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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is French translation still important?


Is French translation still important?

With the growth of English as a global language, language of international communication, French seems to lose most of its speakers as a second language in its former colonies.   People nowadays make recourse to English even with their limited language fluency.   Hence, the question whether English into French professional translation and European languages into French translation is still needed in international markets.  French into English and English into French professional translation needs will not depend on French being replaced by English in its old colonies.

The need for French translation services does not uniquely depend on the position of this language at the international language, compared to English in the international markets.  The importance of English and into English translations has been increasingly growing regardless of the other languages importance.  It is true that European languages and other important languages as well cannot compete with English in terms of its dominance at the global level.  This does not mean that all these languages have lost or are on their way to disappear from the international linguistic scene.  The point here is that English is being recognized as a Lingua Franca globally.  However, the importance of other languages or the number of their speakers will automatically decrease.

The need for translation within certain pairs largely depends on the importance of its speakers and their economic activities.  If there were mutual understanding between people speaking different languages, translation would have never flourished.  We need people speaking different languages to make the need for translation projects happen.  English into French translators, for example, find work when there somebody who speaks French and wants an English text to be written in their language so that they understand it clearly.  When a document needs to be translated from French into English, it implies that the English speaker does not speak fluent French to be able to understand the text. 

Clients from Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain will need English to Arabic, French to English, French to Arabic, and English to French in the same way customers from Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon or Ivory Coast do.

Clients from Africa, Asia and Canada still want their documents to be translated from and into English.  Regardless of the tendencies of people in different countries to learn new languages, the business and institutional needs for translation services will be as important as today, if not more.  During the last economic recession, people thought the first people to wipe over this would be the translators and their industry.  However, as competition grew fierce, the need for translators continued.  English to Arabic, English to French and French to English translation services were needed even in countries where economic problems heavily influenced local economies.  This does not mean that translation never suffered from the economic recession.  It did, but not the expected level.

English to French and French to English professional translators will be in high demand.  However, only those who can compete will be there.  Translation is being computerized and ‘Googlized’ as well.  Professional translators who use translation memories are more likely to be in the market.  However, their translation activity will largely depend on the classification Google and other search engines give to their ranking and results of client searches.  Those who succeed to be ranked on first page of Google, for example, will do more business than those who do not. 
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