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Predicting consequences of coronavirus on the translation business
Thread poster: Vaclav Hruza

Vaclav Hruza
Czech Republic
Local time: 19:54
French to Czech
+ ...
Mar 12

I would like to hear your opinion on the possible consequences of this virus on our trade.

From my perspective, if you translate mainly for businesses and not individuals, i.e. user guides, contracts, catalogues, websites etc., the impact could be quite substantial. I also think it will concern all language pairs somewhat equally, maybe with the exception of Italian (?).

I think most of the companies will take a big hit and translations won't be on their list of priorit
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I would like to hear your opinion on the possible consequences of this virus on our trade.

From my perspective, if you translate mainly for businesses and not individuals, i.e. user guides, contracts, catalogues, websites etc., the impact could be quite substantial. I also think it will concern all language pairs somewhat equally, maybe with the exception of Italian (?).

I think most of the companies will take a big hit and translations won't be on their list of priorities for months to come. 90% of people I know who work in large companies say their production has fallen dramatically over the last few weeks, let alone those who work in Tourism.

Am I overreacting? What's your take on this?
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Tom in London
Mussab Mustafa
Prosper NKENFACK
Spyros Salimpas
Tina Vonhof
Adam Jarczyk
Lina Efthimiadou
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:54
Member (2016)
English to German
depends on the field Mar 12

I mainly translate subtitles and games. These fields might actually profit from the virus, since people staying at home equals more media consumption.

Vaclav Hruza
P.L.F.Persio
Radmila Sobacic
Fisher Deng
Mussab Mustafa
Traducciones GP
Adam Jarczyk
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 01:54
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Ditto Mar 12

Jan Truper wrote:

I mainly translate subtitles and games. These fields might actually profit from the virus, since people staying at home equals more media consumption.

While my clients and their upstream industries have been affected somewhat, on the whole the kind of work that I rely on for the bulk of my income has remained steady.

It reaffirms that what people consider job security is merely an illusion. A lot of people who have "stable" jobs are no longer employed, or will no longer be employed in the not-so-distant future, while I stay up late at night wandering whether everything will suddenly dry up tomorrow, but when day comes again I am sitting in front of my computer worrying about making my deadlines.

Oh, and I'm also likely to benefit from tax breaks despite having no appreciable drop in business.


P.L.F.Persio
Dan Lucas
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Teresa Borges
Sheila Wilson
ahartje
Radmila Sobacic
 

Laurent Mercky
France
Local time: 19:54
Member (2019)
Chinese to French
+ ...
Depends on the language Mar 12

Hi

I think it will depend on the language on which you are working.
For instance, working with Mainland China and Taiwan, this month my business dropped by 50%...very bad.
I guess it's just a question of time to be back on normal.


LIZ LI
P.L.F.Persio
 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:54
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
More documents to be translated Mar 12

From my experience during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, I would expect that any global crisis generates paperwork, a portion of which needs to be translated.

Chris S
Obi Udeariry
ahartje
Mervyn Henderson
Vesa Korhonen
Armine Abelyan
 

Obi Udeariry  Identity Verified
Nigeria
Local time: 18:54
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Let's kiss all the lawyers Mar 13

With all the disruption the virus is generating, especially cross-border with airlines and all that, at some point the lawyers will show up to do what they do best, and that will generate forest-loads of paperwork for the legal translators to do their thing with.

Angus Stewart
John Fossey
Mervyn Henderson
Yolanda Broad
Angie Garbarino
 

Ya Fu
Australia
The nCov affects the health and ways of working for practitioners Mar 13

I'm working in Australia and is a mandarin-English interpreter. Sometimes we need to translate in clinics or hospitals. Exposed to the patients and hospital environment is dangerous.

But we can use the internet or telephone to deliver the translation which is good.

I still perform some translation in the company, but we are forced to work from home now, so muot tasks will be completed online via video conference.


Laurent Mercky
 

Fisher Deng
China
Local time: 01:54
Member (2018)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Fashion field has been affected. Mar 13

I‘ve been working for a fashion related institute. The work volume has dropped by half due to cancellation or delay of many shows and fashion weeks.

Anyway, I believe everything will rebounce in the near future. What I need to do now is to keep learning and be ready for more opportunities.


Sabrina Bruna
Emily Scott
Traducciones GP
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Expecting a major downturn Mar 13

One of my regular jobs is translating promotional materials for major events -- international sports events, cultural gatherings, trade shows, etc. Another is polishing ESL texts promoting educational conferences that tour the world. I'm fully expecting both jobs to take a nosedive, unfortunately.

My third biggest area is posh property sales. Will people still be buying country estates, villas in the Alps, and penthouse apartments? I have no idea, but I hope so.


Andrew Morris
Vincenzo Di Maso
 

Tea Komšić  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 19:54
Member (Feb 2020)
English to Croatian
+ ...
It depends Mar 13

Sheila Wilson wrote:

One of my regular jobs is translating promotional materials for major events -- international sports events, cultural gatherings, trade shows, etc.


Regarding my job, I also translate promotional leaflets for many events: sports, cultural, cinema etc. and my work has been affected because all these events are getting cancelled. What I do think is that maybe people who work in the field of medicine will have a lot of work, especially if the cure for Coronavirus develops in the moths that come.

Anyway, it affects every business, therefore, it also affects translation business, but we also have to bear in mind that, when all of this stops, the market will try to rise faster than ever. More paperwork will need to be done in huge companies that have their branch offices all around the world. But the question I raise is that, if most of the companies suffered losses in their business, will it affect translators that they hire, meaning that standard rates for a particular language pair will not be accepted, and they will demand lower rates? I guess we will have to see that. What do you think?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Who knows? Mar 13

Tea Komšić wrote:
if most of the companies suffered losses in their business, will it affect translators that they hire, meaning that standard rates for a particular language pair will not be accepted, and they will demand lower rates? I guess we will have to see that. What do you think?

It's difficult to see where any of it is going, TBH.

I live in a holiday area and we're being mobbed online by tourists demanding to know if it's safe to come here, if they're going to be quarantined, if it's safe to fly... How can anyone know the answers to such questions? Even the medics don't know, far less some "local" on Trip Advisor or Facebook. All I know is that we have just one case, at the other end of our island. And everything was totally normal here at the start of the week -- not a mask in sight, bars and restaurants full of people enjoying themselves, etc. But in the last two days Spain has decided to close all its schools and cancel all carnivals and similar events on the islands as well as the mainland where they do have a number of cases. Also flights to the US and Italy and a few other places have now been suspended. When you live on a small island, flights matter! What more will change in my own little life in the next two days? I can't begin to even answer that question, let alone think about post-virus times around the world.

One immediate worry that's growing in my mind is the effect on families. We're getting millions of people confined to their homes, often very cramped homes, and they're going to be with their partners and their kids 24/7 for the foreseeable future, with limited things to do. Think about the strain that will put on those families. How about domestic partner abuse? Child abuse? I'm afraid to think about those statistics. On a happier note, for those who manage to get along, what's the birth rate going to be like nine months from now?


Wout Van den Broeck
Josephine Cassar
Andrew Morris
P.L.F.Persio
Fatine777
IrinaN
Tina Vonhof
 

DZiW (X)
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Population:infected ratio Mar 13

I believe that despite the strange geopolitical spread of the infection, double-standard measures, biased reports, distorted statistics, and vague rumors, it’s more of economical fearmongering against the countries-competitors out of favor—as a precursor of another psychosis economic crisis. Nice Brexit though

George Luca
 

Hesam Arki
Iran
Local time: 21:24
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
Bitter fact Mar 13

As far as I know, Corona-virus has had its impact on translation industry. To illustrate, A friend of mine started to work with Chinese company before this virus spread like a wildfire and yet hasn't received any fee!!!
Also, request for translation has dramatically dropped. the same situation for many pair languages, I suppose.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:54
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Expecting a major decline Mar 13

Portugal's tourism industry is already feeling the impact of Covid-19, with 60% of hotels in the Algarve region reporting cancellations. In a country with the highest tourism growth rate across the European Union and where one in five jobs are dependent on the travel and tourism sector (this sector contributed 14.6% to gross domestic product in 2018) we know that a decline in tourism will have knock down effects collectively across the whole economy….

Vaclav Hruza
 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 19:54
Member (2016)
German to French
I am expecting some downturn on the industrial side Mar 13

I think the "legal processing part" of the cases I am following through my translations is not going to be hurt. Criminals are not going to stop being criminals because of Coronavirus, in some of the case, I have the feeling they are deep down into addiction or gang problems and have bigger fears to fear than getting infected.
And the state is not going to stop trying to find them out.
I love it, it is like following a developping criminal novel except that the end is missing.
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I think the "legal processing part" of the cases I am following through my translations is not going to be hurt. Criminals are not going to stop being criminals because of Coronavirus, in some of the case, I have the feeling they are deep down into addiction or gang problems and have bigger fears to fear than getting infected.
And the state is not going to stop trying to find them out.
I love it, it is like following a developping criminal novel except that the end is missing.

The economy is going to have a pretty big business shutdown. Companies are not going to have much money on the side for things they see as secondary. I see a painful shutdown on marketing like in 2010.

I hope the private people who are employed and still getting their wages are going to try to have a life as normal as possible and keep sending things to translate.
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