Will translator jobs still be around in 10 years?
Almost all jobs, no matter how secure they may seem to be today, are bound to have ups and downs due to developments in technologies and changes of economy in general.
The application of machine translation, CAT tools and the impact of low labour cost markets such as China and India has no doubt created some new challenges for language translators.
While there’s no shortage in demand for quality professionals, you have to be prepared to adapt and adjust for the future.
1.Learn to use translation tools.
Whether you like it or not, computer software is developed very rapidly and translation tools are getting better and better each day. To dismiss them totally is to deny the obvious.
Whether you are a Hebrew translator or a Greek translator, more and more professionals are required to do proofreading and editing on machine-produced translation work.
Having said that, computers cannot think — at least not for the foreseeable future — and translator jobs are here to stay, although the magnitude is changing. Learning how to use translation tools can save you time and increases your efficiency.
This particularly applies to technical translation.
2.Develop other parallel skills.
The availability of low cost options are making employers/clients think twice before hiring or buying. They want more bang for the buck.
The internet has made it possible for employers and clients to look for cheaper translators elsewhere easily, and that’s not going away. This is unfortunate, but it’s already a reality.
So you have to look at translator jobs from a different angle. You can’t thrive on an isolated skill.
In fact most people these days have to acquire multiple skills to succeed. There are some who suggest that permanent full-time jobs will all disappear eventually. Meanwhile, a lot of jobs today didn’t exist 5 years ago.
Upgrade your computer knowledge. Take a writing course, learn marketing and public relation skills. Combining some versatility with your translation skills and you will be rewarded for your forward thinking.
3.Find profitable niche markets.
Technologies may affect the general translation job market, but if you look into some niche markets, the demand for human translators remains robust. In most cases, translators are required to have a certain level of creativity and a solid writing ability.
- Entertainment and its content creation have always been a booming industry.
There are even jobs called trancreation, meaning translation + content creation.
- Marketing is hot hot hot
Translator jobs in this field will likely require language professionals to have substantial knowledge in marketing and public relations.
- Legal documents, especially patent and intellectual property as well as estate and tax planning, will have a steady demand for professional human translation.
- Anything to do with the aging population.
This includes health care and other services that cater to seniors. The Baby-Boomer generation – those born between 1946-1964 – are going to be accessing multiple services from governments, health care, non-profits and retirement age-related businesses/services. Find your niche and be that bridge.
Translator jobs are not going to disappear, as long as humans still think and feel. But they are evolving and changing with the times. To be successful you do have to keep up with the trend and adjust accordingly. It’s always a good idea to be one step ahead of the tide.