British Public Sector Cuts Hurt Demand for Translation Services

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British Public Sector Cuts Hurt Demand for Translation Services

In the midst of budget cuts in the public sector, British translation and interpreting services are preparing for a downturn in demand from key clients and local councils. "What we provide is something you read headlines about in newspapers, such as 'Loony council spends so and so much on translation,' so it's going to be something that's easy for councils to get rid of," says Carolyn Burgess, CEO of Language is Everything. She points out that many competitors are already offering reduced rates and slashing pay for linguists—measures her company is struggling not to implement. "Everyone knows that you aren't going to get the rates in the public sector you get in the private sector,” Burgess says, “but there is a point where staff draw the line and say it's not worthwhile. These are qualified linguists we are talking about, often with specialties such as medicine or law. As a business, without our linguists we are nothing.” A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey found that 66 percent of companies said they expect a drop in revenue due to the announced spending cuts, while 20 percent expect a loss due to canceled public-sector contracts. Burgess is hoping the cuts in public sector business will be minimal as councils realize that interpreting is a service that requires a certain level of quality. "This is a fantastic way to change how the public sector buys its services," she says. "The people buying often aren't specialists and with us they are buying a professional service but they treat it like buying a ream of copier paper. We know that nine out of 10 contracts will be awarded for how cheaply the work can be done." In the meantime, Burgess notes an increase in the number of companies looking to expand their business overseas, particularly to China, Brazil, Russia, and India. Her own business has picked up in translations for trade missions and telephone interpreting services for conference calls.

From "Demand for Translating Services Slumps Amid Public Sector Cuts"
London Guardian (United Kingdom) (08/04/10) Allen, Katie   

Source: ATA Newsbriefs - August 2010
Ο λόγος είναι μεγάλη ανάγκη της ψυχής. (Γιώργος Ιωάννου)


 

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