Translation companies make markets just like any other market players, so it’s no surprise that the national economic depression as a part of the global financial crisis has affected translation companies to the fullest extent.
Main directions of translation
The translation companies’ activity and economic processes are interrelated. This activity can be divided into several principal areas of translation:
- documents which determine and regulate the relations between Ukrainian and foreign companies;
- banking and financial documents;
- engineering documents related to operation and maintenance of the products imported to our country;
- information for travel agencies describing resorts, hotels and places of interest.
The impact of the crisis on the volume of work
How has the crisis affected the number of orders in the areas listed above? It is common knowledge that the global financial crisis made loans, also known as ‘blood of economics’, not readily available. Ukrainian banks which had been for the past several years actively using the loans granted by European banks are now on a ‘bag breakfast’, as the number of international relations (and, therefore, the documents to be translated!) between the banks and financial institutions has decreased considerably.
The low availability of loans immediately affected production area not only in Ukraine but in Russia and Europe as well. Production volume and growth slowdown caused the crisis to spread over from the financial to real economy sector. For lots of companies, especially those specialised on export products, this is a rough time. The existing contracts cannot be fulfilled leading to the situation where the parties refuse to sign the new ones. This means fewer orders for translation companies.
Yet, the global crisis has much more aspects. The national currency not secured with products quickly ‘loses its weight’ relative to the main world currencies – US dollar and euro. This fall in exchange immediately leads to decrease in imports as production becomes unprofitable. And again, translation companies lose their work.
The crisis causes financial difficulties for lots of Ukrainians. Some of them were made redundant or were forced to quit ‘for personal reasons’. Some companies introduced a half-time schedule, held down or even cut wages… People stick to their workplaces and have to reduce personal expenses. It’s not the best time to going abroad or having rest at the resorts. Travel agencies experience reduction in the number of their customers and, therefore, they order much fewer advertising translations.
Crisis and freelance translators: will the services become of lower quality?
It is no secret that large translation companies try to employ native-speaker translators whose services were quite expensive long before the crisis.
Sure, most of them live and work abroad generally pricing their services per page in US dollars or euros.
After hryvnia fall, nearly all companies will have to refuse from the native-speaker translators’ services, which means inevitable loss of quality for the translations made from Russian (Ukrainian) into a foreign language.
The documents such as agreements, contracts or engineering specifications can be fairly well translated by the professional translators living in Ukraine, but literary translation is a real problem!
Is there the way out?
Yes, there is! Any crisis, through being a severe trial, means the beginning of a new development cycle. Only the best will survive, including the best translation companies able to retain their customers due to the translators’ expertise, careful approach to the customer needs and flexible pricing policy.
And huge new opportunities await for those who will survive!