"Every minute of every day over 200 million emails are sent, nearly 600 websites are created, and some 48 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube. Most of that content is mutlilingual – nearly three-quarters of internet content is in languages other than English."
Translation is big business, and it’s growing bigger every day. The worldwide language services market has grown at an annual rate of 8% for the past 3 years. Estimates for 2014 put the world market at nearly US$40 billion, according to research by Common Sense Advisory. The Centre for Next Generation Localisation reports that localization is the 4th fastest-growing industry in the United States.
The Globalization and Localization Association is comprised of members worldwide who specialize in localization, translation, internationalization, and globalization. Every day they help companies, non-profit organizations, and governments communicate effectively to global audiences. They do this by making sure the content of their clients’ communications is culturally sensitive and presented in languages that their audiences understand.
Internationalization (known as "i18n" for short): Its main purpose is to make sure that the source content is ready to go into multiple languages. This means i18n occurs at the beginning of content and product development, not after the content is ready for translation. http://www.gala-global.org/what-internationalization
Localization (sometimes referred to as “l10n”): The aim of localization is to give a product the look and feel of having been created for the target market and to eliminate, or at least minimize, local sensitivities.
Until the 1990s, translators used the same tools they had been using for the previous 2000 years. The means of writing had changed, but for the most part, manual steps were required for almost everything. The same could be said for those who requested translations—the client.
Note that the quality issues of MT blur the drafting/revising boundary. One top search engine recently produced the following translation for me from Arabic: “O uterine poor and God will not lose anything to you said Amen like emoticon Admin: Hafid utsav.” This requires more than revising.
So with a 100% match, the TM program essentially produces the draft (66% of the work). The work of the translator in revising that draft would therefore be the remaining 33%. So a rate of 33% of the no-match rate is, on its face, what the market has been paying translators for this work. The value of the efficiency gain would seem to be the word count multiplied by 66% of the conventional per-word rate. That’s one theory, anyway.
Divvying up the gain
So how would the value of the efficiency gain be divided? When TM was novel, clients sometimes offered nothing for a 100% match. In the same vein, some translators gave no discount for TM. Agencies sometimes did both: charging the client full price while asking translators to provide 100% matches for free.
That was then. The atomized nature of the translation market may impede the flow of information, but word does get out. Translators and agencies compete by offering a share of those efficiency gains to clients, and arbitrage drives prices to clients down. Over- or under-discounting freelance translators notice drops in their bottom line. And agencies who send texts to translators with 100% matches removed and non-matching segments arrayed with the underlying flow missing find translators demanding higher rates.
In a market without other disruptions, such as oversupply or undersupply of translators, these efficiency gains might be shared equally, each party getting a third.
WHAT DO WE OFFER? FLAT FEE TO OUR TRANSLATORS? REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH TM IS USED?
BESPOKE TRANSLATION VS. MANUAL TRANSLATION
"A translator working on a complete, non-repetitive text without TM—I’ll call this bespoke translation—translates differently. Rotely translating the same sentence the same way twice (or more) degrades readability, encouraging readers to skip text, so a bespoke translator is aware of rhythm, pacing, and logic.
TM pushes in the opposite direction: it loves one-to-one correspondence and handling of segments in isolation. And many texts—procedure-heavy manuals are an obvious example—benefit from describing the same task identically each time. Indeed, such language is not intended to be linearly read; it is to be consumed when needed."
"TM programs have increasing awareness of context. A group of 100% matches occurring in the same sequence as a previous source is likely to be usable as is. In this case, the value of the translator’s revising task drops further because the value of the drafting performed by the TM has risen beyond 66%. The percentage hits bottom when a client genuinely wants the translator or agency to do absolutely nothing with a 100% match. The compensation to the translator is now a nuisance charge to visually process and make translate/no-translate decisions for every such segment, tasks that make demands on working memory, a limited resource. (See Neil Betteridge’s 2009 translation of Torkel Klingberg’s The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the Limits of Working Memory (Oxford: Oxford University Press).)"
And yet. Good clients actually pay more, not less. As localization professional Anna Schuster reports, firms that provide the most useful, extensive TMs—developed over years by double-checking high-quality translations contributed by skilled translators—discount the least. They need top quality, so they value experienced professional translators. Such clients may produce style guides, references, glossaries. They know translators read closely and encourage translators to report issues. They believe bilingually sensitive revising has an edge over monolingual editing that can justify the cost.
About Agile Software Development process: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development
(as opposed to waterfall models -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterfall_model)
About "Agile Localization": https://adtmag.com/blogs/watersworks/2014/03/agile-localization-report.aspx
interesting point on "reducing translation waste"