen. Ferner werden einige Überlegungen zum Stand der Arbeit mit der europäischen Norm EN 15038, auch unter dem Aspekt der Überwindung der (vermeintlichen) Auswirkungen der gegenwärtigen wirtschaftlichen Krise auf die Übersetzungsbranche, angestellt. Vorgestern hörte ich auf Klassik-Radio ein Sibelius-Zitat, über das ich sehr schmunzeln musste: Über Musik kann man gut mit Bankdirektoren sprechen, während Künstler nur über Geld reden. Wenn ich an Stammtischen mit Übersetzern konversiere, dann geht es tatsächlich meist über Honorare, das Unverständnis der Kunden und über die schlechten Übersetzungen von Konkurrenten. Und wenn wir dann auf Qualitätskriterien zu sprechen kommen, winken die meisten ab mit der Bemerkung, Qualität sei weitgehend subjektiv. In der Tat habe ich mich als Revisor/Kontrolleur von Übersetzungen oft gefragt, ob meine Änderung objektiv begründbar ist oder ob ich dem Übersetzer nur mein persönliches Sprachempfinden aufdrücken will. Ja, die Qualität von übersetzten Texten basiert sowohl auf objektiven als auch auf subjektiven Kriterien. Objektiv messbar ist etwa, ob Syntax, Grammatik, Interpunktion und Orthografie korrekt sind. Auch die branchenadäquate oder firmenspezifische fachliche Richtigkeit und die Wahl der Terminologie fallen darunter. Diese objektiven Kriterien müssen von einem Übersetzungsdienstleister garantiert werden und sind auch wissenschaftlich belegbar. ASTTI - IALB 53

60 Anders bei der subjektiven Komponente, die gemeinhin als Stil bezeichnet wird. Jeder Text wird in dieser Hinsicht von den einzelnen Lesern anders beurteilt. In der Übersetzungspraxis bedeutet dies, dass dem Übersetzer ein relativ großer Handlungsspielraum offen steht, auf der anderen Seite aber für den Auftraggeber eine genauso große Spanne bei der qualitativen Beurteilung eines übertragenen Textes. Uns soll es hier um Normen für Übersetzungsdienstleister gehen, und zur qualitativ hochwertigen Übersetzungsdienstleistung noch andere objektive Kriterien als die oben Genannten. Hier und bei unserer neuesten Norm geht es auch und vor allem um Servicequalität, um messbare Servicequalität. Ob eine Arbeit termingerecht ausgeführt wurde, kann zweifelsfrei festgestellt werden; ob die Daten so beim Kunden eintreffen, wie es vereinbart worden war, ebenso. Wird technologische Unterstützung (z. B. Translation Memory Systeme) angeboten, so ist dies ebenso ein Qualitätsfaktor wie einfache, klar strukturierte, nachvollziehbare Abläufe, ein effizientes Projektmanagement, ein Feedback und eine (messbare) Kundenzufriedenheit. Wenn im Titel meines Vortrags von Normen für Übersetzungsdienstleister die Rede ist, dann will ich zunächst mehrere Normen, die ebenfalls unsere Berufsausübung betreffen, ausschließen: Terminologie und Terminologiearbeit (zu den jüngsten zählen ISO 1951 Darstellung/Repräsentation von Einträgen in Wörterbüchern Austauschformate. Dazu gehört beispielsweise das OASIS XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) Umschrift und Transliteration (ISO Information und Dokumentation Codes für Schriftennamen) Uns soll es hier vielmehr um Übersetzungsqualität und Messverfahren für die Übersetzungsqualität gehen. Einschlägig sind hier: Aus dem Jahr 2004 der ATA Framework for standard error marking Aus dem Jahr 2005 das LISA Quality Assurance Model Aus demselben Jahr die amerikanische Norm SAE J2450 Translation Quality Metric Aus dem Jahr 2007 der ASTM-Standard F Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation ASTTI - IALB 54

61 Und natürlich aus dem Jahr 2006 unsere eigene, europäische Norm DIN EN Übersetzungsdienstleistungen Dienstleistungsanforderungen Drei dieser Normen bieten eine Metrik (die Zeiten, da Übersetzer behaupteten, Übersetzungsqualität sei nicht messbar, dürften sich dem Ende zuneigen): Der ATA Framework wird zur Beurteilung der Qualität von Übersetzungen im Rahmen des Akkreditierungsverfahrens der ATA sowie vor allem auch an Übersetzer ausbildenden Universitäten der USA zur Bewertung studentischer Übersetzungen angewendet; zu den aufgeführten Fehlerkategorien gehören: Auslassungen, Unverständlichkeit, falsches Verstehen des Ausgangstextes, Terminologie, Register, zu frei zu wörtlich, Grammatik, Syntax, Rechtschreibung und Interpunktion, Idiomatik, Stil und andere. Das LISA QA Model misst die Qualität von Lokalisierungsprojekten; aus dem Screenshot geht hervor, welche Fehlerkategorien aufgenommen wurden und welche Wichtung die festgestellten Fehler besitzen: ASTTI - IALB 55

62 Die von einer Taskforce, bestehend aus Vertretern von General Motors, Ford, Chrysler und Zulieferern, entwickelte amerikanische Norm SAE J2450 schränkt den Anwendungsbereich ein, nämlich auf Übersetzungen von Service-Informationen auf dem Gebiet der Automobilindustrie: Translation Quality Metric for Language Translation of Service Information. Sie geht von 8 Haupt-Fehlerkategorien aus, die definiert und gewichtet werden, und nach der Feststellung eines Fehlers wird dieser entweder als serious oder als minor bewertet (im Zweifelsfall als serious) und mit einem Punktwert versehen. Die addierte Punktzahl wird durch die Anzahl der Wörter des Ausgangstextes geteilt, und bei einem Wert von 99 % und höher gilt die Übersetzung als angenommen. Hier eine Zusammenfassung der Qualitätsmetrik: SAE J2450 TRANSLATION QUALITY METRIC SUMMARY BACKGROUND Originally designed for the automotive/aerospace industry, SAE J2450 is a metric for measuring translation quality. It provides a system for classifying and weighing translation errors and thus calculates a score for translation quality. ASTTI - IALB 56

63 PRIMARY ERROR CATEGORIES The metric provides the following eight primary error categories: Wrong Term (WT) weight: 5/2.5 A term is wrong when it: A term is defined as any single word or multi-word phrase used as a single lexical unit, incl. abbreviations, acronyms, numbers, numerals, and proper names. a) violates a glossary b) violates standard language or industry usage c) is inconsistent with other translations of the same source term d) denotes a concept different from the concept denoted by the source term Syntactic Error (SE) weight: 3/1.5 Cases of syntactic errors: a) mis-assigned part of speech b) incorrect phrase structure c) incorrect word order Omission (OM) Addition (AD) weight: 3/1.5 Word Structure & Agreement Error (SA) weight: 3/1.5 An Omission occurs when text or a graphic in the source has no counterpart in the translation, or vice-versa (Addition). A Word Structure Error occurs when an otherwise correct target word or term is expressed in an incorrect morphological form (case, gender, number, tense, prefix, suffix, infix, etc.). An Agreement Error occurs when two or more target words disagree in any form of inflection. Misspelling (SP) weight: 1.5/.75 Punctuation Error (PE) weight: 1.5/.75 Miscellaneous Error (ME) weight: 1.5/.75 ME s are linguistic error related to the target language which are not clearly attributable to one of the above seven categories. ASTTI - IALB 57

64 SECONDARY CATEGORIES Once an error has been placed in one of the primary categories, it is assigned a secondary category: Serious or Minor. An error must be classified as serious if it can directly or indirectly result in any of the following: harm to the user, operator, patient, or consumer damage to the product or to the equipment used in conjunction with the product serious misrepresentation of the author s intentions or the client s products or services damage to the client s reputation NOTE: If in doubt, always choose Serious over Minor. NUMERIC WEIGHT Once primary and secondary categories are assigned, a numeric weight is assigned to the error according to the values indicated above (serious/minor). SCORING Quality score is obtained by adding up all numeric weights and dividing by the number of source words. A score of 99% or higher is considered passing. Den ASTM-Standard F hat Terry Oliver bereits erwähnt. Er ist keine Norm im eigentlichen Sinne, sondern eher so etwas wie eine Rahmenrichtlinie, die Übersetzern und Agenturen als Referenzdokument beim Abschluss von Vereinbarungen mit Kunden sowie zwischen Agenturen und Übersetzern über ein Übersetzungsprojekt dienen soll. Sie beschreibt die notwendigen Verfahren zur Erreichung der gewünschten Qualität. Nur zur Illustrierung, hier eine überblickshafte Grafik, die dem Standard entnommen ist und die seinen Umfang und Inhalt beschreibt: ASTTI - IALB 58

65 Der Standard enthält auch eine Liste von Parametern, die zu beachten sind, bevor mit der Übersetzung begonnen wird. Er enthält im Unterschied zu den vorgenannten Normen keine Metrik. Dem ASTM Standard Guide und die Norm EN ergänzen einander in gewisser Weise. Während EN das Qualitätssicherungssystem beschreibt und einen Rahmen für das Übersetzungsmanagement vorgibt und ein Referenzwerk für Übersetzungsdienstleister und Kunden gleichermaßen darstellt, bietet der ASTM Standard Guide eher praktische Ratschläge und anwendungsorientierte Anleitungen für Übersetzer, insbesondere auch für Berufseinsteiger. Die Norm EN ist seit 2006 in Kraft. Sie setzt sich allmählich durch, trotz hier und da anzutreffender Anfeindungen vor allem seitens derer, die eine Kontrolle durch einen zweiten Übersetzer eine wesentliche Forderung der Norm für überflüssig halten und ablehnen und trotz andauernder Verwirrung über den Status der Norm. Die Zertifizierung nach der Norm schreitet voran, nicht nur in Europa, sondern auch in Übersee, in den beiden Amerikas und in Asien. Es setzt sich allmählich durch, was François Massion, Geschäftsführer von D.O.G., kürzlich so beschrieb: ASTTI - IALB 59

66 Etwa 100 % der Übersetzungsdienstleister unterscheiden sich von den anderen 100 % der Dienstleister dadurch, dass sie Qualität versprechen, weil jeder weiß, wie wichtig dies ist. Entscheidend ist jedoch, dass man ein Qualitätssicherungssystem nachweisen kann und die entsprechenden Mittel und Verfahren hat, um Qualität auch zu garantieren. Nach dem Motto Vertrauen ist gut, Zertifizierung ist besser, wollten wir die bereits seit Jahren gelebte Praxis jetzt auch zertifizieren lassen. Des Status von EN als Service Standard, als Dienstleistungsnorm, ist man sich oft noch nicht bewusst. Die eigentliche Übersetzung bildet nur einen Teil der gesamten Dienstleistung, zu der vor allem auch administrative Vorgänge gehören, wie Bearbeitung der Kundenanfrage, Abgabe des Angebots, Vereinbarungen und Koordination mit dem Kunden, Projektmanagement, Vorbereitung und Nachbereitung des Übersetzungsprojekts, Feedback und Feststellung der Kundenzufriedenheit gehören. Die dabei von der Norm geforderten Verfahren müssen dokumentiert und für den Kunden transparent und nachvollziehbar sein, so dass dieser Vertrauen in eine solide Dienstleistung gewinnen und eine informierte Entscheidung über die Wahl des Dienstleisters treffen kann. Bewusst sind sich einige Agenturen auch nicht über den Status von Normen überhaupt. So wird dem unbedarften Kunden oft die Anwendung von Normen lediglich suggeriert. Ich finde auf Webseiten von Agenturen solche Aussagen: Oder Marconex ag Zürich Wir bieten Ihnen höchste Qualität nach den gängigen DIN und ISO Übersetzungsnormen. Wichtig ist uns, dass Stil und Tonalität vom Ursprungstext orginalgetreu (!) übernommen werden. Rois translations Unsere Partner haben die notwendige Ausbildung und Erfahrung. Alle sind Muttersprachler in der Zielsprache und halten die strengsten Übersetzungsnormen dieser Branche ein. ASTTI - IALB 60

67 Oder eurolingua Wir sind als vereidigte und ermächtigte Übersetzer anerkannt und zugelassen. Und wir halten die gesetzlich vorgeschriebenen Übersetzungsnormen ein. (Nicht wissend, dass die Anwendung von Normen eine freiwillige Angelegenheit und nicht gesetzlich vorgeschrieben ist.) Oder man liest einfach nur: Wir arbeiten im Einklang mit Wir orientieren uns an der Norm Wir übersetzen Ihre Texte aus den Gebieten: Wirtschaft, Kultur, Politik, Medien, günstig und den Übersetzungsnormen entsprechend in die folgeden (!) Sprachen Einige Verwirrung hat auch die Möglichkeit der so genannten Registrierung nach EN bei DIN CERTCO gestiftet. Dass sich der BDÜ nach all der vorangegangenen, sehr lobenswerten Debatte um Inhalt und Wert der Norm um eine kostengünstige Lösung für seine Mitglieder bemüht hat, ist verständlich und völlig in Ordnung. Beabsichtigt war von den Erarbeitern der Norm eine solche Lösung jedoch nicht. Sie hatten eine Zertifizierung im Sinn, und zwar eine durchaus kostengünstige. DIN CERTCO muss nach wie vor der Vorwurf gemacht werden, aus Gründen der Erzielung eines schnellen Gewinns diesen Service angeboten zu haben. Und so schreibt Gérard de Angeli im Translation Journal vom Januar 2009 etwas ironisch: If you think your services comply with EN requirements, you may consider registering with DIN-CERCO. It will cost you 57, which is a cheap price to pay to have a nice flag on the home page of your website! Of course, this does not attest to your compliance with EN requirements. At most, it attests to your payment to DIN-CERTCO and... to the great marketing skills of Germans! To the best of my knowledge, none of the other large standardization bodies in Europe (BSI and AFNOR) offer this service. (Bei der Gebühr irrt de Angeli. DIN CERTCO berechnet die Leistungen nach Gebühreneinheiten (GE); eine Einheit kostet zurzeit 43 Euro. Für die Nutzung des Verbandszeichens werden 10 GE, für die Ausstellung des Registrierbescheids 2 GE und als jährliche Nutzungsgebühr 5 GE berechnet.) ASTTI - IALB 61

68 So kann die bei DIN CERTCO registrierte Agentur technotrans auf seiner Website auch den Wert von Normen und einer Zertifizierung herunterspielen, indem es dort heißt: Übersetzungsnormen und Zertifizierungen können bei Beachtung einiger Besonderheiten zur (!) einer Steigerung der Qualität des Produkts Übersetzungen beitragen. Hier sind insbesondere die DIN 2345 als produktorientierte und die DIN EN als mehr prozessorientierte Norm zu erwähnen. Bezüglich der Normenreihe ISO 9000 hat sich in der Branche mittlerweile die Erkenntnis durchgesetzt, dass eine entsprechende Zertifizierung nicht unbedingt ein Garant für gute Übersetzungsqualität ist. In der Tat haben wir schon Übersetzungen nach ISO 9000 gesehen, bei denen von Qualität nicht unbedingt die Rede sein konnte. Es gilt halt nach wie vor die Erkenntnis von Qualitätssicherungsexperten, derzufolge (!) es nicht möglich ist, Qualität in ein Produkt hineinzuprüfen, die vorher nicht hineingearbeitet worden ist. Als bei DIN Certco registrierter Dienstleister (Reg.-Nr. 7U070) können wir unseren Kunden normkonforme Übersetzungsdienstleistungen gemäß DIN-EN anbieten. Auf Wunsch arbeiten wir ebenfalls noch auf der Grundlage der alten DIN Gérard de Angeli hat die Zahl von Hits für EN im Internet festgestellt und ist bei Google France auf 161 Seiten, bei Google UK auf 100 Seiten und bei Google Deutschland auf Seiten gestoßen. Die hohe Zahl der deutschen Hits führt er vor allem auf die DIN-CERTCO-Registrierung zurück. Sie verdeutlicht aber auch das übergroße Interesse, das die Norm auf dem deutschen Markt findet. So sollte man auch einen hohen Bekanntheitsgrad der Norm unterstellen, weshalb es wenig verständlich ist, dass viele registrierte Übersetzungsdienstleister auf ihren Webseiten annoncieren, sie seien zertifiziert. Das muss man schlicht als Etikettenschwindel bezeichnen, und es wurden auch bereits in mehreren Fällen Abmahnungen erteilt. Hier hat der BDÜ sehr positiv reagiert. Alle diese Fälle sollen jedoch nicht die Fortschritte, die mit der EN erzielt worden sind, schmälern. Ich bin davon überzeugt, dass die Norm einen positiven Einfluss auf die Beziehungen zwischen Übersetzungsdienstleistern und Kunden sowie zwischen Übersetzungsdienstleistern und Übersetzern haben wird. In Ausschreibungen der EU wird bereits die Anwendung der Norm vorausgesetzt, und die Übersetzungsdienstleister werden durch die Norm verpflichtet, bei Untervergabe von Projekten von Zulieferern die ASTTI - IALB 62

69 Anwendung gleichgearteter Qualitätssicherungssysteme zu verlangen. So stärkt die Anwendung der Norm die Marktposition von Übersetzungsdienstleistern, und sie stärkt die Effizienz der internen Organisation. Jährliche Wiederholungsprüfungen bei zertifizierten Dienstleistern sorgen für kontinuierliche Verbesserungen ihrer Prozesse, und die vorgeschriebene regelmäßige Auswertung von Feedbacks veranlasst zu korrigierenden und vorbeugenden Maßnahmen, was mittelund langfristig eine Effizienz- und Qualitätserhöhung bedeutet. Zurück zur Messung von Qualität und zur Normung auf ISO-Ebene. Ich hatte Gelegenheit, an den vergangenen 4 Sitzungen der Arbeitsgruppe 6 im Unterausschuss 2 des TK 37 der ISO (Übersetzen und Dolmetschen) teilzunehmen. Wir Europäer hatten vor 4 Jahren in Beijing gehofft, die EN als Grundlage für eine entsprechende ISO-Norm einbringen zu können. Diese Hoffnung wurde zunächst enttäuscht, da auch andere Normen existierten, die einen ähnlichen Anspruch erhoben, sodass man sich zunächst auf eine vergleichende Darstellung bestehender Normen einigte, und auf der Grundlage eines solchen Vergleichs sollte über eine eventuelle völlig neue ISO-Norm beraten werden. Die Anfertigung der vergleichenden Darstellung zog sich hin, und es ist den österreichischen und spanischen Vertretern zu danken, dass sie im August dieses Jahres in Bogotá die entstandene Stagnation mit einem neuen Vorschlag überwinden konnten. Die Diskussion in Bogotá war sehr konstruktiv. Zu den wichtigsten Ergebnissen gehören die Annahme des Projekts ISO/TS Translation Projects General Guidance, basierend auf dem seit mehreren Jahren vorliegenden amerikanischen Vorschlag, ein Dokument über Parameter, die vor der Anfertigung einer Übersetzung zu beachten sind, weiterzuentwickeln. Das Projekt dürfte ein so genannter Guidance Standard werden, der Übersetzungsprojekte beschreibt und die Nutzer zu einem besseren Verständnis solcher Projekte und entsprechender Spezifikationen und Normen verhelfen soll. Interessant soll ein solches erläuterndes Dokument sein für Kunden, Übersetzungsdienstleister, Endnutzer, Entwickler von Übersetzungstechnologie und Ausbilder von Übersetzern. Es ist geplant, das Projekt im Oktober 2011 zu veröffentlichen. Der neue Vorschlag der österreichischen und spanischen Vertreter betrifft ein Projekt für eine ISO-Norm zur Bewertung der Qualität von Übersetzungen (Assessment of Translations). Während bisher eine metrische Norm nur für ausgewählte Bereiche und Texte entwickelt wurde, soll dieses Projekt für alle Arten von Übersetzungen gelten. Die Arbeit mit ASTTI - IALB 63

70 dem LISA QA Model und der SAE-Norm sowie auch die Erfahrungen der ATA mit dem Standardized Error Marking System haben gezeigt, dass eine solche metrische Auswertung machbar und auch sinnvoll ist, und das hat den Einreichern, neben einer in Bogotá geführten sehr konstruktiven Debatte ganz gewiss Auftrieb verliehen und Sicherheit gegeben. Der Entwurf sieht unter anderen folgende Bewertungskriterien (Fehlerkategorien) vor, das heißt, Fehler, die einen messbaren (wesentlichen oder weniger gravierenden) Einfluss auf das Endprodukt haben können und die zum Gesamtumfang des Textes in Beziehung gesetzt werden: Lack of accuracy Omissions Additions Misunderstandings of the source text Mistranslation Titles, references and numbering Terminology errors Glossary adherence Context errors Terminology consistency Language errors Grammar errors Syntax errors Punctuation errors Spelling and typographic orthography Style errors General style errors Register errors Text coherence and consistency Locale Formatting errors Deadlines Completeness Inadequate adherence to specifications Overall evaluation and rating Die Ergebnisse sollen in einem Assessment Sheet, das der Revisor ausfüllt, zusammengefasst werden. Ein solches Assessment Sheet ist durchaus nichts Neues. Die Europäischen Institutionen verwenden seit langem ähnliche Formulare, nach denen Übersetzungen bewertet werden und ASTTI - IALB 64

71 externe Übersetzer (allmählich haben uns daran gewöhnt) in eine flexible Rangfolge eingeordnet werden. In Arbeit ist ferner ein Projekt zum Community Interpreting, das ganz am Anfang steht und zu dem ein erster Arbeitsentwurf Ende dieses Jahres vorliegen soll. Ganz zum Schluss: Wie weiter mit EN Nach den CEN-Bestimmungen sind alle geltenden Normen nach 5 Jahren zu überprüfen. Das wird im Fall von EN im Jahr 2011 geschehen. Bei dieser Überprüfung wird festzustellen sein, ob sich die Norm bewährt hat (und ich bin sicher, das wird positiv beantwortet werden), und es werden gegebenenfalls Änderungen an ihr vorgenommen. Alles in allem, viel Stoff für ausgiebige Diskussionen in der Branche und in den Verbänden. Biografie Geboren 1943; Diplom-Dolmetscher und Übersetzer, seit 1990 Vorstandsmitglied Intertext Fremdsprachendienst e.g., Berlin; Geschäftsführer der Internationalen Vereinigung Sprache und Wirtschaft; Mitglied des Beirats des Langenscheidt Fachverlags; Lehraufträge an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Sprachdatenverarbeitung für Übersetzer); bis 2006 Mitglied des Spiegelkomitees des Deutschen Instituts für Normung (DIN) zur Begleitung der Erarbeitung der Qualitätsnorm EN 15038; Mitglied der Delegation des österreichischen Normungsinstituts in ISO/TC37/SC2WG6 (Übersetzen und Dolmetschen); Artikel in Fachzeitschriften sowie literarische Übersetzungen englisch- und spanischsprachiger Autoren. Contact Intertext Greifswalder Straße 5 D Berlin ASTTI - IALB 65

72 Navigating the Economic Downturn David J. Kosh Translator/Terminologist, ASTTI Abstract After 40 years as a language services provider, the speaker reflects on the difficulties faced by a new generation of translators hoping to establish themselves as part-time or full-time freelance translators in a modern business environment that is currently dominated by the global economic crisis. Drawing specifically on his own experience and that of the small team of language service providers within which he operates, the speaker addresses everyday issues such as professional attitudes towards customers and their demands, practical responses to price and deadline pressures, and pragmatic use of time between assignments. Having initially worked in industry as an in-house translator, interpreter and terminologist, the speaker then spent several years as an engineer and manager selling capital goods throughout Asia and Latin America before finally returning full-time to the language services business he established some years ago with his wife and selected partners. Against that backdrop, he feels able to appreciate the difficulties facing today's translators and their customers. Navigating the Economic Downturn David J. Kosh Translator/Terminologist 1 ASTTI - IALB 66

73 ASTTI - IALB 67

74 Slide 1: Navigating the Economic Downturn Many smaller language services providers particularly recent entrants to the freelance market continue to find life in our sector challenging. Those challenges are having an impact on the practical, financial and indeed psychological aspects of their professional and private lives. Obviously, there are no clear-cut answers. But, under the current market conditions there are some basic concepts that all language services providers might want to consider, irrespective of whether they are just entering the market, or already struggling to keep their businesses alive today, or indeed, reflecting on how to survive in the longer term. Reviewing those fundamentals is the purpose of this presentation, which is aimed specifically at newcomers and smaller operators. Consequences for language services providers? Fewer assignments Price pressures Tight deadlines Slow payments Unreasonable terms November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 2Slide 1 Slide 2: Consequences for language services providers For many language professionals, the consequences of the recession and the rapidly changing business landscape have become all too evident: Fewer assignments Price pressures Tight deadlines Slow payments Unreasonable terms ASTTI - IALB 68

75 So, let s examine those aspects individually: Fewer assignments Less work maybe! Profile of work has changed Distribution of work has changed Customer loyalty has diminished Growing strength of agencies November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 3Slide 1 Slide 3: Lack of assignments Less work maybe! Even though the global recession has massively reduced the total value of goods and services being purchased by trade and industry, the effective volume of material that will need language processing is expected to grow for several years to come this has to be encouraging news for freelancers! Profile of work has changed This is an inevitable process of evolution. As new technologies develop and new consumer demands are generated, it is only natural that the profile of language related assignments will also change. As language services providers we must adapt in parallel: in the equipment we use, the subjects we understand, the customers we serve and how we serve them. More on this issue of how we serve them later. Distribution of work has changed The Internet has created almost total mobility and transparency. As a result, competition is even more intense than many people actually realise. Today s freelancer not only faces competition from within his/her own skills level, but is also confronted with upstream competitors such as local or even international agencies, and downstream price cutters from around the world. In the Swiss context, French target language work can migrate to France, Belgium, Canada or even parts of Africa. Germany and Austria can pick ASTTI - IALB 69

76 up work that traditionally would be handled by domestic own German language specialists. Our colleagues in the Ticino are under pressure from the immorally low rates paid in Italy. English language assignments are transferred to the UK and USA, or even to Hong Kong and India - while Australia can complete urgent jobs overnight while Switzerland is still asleep because of time shifts! Customer loyalty has diminished (virtually to the point of non-existence) There are admirable exceptions. But, just as you and I change the brand of our computers, mobile phones, cars or shop where we perceive we are getting the best deal, our customers feel free to do the same. Consequently, for service providers, the key aspects to survival are a) building strong customer relationships and b) achieving some level of leverage with customers. We will review these vital issues shortly. Strength of agencies has grown Agencies can pool greater acquisition resources than most freelancers. Administratively, they are better equipped and organised to negotiate with larger corporations. Only agencies can afford the cost of insurance against consequential damages that some corporations demand nowadays. The Achilles heel of agencies is that they absolutely need qualified personnel to process the assignments they are able to acquire. Consequently, linking up with an agency can be a solution for potential freelancers who feel the need to gain more practical experience, want a degree of job security, or avoid the sometimes disagreeable business of acquisition. I remain convinced that freelancers and agencies can co-exist. In the face of this sometimes contradictory constellation, it is obvious that any dedicated freelancer will need to generate a sustainable strategy for surviving the economic realities of the 21 st century. ASTTI - IALB 70

77 To survive, you must... Establish your brand: sell yourself, your skills profile, customer s first choice must always be you Unique selling proposition USP: quality, promptness, reliability Create leverage: strive to meet customers specific needs November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 4Slide 1 Slide 4: To survive, you must Consider these numbers: if you hope to invoice an average of Swiss francs a year over a career lasting 40 years, it means that you will have to generate a total turnover of 4 million francs over that period. Extracting that volume of money from the reluctant pockets of customers clearly means that you need to adopt an absolutely professional approach towards your business and your customers. In marketing terms, there are three things that must be achieved for a business model to be viable: 1) First, you have to: Establish your brand which is essentially selling yourself and your skills profile. Customers must instinctively think of you first when handing out assignments. 2) Next, you have to generate your own: Unique selling proposition. Your USP is made up of the quality, reliability, promptness and ultimately, the price of your work. 3) Finally, you need to: Create leverage with customers, i.e. to minimise their incentives to switch to an alternative, i.e. cheaper, language services provider. That leverage depends largely on convincing customers that you are striving to meet their specific needs. ASTTI - IALB 71

78 Now, how on earth are you expected to achieve all these good things when you are a small operation with limited financial resources? Getting your share... Depends on attitude Depends on response Depends on flexibility Depends on adaptability Depends on acquisition Depends on business style November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 5Slide 1 Slide 5: Getting your share If you are not getting a reasonable share of your local language services market, today may well be the moment to begin reassessing a number of closely related aspects that cannot be ignored in any business big or small. Apart from that elusive element called luck, getting, retaining and growing your market share invariably: Depends on attitude Depends on response Depends on flexibility Depends on adaptability Depends on acquisition Depends on business style Let s take a look at those aspects one by one. ASTTI - IALB 72

79 Attitude Time for a review? You are a services provider You are available 24/7 x 365 Cultivate your customers Follow your contacts Willing to adapt business style November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 6Slide 1 Slide 6: Attitude: Time for a review? Always remember: You are a professional language services provider that is your brand! To support your brand, your customers must be aware that: You are available 24/7 x 365 days a year That is a key element of your unique selling proposition, your USP). This recommendation is not really as ridiculous as its sounds a few practical tips: The costs of a Blackberry or smartphone that alerts to you incoming s from customers when you are hiking or skiing in the mountains are tax deductible. Ensure that customers have all your coordinates. I honestly know freelancers who resist giving customers or colleagues their mobile phone numbers. I honestly know others who do not switch on their mobile phones for days on end. If you feel that a mobile phone is strictly for your convenience and not for the convenience of your customers then it probably is time for a review. Whenever you travel, carry a WirelessLAN enabled laptop to receive, process and return assignments (exploit dead time at airports, on trains, in hotels). If your laptop is your 2 nd computer, be sure your glossaries are on its hard disk. ASTTI - IALB 73

80 Always carry a USB stick with your glossaries/reference texts as a backup. Inform customers of your travel/vacation plans, but confirm your 24/7 availability. Maintain a backup Internet account in case your main provider is down. Be sure to carry chargers/adapters for all your electronic devices. Cultivate your customers All too often, I hear my colleagues speaking of customers as if they were the enemy. Establishing relationships with contacts within companies (remember: generating leverage?) is the most effective way for freelancers to influence customers and win your their fair share of their assignments. A few wellestablished suggestions in this regard: Visit your best customer contacts at least once a year Try to remember their personal details (children, hobbies, sports) Enquire about the potentials of their business and future plans Start s with small personal comments ( glad to hear from you, I just came back from trip to Germany ) Remember: if contacts are pressuring you on prices and deadlines it is because they are under exactly the same pressures from their own customers and bosses. Emphasise benefits of win-win business relationships (priority, consistency etc.) When you submit completed translation jobs, say thank you for the assignment Follow your customer contacts when they change jobs, offer them your services in their new positions, offer to learn their new technologies and terminologies! ASTTI - IALB 74

81 Response... Acting on enquiries Respond to enquiries promptly Ballpark price better than full quote without follow-up Mention terms and conditions Keep a copy for reference November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 7Slide 1 Slide 7: Response: Acting on enquiries Always respond to enquiries immediately. A promptly ed ballpark price is cheaper and has more chance of success than a late, detailed quotation which is not followed up vigorously. No matter how simple the quotation is, always state your terms and conditions. Always keep a copy for later reference. ASTTI - IALB 75

82 Flexibility... Exploit your skills profile Translation Editing Proofreading Teaching Coaching students Consecutive interpreting November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 8Slide 1 Slide 8: Flexibility: Exploit your skills profile When offering your services to potential customers, don t forget to mention your other language related skills such as: Editing (increasingly companies are using English as corporate language) Proofreading (ditto) In-company teaching (e.g. business English for executives, technical English for sales and service engineers) Technical writing When work is scarce, don t forget that you are probably also qualified to: Teach (e.g. stand-in for language school teachers on vacation) Coach school or college students Consecutive interpreting Editing MBA or other post-graduate dissertations Act as a tourist guide ASTTI - IALB 76

83 Adaptability... Go with the flow Construction machinery to Milpol Metallurgy to packaging machinery Fineblanking to cold forging Corporate communications Financial reporting Websites and newsletter November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 9Slide 1 Slide 9: Adaptability: Go with the flow This slide shows the sectors where we used to generate our turnover and where we earn our living today. Service providers are subject to the law of supply and demand. Your customers will invariably adopt new technologies, develop alternative applications and enter new markets. To retain those customers you must adapt with them. Ask them what new technologies they are employing and get them to explain the benefits. For example, most modern machine tools use CNC controls made by Siemens or Fanuc. Search the websites of those makers they are often multilingual and contain a lot of essential terminology free of charge! ASTTI - IALB 77

84 Acquisition... Have you really contacted? All existing/former customers Every company in your area Competitors of your customers Local social services/churches Local language schools Investigated start-ups November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 10Slide 1 Slide 10: Acquisition: Have you really contacted? All existing/former customers Every company in your area Competitors of your customers Local social services/churches Local language schools Investigated start-ups Before chasing new business in new sectors, first review all your old invoices, business cards and copies of earlier translations they are a potential goldmine! Former customers are the easiest to talk to canvass because you already have a valid reason for contacting them. Those short follow-up phone calls will also give you a feel for what is happening in any given sector. Don t assume anything! Recently, I contacted a former customer thinking: mmm management consultants - not much hope here. Quite on the contrary those consultants have become specialised in a growing technology and that sector is surprisingly strong! Investments in that new specialty offer companies real and quick cost saving potentials. Even better, that technology is in a sector where European companies are really competitive. Scan local newspapers for articles on start-up companies in your area. They are often involved in hi-tech and are usually export oriented. Try to visit them personally on a non-committal basis. Offer them reasonable introductory ASTTI - IALB 78

85 rates - they have to control their costs carefully - and suggest generating a simple glossary of terms in their sector. Establish a personal relationship and grow with them (remember: leverage). A word of warning: Before you accept assignments from the social services, agree to invoice them and NOT their clients otherwise you will never see your money. Business style... Learn from the Asians Always carry business cards Seamless transition from work to leisure Don t volunteer information Be careful who you trust Confirm agreements in writing November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 11Slide 1 Slide 11: Business style: Learn from the Asians In Asia, if you don t have a business card, you are a nobody! So be somebody: Always carry your business cards and give them to people you meet Seamless transition from work to leisure Be happy if a customer phones you when you are in the bath, having dinner, or on holiday (remember the 24/7 x 365 thing?). Or, having a pizza with a customer really is often a great opportunity to discuss business (remember leverage!) Don t volunteer information: By all means discuss your business activities in general terms, but do not divulge key information such as customers, contacts, turnover, pricing agreements or payment terms. Be careful whom you trust Knowledge is power and you need to retain that power for yourself. ASTTI - IALB 79

86 Confirm agreements in writing If you agree prices or terms over a pizza, confirm them later by . Networking... The most wasted asset Can bring in assignments Can reduce deadline pressures Can keep your finger on the pulse Can extend your skills profile Can compete against agencies Can strengthen ASTTI November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 12Slide 1 Slide 12: Networking: The most wasted asset In the past, the ivory tower syndrome was a real problem for freelancers. But, professional isolation has been eliminated forever by the Internet. Yes, the Internet has created pricing problems for freelancers, but using the Internet to network is hugely cost-effective. Linking up through the Internet can help you to: Bring in more assignments Reduce deadline pressures Keep your finger on the pulse of the market Extend your skills profile Compete against agencies Strengthen your own professional association (ASTTI) Networking is as invaluable as word of mouth advertising and as cheap as the click of a key or a short phone call. ASTTI - IALB 80

87 Meeting customers Be prepared for meetings Short PowerPoint presentation Know your MSP Never criticise competitors Get the order and GET OUT! November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 13Slide 1 Slide 13: Meeting customers Be prepared for meetings Never go to a meeting unprepared - mentally visualise the meeting beforehand! Think about how you are going to greet the customer (thank you for your time ), how you are going to respond to difficult questions (your age, experience, prices, deadlines ) etc. If the customer offers you a cup of coffee, respond by offering small chocolates, this helps create what Asians call atmosphere language. Schedule the meeting for a time that is best for you. If you are night owl, try to set the meeting for the afternoon. If you are an early bird, arrange for morning appointments. Short PowerPoint presentation If you have tools such as a simple PowerPoint presentation on your laptop, try to sit next to the customer, or among them if there are two or three present. This helps to make the appointment into a meeting and less of a negotiation. Don t let your laptop create a barrier between you and the customer. At the end of the meeting, move back to your original position this is a signal to the customer that a decision is called for. ASTTI - IALB 81

88 Know your MSP Your MSP is your Maximum Settlement Point and your Minimum Settlement Point. The maximum is the price you are reasonably hoping to obtain, the minimum is where the negotiation ends, i.e. the lowest price at which you are willing to accept the assignment and/or the deadline. Get the order and get out This may sound strange, but if you do succeed in getting the order GET OUT! Staying on unnecessarily once a meeting is over is simply creating time for the customer to ask for more concessions, or obtain too much information from you. Finally, remember: no meeting is ever wasted even if you fail in your objective of getting the order, learn from that meeting: analyse your own mistakes and the customer s behaviour and tactics. If you are unable to accept an assignment or deadline for any reason, suggest an ASTTI colleague who can remember the need for networking! Price pressures... It s the Internet stupid! 1st July 2009 Dear Mr. Kosh, looking for a translator for our book on Twentieth Century Art to translate one section from German to English. The rate we usually pay is $0.07 per word, and the word count of this project is words, bringing the total payment to $2349, approximately. We would need the translation completed in about a month. Please let me know if you are available and interested and I will send you a sample to translate. Arielle Datz Parkstone International November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 14Slide 1 Slide 14: Price pressures: It s the Internet stupid! This slide shows a real life enquiry. It would have been a fascinating and challenging assignment but not for the equivalent of around 0.73 Swiss francs per line! ASTTI - IALB 82

89 The harsh reality is that freelance language service providers cannot make a viable living in Switzerland by dropping their prices to the ridiculous levels that are being offered on the Internet, or by these newcomers. The equally harsh question is therefore: what can freelancers do to compete? In today s price driven consumer market, the hard truth is that the freelancers options in price negotiations are limited, but worth reviewing nonetheless. Dealing with price pressures Try to negotiate face-to-face Never volunteer lower prices Downgrade assignment rather than giving a percentage discount Drop charge for urgent jobs Accept assignment or lose it November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 15Slide 1 Slide 15: Dealing with price pressures Try to negotiate face-to-face Even the most price conscious customers are likely to feel more confident with placing orders after personally meeting their potential language services provider, rather than trusting the promises made by a mail order flyer. Never volunteer lower prices Obvious, but worth repeating: don t offer a lower price until the customer specifically requests a reduction. Even today, many Swiss feel uneasy at asking for a discount! Downgrade assignment rather than offer discount If you must lower your price, tell the customer you are downgrading the assignment to a lower difficulty level, rather than agreeing to a permanent discount. The short-term result is the same, but your higher price level for ASTTI - IALB 83

90 difficult work remains intact! Offer an end-of-year discount if customer will guarantee a specified volume of work. Drop surcharge for urgent jobs Offer your express service at the same prices as standard assignments This is also the opportunity to highlight the benefits of your overall package: geographic proximity, readiness to visit customer at any time to understand the product, 24/7 x 365 availability, ASTTI quality and ethical standards, security of customer know-how, willingness to generate a dedicated glossary of terms, hence, the consistency of future assignments. (Remember: your unique selling proposition USP) Accept assignment or lose it This is the point where your MSP is important. It is only human to make concessions under pressure and regret them later. If your MINIMUM settlement point is firmly established in your mind, you are less likely to make unreasonable concessions. If you don t feel comfortable with the terms being offered, don t accept them. If possible, let the customer make the negative decision rather than you saying NO! If the decision goes against you, thank the customer and ask to be considered for the next assignment. Propose offering the job to an ASTTI colleague (remember: networking). Working under deadline pressures Accept deadline to secure order Try to negotiate extensions Request draft manuscript to research terminology Share assignments Ask for 24/7 contact November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 16Slide 1 ASTTI - IALB 84

91 Slide 16: Deadline pressures Accept deadline to secure order For most translators nowadays, accepting tight deadlines to secure an order is standard procedure. Don t feel victimised you are in good company with other service providers such as graphic artists, printers, IT specialists, forwarding agents, express delivery services etc. Negotiate extensions Always try to obtain an emergency extension (say to the customer: I will do my utmost to meet your deadline, but if there is any unexpected emergency, what is the very latest deadline you can accept?). Request draft manuscript to research terminology If the final manuscript has not been released, try to obtain a draft version. Use it to research terminology and work on difficult text passages. Share assignments Your objective as a freelancer is obviously to do as much of the work yourself and to invoice it yourself. However, if you are under extreme deadline pressure, share the assignment with a trusted colleague preferably an ASTTI member (networking!). Ask for 24/7 contact Ask the customer for a 24/7 contact who can help if you encounter difficulties. There is no disgrace in asking for help knowing where to ask is a real advantage! ASTTI - IALB 85

92 Minimising deadline pressures Clear your desk & your mind Know your personal rythm formula 60% + 20% + 20% Sign up with online IT service Learn from the experience November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 17Slide 1 Slide 17: Working under deadline pressures Clear your desk clear your mind The first thing I do when I am under deadline pressure is to clear my desk. Somehow, it also helps to clear my head and focus on the challenge ahead. Know your personal rhythm Over the years, I have found that a simple formula of 60% + 20% + 20% is the most productive procedure for me. This means working: 60% at top speed and concentration to generate a draft 20% revision and double-checking terminology 20% final editing, polishing, last-minute customer changes Sign up with online IT service Save time, nerves and money by signing up with a local online computer repair service. Signing on itself should be free of charge and you will receive a desktop icon from the provider. Click on that icon when things go wrong invariably at the worst moment to obtain prompt assistance. Remember: the costs of work related IT services are tax deductible, so get receipts from the provider and keep them for your tax declaration. Learn from the experience Are you really able to work under pressure, or does the quality of your work suffer? ASTTI - IALB 86

93 Who are the ASTTI colleagues you can rely on in a time pressure situation? Draw your own honest conclusions! (Remember: Networking!). Work ethics Even if you accept a low price, you must still do your best Honour deadlines even if tight You are responsible for shared assignments When you submit translation, say thank you for assignment November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 18Slide 1 Slide 18: (deleted) Invoicing Submit invoices promptly Always mention IBAN number Only show necessary information Mention who issued assignment State your payment terms Keep a copy of all invoices November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 19Slide 1 ASTTI - IALB 87

94 Slide 19: Invoicing Submit invoices promptly You, as a language services provider, are frequently subjected to short deadlines. Many of your customers, however, have surreptitiously increased their payment terms from 30 to 60 days or more, e.g. from date of receipt of invoice, or 60 days from the end of the month in which the invoice was submitted or received. Therefore, prompt invoicing is essential to keep your cash flow moving. Always mention IBAN number Nowadays, it is essential to mention the IBAN number of your bank account on invoices. For some customers, a missing IBAN number is an excuse for not paying promptly. Only show essential information Too much information on an invoice can encourage customers to query certain details. There is no joy in arguing with a customer whether you translated 99.8 or 100 lines. Mention who issued the assignment Also mention the date of the assignment, e.g. dated Don t give accountants the satisfaction or opportunity to withhold payment. State your payment terms The customer will pay at his own terms anyway, but in the event of a dispute, you can always refer to your own payment terms. Keep a copy Obvious procedure for tax return reasons, but also as useful reference as a simple customer database when you are short of work and chasing assignments. ASTTI - IALB 88

95 Slow payments Know customer s payment habits Accept reasonable payment terms Follow up overdue payments Chase customer s accountant first Then chase your customer November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 20Slide 1 Slide 20: Slow payments Assess reasons behind customer s slow payments If customers start to extend their payment terms, try to establish why. Is this general policy, or is there a danger that your invoice will not be paid? Accept reasonable payment terms Unfortunately, any payment terms between 30 and 60 days are reasonable. Follow up overdue payments You have provided the service probably under time pressure you are fully entitled to full and prompt payment. You must follow up overdue payments! Chase customer s accountant first This is important! Have your copy of the invoice in front of you to confirm the date of invoice, the sum involved and the person who issued the assignment. If the accountant does not have your invoice, it is time to: Chase your customer Slow payers usually claim they have signed off the invoice and passed it to the accounts department. This is the moment to state that you have already been in touch with accounts and to request prompt settlement it usually works. ASTTI - IALB 89

96 Positive use of spare time Update customer database Expand glossaries/termbases Consider further education Balance your accounts Research Internet for terms November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 21Slide 1 Slide 21: (deleted) Business plan Analyse your costs Budget for a profit Assess customer potential Know your MSP Commercial register Website Yes/No? November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 22Slide 1 Slide 22: Business plan Budget for a profit If your figures show that you are regularly losing money, then it is obviously time to reassess your situation as a freelance services provider. Whenever you are investing in your business be sure that there is a profit at the end of the ASTTI - IALB 90

97 day. A recent study in Zurich showed that people women in particular - who work part-time out of the home ultimately lose money because of the added cost of transport, food, childcare and higher taxes. So let s borrow a phrase from a popular CNN financial programme - Whatever you do, let it be profitable!. Assess customer potential If you have customers who are agreeable to work with, who pay their invoices regularly and are helpful with translation questions, cultivate them carefully and take time to increase your knowledge of their specialties and expand your terminology accordingly. At the same time consider whether there is medium to long-term potential in their field, i.e. whether they are likely to provide you with greater volumes of work in the future. If they have obvious competitors, consider approaching them with language services. Commercial register Even if you are operating as a one-man show, it is worthwhile having your name and/or company entered in the local Commercial Register where you live or work. Registration not only gives your business a certain legitimacy, but it also supports your case when making deductions from earnings in your tax declaration. Costs are modest and should be tax deductable. Website Yes/No? Frankly, we have had plenty of compliments on our website, but have received very little identifiable business from it. However, it is certainly a useful reference when we are approached by new potential customers. ASTTI - IALB 91

98 ASTTI membership Absolutely! Recommended tariffs Contacts Networking International recognition Code of conduct/ethics November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 23Slide 1 Slide 23: ASTTI membership Absolutely! Unlike our own homepage, we definitely do receive regular enquiries via the ASTTI website. That in itself is a valid reason for gaining admission to this rather exclusive club. But, there are others: Recommended tariffs Tariffs that are published by a professional association tend to carry more authority and justification than those quoted arbitrarily by freelance operators. Contacts Customers looking for a competent language services provider will often surf the Internet to look for a translators association and, in Switzerland, will invariably hit the ASTTI site. Although the ASTTI homepage still needs refinement from a graphics point of view, it is evidently quite user-friendly. Networking Our personal experience is that ASTTI members do not network nearly enough. Nevertheless, the members database is readily available as a starting point. I really hope that the younger and more Internet savvy generation will make greater use of its networking potential. International recognition ASTTI - IALB 92

99 Becoming a member of ASTTI is not simply a question of joining a club but rather one of gaining admission to a professional association that appreciates your credentials and will help defend them through arbitration if necessary. Code of conduct/ethics In this Internet era with its instant reporting, many companies are justifiably worried about confidential data being leaked, stolen or otherwise abused. Therefore, being a member of an association with a published code of conduct and ethics is a useful argument when negotiating with potential customers and convincing them to entrust their translation assignments to locally based professionals. Conclusions Regularly review business attitude Present yourself as 24/7 package Tolerate price/deadline pressures Network to counter those pressures!!! Tightly control invoicing and costs Make optimal use of spare time Good luck and successful networking! November 2009 Surviving the Economic Downturn 24Slide 1 Slide 24: Conclusions To survive as a freelance language services professional in today s competitive and challenging business environment you must be willing and able to: Regularly review your business attitudes Present yourself as a 24/7 x 365 package Tolerate price and deadline pressures Network with colleagues to counter those pressures Tightly control your invoicing and costs Make optimal use of spare time Good luck and successful networking! ASTTI - IALB 93

100 About the author HNC Mechanical Engineering, Coventry Polytechnic, England. Cambridge CTEFLA Certificate in Teaching of English as a Foreign Language to Adults. Certificate of Advanced Studies in Terminology Science, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur. Seven years as Head of Language Services with leading Swiss industrial group. First-hand sales and marketing experience as Export Sales Manager with international trading house and specialist machine tool manufacturer. Teaching experience at Kaufmännische Berufsschule Aarau, Dolmetscherschule Zurich, and company in-house courses. Contact Kramenweg 12 CH-8645 Jona ASTTI - IALB 94

101 La traduction de textes économiques et financiers : les métaphores et la dernière crise mondiale Áurea Fernández Rodríguez Iolanda Galanes Santos Universidade de Vigo Résumé Les recherches concernant les expressions imagées dans le langage économique et financier constituent un domaine relativement récent. Par ailleurs, dans la plupart des cas, l analyse de la métaphore est abordée par des équipes d étude et de recherche sur l anglais de spécialité : les autres langues dont la traduction français-espagnol et portugais ou encore portugais espagnol français sont beaucoup moins étudiées. C est dans les années 70 que le phénomène des expressions imagées a commencé à susciter la curiosité des théoriciens hors du domaine linguistique et littéraire. Les années ont vu le jour d autres recherches: Klamer, McCloskey et Slow (1988) ; Dudley-Evans et Henderson (1990), etc. En période d embellie ou de crise, les exemples de métaphores sont encore plus nombreux dans les textes de la presse économique et financière. Charteris-Black (2001), par exemple, relèvent les métaphores dans des rapports financiers anglais et espagnol publiés pendant la crise des marchés de valeurs de l année 1997 pour comparer le genre de métaphore utilisé et le domaine auquel est associé l expression. White (1997 : 2004) centre ses recherches sur le recours systématique et généralisé des médias à la métaphore pour traiter une crise monétaire. Dans le domaine hispanophone, le linguiste et critique littéraire Victor Gustavo Zonana a fait une analyse linguistique des tribunes médiatiques argentines lors de la crise de 2001 pour s attarder sur la créativité et sur les liens entre la métaphore et l argumentation. Dans la mondialisation actuelle où l économie des États-Unis est encore la référence mondiale, le discours sur la crise des subprime a également pris une ampleur universelle. Les métaphores abondent : hipotecas basura, activos tóxicos, - banco bueno (banco bom, banco bo), banco malo (banco malo, banco mau/ruim), burbuja del ladrillo, los brotes verdes; l éclatement de la bulle de l immobilier, les actifs pourris, etc. Quelle est la capacité de création de chaque langue? Les langues se limitent-elles à calquer l anglais des États-Unis ou bien chaque culture créée en fonction de son expérience ou de sa conception du monde. Voilà quelques questions auxquelles nous essaierons de répondre dans ce travail dont le point de ASTTI - IALB 95

102 départ est un corpus composé par des textes tirés de la presse économique espagnole, française, italienne et portugaise depuis le mois d août 2007 jusqu à Pendant longtemps, les métaphores ont fait l'objet de recherches qui les considéraient un phénomène exclusif du domaine littéraire. Ce n'est qu'à partir des années que la métaphore commence a suscité la curiosité de certains théoriciens qui les abordent en tant que phénomène intralinguistique suivant des approches différentes dans la langue courante ou la langue des spécialités dont l'économique et la financière. Selon Lakoff et Johnson (1980, 1985) la langue générale fait appel aux métaphores conceptuelles. Henderson (1982) et McCloskey (1983) considèrent que les métaphores sont des moyens pour construire un monde. Dès la fin des années 1980 voient le jour d autres études sous la plume de Klamer, de McCloskey et de Slow (1988) ; Dudley-Evans et Henderson (1990) ; Samuels (1990), Henderson, Dudley-Evans et Backhouse (1993) ; Davis, Wade Hands et Mäki (1998). La linguistique appliquée a manifesté son intérêt pour l usage de la métaphore non seulement dans la langue générale, dans l'énonciation scientifique et technique mais aussi dans les textes économiques. Suivant une approche lexicographique, Knowles (1996) analyse les expressions métaphoriques associées à la santé dans les textes financiers. White (1997, 2004) travaille sur le recours systématique et généralisé des médias à la métaphore pour traiter une crise monétaire. Dans ses recherches il met en relief l apport de l image à la cohésion et à la cohérence du texte et par conséquent à la dimension communicative. Plus tard nous trouvons encore des analyses de corpus bilingues qui cherchent à comparer le texte source et le texte cible pour évaluer le résultat (Serón, 2005). En fait, ces groupes d étude et de recherche, au-delà de la métaphore, ont tous un autre point commun : leur intérêt sur l anglais de spécialité. Du point de vue interlinguistique, la métaphore n a pas fait l objet de très nombreux débats. Néanmoins, les théoriciens de la traduction se réclamant de différents courants Nida et Taber (1969), Dagut (1976), Vazquez Ayora (1977), Van de Broeck (1981), Toury (1981), Newmark (1981 ; 1988), Larson (1989), Dobrynska (1995) et Kurth (1999) consacrent des analyses sur l'usage, la fonction et la traduction de la métaphore. Van de Broeck (1981), Van Besien et Pelsmaekers (1988), Snell Hornby (1988), Rabadán (1991), Newmark (1981 et 1988) suivent la méthode communicative. Selon Reiss (1971) et Mason (1982) une théorie ASTTI - IALB 96

103 de la traduction de la métaphore ne serait même pas nécessaire car elle ne pose pas plus de problème que n importe quel autre terme à traduire. Cependant, d autres théoriciens comme Van de Broeck ou Peter Newmark pensent que la métaphore est un obstacle, souvent bien difficile à surmonter. En réponse aux théories de Dagut, Van de Broeck écrit un article sur le phénomène où il propose une classification des métaphores. Peter Newmark signale qu il y a des métaphores universelles, culturelles et originales. Puis il offre différents paramètres à tenir compte lors de la traduction de ces éléments : leur longévité (il établit cinq groupes), leur composition («simplex, one-word metaphors» et «complex, two or more words», 1998 : 85), le type de texte où elles sont employées (informatif, vocatif, etc.), la méthode de traduction adoptée (soit la traduction sémantique soit la traduction communicative) et la métaphore elle-même, c est-à-dire l objet auquel elle fait référence (l image et le sens). Les éléments culturels, universels et personnels ont également une influence sur le processus de traduction. Notre expérience personnelle dans l'enseignement universitaire et dans la préparation de futurs traducteurs et traductrices nous montre que la métaphore est l'un des plus difficiles problèmes à expliquer aux étudiants et à résoudre avec succès. En effet, malgré la quantité de ressources terminographiques et documentaires disponibles sur Internet, nos étudiants se voient débordés et déconcertés parce qu ils investissent trop de temps dans leurs recherches et ne trouvent pas toujours une solution satisfaisante à leurs problèmes de traduction. Les difficultés augmentent encore lorsqu il s agit de traduire des unités terminologiques nouvelles ou des variantes qui ne sont pas encore relevées dans les glossaires ou dans les lexiques. En effet, nous n'avons repéré aucun résultat pour mauvaise banque ni dans le Grand Dictionnaire Terminologique du Québec (GDT) ni dans la base de données terminologique de l Union européenne, l IATE (Inter Active Terminoly for Europe). Le terme banque poubelle est incorporé dans l IATE mais absent, à ce jour, dans le GDT où l on peut, par contre, trouver structure de défaisance et structure de cantonnement. Il en va de même pour actif à risque. En ce qui concerne green shoot (EN.), l unité terminologique en espagnol, français, italien ou portugais n apparaît que sous la forme brote (ES), pousse (FR) pampino (IT), lançamento (PT) dans l'univers de l agriculture. Or, les images métaphoriques incorporées au domaine des finances que proposent les médias ne se trouvent pas encore sur la base de données de l'iate. Par contre, la presse en espagnol, français, italien ou portugais offre différentes images et variantes : une image prise au domaine de ASTTI - IALB 97

104 l'agriculture «brotes verdes» (ES), «pousses vertes» (FR), «rebentos verdes»/ «brotos verdes» (PT) ; l'image de la reprise économique dans «signes de la reprise économique» (FR) ; «germogli della ripresa» et celle de `l espoir dans «germogli di speranza» (IT). Dans notre recherche, la liste des expressions imagées tirées des textes publiés entre 2007 et 2010 sur la crise que traverse le système économique et financier international nous offre souvent des compositions complexes avec différentes variantes ce qui complique davantage le choix lors du processus de traduction pour chaque type de lexie à traduire. Par ailleurs, certains termes prennent des nuances de sens différentes à leur forme initiale ou changent de champ sémantique. Tel est le cas de bonus, stock-options ou swaps. Le terme 1 anglo-saxon Swap, où to swap signifie «échanger», est un contrat d échange de flux financiers qui existe depuis le XIX e siècle mais est revenu sur le devant de la scène économique dans le cadre de cette première dépression du XXIe siècle. Les swaps, notamment les CDS (Credit Default Swaps) 2, censés protéger les détenteurs de créances contre le risque de non paiement sont devenus des produits risqués ou produits toxiques 3. En effet, ces assurances, une fois transformées en produits dérivés non régulés, augmentent le risque de multiplier les pertes en cas de non paiement. Notre but dans ce travail est double : il s'agit, d une part, de repérer, de décrire et de maîtriser toutes les variantes des métaphores dans le cadre de la dernière crise économique et financière et leur comportement dans les langues et cultures romanes cible dont l espagnol (ES), le français (FR), l'italien(it) et le portugais (PT). D autre part, notre réflexion, comme nous avons déjà indiqué, vise la formation de futurs traducteurs et traductrices et aspire, de ce fait, à les préparer à faire le bon choix lors du processus de traduction. Pour ce faire, nous avons eu recours à des textes spécialisés, 1 Un swap de taux d intérêt est un contrat entre deux parties, généralement des banques ou entités financières, qui conviennent de s échanger des flux d intérêt sur une période et un montant donnés ; une partie payant un taux fixe, l autre un taux variable. Au début c était un contrat de couverture contre certains risques, un instrument financier d assurance mais il est devenu un produit hautement spéculatif à frais implicites abusifs. 2 À ne pas confondre avec le swap de change. 3 Les quatre contrats les plus connus sont : le CDS (Crédit Default Swaps), le swap de devises (Cross Currency Swap ou Currency Interest Rate Swap,CIRS), le swap de taux d intérêt (en anglais : Plain Vanilla Interest Rate Swap) et le swap sur matière première. D autres termes comme les swaptions sont rapidement apparus à côté d autres nouveaux produits financiers dont la valeur reposait sur des crédits immobiliers risqués et qui ont contribué à diffuser la crise bancaire mondiale. ASTTI - IALB 98

105 rédigés en espagnol, en français, en italien et en portugais (non traduits) pour repérer dans le cadre de la crise économique et financière qui a frappé la planète depuis 2007 les images et les variantes de chaque métaphore. Le repérage des termes est accompagné d'une analyse des nombreuses variantes terminologiques auxquelles les langues romanes ont fait appel pour rendre transparentes les unités terminologiques de la langue cible. Pendant l histoire du capitalisme, le monde a assisté à plusieurs crises internationales de la dette. On peut en signaler trois au XIXe siècle et deux au XX e siècle, dont la plus importante est sans doute celle de 1929 aux États-Unis, nommée la Grande Dépression 4. Chaque crise a fait appel à des concepts de différents domaines pour expliquer le phénomène, les effets ou les produits qui en sont à l origine. Chaque crise a entraîné la naissance ou la renaissance de métaphores associées à différents domaines comme l'agriculture, la mécanique, la guerre, la météo, le corps, etc. Tel est le cas de termes comme corralito, banque zombie 5 (banque «pont»), krach, injecter, bulle immobilière, séisme, tsunami financier 6, turbulence, tempête (La tempête des «subprime» (crédits immobiliers à forts taux et à haut rendement), etc. Toutefois, nous n'avons retenu que les métaphores nouvelles introduites dans les langues romanes d arrivée, héritées d un état ancien ou d un emprunt d une autre langue. Or, les néologismes de forme et les néologismes de sens repérés dans les nombreux textes sur la crise mondiale qui a éclaté en 2007 comme conséquence de la crise ninja et crise des subprime sont presque tous issus de l anglais. Comme l affirme Sylvie Vandaele: La néologie scientifique actuelle fait appel aux métaphores et non plus à la création morphologique à partir de racines grecques ou latines (Raad, 1989). De plus, elle se fait en premier lieu en anglais. Souvent, dans les autres langues, le terme anglais est conservé tel quel, même par les spécialistes. Il est relativement aisé de comprendre pourquoi : les publications sont en majorité rédigées en anglais ; les préoccupations des chercheurs se situent ailleurs qu'au plan linguistique et, de plus, les mécanismes de transfert linguistique, qui pourraient les aider à élaborer 4 La dépression toucha d'abord les États-Unis, puis gagna le reste de l'amérique, l'europe et le monde. 5 L'origine du terme se trouve au Japon, dans la décennie perdue des années 90, après la bulle immobilière des années Le mot tsunami, d origine japonaise, est composé des racines «tsu» (port) et «nami» (vagues). ASTTI - IALB 99

106 une terminologie pertinente dans leur propre langue, leur sont généralement inconnus. (Vandaele, 2002: 229) Dans le cas de la néologie sur la crise qui nous concerne, il y a encore d'autres facteurs non moins importants qu'il ne faut pas négliger : cette première récession du XXIe siècle, liée à une crise bancaire et immobilière, désormais la plus longue, a été déclenchée aux États-Unis. L'économie des États-Unis est encore l'économie de référence mondiale et pour l'instant la plus puissante. La faillite de Lehman Brothers, la banque américaine, acteur majeur du marché des emprunts d État américains, avait traversé la crise de 1929 mais n'a pas résisté à celle des «subprime» a marqué l'économie mondiale car elle avait différents bureaux à travers le monde. C est aux États-Unis que les premières mesures contre la crise ont été prises. C'est également aux États-Unis que fut annoncée la floraison des premières «pousses vertes», pour indiquer le commencement de la normalisation de l économie. En somme sous l impulsion de tous ces phénomènes, l'économie, la culture et la langue anglaises règnent volontiers sur tous les autres cultures. Pour une bonne traduction de tous ces termes il faut les repérer, les décrire et maîtriser toutes les variantes pour être en mesure de faire le bon choix lors du processus de traduction. Des différentes unités terminologiques repérées dans le discours de la crise de 2007 à 2010 nous avons retenu les exemples suivants : Bad Bank Good Bank; Green Shoots; Stock-Options (Bonus); Subprime loan, subprime mortgage; Subprime mortgage crisis; Toxic assets, Troubled assets, Impaired assets Good assets. Pour la constitution de notre corpus nous avons dépouillé trois quotidiens à grand tirage français (FR), espagnols (ES), italiens (IT) et portugais (PT) dont l un appartient au domaine spécialisé et les deux autres sont généralistes. Dans l encadré suivant nous présentons les sources utilisées pour chacune des langues : Presse générale Espagnol (ES) Français (FR) Italien (IT) Portugais (PT) EM: El Mundo EP: El País LF: Le Figaro LM: Le Monde ICS: Il Corriere della sera LR: La República DN: Diário de Noticias P: Público ASTTI - IALB 100

107 Presse spécialisée Ex: Expansión LE: Les Échos IS024O: Il Sole 24 ore JN: Jornal de Negócios ASTTI - IALB 101

108 Notre classification suit les critères de recherche suivants : la période de temps : entre le 1/01/2007 et le 1/02/2010 le terme exact, toujours que possible Or, les médias des langues romanes analysées l espagnol (ES), le français (FR), l'italien (IT) et le portugais (PT), ainsi que les variantes du portugais du Brésil et du français du Québec ou de la Suisse présentent de nombreuses variantes, parfois fort complexes, pour le même concept. Dans le schéma suivant nous illustrons le terme bad bank et ses variantes dans les langues romanes analysées : Variantes terminologiques de bad bank dans les langues romanes analysées ASTTI - IALB 102

109 La variation, fortement conditionnée par des facteurs linguistiques, sociolinguistiques et idéologiques, a fait l objet d études des disciplines correspondantes. Cependant, pour notre propos nous nous attarderons sur les approches traductologique et terminologique. L'analyse des concepts économiques et financiers vus sous l'angle de la métaphore conceptuelle et du modèle de la Socioterminologie 7 notamment de la théorie sur la variation d Enilde Faulstich (2002) nous semble un modèle fonctionnel pour notre propos. Nous en résumons les idées principales dans le schéma suivant : VARIATION variable variante concurrente variante formelle co-occurrente synonyme compétitive emprunt v. term. lingüístiques v. term. de registre étrangérisme emprunt adapté v.term. phonologique géographique v. term. v. term.morphologique v. term. du discours v. term.syntaxique v. term. temporelle v.term. lexicale v.term.(typo)graphique Variation de la dénomination (Faulstich, 2002) 7 C est-à-dire la discipline qui s'intéresse au mouvement du terme dans les langages de spécialité (Faulstich, 1998/1999). ASTTI - IALB 103

110 Ce modèle théorique nous permet de classifier les variantes à partir de trois critères d'intérêt pour le traducteur qui doit bien savoir quelle est la raison de la variation et l'usage avant de faire son choix et se prononcer pour la variante pertinente dans la langue d arrivée. Faulstich distingue trois types de variantes : - des variantes formelles dont la variation peut être d ordre linguistique (variantes terminologiques linguistiques) ou extralinguistique mais reliée au texte, c est-à dire, à la terminologie en contexte, comme c est le cas des variantes de registre, variantes géographiques, variantes du discours ou variantes chronologiques. - des variantes synonymiques ou variantes co-occurrentes - des variantes compétitives, c est-à-dire, concurrentes dans le système linguistique comme il est le cas des emprunts linguistiques. Dans le processus de décision terminologique le traducteur sait qu'il peut admettre les variantes terminologiques synonymiques si le texte cible le lui permet, notamment pour la vulgarisation. Par contre, le traducteur a le choix parmi d autres variantes formelles linguistiques présentes, non pas forcément dans le même texte, mais dans les différentes sources de documentation. Par exemple, dans les premières nouvelles de la crise économique on trouvait dans la presse européenne des graphies différentes pour le même terme anglais : l'anglicisme entre guillemets, «subprime» ou en italique, subprime. Ce sont des variantes graphiques qui mettent en relief l'unité terminologique 8. À ce moment là, le traducteur est confronté à prendre une décision et faire le bon choix avant d'adopter l'une ou l'autre graphie. Le processus de décision s'élargie de façon considérable si le même traducteur décide que la forme étrangère n'est pas suffisamment transparente et doit chercher une solution autochtone pour le même référent dans la langue cible. Dans ce cas, il doit choisir entre, par exemple, crédits subprime, crédits à risque, crédits à haut risque, crédits hypothécaires à haut risque ou encore prêts hypothécaires à risque ou prêts risqués. À ce moment là, le traducteur se trouve face à différentes variantes compétitives. Il est obligé de choisir celle qui est capable de fonctionner comme référence dans le texte. Nous avons remarqué que les 8 Même les calques ou les formes nationales de nouvelle création adoptent différentes graphies bancos malos, bancos malos (ES) ; «banques poubelles», banques poubelles (FR), etc. ASTTI - IALB 104

111 textes dépouillés de 2007 à 2010 montrent dénominatifs du nouveau concept : plusieurs scénarios - maintien de l'emprunt : subprime ou «subprime loans» et/ou de la formation néologique nationale : crédits immobiliers à risque, prêts hypothécaires à risque (FR). - création de composés ou de dérivés hybrides : crédits subprime (FR), crisi dei mutui subprime (IT), - création d'unités terminologiques complexes hybrides dans les langues cible : crédits hypothécaires à risque américains (subprime) (FR), créditos hipotecarios subprime (ES). - création d'un calque par simple transfert de la métaphore originale : pousses vertes ou mauvaise banque (FR), bancos malos, bancos buenos (ES) et - maintien du terme étranger : stock-options. Par ailleurs, le choix du traducteur sur les variantes compétitives doit veiller à respecter également le génie de la langue, ainsi que la fréquence d'usage de chaque variante et le type de discours à traduire. Sachant qu'il est impossible de mener à bout dans cette analyse le fonctionnement de toutes les unités terminologiques recensées et de leurs variantes dans les langues romanes indiquées, nous nous limitons à l étude détaillée de 3 unités terminologiques : bad bank, good bank et subprime bad bank/ good bank (EN) Les bads banks sont des banques ou sociétés constituées pour débarrasser les établissements financiers et les bilans d actifs illiquides dits aussi actifs toxiques, actifs ou crédits pourris et actifs suspects dont on a déjà parlé pendant les années 90. En français, l'expression la plus utilisée dans la presse pour désigner ce concept est le néologisme national : structure de défaisance 9, construit, sans doute, à partir de defeasance (EN), désendettement en français. En deuxième position (selon la fréquence d'emploi) se trouve structure de cantonnement 10. Ce dernier est un élargissement sémantique du terme déjà existant auparavant. Le qualificatif mauvais qui figure dans le terme d origine anglaise, bad bank, est conservé dans toutes les langues soit avec l emploi de l anglicisme lui-même soit avec des calques comme mauvaises banques 9 Le terme n'est documenté que très récemment dans le Grand Dictionnaire Terminologique (GDT) et introduit seulement en 2009 dans l'iate. 10 Qui figure dans le glossaire multilingue IATE depuis 2003 ou comme synonyme de structure de défaisance dans le GDT. ASTTI - IALB 105

112 (FR), bancos malos (ES), banca cattiva (IT), banco mau, mau banco, banco ruim (PT). Néanmoins, en français, les variantes avec l'euphémisme structure sont beaucoup plus employées que les variantes descriptives avec le terme banque. En espagnol, par contre, le calque est le terme le plus fréquent et la presse a réussi à imposer son usage face à l anglicisme. Par ailleurs, en espagnol, l'idée négative que traduit l'adjectif «mauvaise» est plus marquée avec le calque (bancos malos, ES) qu'en français. Néanmoins, en espagnol économique (par exemple dans le journal spécialisé Expansion, désigné par EX), l'image de toxicité (bancos tóxicos), calquée des activos tóxicos (toxic assets), est la plus répandue. Cette image de toxicité est inconnue dans la culture française pour qualifier la banque de sauvetage qui a aussi recours à la forme banque poubelle, mais de façon minoritaire 11. Il faut conclure que le français a mobilisé les mécanismes de la néologie de façon différente à la langue espagnole : il a réussi à créer un terme ex novo purement descriptif là où l'espagnol a pris l'image de toxicité. Nous constatons que la présence des images n'est pas uniforme dans toutes les langues ni dans tous les termes. Par ailleurs, il existe une forte concurrence, entre l emprunt anglais et les termes descriptifs ; il y a même des images qui ont réussi à bannir le terme étranger : hipotecas basura, où l image de la saleté s impose en espagnol dès le début de la crise. À côté des variantes lexicales bancos malos ou bancos tóxicos associées à l image de la toxicité ou de la mauvaise qualité, il y a des termes qui désignent les établissements qui devraient permettre l assainissement des autres banques. De là les images qui font référence à la bonté ou à la santé dans bonne banque, banque assainie, banque en bonne santé ou banque dépouillée des actifs toxiques (FR) ; bancos buenos (good bank), bancos sanos ou bancos saneados (ES). En effet, dans cette profusion de termes il faut faire la différence entre les images positives et les images négatives. Il va s en dire que, dû au caractère négatif du phénomène de la crise, la plus grande créativité lexicale se penche sur le côté des expressions négatives. Subprime Bien qu'il n'existe pas de définition normalisée, nous pouvons affirmer que les subprime, prêts subprime ou crédits à haut risque aux États-Unis est un instrument financier visant des personnes à faibles revenus et une 11 Cependant, le français a retenu les expressions actifs toxiques, emprunts toxiques ou produits toxiques. ASTTI - IALB 106

113 solvabilité douteuse. Grâce à des taux plus élevés et à des clausules plus exigeantes de nombreuses personnes ont pu obtenir un emprunt ou un crédit dans ces conditions. L expression prêts subprime englobe une variété de types de crédit, y compris les hypothécaires, les prêts-auto, et les cartes de crédit. L expression prêts subprime, a été popularisée par les médias au cours de la «crise financière» de Cependant l anglicisme n est retenu ni dans le Grand dictionnaire terminologique d Office québécois de la langue ni dans France Terme. Le terme n est pas admis par la norme de la langue française. Par contre, le Grand dictionnaire terminologique d Office québécois de la langue offre la forme anglo-saxonne employée en anglais dans le domaine du commerce (subprime borrower (EN) / «emprunteur à haut risque» (FR) n. m.) et dans les finances: subprime lender (prêteur à haut risque (FR), n. m.); subprime loan (prêt à haut risque (FR) n. m.) avec la définition suivante: "A loan that has a higher risk of default than a loan to a prime borrower." En fait il s agit d une expression du marché hypothécaire aux États-Unis qui au moment de son introduction, en 2007, n avait pas de forme équivalente officielle ni en français ni dans les autres langues en question. Au sujet de l emploi de subprime dans les médias francophones, écrivent Élisabeth Lavault-Olléon et Véronique Sauron : On voit la difficulté de rendre compte de cette réalité en français en essayant de «faire court», subprime étant un raccourci de subprime loan (prêt à haut risque) ou subprime mortgage (prêt hypothécaire à haut risque) ou subprime product (produit à risques) Dans le tableau suivant nous présentons, par ordre de fréquence, les différentes variantes terminologiques repérées dans les médias des langues romanes du terme subprime : ANGLAIS (EN) FRANÇAIS (FR) ESPAGNOL (ES) ITALIEN (IT) PORTUGAIS(PT) LE, LF, LM Subprime Crédits à risque/risqués Prêts à risque/risqués Hipoteca basura Hipoteca subprime Mutui subprime Titoli spazzatura Crédito hipotecário de alto risco Crédits immobiliers à risque Crédits subprime Crédito subprime Hipoteca de alto Prestito subprime Crédito a rischio Crédito de alto(- )risco Hipotecas de alto ASTTI - IALB 107

114 Crédits hypothécaires à risque Prêts subprime Crédits hypothécaires à risque aux États-Unis Crédits hypothécaires à risque américain Prêts immobilier à risque «Subprime loans» Crédits hypothécaires à haut risque Prêts à haut risque Prêts hypothécaire à haut risque riesgo Hipoteca de mala calidad Créditos subprime préstamos subprime Préstamos de alto riesgo Créditos de alto riesgo Créditos hipotecarios de alto riesgo Préstamos hipotecarios de alto riesgo Mutuo ad alto rischio Creditio dubbi Mutuo a rischio Mutuo spazzatura Prestito a rischio Credito non performing Prestito ad alto rischio Credito ad alto rischio Credito cattivi Strumento finanziario ad alto riscio Credito subprime risco Crédito subprime Hipoteca subprime Empréstimo de má qualidade Crédito inmobiliário de má cualidade Crédito ninja Hipoteca(-)lixo Crédits à haut risque Suprime mortgage Crédits à risque (subprime) Prêts hypothécaires à risque aux États-Unis Prêts ninja Créditos hipotecarios (subprime) hipotecas de mala calidad Préstamos hipotecarios (subprime) Mutuo ipotecario de qualità non primaria Prestito di qualitá non primaria Mutui rischiosi Mutuo di qualitá non primaria Subprime loan, subprime mortgage) Crise du subprime/crise subprime ou crise des subprime Crise immobilière Crise hypothécaire à haut risque (subprime) Crise de liquidité/de liquidités/ des liquidités Crise immobilière américaine Crise crédits hypothécaires à Crisis del subprime Crisis hipotecaria Crisis ninja Crisi dei mutui Crisi dei mutui subprime Crisi dei subprime Crisi subprime Crisi dei mutui a rischio Crisi dei mutui ad alto rischio Crisi dei subprime americani Crise do subprime Crise do crédito de alto risco Crise hipotecária Crise subprime Crise do crédito subprime Crise das hipotecas de alto risco ASTTI - IALB 108

115 haut risque subprime Crise des prêts hypothécaires à risque Crise crédits à risque Crise crédits à risque subprime Crise crédits hypothécaires à haut risque Nous constatons que les termes employés présentent de nombreuses variantes, des variantes linguistiques (typographiques, morphologiques, lexicales) et des variantes compétitives : subprime, «subprimes» (FR); subprime (IT) ; la crise du «subprime» ; la crise de la subprime (FR); hipotecas basura, hipoteca de alto riesgo, créditos hipotecarios de alto riesgo (ES); empréstimo de má qualidade, hipotecas de alto risco (PT); mutui rischiosi, prestito ad alto rischio (IT); subprime ou crédits à haut risque ; crédits immobiliers à risque, «subprimes» (FR); etc. Dans ces deux derniers cas, l anglicisme est accompagné de la formation nationale. Cette solution permet le maintien de l effet émotif et culturel du terme originaire renforcé par l explication pour un lecteur-destinataire qui méconnaît le concept ou n est pas familiarisé avec le sens et l instrument financier. Dans les textes plus récents apparaissent encore d autres variantes où, suivant le principe d'économie, les unités terminologiques sont de moins en moins complexes : crédit à risque ou crédit risqué (FR), crisi dei mutui (IT). Les variantes partent en général de l unité terminologique anglaise, introduite dans toutes les langues dans un premier temps, mais la recherche d un langage ordinaire, susceptible de se substituer au langage technique, sans doute plus précis mais moins transparent pour le non spécialiste, appelle en quelque sorte la mise sur pied de paires de termes synonymiques, c'est-à-dire des termes qui servent à désigner la même entité. Le fondement de la relation synonymique ainsi conçue c est, en fait, la coexistence des termes. Toutefois, les langues romanes ne réagissent pas de la même manière face au néologisme : alors que le français et l espagnol accordent une ASTTI - IALB 109

116 préférence pour l'explication autochtone qui devient la plus utilisée, l italien présente la plupart de ses variantes majoritaires sous la forme d emprunts ou de termes hybrides. Par ailleurs, les images à plus grand succès dans les langues romanes pendant cette crise mondiale ( ) sont des images en rapport avec le haut risque et la toxicité. Néanmoins, la distribution des images diffère d une langue à l autre et elle ne se manifeste pas dans toutes les unités terminologiques de la même façon. Par exemple : le succès de l image de la saleté pour les crédits à risque en espagnol (hipotecas basura) marque sa différence par rapport à l italien, au portugais ou au français qui n'a pas créé un terme du type *crédit poubelle, en parallèle à banque poubelle, par exemple. De même, c'est uniquement la langue espagnole qui a retenu l image de toxicité à la fois pour les actifs et pour les banques (activos tóxicos, bancos tóxicos). En somme, nous avons remarqué que les langues romanes font preuve d une grande vitalité face à l introduction de nouvelles images, mais pour faire le bon choix lors du processus de traduction il faut savoir que l association d une image à une unité, et non pas à une autre, dépend des variables sémantiques, communicatives et situationnelles. Biographie Áurea Fernández Rodríguez est maître de Conférences à la Faculté de Philologie et de Traduction de l'université de Vigo (Espagne) où elle enseigne la traduction de textes économiques et financiers. Elle a fait partie de deux équipes de recherches sur la traduction en Espagne, financées par le ministère espagnol des Science et des Technologie et le FEDER, en partenariat avec l'université de Vigo et de l'université de Barcelone. Elle a également contribué à plusieurs colloques internationaux et publications sur la traduction en Europe (Suisse, Roumanie, Allemagne, France et Espagne) et en Amérique (Québec, Brésil et Cuba). Son ouvrage intitulé La Bolsa y su entorno en España y Francia / Le monde de la Bourse en Espagne et en France (sous presse) paraîtra aux PUM (Presses Universitaires du Mirail) à Toulouse, France. ASTTI - IALB 110

117 Contact Áurea Fernández Rodríguez & Iolanda Galanes Santos Departamento de Tradución e Lingüística Facultade de Tradución e Lingüística Universidade de Vigo Campus Lagoas Marcosende Vigo- Espagne Références biblographiques CABRÉ CASTELLVÍ, M. T., (2006), «La clasificación de neologismos: una tarea compleja», Alfa, 50 (2), Saõ Paulo, pp CABRÉ CASTELLVÍ, M. T., (1999), La terminología. Representación y comunicación. Elementos para una teoría de base comunicativa y otros artículos. (Sèrie Monografies 3). Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra / Institut Universitari de Lingüística Aplicada. FAULSTICH, Enilde, ( ), «Principes formels et fonctionnels de la variation en terminologie», dans Terminology, Vol. 5 (1), pp FAULSTICHT, E., (2002), «Variação em terminologia. Aspectos de Socioterminologia. En GUERRERO RAMOS, G. E PÉREZ LAGOS, M.F.(COORDS.). Panorama actual de la terminología. Granada: Comares, pp LAKOFF, George & JOHNSON, Mark, (1985), Les Métaphores dans la vie quotidienne, Paris : Éditions de Minuit. NEWMARK, Peter, (1982), Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press. SAMANIEGO FERNÁNDEZ, E., (2002), «Prescripción y descripción: la metáfora en los estudios de traducción». En Trans, n.º 6, p SANTIBANEZ, Cristián. (2009), Metáforas y argumentación: Lugar y función de las metáforas conceptuales en la actividad argumentativa. Rev. signos [En ligne]. vol. 42, n. 70, pp , [Consulté le 28 octobre 2009]. STAMBUK, A., (1998), «Metaphor in Scientific Communication». Meta, vol. 43, n 3, pp ASTTI - IALB 111

118 SERÓN ORDÓÑEZ, Inmaculada, (2005), La traducción de la metáfora en los textos financieros: estudio de caso, en María Gracia Torres (coord.), Traducción y cultura: el referente cultural en la comunicación especializada, Encasa Ediciones y Publicaciones, STAMBUK, A. (1998), «Metaphor in Scientific Communication», Meta, vol. 43, nº 3, pp VANDAELE, Sylvie, (2002), Métaphores conceptuelles en traduction biomédicale et cohérence, TTR : traduction, terminologie, rédaction, Volume 15, numéro 1, 1er semestre, p , [En ligne], ASTTI - IALB 112

119 Le langage de la crise à l étude Marie-Evelyne Le Poder Université de Grenade Résumé Selon Joaquín Almunia, commissaire européen chargé des affaires économiques et monétaires, la crise financière et économique s est amorcée au premier semestre de 2007, et la presse européenne a commencé à en faire écho au cours de l été de la même année. Notre communication porte sur une analyse du vocabulaire de la crise en langue espagnole, et s appuie sur la construction d un corpus de textes provenant du quotidien national espagnol El País à caractère divulgatif. Certes, nous aurions pu porter notre choix sur des quotidiens ou des mensuels plus spécialisés tels que Expansión, Cinco Días, la Gaceta de los Negocios ou Actualidad Económica ; cependant, nous avons délibéremment opté pour El País, en pensant qu il s agissait d une option qui n est pas dépourvue d intérêt. En effet, l on y trouve des contributions d économistes réputés qui, tout en conservant la rigueur nécessaire à leurs analyses et faisant usage d une terminologie spécifique, probablement s expriment dans un langage plus intelligible pour les non experts en économie. Les origines de la crise À l orée de 2007, après plus de cinq années de croissance, le monde a été brusquement frappé par la crise des subprimes, dont on subit aujourd hui encore les effets, première étape d une crise financière et économique sans précédent depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Les subprimes, également connus comme crédits subprimes ou prêts hypothécaires à risque, furent octroyés à des foyers américains à faible revenu. Ces crédits, gagés sur le logement de l emprunteur, furent concédés à des ménages américains ayant des revenus modestes, permettant ainsi à de nombreux américains d accéder à la propriété. Ils se caractérisaient par des taux d intérêt variables et de niveau élevé avec, en contrepartie, des critères d attribution moins stricts que pour des crédits classiques. Au cours des deux premières années, les organismes bancaires proposèrent des taux bas aux emprunteurs afin de rendre le crédit alléchant, mais rapidement, le taux s avéra être plus élevé pour ASTTI - IALB 113

120 l emprunteur et plus attractif pour le prêteur afin de faire face au risque de non remboursement. En 2007, près de trois millions de foyers américains se trouvaient en situation de défaut de paiement. De plus, les taux d intérêt de ces crédits étaient indexés sur le taux directeur de la banque centrale américaine qui, entre 2004 et 2007, passa de 1% à plus de 5%. Parallèlement, la demande et la valeur des biens immobiliers chutèrent. Lorsque les ménages furent incapables de rembourser les prêts, la crise se propagea aux établissements de crédit et au secteur financier, générant ainsi un manque de liquidité. En Espagne, comme dans d autres pays, les banques qui avaient investi en actifs financiers liés au marché hypothécaire nord-américain, sentirent les premiers effets de la crise. Afin d apaiser la tension vécue par les marchés, la Banque centrale européenne, la Réserve fédérale américaine et la Banque japonaise se virent dans l obligation d injecter de l argent dans le système financier. Le manque d argent pallié, en partie, par les banques centrales, durcit les conditions d octroi de crédits et entrepreneurs et consommateurs, déjà très endettés, se retrouvèrent dans une difficile situation. La méfiance des banques à se prêter entre elles accéléra l escalade de l Euribor. Au sein d une économie chaque fois plus globalisée, un problème en apparence local comme l explosion de la bulle immobilière aux États-Unis a étendu ses effets de par le monde, ayant des répercussions sur la croissance économique actuelle. La crise a également une retombée sur la communication financière et économique, qui se traduit, entre autres, par l apparition d un nouveau vocabulaire qui accompagne et complète le vocabulaire «traditionnel» de l économie. Le cadre théorique Le cadre théorique de notre recherche s articule autour de l approche terminographique descriptive (Pavel, S. et Nolet, D 2002) (Riggs, F., Mälkiä, M. et Budin, G 1997 : ), qui part du principe que la connaissance réelle est biaisée culturellement et que les diverses situations communicatives brisent le schéma communicatif classique de «spécialiste à spécialiste» et inclut, entre autres, le discours divulgatif. Ainsi, la notion de niveau d abstraction, degré de spécialisation ou densité terminologique joue un rôle prépondérant et le terme est étudié in vivo, dans des documents ou des actes communicatifs concrets, et non pas in vitro. ASTTI - IALB 114

121 Le vocabulaire se mouvant dans les textes, nous avons commencé notre travail par une analyse des typologies textuelles qui a été réalisée à partir de la typologie multiniveau de conception cogniviste, développée par Ciaspucio et Kuguel (2002) et Ciaspucio (2003). Le niveau divulgatif est le centre de notre attention. Ont également été considérés le paramètre de la connaissance transmise par ces textes, ainsi que leur possible classification dans les niveaux horizontal (en fonction de la thématique), et vertical (en fonction du degré de spécialisation) (Cabré 2002). Objectifs Il s agit d analyser et de décrire le vocabulaire de la crise qui est présent dans les textes de la presse générale à caractère divulgatif, en tenant compte du fait que la communication financière et économique n est plus limitée au cercle restreint des spécialistes de ce champ de connaissance, et que sa divulgation dans la presse contribue à ce qu elle soit accessible à de très nombreux récepteurs. Concrètement, les procédés d analyse et de description portent sur la nature du vocabulaire. Le type d analyse pragmatique du lexique a trait aux processus de création néologique : emprunts ; suffixation ; préfixation ; composition ; sigles ; acronymes ; phénomènes haplologiques ; métaphores ; banalisation ; synonymie et variation dénominative. Au-delà de cette communication, à court terme, notre objectif est d agrandir notre corpus afin qu il soit le plus représentatif possible de la langue de la crise financière et économique, et d y inclure une collection beaucoup plus ample de textes : spécialisés, académiques, didactiques et professionnels. Méthodologie La méthodologie utilisée est celle de la linguistique de corpus et les résultats de l analyse sont conduits, guidés par les données ; perspective data driven (Tognini-Bonelli 2001). De nos jours, il serait impensable d observer le comportement d un élément linguistique quelconque sans se baser sur un corpus textuel et compter sur un outil d analyse qui puisse avaler les résultats obtenus. Le programme utilisé est WordSmith Tools. Chacun des outils spécifiques du programme (Concord ; Keywords, et Wordlist), est composé d une série d instruments d analyse et de fonctions qui permettent, notamment ASTTI - IALB 115

122 d observer des mots ou groupements de mots spécialisés en contexte et d élaborer des listes d unités lexicales. Le corpus, construit à partir du supplément économique du dimanche du quotidien El País, sur la période comprise entre août 2007 et juillet 2009, comprend 533 textes, parmi lesquels sont représentés les genres journalistiques de la nouvelle ; la chronique et l article d opinion. Résultats - Discussion La première constatation est que les procédés de création de néologismes dans le langage de la crise sont, dans leur immense majorité similaires à ceux qui ont été utilisés dans l élaboration des vocabulaires du champ des sciences humaines et sociales. Les emprunts La présence de nombreux emprunts à la langue anglaise, sous la forme d anglicismes ou de calques, est l une des principales caractéristiques du lexique. Sans aucun doute, des raisons d ordre historique et à la fois économique permettent d expliquer ce phénomène. En effet, n oublions pas, comme le souligne Gómez de Enterría (2009 : 22) que l œuvre de Adam Smith «The Wealth of Nations» (1776), a marqué la naissance de l économie en tant que science. Parmi les anglicismes qui apparaissent et qui ont été adaptés, accionista mayoritario/a ( * + a la que acudió la familia Del Pino, accionista mayoritaria de Ferrovial ), qui provient de majority shareholder; arbitraje ( En caso de conflicto, se establecerán sistemas de arbitraje y un régimen de sanciones ), qui trouve son origine dans arbitrage; autorregulación del sistema financiero ( El ex presidente de la Reserva Federal ha reconocido esta semana haber confiado excesivamente en la capacidad de autorregulación del sistema financiero ), de financial system selfregulation; banco de inversión ( Voluntariamente o por obligación, los bancos de inversión se han convertido en bancos comerciales ), de investment bank; fondo de inversión ( En Alemania, los activos de un fondo de inversión del Deutsche Bank han caído un 30% desde el 31 de julio ), de hedge fund; hipoteca de alto riesgo ( La crisis de las hipotecas de alto riesgo ha desencadenado una crisis de liquidez que se ha extendido a gran velocidad por todo el mundo ), de subprime; burbuja inmobiliaria ( Cada vez son más las voces que vinculan directamente esta crisis con la explosión de la burbuja inmobiliaria en EEUU * + ), de property bubble; deflación ( En última instancia, ese círculo vicioso puede complicarse sobremanera si finalmente llega la deflación * + ), de deflation ASTTI - IALB 116

123 En de rares occasions, l on y trouve des anglicismos d origine latine comme bonus ( El consejo acordó también otorgarle bonus y opciones sobre acciones por más de 10 millones de dólares ). Dans d autres cas, les emprunts sont directs et s incorporent à la langue espagnole sans aucun changement, comme c est le cas de stock ( No hay cifras oficiales sobre el stock de viviendas sin vender ); subprime ( La gran mayoría de los expertos coincide en señalar que la banca está a salvo de la crisis de las subprime ); dumping ( * + añade que no hay riesgo de ser acusados de dumping ). La suffixation Certains suffixes se répètent avec une grande fréquence dans notre corpus, et pour cette raison, font l objet des exemples suivants. Il s agit des suffixes ción, -idad y dor. Le suffixe ción participe à la formation de termes comme globalización ( En el fondo, el papel del Estado y la llegada de esas nuevas reglas del juego suponen reabrir un debate de ideas soterrado antes de la crisis por el triunfo sin paliativos de la liberalización financiera y la globalización ), ou d autres comme nacionalización ( Y muchos de esos gigantes * + están al borde de la nacionalización ); ou cotización ( La Administración de Obama se resiste a hacerlo a las claras: usa acciones sin derecho a voto y obliga a buscar accionistas privados para que la cotización bursátil no se diluya ). Ce sont des termes qui jouissent d une certaine tradition dans le secteur de l économie. Ils sont construits sur la base verbale en izar. Quand au suffixe idad, il contribue à la formation de nominalisations à bases adjectivales terminées en ble : rentable donne rentabilidad ( Además, la rentabilidad de los bonos baja y arrastra los tipos de interés reales del resto de la economía ). Dans d autres cas, le suffixe idad se combine avec des bases terminées en l : colegial donne colegialidad ( Una objeción a la expansión del grupo es que perderá intimidad, colegialidad"); volátil, volatilidad ( * + algunos analistas consideran que todavía se van a producir algunas turbulencias importantes y un buen ejemplo es la volatilidad de los mercados de bonos ). Enfin, le suffixe dor, joue un rôle non négligeable dans le corpus. Par exemple, de suministrar, suministrador ( Por su parte, * +, el mayor suministrador de hipotecas del país, pretende que se le conceda una financiación de hasta millones de libras ), ou de prestar, prestador ASTTI - IALB 117

124 ( Alemania, uno de nuestros principales compradores, es un país netamente prestador de dinero * +"). La préfixation Le préfixe des, qui permet de définir une action contraire à celle du mot de base, est fréquemment associé à des verbes terminés en ar comme par exemple, desacelerar et desaceleración ( La intensidad en la desaceleración del mercado inmobiliario será una de las claves en la evolución de 2008 ); descapitalizar, descapitalización (El temor a la descapitalización e incluso a la quiebra está fundado, como ya han demostrado los casos de Fortis (Bélgica) * + ). Le préfixe des intervient aussi avec des bases nominales: desabastecimiento ( El temor al desabastecimiento que se vivió estos días hace mella en el maltrecho ánimo del consumidor ); desaclopamiento ( * + en la actualidad parece que podría haber al menos un desacoplamiento parcial"); desempleo ( El desempleo, que afecta ya a 3,4 millones de personas en España, * + ); desajuste ( Cuanto mayor es el desajuste, más se tarda en resolver el desaguisado"). Le préfixe inter, qui fait référence à des relations entre divers objets ou entités, s emploie souvent avec des adjectifs, comme interanual ( Fuentes de la Asociación Española de Banca (AEB) argumentan que el sector ha elevado el crédito cerca de un 10% interanual ); interbancario ( A pesar de que la contracción del crédito interbancario se ha empezado a mitigar tras el rescate de los sistemas financieros en los países avanzados * + ). Le préfixe super, exprime une grande importance, une nette supériorité, ou une valeur intense : superagencia ( Para ello, no habrá superagencia estatal al estilo de la que se creó tras la Gran Depresión ) ; superejecutivo ( Casi todos los analistas consideran que no es pronto para atribuir la catástrofe a una excesiva permisividad en los mercados aderezado por el exceso de liquidez y la avaricia de unos cuantos superejecutivos de entidades financieras ); superpotencia ( La UE es una superpotencia económica pero no actúa como tal"). Le préfixe sobre, marque un certain excès, un degré extrême : sobrecapacidad ( * + pero los problemas de Frigo no van ligados a la demanda, sino a la sobrecapacidad de su planta catalana ); sobreproducción ( Los importadores cifran en un 30% la sobreproducción de automóviles ); sobrerregulación ( Estamos ante el fin de la innovación financiera? Existe riesgo de sobrerregulación? ). ASTTI - IALB 118

125 Enfin, le préfixe re, exprime la répétition, le recommencement, et sert à former les substantifs, les verbes...:par exemple: reinversión ( * + su organización se basa en el capital colectivo, la toma de decisiones colegiada y la reinversión de beneficios ); reequilibrio ("Hay un reequilibrio del patrón del crecimiento ); reajustar ( * + recuperar las economías de escala y reajustar las plantillas ). La composition La plupart des procédés de composition utilisés trouvent leur origine dans la composition syntagmatique. Les composés sont, généralement, endocentriques. La structure la plus fréquente des composés endocentriques est substantif + adjectif : crisis financiera ( El miedo a que la crisis financiera salpique al conjunto de la economía en Estados Unidos ); banco hipotecario ( La crisis afecta al quinto banco hipotecario británico y vuelve a sacudir las Bolsas ) ; crédito corporativo ( La entidad cuenta con "un perfil de riesgo medio-bajo y predecible", y señaló que el 62% de su balance corresponde a créditos a clientes, mientras que, de este total, un 83% es en financiación a particulares y pymes (banca comercial) y un 17% a crédito corporativo ); mercado inmobiliario ( "Las entidades de tamaño pequeño y mediano tienen una gran concentración de negocio en el mercado inmobiliario y en las constructoras ); mayor crecimiento ( La institución financiera holandesa -presente también en España como banco por Internet- es una de las de mayor crecimiento en Estados Unidos ). La majeure partie des composés syntagmatiques sont nominaux et présentent des structures syntactiques caractéristiques, comme, par exemple, la structure substantif + de + substantif : suspensión de pagos ( Los precios de los seguros contra la suspensión de pagos de la deuda * + se han disparado para aquellos países europeos que sufren una fuerte desaceleración económica ); depreciación de activos ("Los bancos deben revelar rápida y completamente su exposición al riesgo, la depreciación de activos y sus estimaciones de pérdidas"); mercado de deuda ( Y por si no fuera suficiente con los problemas financieros vinculados al mercado de deuda ). D autres structures sont importantes comme substantif + de + substantif + adjectif: crisis de liquidez internacional ( España es muy vulnerable a la crisis de liquidez internacional * + ); mercado de combustibles tradicionales ( Ha supuesto también un fuerte frenazo a las inversiones en energías renovables que, con el petróleo en el entorno de los 150 dólares, ASTTI - IALB 119

126 parecían la única alternativa posible al mercado de combustibles tradicionales ); plan de estímulo fiscal ( Pese a que ha sido mucho más tibio con los bancos que con el plan de estímulo fiscal * + ); fondos de inversión especulativos ( * + si la lógica financiera sigue ignorando las señales que envía el resto de la economía, será el debate sobre el funcionamiento de los mercados de futuros y de los fondos de inversión especulativos lo que cotizará al alza ). Substantif + adjectif + adjectif: sistema financiero internacional ( el Eurogrupo ha solicitado un informe al Comité Económico y Financiero para mejorar la transparencia del sistema financiero internacional ); mercado laboral estadounidense ( El mercado laboral estadounidense fue el epicentro del nuevo temblor que se propagó ayer por todas las plazas occidentales ). Substantif + adjectif + de + substantif: plan francés de ayuda ( Bruselas da el visto bueno al plan francés de ayuda al automóvil ). Il est également courant de trouver des composés qui s emploient avec des prépositions différentes. Substantif + en + substantif : empleo en empresas ( * + los expedientes de regulación de empleo en empresas importantes ya están dejando a trabajadores del ramo en paro ); inversión en vivienda ( El BBVA prevé un estancamiento de la inversión en vivienda en 2008 ). Substantif + por + substantif: pagos por el petróleo ( * + el fortalecimiento del dólar encarece los pagos por el petróleo ); hipoteca por la vivienda ( Además, la subida del Euríbor no sólo afecta a la hipoteca por la vivienda * + ). Les sigles Procédé très utilisé en économie, le sigle donne lieu à diverses formations parmi lesquelles certaines sont déjà traditionnelles comme, FED : Sistema de Reserva Federal (Reserve System Federal Reserve System, en anglais); BCE : Banco Central Europeo (ECB: European Central Bank, en anglais) ; FMI : Fondo Monetario Internacional (IMF : International Monetary Fund). D autres plus récents, comme RSE: Responsabilidad Social de la Empresa ( * +, el eje troncal es la responsabilidad social de la empresa (RSE), que se manifiesta a través de una nueva empresa responsable y sostenible ); ECF: Establecimientos Financieros de Crédito ( * + y eso que no recoge la morosidad de los establecimientos financieros de crédito (ECF), con tasa de impagos muy elevada ).; ICO: Instituto de Crédito Oficial ( Y ese desarrollo implica que el Estado, a través del Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), adelantará este dinero a las entidades que, voluntariamente, colaboren ASTTI - IALB 120

127 con la medida ); BAI: Beneficio Antes de Impuestos ( El beneficio antes de impuestos (BAI) del último semestre, * +, ha sido positivo para siete de cada diez empresas encuestadas ); AFI: Analistas Financieros Internacionales ( "La caída del segundo trimestre será menor", corrobora Carlos Maravall, de Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI) ); FDIC: Corporación Federal de Aseguradora de Depósitos, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, en anglais ( Últimamente, la Corporación Federal de Seguros de Depósitos (FDIC) ha estado incautándose de bancos que considera insolventes a razón de aproximadamente uno por semana ). Par ailleurs, on trouve dans le lexique des sigles alphanumériques Otros sugieren que haya grupos distintos para cada cuestión; por ejemplo, ( un C-15 para el cambio climático, un D-23 para el desarrollo, un E-19 para la seguridad energética y así sucesivamente, hasta llegar al Z-99 para la diversidad zoológica ). Les acronymes Quand aux acronymes, l Euribor en est un bon exemple. Il s agit de l acronyme de European Interbank Offered Bank, c est-à-dire taux interbancaire offert entre banques ( El Euribor a un mes subió ayer hasta el 4,82%, y a tres meses hasta el 4,81% * + ). Les phénomènes haplologiques Il s agit d un phénomène qui consiste en l amuïssement d un ou de plusieurs phonèmes répétés ou proches comme dans l exemple suivant : Vivimos una estanflación *inflación y estancamiento al mismo tiempo+ en miniatura y necesitamos una política monetaria neutra ). Les métaphores Le lexique abonde en métonymies, définies comme le changement lexical produit par la fusion de formes contiguës. Dans de nombreux syntagmes terminologiques, l on observe la présence de la métonymie : banca privada ( Dubai y Singapur, * +, se están transformando en centros de banca privada regionales que ofrecen una gran competencia a refugios tradicionales como Suiza ); economía real ( La crisis actual encierra un grave peligro, porque puede extenderse de los mercados financieros a la economía real ). Pour leur part, les métaphores prennent également la forme de syntagmes terminologiques: burbuja financiera ( La caída supera a la de 1883, cuando se salía de otra burbuja financiera ) ; burbuja inmobiliaria ( Cada vez son más las voces que vinculan directamente esta crisis con la explosión de la burbuja inmobiliaria en EEUU * + ); hipoteca basura ( La economía está a punto de incorporar una nueva palabra a su ASTTI - IALB 121

128 vocabulario: subprime, una endiablada modalidad hipotecaria estadounidense traducida como hipoteca basura, tóxica o incluso loca ). Sont également fréquentes les métaphores qui proviennent d unités monolexicales : metástasis ( La metástasis de las subprime * + se ha ido extendiendo sin dramatismos, sin viernes negros bursátiles, pero en un crescendo doloroso ); paro (Así que de la mano del paro galopante y de la lejana convergencia con el continente * + ); turbulencia ( Los mandatarios han reconocido que la turbulencia en los mercados financieros mundiales es un desafío y algo más prolongado que lo que habían anticipado ); distorsión ( * + es improbable que exista una severa distorsión en los precios del sector inmobiliario"). La banalisation des termes Le lexique analysé permet de constater un phénomène de banalisation des termes, de généralisation, un processus selon lequel des termes spécifiques provenant de champs spécialisés se retrouvent dans le lexique commun de la langue. Par exemple ; apalancamiento, activos hipotecarios, activos inmobiliarios, desplome, tipos de los depósitos, tipos nominales Il existe certes des degrés de banalisation en fonction du type de relation qui, à un moment donné, s établit entre le champ spécialisé de départ et la vie quotidienne. La banalisation d un terme est sujette à la divulgation que le concept désigné est susceptible d acquérir au sein de la société. La fluctuation des mots. La variation. Le lexique se caractérise également par la présence de synonymes pour faire référence à une même notion : expansión del crédito / expansión crediticia ( * + los bancos centrales promovieron una gran expansión del crédito con la brusca bajada de los tipos de interés ) / ( Gracias a los bajos tipos de interés, a la liquidez mundial y a la liberalización hemos tenido una burbuja de expansión crediticia que se ha ido reforzando a sí misma a lo largo de 25 años, ); desempleo / paro ( El 8,1% de tasa de desempleo previsto para 2007 subirá al 8,5% en 2008 camino del 9,1% de 2009 ) / ( El repunte del paro aviva el miedo a una recesión en Estados Unidos ); iliquidez / falta de liquidez ( Estas situaciones de iliquidez de múltiples suelos llevarán a muchos procesos de suspensión de pagos entre las empresas * + ) / ( * +, la falta de liquidez y endurecimiento de las condiciones de los préstamos avalan las posiciones de quienes defienden bajar el precio del dinero para no estrangular el crecimiento económico * + ). ASTTI - IALB 122

129 Conclusion Notre recherche, basée sur l approche terminographique descriptive, nous a permis de mener à bien une analyse et une description du vocabulaire de la crise qui se meut dans les textes divulgatifs de la presse générale en langue espagnole. La méthodologie de la linguistique de corpus et les résultats de l analyse, guidés par la perspective data driven, ont contribué à vérifier que les procédés de création de néologismes dans le langage de la crise sont, généralement, les mêmes que ceux qui sont utilisés dans l élaboration des vocabulaires du champ des sciences humaines et sociales. Force est de constater la présence de nombreux emprunts à la langue anglaise ; l importance de procédés de formation comme la suffixation, la composition et la préfixation. Les phénomènes d haplologie, de banalisation de termes, de variation discursive sont également notables, sans oublier l une des principales caractéristiques des textes économiques de divulgation journalistique : le recours à la métaphore. L auteure Docteur en Lettres et Sciences Humaines par l Université de Provence (France). Professeur du département de Traduction et d Interprétation de l Université de Vigo (Espagne) de 1995 à Professeur du département de Traduction et d Interprétation de l Université de Grenade (Espagne) depuis Entre autres, enseigne la matière de traduction économique dans la combinaison linguistique espagnol/français. Contact ASTTI - IALB 123

130 Bibliographie Articles Cabré, M.T. Textos especializados y unidades de conocimiento: metodologización y tipologización. En GARCÍA PALACIOS, J.; FUENTES MORÁN, M. T. (eds.) (2002): Texto, terminología y traducción. Salamanca: Ediciones Almar. Ciaspuscio, G.E,; Kuguel, I. : Hacia una tipología del discurso especializado: aspectos teóricos y aplicados. En GARCÍA PALACIOS, J.; FUENTES MORÁN, M. T. (eds.) (2002): Texto, terminología y traducción. Salamanca: Ediciones Almar, págs Gómez de Enterría, J. El vocabulario de la economía actual ( ). En GALLARDO SAN SALVADOR, N.; GÓMEZ DE ENTERRÍA. J. (eds.) (2009): Estudios de léxico especializado. Granada: Atrio. Pavel, S. y Nolet, D. Manual de Terminología. Québec: Bureau de la traduction. (2002) Riggs, F., Mälkiä, M.; y Budin, G. Descriptive Terminology Work. En WRIGHT, S.E.:, BUDIN, G., (eds.) (1997): Handbook of Terminology Management. Ámsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Livres Ciapuscio, G.E. (2003) Textos especializados y Terminología. Barcelona: Universidad Pompeu Fabra. Smith, A. (1776) The Wealth of Nations. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd. Tognini-Bonelli, E. (2001) Corpus Linguistics at work. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Quotidien El País: ASTTI - IALB 124

131 Crise économique, crise linguistique: la petite histoire belge Viviane Grisez Université de Mons Faculté Polytechnique Résumé Dans le monde interconnecté actuel, il n'est pas sage de parler de crise économique et financière dans un contexte national. Toutefois, dans un pays aussi complexe que la Belgique, répertorié comme 'bilingue et multiculturel', le jeu en vaut la chandelle. La crise nous lance de nouveaux défis, et en Belgique, plus que jamais. En effet, l'histoire d'un petit pays situé au carrefour des cultures romanes et germaniques a démontré, à maintes reprises, à quel point les crises économiques récurrentes ont eu un impact direct et immédiat sur les politiques linguistiques de l'état. Ces dernières, à leur tour, modifient, réforment et redéfinissent les plans éducatifs du système scolaire. Curieusement, les réformes varient en fonction des régions flamande, wallonne et de Bruxelles-capitale, car l'enseignement est matière régionale et qui dit 'politique linguistique', touche inévitablement au monstre du 'communautaire'. Que ce soit en terme de bilinguisme précoce, d'expériences en immersion, d'échanges scolaires culturels et linguistiques ou de formations tout au long de la vie, l'école et l'université restent les moteurs du rapprochement des langues et de leurs cultures respectives dans une société multiculturelle politiquement instable. Interaction entre l'économique et le communautaire Si des statistiques existaient sur la fréquence de l'emploi du terme 'crise', la Belgique, petit pays réputé pour ses problèmes communautaires, viendrait sans doute en tête du peloton. Car, chers collègues allemands, suisses et venus d'ailleurs, tous, vous avez eu écho des conflits politiques entre les communautés flamandes et francophones. Le 13 décembre 2006, la Radio et Télévision francophone belge lançait un canular en diffusant une émission qui annonçait ASTTI - IALB 125

132 l'indépendance de la Flandre, en mettant au service de la fiction les apparences (certes grossières) de la réalité En 2007, lorsque la Belgique a connu une période d'instabilité politique grave, en restant des mois sans gouvernement, un certain nombre de partenaires commerciaux américains croyaient que la Belgique était à feu et à sang et qu'elle était condamnée à disparaître dans les mois qui suivraient. Lorsque l'année suivante, la crise économique et financière a surgi brutalement avec les graves difficultés de deux des plus grandes banques de Belgique -Fortis et Dexia, toutes les armes communautaires ont été rangées, le cessez-le-feu a été immédiat, et le gouvernement fédéral s'est empressé de contrôler la situation pour éviter une catastrophe sans précédent. Nous avons tous assisté à un scénario typiquement belge: l'économique et le communautaire en jeu; l'un et l'autre dominant, tour à tour, les agendas politiques. Et tout cela dans un pays fédéralisé, avec trois régions, auxquelles se superposent trois communautés, avec une capitale qui est région à la fois, six gouvernements au total, 60 cabinets ministériels, et cela pour 10 millions et demi d'habitants sur km2. Quelle situation kafkaïenne! Force est de constater qu'une récession économique fait oublier les querelles communautaires, qui se réveillent dès que le pouvoir d'achat se rétablit. Et entretemps, les gouvernements se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas, les ministres de l'éducation des trois communautés suivent chacun leur voie, en mettant des accents différents, sans trop se soucier de leur voisin. L'histoire des conflits communautaires Remontons dans l'histoire afin de mieux situer l'origine des tensions culturelles et linguistiques. La Belgique est née en 1830, de l action convergente de forces internes (économiques, sociales et religieuses) et externes (les grandes puissances européennes). Dès la création de l'état, Le sentiment national n y est pas aussi fort que dans d autres pays européens. Dans leur version initiale, les conflits communautaires étaient des conflits sur l'usage des langues. L'histoire de Belgique au XIXème siècle est marquée par une volonté centralisatrice d'imposer le français dans tout le pays alors que dès 1830, l'écrasante majorité de la population ne parle pas cette langue. Au sortir de l'occupation française en 1814, les corporations ASTTI - IALB 126

133 bruxelloises protestent (en français parce que c est la langue des dominants) contre le maintien des règles linguistiques françaises : «La proscription de la langue nationale flamande doit cesser. L'idiome, les lois et les institutions des peuples de la Belgique doivent renaître avec le bonheur de ce pays». 1 À la fin du XVIII e siècle, Bruxelles ne compte que 15 % de francophones. Mais en 1830, la ville n'est encore peuplée que par habitants. La croissance de la population de la capitale et sa francisation vont de pair, même si cette dernière s'est accélérée à la fin du XXème siècle. Apprendre le français est souvent un moyen de promotion sociale. Il s agit de franchir la «sociale taalgrens», la frontière linguistique sociale qui segmente la société. Inversement, avec le temps, la frontière linguistique se transforme de plus en plus en une frontière culturelle et communautaire qui sépare deux espaces publics. Tout comme la langue flamande, la langue wallonne subira de plein fouet la domination politique et sociale du français. Mais cela ne génèrera pas de mouvement de défense de même ampleur, peutêtre du fait de la proximité du wallon avec le français. Mais progressivement émerge un nationalisme flamand, notamment en réaction aux réticences des autorités belges à reconnaître la langue flamande. C est en 1962 que fut définitivement fixée la frontière linguistique. La loi consacra alors l unilinguisme en matière administrative en Flandre et en Wallonie et le bilinguisme dans la Région bruxelloise. Mais malheureusement, tout n'est pas aussi simple. Dans un certain nombre de communes de ces Régions unilingues, existe un régime dit de facilités qui permet de disposer de services administratifs dans la langue de la minorité. L intangibilité de la frontière linguistique, comme une frontière d État, était une revendication flamande dictée par la crainte de voir le nombre de communes à statut bilingue augmenter (c est la crainte de la «tâche d huile» dans la périphérie bruxelloise). Le nombre de communes bruxelloises bilingues est ainsi passé en 1954 de 16 à 19 suite au recensement linguistique de Les partis flamands ont toujours craint que ce mouvement ne se poursuive et ont obtenu l arrêt des recensements et la fixation de la frontière linguistique. Au contraire, les partis francophones menacent de demander l élargissement de la Région bruxelloise aux six communes à facilité dans lesquelles les 1 ASTTI - IALB 127

134 francophones sont d ores et déjà majoritaires. La revendication flamande de scission de l arrondissement de Bruxelles-Halle-Vilvorde (BHV) vise également à garantir l homogénéité linguistique de la Flandre. Fig. zones linguistiques en Belgique 2 Langue et culture: matières régionales Depuis la fédéralisation de la Belgique qui s'est opérée en cinq réformes entre 1970 et 1993, les trois communautés sont représentées par des collectivités politiques fédérées ayant des compétences dans quatre grands domaines: l'enseignement, la culture, les matières dites personnalisables ainsi que l'emploi des langues dans l'enseignement, dans l'administration et dans les relations sociales entre les employeurs et leur personnel (sauf pour la communauté germanophone à l'égard de laquelle l'emploi des langues en matières administrative et dans les relations sociales demeure une compétence fédérale). Ces institutions ont leur propre parlement et leur propre gouvernement. 3 La transformation de cet État unitaire en un État fédéral trouve son origine dans la rencontre des revendications d autonomie culturelle par les Flamands et des revendications d'autonomie économique wallonnes. À ASTTI - IALB 128

135 nouveau, nous constatons une confrontation des intérêts linguistiques et économiques. Comme tous les processus historiques, les relations entre Régions et Communautés belges, l'évolution de l'état et des nationalismes, forment une succession de phases de flux et de reflux, de tensions plus ou moins grandes, de crises graves et d'apaisements, très souvent en fonction du baromètre économique. Au niveau législatif, ce sont les Communautés qui organisent l'enseignement en Belgique dans le respect du Pacte Scolaire. Les Communautés subventionnent les établissements scolaires indépendamment du réseau et fixent un certain nombre de mesures (socles de compétences, inscriptions,...). Emploi: matière fédérale et communautaire Si l'emploi reste une matière fédérale, il est vrai qu'elle dépend fortement de la politique européenne. Dans le contexte de la crise qui nous touche, le sommet européen de Prague en mai dernier a permis de définir dix actions visant à lutter contre le chômage et à créer de nouveaux emplois. 1. aider autant de personnes que possible à conserver leur emploi par le biais d un ajustement temporaire des horaires de travail combiné à des formations de reconversion, les pouvoirs publics (y compris le Fonds social européen) participant au financement des actions menées; 2. encourager l esprit d entreprise et la création d emploi, par exemple par une diminution des coûts salariaux indirects et par la flexisécurité; 3. améliorer l efficacité des administrations nationales du travail par un renforcement de leur offre de services de conseil, de formation et de recherche d emploi lors des premières semaines de la période de chômage, en particulier pour les jeunes chômeurs; 4. accroître de manière significative le nombre d apprentissages et de formations de haute qualité d ici à la fin de 2009; 5. promouvoir des marchés du travail favorisant davantage l inclusion en garantissant des incitations au travail, des politiques actives et efficaces du marché de l emploi et une modernisation des systèmes de protection sociale, démarche qui se traduira également par une meilleure intégration des catégories défavorisées, y compris les handicapés, les personnes peu qualifiées ou les migrants; 6. améliorer les compétences à tous les niveaux par l apprentissage tout au long de la vie, en veillant en particulier à ce que tous les jeunes sortis du système scolaire possèdent les compétences nécessaires pour trouver un emploi; 7. avoir recours à la mobilité de la main-d œuvre pour garantir du mieux possible l adéquation entre l offre et la demande de main-d œuvre; 8. identifier les perspectives d emploi et les compétences requises, et anticiper les compétences qui deviendront nécessaires afin d ajuster les offres de formation; 9. aider les chômeurs et les jeunes à créer leur entreprise, en leur proposant des formations de soutien et un capital de départ, ou en réduisant ou supprimant les impôts pour les start-ups; ASTTI - IALB 129

136 10. anticiper et gérer les restructurations par l intermédiaire d activités d apprentissage mutuel et d échanges de bonnes pratiques. Le point 6 et 7 retiennent tout particulièrement notre attention, car ils concernent les compétences nécessaires pour trouver un emploi, et indispensables au maintien de ce dernier par un apprentissage tout au long de la vie. La promotion de la mobilité est également importante. Mobilité Qui dit mobilité, dit connaissance d'autres cultures et langues. En Belgique, diverses initiatives ont été lancées pour stimuler la mobilité des étudiants et des travailleurs, slogan important dans ce qui a été baptisé le Plan Marshall du côté wallon. Un article paru dans Trends au mois de juillet alors qu'au niveau fédéral, la démission du premier ministre, M. Yves Leterme faisait les choux gras des médias, les trois Régions avançaient de leur côté et notamment sur le problème de l'emploi. "Et c'est tant mieux ( )', citait le magazine. Situation plus qu'inhabituelle, mais appréciée par tous pour une fois. Voici le ton optimiste de l'article. «Vous vous souvenez sans doute qu'en octobre 2007, le ministre-président de la Région flamande, Kris Peeters, avait déclaré qu'il avait emplois à proposer et que malheureusement, il ne trouvait pas preneur. L'équation est donc simple: d'un côté, la Flandre souffre d'une pénurie de main d'œuvre et ne peut pas la trouver dans sa Région car c'est quasi le plein emploi, et de l'autre, on constate un taux de chômage de 17% à Bruxelles et de 10% en Wallonie. Pourquoi ne pas faciliter la mobilité des travailleurs du Sud vers le Nord et rendre ainsi tout le monde heureux? Certes, sur le papier, cette solution est simple, mais la réalité est bien plus compliquée. D'abord en raison de la méconnaissance du néerlandais des francophones, ensuite parce que l'offre de transports publics entre Régions est encore déficiente. Ce sont les obstacles qui sont les plus souvent cités pour expliquer l'absence de volonté pour aller travailler en Flandre. Alors, concrètement, qu'est-ce qui a été décidé entre les trois Régions? Primo, sur le plan du transport. Les Tec et De Lijn exploitent déjà 65 lignes interrégionales. Mais ce n'est pas assez, et c'est pourquoi les ministres wallons et flamands de la Mobilité prévoient des lignes supplémentaires de bus sur dix points sensibles proches de la frontière linguistique. Quant aux Bruxellois, des taxis collectifs vont leur permettre de se rendre à Zaventem à des heures très tardives ou très matinales, le surcoût étant assumé 4 ASTTI - IALB 130

137 par la Région de Bruxelles. Secundo, sur le plan de l'emploi. Une réserve mobile de 9000 demandeurs d'emplois francophones va être mise en place. Ceux-ci vont bénéficier d'un suivi très poussé ainsi que de cours intensifs en néerlandais.» Une ministre wallonne a même voulu accorder des primes de mobilité aux travailleurs wallons qui trouveraient du travail en Flandre. Inutile de dire que sa proposition a été rejetée sans pardon, car le problème est complexe: que faudrait-il accorder comme prime aux navetteurs néerlandophones qui se rendent à Bruxelles tous les jours? Inutile de vous dire que le problème ne se pose plus, vu l'accroissement de la crise. Ici encore, nous avons raté une belle occasion de promouvoir l'enseignement du néerlandais en Wallonie par une motivation professionnelle. Apprentissage tout au long de la vie / "Si tu veux une année de prospérité, cultive du riz. Si tu veux dix années de prospérité, cultive des arbres. Si tu veux cent ans de prospérité, éduque des hommes."/ 5 Une étude a été menée par la Direction générale Statistique et Information afin d'examiner la participation de la population adulte âgée de 25 à 64 ans à divers types d'activités d'éducation et de formation au cours du premier semestre Il ressort entre autres de cette enquête que plus de quatre habitants sur dix prennent part à des activités de formation formelle ou non formelle et que les formations sur l'utilisation des logiciels, les cours de langues étrangères et de management sont les formations les plus populaires. Nous pouvons proposer deux conclusions importantes: 1. Les formations linguistiques sont utiles tout au long de la vie. 2. Il est crucial de proposer l'apprentissage d'autres langues et cultures le plus tôt possible, que ce soit en maternelle ou prématernelle ou au niveau secondaire pour augmenter ses chances de trouver un emploi. Dans le domaine des langues étrangères, la CE soutient un grand nombre de projets LLP- Life Long Programmes- et incite les écoles et les universités à investir dans le développement de méthodes d'apprentissage des langues en ligne (e-learning). 5 ASTTI - IALB 131

138 C'est le cas d'une recherche menée de front par cinq universités européennes, dont la Faculté Polytechnique de Mons, qui aboutira sous peu à la production de modules d'apprentissage en ligne, pour une série de combinaisons linguistiques, à savoir le turc, le slovaque, le roumain, le français et le néerlandais, regroupés sous le nom commercial de 6 Ce projet est coordonné par l'université de Hasselt (Flandre) et a pris en compte les besoins linguistiques des populations immigrées en Belgique. En effet, la Belgique compte trois langues officielles, mais également une dizaine d'autres, parlées tout particulièrement en Campine (Nord de la Flandre), dans la région d'anvers, et surtout à Bruxelles, où la multiculturalité est de mise. Si l'intégration linguistique de la population immigrée des pays du Maghreb et d'afrique centrale ne pose pas de problème à Bruxelles- la langue française étant la seconde langue-, il n'en est pas de même pour les migrants turcs ou arabes qui s'installent en Flandre. Comme ces derniers habitent souvent dans des HLM au statut d'habitation sociale, l'intégration est fortement freinée à cause des ghettos formés. L'intégration sociale, linguistique et culturelle s'avère très difficile. Certaines agences immobilières imposent même la connaissance du néerlandais comme critère de sélection dans les demandes de logement. Inutile de dire que cette mesure a été la proie du monde politique francophone. Malgré toutes les prises de bec entre les flamands et les wallons, des initiatives originales et louables ont été prises pour encourager le bilinguisme minimal. Ainsi, soulignons les expériences en immersion dans l'enseignement transversal (du fondamental à l'enseignement supérieur) en Wallonie. Mais il faudra sans doute attendre encore deux générations avant d'en cueillir les fruits. Car l'appropriation d'une langue et de sa culture demande beaucoup de temps et d'énergie et commence par le respect mutuel des personnes et de leur histoire. L auteure Viviane Grisez est diplômée de l'ecole de traducteurs et d'interprètes internationaux de Mons (Belgique), langue anglaise, allemande et néerlandaise. Passionnée par la pédagogie des langues, elle a suivi de nombreux stages de spécialisation en méthodologie du français, de 6 ASTTI - IALB 132

139 l'anglais et du néerlandais. Durant ses études à la Faculté de Sciences Psycho-pédagogiques de l'université de Mons-Hainaut, elle s'est spécialisée dans la didactique des langues (Master en Didactique des langues). Elle est responsable du Service de Langues à la Faculté Polytechnique depuis 1986 où elle coordonne les programmes d'enseignement des langues dans le cadre des études d'ingénieur civil (Master of Science in Engineering). Elle s'investit également dans de nombreux programmes européens et contribue ainsi au développement de modules d'enseignement utilisant les technologies vocales les plus avancées (TTS- web 2.0). Contact Université de Mons- Faculté Polytechnique 56 rue de l'epargne B-7000 Mons ASTTI - IALB 133

140 How language professionals can cope with the new situation : From the Standpoint of a Freelancer Sofia Moreno de Cayeux Freelance translator Abstract This communication focuses on the fourth topic mentioned by the organisation : how language professionals can cope with the new situation, in a context of economic turmoil and crisis. The approach is from the standpoint of a freelancer, stressing on the importance of extreme financial stringency (savings) and imaginative portfolio building (clients), through networking. This requires an unusual combination of both very strict method and wild imagination. There have been other crisis before, and the author recalls how she dealt with the financial crisis in 1992, and which useful lessons she learnt then. The same lessons that are being put to use today, with good results. Efficiency is then examined as the final bottom line for success. Finally, the author gives a few hints about a subtopic also mentioned by the organisation : economy in turmoil = linguistic turmoil? More than ever, there is an acute need for clarity and definition in our daily work, especially so in uncertain circumstances. The author reminds us that we should not loose sight of perspective, and that tradition is not to be overlooked. Every new step in our profession needs the security of past achievements to really build a solid future. I still remember the financial crisis of For months on end, I did not have a single order from any client at all. When I watched television at that time, I heard a renowned Spanish actress explain : "The toughest part in my job is waiting for the phone to ring." Well, that's exactly what our plight is when we are freelancers, such as I am. I have no idea what the future will bring me and my small one-woman business. But as of today, this new crisis has meant not less work, but actually more. ASTTI - IALB 134

141 Why? Both crises are undoutedbly different, because the crisis in 1992 was more financial and less pervasive, whether today's situation (at least in Spain) is more severe and widespread, reaching almost all fields of overall global economic activity. If I may venture numbers, I could estimate that crisisrelated difficulties in Spain reach between 67% and 78 percent of all sectors and companies. Very few can boast about keeping their production levelled, and fewer still about any growth at all. Why, then, am I working more than before the crisis? It turns out that the relative inactivity that was forced upon me during the year of 1994 was actually quite fruitful. It is true that I did not make much money, rather very little, and that my self-esteem was badly shaken at times. After all, I tend to think that if no one calls, then it means I am no good. But that is not exactly true, since other factors may explain the silent phone in my office. I had moved to a new home in a new town, quite a small town, with very scarce services. For more than 6 months, I had no phone. It took the phone company this extremely long time to install our line. No wonder the phone did not ring! In the fall of 1994, mobile phones were a rare and expensive commodity in my country. After 5 months with no phone, a very nice chap - one of my inlaws - lent me a primitive version of the portable phone. It was very heavy and cumbersome, and extremely expensive. Thanks to the device, I did not have to cycle all the way to the village square to slide a coin into the phone booth, sometimes under the snow, at minus 3 degree conditions in winter. It was too late. I had lost touch with my clients and my whole portfolio was gone for ever. But that did not mean I had quit translating altogether. Rather, I had changed my perspective. I was translating at anyone's request, from a few pages of the Hola Magazine to a tourism brochure. The common trait in these orders? They were not paid at all, and I accepted to do them despite knowing this perfectly well. Those were requests coming basically from family members, and all of them came with the usual refrain : "Don't worry, if you don't have time to do it, it does not matter. Do it only if you want, and if you don't do it, it's still alright." ASTTI - IALB 135

142 That is not at all a professional approach! So I translated these informal requests and then, before I knew it, I was receiving more formal requests, and deadlines to be kept, and money was coming in again. The lesson I learnt from the way things happened, was this : NETWORKING. 1. NETWORKING And this is the first reason why I am doing better in this crisis than back in I take extremely good care of my relations, whether they are friends, family members, professional contacts, or mere acquaintances. It is not always easy because I am quite shy, but after I explain what I do, I listen. Most people want to be heard, and that's exactly what I do. A few questions here and there, and you can find interesting leads that might take you to a possible new client. Networking is key in staying alive through tumultuous times. It means canvassing and spending time refreshing old phone books. I call and I say : "Hi, remember me? How are you? What are you doing now? Remember last time we met/talked/worked together? I hope I'm not disturbing, I'm just updating my phone directory to cross out and delete outdated phone numbers. And how is your child/husband/partner/mother/pet doing?" We are all people, after all, whether there is an economic crisis or a fantastic activity boom. Most of us like to talk and explain what we are up to nowadays. If you learn to listen well, this canvassing effort will bear its fruit. And if this activity gets you less translation orders than you expected, then it is time to start inviting some old friends for a nice dinner at your home. You might get an interesting tip or two about which companies are searching for translators, and besides, you will have the nice feeling of sharing tough times with good company, and there is no better way to go through any hardship in life. Sometimes, people called me and explained they needed a translation but had no money to pay for it. I remember one instance in particular. I knew this person. She was serious and very committed. She was definitely not a swindler. I did the translation for free. I told her : "You'll pay whenever you can". And she did pay, indeed. It was a few months later, but oh yes, she did. Some time later, she called to order another translation, and this time she was paying upfront, even before the job was done, at her own will. This is very rare in my line of business as a freelancer. Most of my workload is made up of short translations of under 80 pages. She decided to pay in that ASTTI - IALB 136

143 way, in advance. Over the last ten years, I have done quite a bit of work for her, and I must say I am quite happy I accepted to work for her for free, at first. Of course, working for free CANNOT be a strategy in a successful business. But it can be a tactic, to be used only with due caution and exclusively with trusted contacts. As for a strategy, then, I would advise to invest a lot of time and a little money in canvassing, networking and renewing old business acquaintances, professional contacts, friendships and family ties. Why not old schoolmates, old chums from university days? There are associations to be tapped and exploited, such as neighbourhood meetings, school PTAs (parent-teacher associations), local churches or business associations, charities and non-profit organisations, and the like. The list is long. Do not hesitate to mingle and talk. After all, communication is our business, and the computer is not the only tool we should use to build a solid client portfolio. Voice communication is warmer than the printed word. Canvassing in Spain is the way people get a job, the way they learn about opportunities to grab, and the way to get in. But of course, once you do have a chance to prove yourself to others - in my case, to a client - then you have to be good, or rather more than good, you have to make absolutely sure they get exactly what they expected, or rather, I should say, more than they expected. You have to deliver. And that means EFFICIENCY. 2. EFFICIENCY Again, I ask myself : Why am I working more today than before the crisis broke out in late 2008? The answer lies in financial stringency and improved efficiency. When I compare myself with some of my colleagues, I find that : 1. only the best survive (survival of the fittest, Darwin's Law) and 2. only those who know how to save actually do survive. About efficiency : Image has been very important in the nineties, and some companies have spent enormous resources in communication strategies and building the proper image for the clients to choose their brand. This effort might be worth it in other sectors, but in ours, image is only as good as true quality ASTTI - IALB 137

144 and reliable and trusted efficiency. It does not matter if you have the best webpage in the world, because if you cannot keep your business commitments to your clients - that is basically two : deadline and price - then, you will not succeed. Image is only as good as what it purports to advertise. Today's crisis is acting as if a veil was being lifted, and behind the nice beautifully painted veil of corporate image, the crisis is unveiling not so beautiful business realities. And here is where financial streamlining and solid saving foundations come in. By saving I mean being able to do your job with the least possible production expenses. Do more with less. It is not a bad idea to streamline your business and keep only what you are truly good at. This is the right time to stick to basics and find out what you do really well. This is no time for adventures and "how about trying this slightly different thing here...", unless it is what you always wanted to do, but were too afraid to try. Experiments should not be made in times of need, at least if you want to keep your business going. It is the right time to assess your professional abilities with a cold and dispassionate stance. I believe that sticking to what we are good at is the best way to face this crisis. We have to excel at it and learn the latest developments. Many courses are offered for free at community centres. In keeping with my line of work, I train at what I am worst at, until I master it. The idea is to make a clear diagnosis of your weak points and work on getting better results, until you feel more comfortable with your own performance. Training is key. Learning to use the latest tools in the trade has proved vital for the survival and success of my one-woman translation micro-business. In my case, it meant learning to take better advantage of my computer, learning to use that tool with a better result. Hence, learning to be more efficient. All my learning efforts brought about more confidence in my own ability, and this had a direct impact on the quality of my work. Building your own confidence is the best and cheapest way to generate trust in the way your clients see you as a service provider. About savings : Streamlining is again an appropriate word here. Discard unneeded costs. Stick to basics. It is true that the internet is a great source for terminology research and many dictionaries are available online, of course. But do not squander all the experience you have accumulated in the past. My career started back in the twentieth century, at a time and place when computers ASTTI - IALB 138

145 were only used in universities and in the military. Later, some powerful companies, mostly transnational companies, came into the digital picture. It took almost thirty years of development to arrive at what we have today : many home computers, students using computers to write their school assignments, computers in shops and supermarkets, computers everywhere. I am not denying the extreme usefulness of that modern tool. But I feel that my generation should not forget all that we learnt before computers took over the typewriter. This is all about enriching our resources, not about restricting them. And this means using all the tools we can afford to achieve the quality our clients expect from us. This encompasses the internet, of course, but also the old paper supported dictionaries and grammar books, catalogues and encyclopaedias, even our old university notes, if we have not lost them after so many years, removals and relocations. To conclude, just a few reflections about a Subtopic mentioned in the programme: Economy in turmoil = linguistic turmoil? In Spain, many respected academics announced years ago the coming of a new language, namely "Spanglish". Well, that is exactly what we hear nowadays, in the spoken language. Language is reflecting new social divisions and barriers among classes, and reflecting culture. As many of you already know, a lot of people in Spain tend to call the language they use "Castilian" rather than "Spanish". This is a clumsy way to say : "Now look here, we do not speak the same language as the people of South America, is that clear?" On the other hand, the reason some Spaniards prefer the term "Castilian" over the term "Spanish" is also to be found in political and nationalistic preferences. General Francisco Franco dictatorship ( ) disapproved of local languages, inasmuch as it meant less control for his regime over the population. Therefore many Catalan, Basque and Galician speakers, to name only the main non-spanish languages existing in today's Spain, do not like to say they are speaking Spanish, because it still evokes times of cultural and ideological domination, and even repression. For those two reasons (inside Spain and in our rapport with South- America), too many people, in my opinion, say they speak Castilian Spanish, rather than just plain Spanish. I am convinced this is a tremendous mistake in our industry. Business cannot thrive in a closed environment, and in that respect, the language industry is not different from any other economic sector. From a global ASTTI - IALB 139

146 perspective, Castilian Spanish is merely a nice little variety of a much larger language spoken by over 500 hundred million people : Spanish. This being clearly stated, it is true that many Spanish speakers have embraced a lot of English into their speech. But curiously enough, I am not speaking about words alone coming from the English language into the Spanish language. Actually, it is the grammar and language structural basis that is changing and being influenced by the more flexible English modern usage. The internet, but also music and audiovisual culture are certainly at the root of this development. About the author Sofía Moreno holds a Political Science Degree (Licenciatura) from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid (Spain). She was a Spanish Translator and Précis-writer for four years at the United Nations (New York). She now practices translation as a freelancer since Most of her clients are small companies and private individuals. Contact Sofía Moreno de Cayeux Member of ATIJC Calle Pintor Miguel Ángel 34, p Villanueva de la Cañada (Madrid) Spain ASTTI - IALB 140

147 Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Languages Teaching in a Time of Recession Abstract Siôn Aled Owen & Eleri Llewelyn Morris University of Wales This presentation will consider firstly what challenges a period of economic recession presents for minority language teaching, using the example of the teaching of the Welsh language in two contrasting areas of North Wales. It will then consider what opportunities might arise from that period of recession. The presentation will consist of: A brief overview of the present situation of the Welsh language and Welsh language teaching and learning. Challenges Limitation of personal, corporate and government funding for language courses. Lower prioritisation of minority language activities. Increased emphasis on the acquisition of technical/vocational skills at the expense of minority language skills. Opportunities Perception of acquisition of minority language skills as enhancing employability. Greater time availability for language learning. Increased significance of the Welsh language as a marker of local/national identity. Greater emphasis on economic potential of cultural tourism. Opportunities for retraining as Welsh for Adults tutors. All of the above will be explored in relation to the two contrasting areas of North Wales where the presenters live and work. Biographies Dr Siôn Aled Owen was born and brought up in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales and has taught Welsh for Adults and Welsh cultural history in Melbourne, Australia and in North Wales. He holds an University of Wales BA in Welsh Language and Literature and an University of London BD. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Birmingham for a study of orality during the Religious Revival in Wales in Since 2004 he has been a freelance ASTTI - IALB 141

148 translator, presenter and tutor based in Wrexham, North East Wales. His particular interests in the field of language teaching are learner autonomy and informal learning. He is an accomplished poet in the Welsh Language and has won the National Eisteddfod Crown for poetry. Eleri Llewelyn Morris was brought up on the Llyn Peninsula in North West Wales where the majority of the population speak Welsh as their first language. She graduated with Honours in Psychology at the University of Wales, Cardiff and has worked as a journalist and writer. She has had several books published, including two collections of short stories, children's books and educational books. Since 1998 she has been a freelance interpreter and Welsh for Adults tutor, working both at the Welsh Language and Heritage Centre Nant Gwrtheyrn and in the community. She feels passionately about cultural tourism and has founded a group on the Llyn Peninsula to introduce the Welsh language and culture to tourists. Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Language Teaching in a Time of Recession A Perspective from Wales ASTTI - IALB 142

149 Yr Iaith Gymraeg The Welsh Language Insular Celtic Language most closely related to Breton and Cornish Emerged as a distinct language C6 Rich literary tradition in Middle Ages Suppressed in official circles under Henry VIII ASTTI - IALB 143

150 The Act of Union of England and Wales 1536 that from henceforth no person or persons that use the Welsh speech or language shall have or enjoy any manner office or fees within this realm of England, Wales or other the King s Dominion upon pain of forfeiting the same offices or fees, unless he or they use and exercise the English speech or tongue. Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover ( ) ASTTI - IALB 144

151 Percentage speaking Welsh, ASTTI - IALB 145

152 ASTTI - IALB 146

153 2001 Some significant statistics Percentage speaking Welsh aged 3+: 18.7 (1991), at least 20.5 (2001) Percentage speaking Welsh aged 3-15: 24.3 (1991), at least 37.7 (2001) Two areas, Gwynedd and Meirionnydd, both in the traditional heartlands, showed small declines, Very few local authority wards now have figures below 10% or above 80% Welsh-speaking is becoming an increasingly urban phenomenon ASTTI - IALB 147

154 What did we expect and what actually seems to be happening? ASTTI - IALB 148

155 Cymru Wales Challenges Limitation of personal, corporate and government funding for language courses. ASTTI - IALB 149

156 +14.7% +86.8% Cymru Wales Challenges Limitation of personal, corporate and government funding for language courses. Lower prioritisation of minority language activities. ASTTI - IALB 150

157 Challenges Limitation of personal, corporate and government funding for language courses. Lower prioritisation of minority language activities. Increased emphasis on the acquisition of technical/vocational skills at the expense of minority language skills. Opportunities Perception of acquisition of minority language skills as enhancing employability. ASTTI - IALB 151

158 Techniquest Glyndwr (TQG) is the hands-on Science Discovery Centre located on the Glyndwr University Campus Wrexham, North Wales. Its mission is to engage people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and to motivate them in to life long learning. TQG is seeking presenters who are willing to work on a flexible basis to deliver presentations, workshops and other activities in Wrexham and at venues throughout North-East Wales and North West England. This is paid work, and full training will be provided. These opportunities would be ideal for someone who is able to respond at short notice and would like to be part of a rewarding and friendly organisation without having to commit to regular or long hours. Teachers with an enthusiasm for science who have recently left the profession or who work part-time may be interested in applying. The ability to speak Welsh would be an advantage. ASTTI - IALB 152

159 Opportunities Perception of acquisition of minority language skills as enhancing employability. Greater time availability for language learning. Increased significance of the Welsh language as a marker of local/national identity. ASTTI - IALB 153

160 Opportunities Perception of acquisition of minority language skills as enhancing employability. Greater time availability for language learning. Increased significance of the Welsh language as a marker of local/national identity. Greater emphasis on economic potential of cultural tourism. ASTTI - IALB 154

161 Opportunities Perception of acquisition of minority language skills as enhancing employability. Greater time availability for language learning. Increased significance of the Welsh language as a marker of local/national identity. Greater emphasis on economic potential of cultural tourism. Opportunities for retraining as Welsh for Adults tutors. Diolch yn fawr! Siôn Aled Owen ASTTI - IALB 155

162 Internationale Netzwerke gemeinsam den Herausforderungen begegnen Wie Sprachdienstleister aktiv Nutzen aus der Globalisierung ziehen können Ralf Lemster Lemster Financial Translations Seit Jahren spüren Sprachdienstleister die Auswirkungen der Globalisierung. Zahlreiche unter ihnen haben diesen Trend dazu genutzt, erfolgreiche grenzüberschreitende Geschäftsmodelle aufzubauen. Zahlreiche freiberufliche Übersetzer empfinden die Globalisierung jedoch vorwiegend als Bedrohung, die sie gnadenloser Konkurrenz aussetzt insbesondere vor dem Hintergrund der viel diskutierten Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise. Ziel der Präsentation ist es, Möglichkeiten aufzuzeigen, wie Sprachdienstleister aktiv die Chancen der globalen Zusammenarbeit nutzen können. Dabei liegt das Augenmerk nicht primär auf der Krisenbewältigung, sondern auf einer Geschäftsstrategie, die auch in einem herausfordernden Umfeld nachhaltig erfolgreich bleiben kann. Ausgehend von einer kurzen Analyse der Beweggründe für die Zusammenarbeit in einem grenzüberschreitenden Netzwerk betrachtet der Vortrag die Chancen, ein nationales und internationales Sprachdienstleister-Netzwerk aufzubauen. Dabei beziehen wir auch die Alternativen zur Strukturierung einer solchen Plattform mit ein und diskutieren die wichtigsten Einflussfaktoren für den Aufbau und die Pflege von Teams, wie zum Beispiel Organisation und Infrastruktur, Sicherheit und operative Prozessabläufe. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt der Präsentation liegt auf der Steuerung der beim Networking auftretenden Risiken sowie auf allgemeinen Risiken virtueller Geschäftsprozesse. Der Vortrag basiert in wesentlichen Teilen auf meiner persönlichen Erfahrung ich freue mich besonders auf die aktive Beteiligung der Zuhörer! ASTTI - IALB 156

163 Biografie Ralf Lemster : Aus Interdisziplinarität wird Profession Zehn Jahre berufliche Erfahrung im Investment Banking einer deutschen Großbank haben den soliden Grundstein meiner Erfahrung in den Finanzmärkten gelegt. Die Schwerpunkte lagen im Handel und Vertrieb einer breiten Palette von Zins-, Devisen- und Aktienprodukten und - derivaten. Aus vier Jahren Arbeitsaufenthalt in London ergab sich die Gelegenheit für eine interessante und höchst spannende berufliche Neuorientierung: 1994 begann ich, Fachübersetzungen für Texte mit Finanzmarkt-Bezug anzufertigen. Das Kundeninteresse daran wuchs beständig, und mit wachsender Kundenbasis fiel die Entscheidung zunehmend leicht: Die Tätigkeit als Übersetzer sollte Profession werden. Als staatlich geprüfter und ermächtigter (vereidigter) Übersetzer für die englische Sprache arbeite ich seit 1997 vollumfänglich selbstständig. Die Ralf Lemster Financial Translations GmbH nutzt die Chancen von Globalisierung und moderner Kommunikationstechnologie wir arbeiten in einem weltweiten Netzwerk erfahrener Fachübersetzer, von denen viele selbst in den Finanzmärkten aktiv waren. ASTTI - IALB 157

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177 Freelance Translators and Interpreters : An Integral Part of the IMF s Language Services Team Anne van Wylick International Monetary Fund Abstract The IMF's Language Services has been affected by significant staffing cuts in the recent past. As a result, our business model has had to shift to include a much larger outsourcing component, not only for translation but also for proofreading, editing and typesetting. For such a model to be viable in the long-run, we are aware that fundamental changes need to be introduced in the way we collaborate with freelancers. We also realize that, if we are to expect more of our external translators and interpreters, we must provide them with enhanced support. This presentation will explore the various aspects of the "strategy" that the IMF's Language Services has put in place to achieve these objectives. About the author Licenciée-Interprète (ISTI, Brussels), Economics (The George Washington University, Washington). Former freelance interpreter/translator, Staff Interpreter/Translator, then French translation manager, then Advisor for Language Services. Since 2001 Head of Language Services, International Monetary Fund, Washington. ASTTI - IALB 171

178 Language Services Freelance Translators and Interpreters: An Integral Part of the IMF s Language Services Team Anne van Wylick IALB/ASTTI XXXIV ANNUAL CONFERENCE The World in Crisis And the Language Industry? November 2009 Geneva, Switzerland 1 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 2 ASTTI - IALB 172

179 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 3 Language Services Within the IMF, the Technology & General Services Department (TGS) provides a range of services, including translation and interpretation IMF Organization Security IT Services Administrative Services Language Services 4 ASTTI - IALB 173

180 Language Services Key facts about the IMF s Language Services operation Translation million words (incl. 3-5 million words of print and web publication) 7,500-8,500 requests About 50% outsourced (and growing) Interpretation 7,000-9,000 days (incl. HQ and in the field) requests About 90% outsourced Target Languages Arabic 7% Chinese English 31% 13% Highly technical materials Fully-customized request and processing systems Rapid responsiveness and turnaround 5 Other LOE 5% 11% Spanish 14% 19% Russian French Translation Staffing 12 Management & Administrative 34 In-house Translation staff 150+ Freelance base Language Services Material for translation includes a wide range of document types Memoranda, letters, country reports, policy papers, and flagship print and web publications 6 ASTTI - IALB 174

181 Language Services Our transformation began with an internal audit in 2006 and is nearing completion today Focus on Efficiency Internal Audit (May 2006-March 2007) Modeling (Apr-Jun) Implementation (Jul-Dec) Modeling (Jan-Apr) Increased Outsourcing Implementation (May - ) May 2006 May 2007 New Directive May 2008 May 2009 Today May Language Services The key challenge for the group has been to mitigate the expected impact of downsizing on various service quality dimensions Quality Dimensions Current Model Focus on Efficiency Focus on Efficiency & Demand Reduction Increased Outsourcing Full Outsourcing Accuracy Reliability Style (reads like an original) Turn-around times Confidentiality Consistency Concurrent handling of interpretation requests 8 Current service level preserved Complete service level loss ASTTI - IALB 175

182 Language Services We are getting close to a steady state following changes that began in 2006 Focus on Efficiency Internal Audit (May 2006-March 2007) Modeling (Apr-Jun) Implementation (Jul-Dec) Modeling (Jan-Apr) Increased Outsourcing Implementation (May - ) May 2006 May 2007 New Directive May 2008 May 2009 Today May Language Services The number of in-house staff is now close to half of what it was in 2006 Focus on Efficiency Internal Audit (May 2006-March 2007) Modeling (Apr-Jun) Implementation (Jul-Dec) Modeling (Jan-Apr) Increased Outsourcing Implementation (May - ) May 2006 May 2007 New Directive May 2008 May 2009 Today May Staff 70 Staff 46 Staff Declining in-house staffing levels ASTTI - IALB 176

183 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 11 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 12 ASTTI - IALB 177

184 Language Services Our new business model was based on a series of assumptions in key categories Demand reduction and demand management Restructuring initiatives Workload management Efficiency improvements 13 Language Services The new business model involved restructuring and consolidation on three levels Interpretation Services Head of LS Documents Control Office Clients Freelance contract administration Reference & Terminology Arabic & Russian Division Chinese, English, & Portuguese Division French Division Spanish Division Arabic Section Portuguese Section Chinese Section < TRANSLATION STAFF > and editorial staff Freelance translators 14 ASTTI - IALB 178

185 Language Services The new business model involved restructuring and consolidation on three levels Interpretation Services Head of LS Documents Translation Control Processing Office Center (TPC) Clients Freelance contract administration Reference & Terminology Arabic & Russian Division Chinese, English, & Portuguese Division French Division Spanish Division Arabic Section Portuguese Section Chinese Section < TRANSLATION STAFF > and editorial staff Freelance translators 15 Language Services The new business model involved restructuring and consolidation on three levels Head of LS Clients Interpretation Services #1. Establishment of the TPC Translation Processing Center (TPC) Arabic & Russian Division Chinese, English, & Portuguese Division French Division Spanish Division Arabic Section Portuguese Section Chinese Section < TRANSLATION STAFF > and editorial staff Freelance translators 16 ASTTI - IALB 179

186 Language Services The new business model involved restructuring and consolidation on three levels Head of LS Clients Interpretation Services #1. Establishment of the TPC Translation Processing Center (TPC) TRANSLATION DIVISION Arabic Section Chinese Section English Section French Section Russian Section Spanish & Portug. Section #2. Consolidation < TRANSLATION of STAFF > the translation units and editorial staff #3. Expansion of the freelance roster Freelance translators Freelance translators 17 Language Services Beyond restructuring, other initiatives were also key to the new business model Introduction of service descriptions and request policies Corresponding introduction of tiered, notional pricing structure Measuring resource consumption by individual requests, coupled with new reporting tools Re-engineer processes Expected effect: Streamline the process and align services to actual requirements Expected effects: Eliminate inefficiencies Improve service productivity 18 ASTTI - IALB 180

187 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 19 Language Services Presentation Overview Background/context New business model: focus on centralization, consolidation and efficiency Redefining the relationship with freelancers 20 ASTTI - IALB 181

188 Language Services The new Freelance Initiative aims to make our staff and external translators a virtual team comprise of three connected groups Tier 2 The Core group staff translators, revisers, editors, and typesetters Tier 1 Staff Tier 1 freelancer group freelancers on high-volume retainers Movement as needed Tier 2 freelancer group freelancers on umbrella or assignment-specific contracts 21 Language Services We considered the reasons why better translation services had traditionally been available from staff and what might bridge the gaps BETTER SUPPORT AT ALL LEVELS CONTINUITY KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER PROXIMITY New contract terms and strengthened associations Training and certification programs Leveraging technology to create virtual presence STAFF FREELANCERS 22 ASTTI - IALB 182

189 Language Services Translation work handled by freelance translators has been covered by three main types of contracts Job-specific Open Retainer Covering a single assignment Covering any number of assignments during a one-year period Covering an agreed volume of assignments during a one-year period 23 (no specific volume guaranteed) (word count quota; remuneration paid in monthly installments) Language Services The IMF wants to help freelance translators achieve the same expertise in the subject matter as staff translators Ongoing assignments, mentoring, coaching and feedback Background and reference material, terminology Short-term in-house contracts Formal training and IMF certification Economics for Linguists course Onsite seminars/classes on Fund-specific topics 24 ASTTI - IALB 183

190 Language Services The final challenge was to create a virtual environment where freelancers access to tools and information emulated that of staff Intranet Extranet Internet Language Services Staff Language Services Staff Freelancers Freelancers MultiTrans (CAT) Textbases shared MultiTrans (CAT) Extranet Self-Registration Module Document Management System Extranet SharePoint Falcon authentication will leverage self-registration model for interested, potential candidates FireWall FireWall Phoenix Client & Web Documents exchanged Assignment data FALCON Project data Data PeopleSoft HR PeopleSoft Financials Freelancers Payment by FIN Registered Freelancers Only registered Fund staff and Freelancers will have access to Falcon SharePoint work environment and Multitrans application 25 Language Services FALCON Home Page Translator availability search Return to presentation ASTTI - IALB 184

191 Language Services Log into the Extranet 1 Language Services Falcon Home Page 28 ASTTI - IALB 185

192 Language Services My Workspace My Assignments My Availability 29 Language Services My Assignments 30 ASTTI - IALB 186

193 Language Services My Availability 31 Language Services Unavailability 32 ASTTI - IALB 187

194 Language Services Assignment Details 33 Language Services Assignment Accepted 34 ASTTI - IALB 188

195 Language Services Assignment Accepted (Assignment date spans across calendar) 35 Language Services Assignment Completed (Freelancer uploads final translation) 36 ASTTI - IALB 189

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