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Economic Trends and Developments in the Translation Industry. What Relevance for Translator Training?

The Interpreter and Translator Trainer
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
  • Translation Profession
  • Language Services Industry
  • Economics


This paper examines some of the features of the translation services sector, based on economic performance data, industry-specific surveys and developments in the formulation of international standards for translation services. A section of the paper is devoted to each of these aspects. The picture which emerges from the economic data is of a fragmented sector consisting of predominantly freelance translators on the one hand and ever-expanding international companies reaping most of the financial benefits on the other. Industry-specific surveys confirm what we learn from the economic data, and provide us with some additional information about the freelance translator's profile and training needs. An analysis of the new European standard for translation services brings into focus some possible future directions for translation companies and freelancers. In a final section, the paper reflects critically on the relevance of these issues for translator training, using intended learning outcomes as a means of formulating the connections between the current state of the language services industry and the professionalization element in university translator training programmes.

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