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Tatyana Rydeshko, Gulfstream Translation general director, thinks that universities, in cooperation with translation agencies and businesses, should develop special programs to prepare translation students for the demands of the workplace.
Since 2005, Tatyana Rydeshko has been the General Director of Gulfstream Translation company. She began work with the agency as head of the company’s translation department.
She says that the translation market is growing rapidly due the entrance of many foreign firms into Ukraine’s market, adding that the most difficult challenge facing the industry is finding professional specialists with the vocabularies necessary for highly specialized and technical translations.
KP: Describe the most important trends currently being observed in the translation services market. Have requirements and approaches to translation changed?
TR: Lately has been a high demand for the translation of legal papers of those companies that are going to start their agencies, offices and affiliate branches in Ukraine.
The demand for the translation of bank papers has increased too.
Many organizations and firms contract for UkrainianRussian and RussianUkrainian translations of legal and financial papers. This is due to the Ukrainian state language policy which requires that all documents be submitted only in Ukrainian. So, the translation services market is growing with the economy.
KP: Is there a lack of qualified translators and interpreters? Is it difficult to find qualified translators now?
TR: The qualification of translators and interpreters is very important in our business, as the translation quality requirements of our clients are increasing year by year. Additionally, there are many orders for translation in highlyspecialized disciplines and it is difficult to find translators capable of translating these documents.
And translators have different skills. A translator who is proficient translating financial papers may not have the same skill with insurance documents.
To organize translation services there are professional agencies which look for and test translators and interpreters, define the level of their professionalism (taking into account the experience in different areas) and only after checking completed translations send them to their clients.
We constantly test translators and interpreters with no less than 5 years of experience in translation and with positive recommendations from their previous employers.
KP: In your opinion, do Ukrainian universities provide qualified translators? If no, what are the reasons? What changes in university programs are needed?
TR: Ukraine’s universities graduate many translation specialists each year. But often, the graduates are not able to immediately start work at professional translation agencies. They usually lack work experience and have not built up their vocabulary in the specialized topics most in demand for translation.
The majority of graduates are ready to translate standard papers for private clients and easy texts for undemanding clients. I think starting from the first day universities, in cooperation with translation agencies and foreign companies, should provide special programs aimed at preparing translators for the demands of the work place.
There students can get good experience in the translation sphere and be ready to work more professionally after graduating from university. They could even get work before they graduate.
KP: What languages, besides English, are in the highest demand today?
TR: Besides English, Russian and German are in the most demand currently.
KP: Has the demand for translation services increased? If yes, will it continue to grow? Who are your best customers?
TR: The demand for document translation has grown greatly over the past year. There are so many new foreign offices in Ukraine and a lot of Ukrainian companies entering the world market. Due to this, there is a need to translate different things. Many agencies and companies contact us directly from abroad.
Thanks to informationage technologies – Internet, mobile phones, etc. – cooperation with foreign clients has become easy and mutually beneficial, as the price for our Ukrainian translations is higher abroad than in Ukraine. And the demand for Ukrainian translation services is not going to slacken. Our main corporate clients are banks, foreign offices, large manufacturers of goods and services, and insurance companies.
KP: How many translation agencies are now working in the market? Is the market saturated?
TR: There are hundreds of agencies in the Ukrainian translation market, but only a few dozen of them work professionally. They can provide their clients with all kinds of highquality translation services. Our company provides an additional service – quality insurance for our services, i.e. insurance from a translation mistake. The translation market is quite busy yet not too many agencies can provide a broad range of services and translation from, and into, rarely used languages.
KP: What requirements should a translation agency have to compete successfully in the market?
TR: To compete successfully in the market a translation agency should have highlyqualified specialists who can give professional answers to all clients’ questions, in a complete and professional way. The quality of the services provided is the most important, as for us the best advertisement is recommendations from satisfied clients.
KP: Are the prices for translation services growing?
TR: The prices for translation services have been growing more rapidly than they did just two years ago. This is due first to the growth in demand, and second, to the rise in translators’ wages.
KP: Describe the main problems and challenges that exist in Ukraine’s translation industry?
TR: The main problem is personnel. In my mind, every agency has difficulties finding professional, experienced and qualified translators. A good specialist is the main asset a company needs to develop.
KP: What is your forecast for market development for the near future (the next three to four years)?
TR: Most probably agencies will get specialized and develop niches in highly technical spheres. The demand for translation from and into Ukrainian will grow. The number of contract orders in business spheres will also rise as more foreign companies enter Ukraine’s market.