I connected my first computer to the Internet from Romania in late 2000, but the bandwidth was really narrow. In 2001 I didn't really care about it. In my spare time I went on mountain hikes and to festivals across Transylvania.
In 2002 I became a freelance translator and registered as such at proz.com, the main site from which translation agencies place orders.
In 2003 I met in Cluj-Napoca with Cristina, Ana-Maria, Ciprian and others to found the most important association of Romanian translators.
During that time I also translated orally, at business meetings and conferences.
In 2004 I moved to Bucureşti and received many more translation orders than in Braşov, where orders were rather rare, small and lowly paid. Internet connections were fairly slow.
In 2005 I moved to the country and knew the highest degree of independence. I have browsed the Internet a lot. (That is why I know so many applications and how we can improve communication over the Internet.) I served companies through agencies from America, Europe and Asia. Some Africans have contacted me, but placed no order. We hardly ever do business with Australians.
In 2007 I translated over the Internet a large database for Volkswagen ETKA, their catalog of electronic parts.
In 2008 I traveled through Transylvania in order to choose the place where I was going to settle. That year I was invited to use facebook.
In 2009 I bought a land lot, then translated over the Internet a software interface with a huge number of strings. Each of these things took me months.
In 2010 I had my log house built.
In 2011 I co-founded the most important Romanian eco-village (and invested in a business). The number of such initiatives increased in 2012 and 2013, and I meet more teams interested in environmental protection. I represented wiser.org in Romania, but they cannot afford to keep this platform running anymore. They recommended idealist.org, where I am a Romanian connector.
I might take time to tell you about the good moments of my translator career. I write now about improvements that I find necessary. To bring about these changes, I have built a team.
Translation orders are placed usually with agencies and rarely directly with translators.
There is quite a distance between translators and translation users: the agency and the writer interpose. Well, we couldn't have a reader without a writer; the writer doesn't have to master more than one language. (In some cases, their writing is not really easy to read even in their mother tongue.) The agency plays e.g. the roles of a seller and of a project manager. Each of us communicates, but we usually ask the more talented communicators on the team to mediate the communication e.g. with clients.
Most translation orders are placed by companies.
Who can improve what?
Could care more about communication
Communication is the most important thing in our lives. Romanians say: Your sleep will be as good as your bedding. I say: One's life will probably be as good as one's communication.
In the industrial age every person is a client. In my trade, clients are usually companies; more precisely, certain company representatives.
Many teams care less about their communication with their providers or even among themselves than about their communication with their payers; they also treat customers as secondary to their clients. (I call customer a client's client.)
Many company representatives seem to care insufficiently about communication. A team (a term that I prefer to "company") communicate with their clients in several ways, e.g.:
1. when they try to sell
They make the largest communication investments in their marketing communication. I have indicated in the article linked above that marketing communication is becoming more customized. (I dislike conventional advertising because that communication is unilateral; it feels as if those teams did not want to talk with you; some teams behave similarly even on Google Plus.)
- I rarely see orders to translate marketing texts.
- Website texts are translated often. I have seen many poorly translated website texts. I have received no reply from the several website owners whom I wrote about this.
- Some product presentations try to sell. Some of them are written poorly, unfortunately. I feel the urge to improve some of the texts I read.
- Quite a few agreements are translated.
Teams order mainly translations of texts used by clients after the sale (usually manuals and guides) and secondarily texts used to communicate internally or with providers.
We are usually tense when we are uncertain of gaining something and we relax e.g. after selling something. But not the entire team should relax, because the client will feel hurt. (If the client feels abandoned, he may buy next time from another provider.) When one has e.g. instructions for use translated, one is usually not certain of selling what that document describes, so I am surprised that so many teams seem not deeply interested in the quality of such translations.
What do you have to say before I publish the third part of this post?