Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On Disruptive Innovation

Here at Become an Interpreter! we have nothing but your best interests at heart, so today we thought we would focus on one of the hottest topics in the Language Services Industry: disruptive innovation.
Much has been said about disruptive innovation as pertains to translation and interpretation professionals. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it means: using technology to fuck over LSPs (Language Service Providers, as we are known in da jargon) and generate huge profits for corporations and startups run by people who do not have the foggiest idea about translation or interpreting.
Disruptive innovation entails tapping into the mystical powers of mobile devices, computers, and the #interwebz to chip away at the working conditions and standards hard earned by generations of professional interpreters and translators.

- Charging a daily fee? Fuck it! Who has time for that? Let’s pay these suckers by hour or the minute.
- Working in teams? Um…if you MUST insist!
- Professionally trained interpreters? Why no! Any talented bilingual can take a whack at it! (Cf. above sentence, it is not that difficult!)
- Remuneration? Sometimes, but only if the startup takes off or if we place you in a certain "premium" category. If you are not onboard with working for free it means you are not a visionary—a stick in the mud, ringard! Might as well take your cheap PC running on Windows ’98 and stick your head in the oven NOW!
Some of the most virulent defenders of these new “service delivery models” are Babelwhore and some reputable interpreter training institutions. While we can understand why a private company has a completely vested interest in ass-raping our professional quality standards into oblivion, we have no idea why professional interpreters and professional associations would get in bed with these people. Unless of course, they are literally, in bed with each other and the characters in question (we know who you are!) are receiving hefty compensations for consulting for these businesses and speaking at events such as this one:
GALA’s conference, the self-proclaimed “global voice of the language industry,” (never mind silly little organizations like AIIC, TAALS, or IAPTI), should be an excellent opportunity for bullshit startups, charlatans, and semi-ethical translation agencies to tool themselves out to clients who (bless their little hearts!) have no idea what kind of services they are buying.
What are your thoughts on the joys of disruptive innovation? Are you enjoying being the language whore of our global village? Join this exciting debate and lâchez vos comms’  !

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