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New Job Opportunities in Translation and Interpreting - Challenges for University Programmes and Language Services Providers

Few professions have been so radically changed by globalization in the last twenty years than that of language services providers (LSPs) and, although the pace of change is different from one country and/or language to another, it is not slowing down.

The last 20 years have seen LSPs embrace the Internet for information and publicity, welcome translation memories and terminology databases to accelerate their work, and react ambivalently to machine translation and other language technologies. The universities have struggled to innovate their curricula in order to meet demands that their graduates should be qualified for a job.

However, the market continues to change, driven by technology, the recession and the laws of supply and demand. As with other industries, large international organizations and companies subcontract smaller ones or freelancers, and all are becoming the beneficiaries (victims?) of the videoconference, the virtual office and the ‘cloud’. Besides, LSPs often feel their work is being threatened by amateurs, volunteer collaborative networks, crowd sourcing, and fan-subbing.

How can LSPs react to all this imaginatively and turn it to their advantage?

How can universities prepare their present students for the future, and what kind of specialist or life-long learning programmes can be provided?