Argentine Translators’ Priorities: Rates and Relationship with Project Managers
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For the fifth year in a row, Rosario Traducciones conducted an Annual Survey on the state of Argentina's Translation Industry. Survey findings reveal that 86% of respondents work as freelancers and that wire transfer is the most common payment method. The survey also inquired about the most widely used technology tools and the most requested training areas, among other important topics about the domain.
Almost 300 respondents (90% women and 10% men) contributed to our survey; they currently work as translators and editors (92%) and project managers (8%).
92% of those surveyed are between 21 and 60 years old; 7% are 61 and older.
In addition, 91% are professional linguists with a degree in translation, and 10% have degrees in engineering, linguistics, and education.
As for language pairs, the most popular one is English > Spanish, with 92%, followed by Portuguese > Spanish with 8%. Followed closely by French > Spanish with 7%. Other combinations include Italian > Spanish and German > Spanish.
The three most translated context types are medicine (48%), legal (33%), technology (33%), and general technical translations (30%).
Followed closely by marketing (28%), education (27%), human resources (21%), software (19%), and hospitality (18%).
Other noteworthy domains are social sciences (15%), audiovisual (13%), finance (11%), entertainment (9%), engineering (9%), e-commerce (8%), international relationships (8%), literature (7%), and tools (5%).
Daily Average Productivity
In terms of productivity, 55% of respondents claim they translate more than 1500 words per day, while 44% acknowledge their daily average is just 1500 words.
62% of respondents also engage in editing projects, while 38% do not. 39% of those performing editing tasks claim that they review some 3000 words per day, while 40% acknowledge their daily average is 3000-5000 words, and 21% claim they edit more than 5000 words per day.
When asked about post-editing, 58% answered "yes" to participating in this type of project. The survey indicates that most post editors' (67%) daily productivity is less than 5000 words, 22% reviews an average of 5000-8000 daily words, 7% review up to 10,000 words, and only 3% of respondents exceeds this volume.
Of those who answered "no" to performing post-editing tasks, 74% claim they would consider accepting this type of project.
Looking Back and Moving Forward
This section provides an overview of analytical data about the last three years as well as expectations for the upcoming three years. For the previous three years, 54% of respondents answered their workload has increased, 18% that it has decreased, and 27% that it has remained the same. In the next three years, 65% of the participants estimate that their workload will increase, 5% think it will stay the same, and 30% believe it will decrease.
As for social media, more than half of the respondents (53%) said they do rely too much on social media platforms for professional use. 32% said they use them frequently, 9% use them only occasionally, and 6% do not use them at all.
Participants were also asked to share their opinions on how technology will influence the industry in the future:
1) More user-friendly tools (66%)
2) More efficient tools (65%)
3) Improve MT quality (55%)
The list also included the following:
1) Improve knowledge management (35%)
2) More robust tools (34%)
3) Increase leverage (30%)
4) Improve customer support (30%)
5) Facilitate integration (26%)
6) Improve license cost, maintenance, training, etc. (24%)
7) Offer more tools localized in more languages (16%)
Main tools used for translation, quality control, post editing, are Trados Studio (89%), MemoQ (63%), and Xbench (55%). Other tools cited by translators include Wordfast (47.25%), Memsource (43%), MateCat (7%), XTRF (3%), Catalyst (2%) and Lilt (0.46%)
The above-mentioned are tools that they currently own or use. In addition, below is the list of their preferred CAT tools.
1) Trados Studio (77%)
2) Xbench (42%)
3) MemoQ (40%)
4) Wordfast (27%)
5) Memsource (22%)
6) MateCat (2%)
7) XTRF (0.93%)
8) Lilt (0.47%)
9) Catalyst (0.47 %)
The survey also included a ranking of the CAT tools that our respondents deem important to learn how to use. Those are Catalyst (35%), MemoQ (33%), Wordfast (32%), XTRF (31%), and MateCat (28%).
Training is a key component in any job. That is why our survey explored the instructional courses the respondents considered to be more relevant. Translation tools (54%) and quality control (45%) are the most requested training courses.
Respondents said they were also interested in machine translation and post-editing (40%), Spanish grammar and linguistics (39%), audiovisual translation (35%), transcreation (31%), project management (30%), marketing for translators (30%), accounting and financing for freelancers (23%), and time management (22%).
When asked about how long they have been actively working in this industry, 43% of the respondents said they have less than 10 years of experience, while the majority (57%) have been working for more than 10 years.
Foreign or Local Market
More than half of the respondents (63%) work with local translation companies or agencies, and 50% work for overseas companies or agencies. It is also worth mentioning that 49% have local end clients and 18% work with foreign end clients.
According to these findings, translators work simultaneously with different types of clients (agencies and direct or end clients) and in different regions (local and overseas clients).
Rates are the most important topic when dealing with any translation company. 47% of respondents considered it a top priority, while 32% ranked on-time payment as the second. Long-term work (27%) ranked third. Based on our survey, workload and flexible delivery terms are not a top priority.
In terms of relationships, 42% of respondents considered it very important to have a good relationship and rapport with the project managers. Good communication is also highly valued, with 31% of participants ranking it top and 27% second. Other priorities include receiving feedback and direct contact with the company and project managers.
Payment Method and Working Conditions
87% agree on taking a translation test of up to 300 words, free of charge, before working on a first project. The most frequent payment method is wire transfer (91%), followed by PayPal (42%). In third and fourth are cash (29%) and check (5%).
86% work as freelancers, 2% are in-house employees, and 12% state they work in both modalities. Interestingly, most translators (54%) are not affiliated with any professional board or association.
Note: *For some questions, respondents were able to make several choices, so the total percentage might be over 100.