All That … and a Bag of Peanuts — a new article by Rafa Lombardino

No Peanuts! is grateful to Rafa Lombardino for the opportunity to share her terrific article, “A Bag of Peanuts is More Expensive than the Per‑Word Rates Practiced in the Translation Market,” with our members and followers.

The business model Rafa describes in her article — in which a group of colleagues creates a network in order to translate together in a responsible and self-sustaining fashion — is one of the most effective ways we’ve heard of for professional translators to combat the disproportionate power of agencies (and publishers) and the unfair competition they create with nearly constant downward pressure on translation rates.

Rafa believes, as we do, that there’s only one thing that can make a difference in the translation market. Us.

The next time you hear someone ask (rhetorically or not) about how to “hang on” in translation and interpreting or whether translation can remain a sustainable profession, think about the commitment that Rafa and her colleagues have made. They’ve transformed theory into direct, effective action.

Be sure to share her inspiring article with your clients and colleagues.


Rafa Lombardino blogs at Rafa Lombardino, and is President of Word Awareness, Inc.

3 Responses to All That … and a Bag of Peanuts — a new article by Rafa Lombardino

  1. Jacquelyn Deal says:

    Yes!! I think this growing trend toward collaborative translation as a way to counteract the uneven balance of power between vendors and agencies is a wonderful idea.

  2. Precisely, Jacquelyn. We got the team together, so we can offer consistent services to our clients for each language pair, always having the same translator or pair of translators responsible for new material coming in. Hopefully this is a way we can educate clients about the bad practice of slicing up their large documents among quite a few translators who will never interact with one another just to meet an unrealistic deadline. In the translation business, it’s all about planning. If companies give their Managers or Art Department enough time to create reports and other publications, they should also allow translators enough time to work on the adequate version of the originals in their target languages of interest 😉

  3. I very much hope that “education” is sticking, because it’s an essential point that is often neglected. Having been, on several occasions, part of one of those “teams” of randomly selected translators, I know that the agency or publisher frequently has no idea how to manage such a project. Typically, it falls to one of the translators who — for no extra pay — does things like create a glossary of repeated terminology and circulate it among the members of the team or standardize conflicting styles when all the pieces of the translation come in. I suppose clients think agencies or publishers are doing these things. In my experience, they usually aren’t.

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