Branches with high demand for translators
Thread poster: Peter Schaefermeier

Peter Schaefermeier  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:41
Member (2018)
English to German
+ ...
Jun 8

In which subject areas is there currently such a high international demand for translators that it can hardly be satisfied? What are important market niches/industries in this respect? So what are the current trends?

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:41
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
There are probably more language pairs than subject areas where demand can hardly be satisfied Jun 8

If you are wondering what you should choose to specialise in, then my advice is:
- choose a subject you are interested in yourself
- find clients you like working with, and see what they need.
- study and specialise in the jobs and subjects you enjoy most.
- keep pushing your limits, but do not force yourself, just because there statistically is a demand.

As a freelancer, you need to balance between where you want to go and what options are open to you. You
... See more
If you are wondering what you should choose to specialise in, then my advice is:
- choose a subject you are interested in yourself
- find clients you like working with, and see what they need.
- study and specialise in the jobs and subjects you enjoy most.
- keep pushing your limits, but do not force yourself, just because there statistically is a demand.

As a freelancer, you need to balance between where you want to go and what options are open to you. You do not in fact need lots of chances, you need the right chances for you.

Where there is a high demand, there is often a lot of competition too. If you find a niche, there may not be a lot of demand, but if that niche suits you, go for it! There is also a limit to how much one translator can deliver in a week...

My other thought was, that more unusual language pairs are probably good niches. However, it takes a long time to learn a language from scratch, and you may have to specialise in several subject areas to find enough work. That is very demanding, especially because there may be fewer resources and reference works in the more unusual languages.
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Sheila Wilson
missdutch
TOMBE Franklin
Tina Vonhof
Liviu-Lee Roth
Ivana Kahle
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Niches need experience Jun 8

Peter Schaefermeier wrote:

In which subject areas is there currently such a high international demand for translators that it can hardly be satisfied? What are important market niches/industries in this respect? So what are the current trends?

I don't think you're likely to be able to command higher rates as a niche translator until you have a lot of experience in the area, and that takes time, apart from anything else. As an experienced translator, you probably already have a niche (maybe a few). You just need to present clients with it; make it work for you.


Tina Vonhof
Ivana Kahle
Adrian MM.
 

Aminata Diabi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:41
Member (2014)
English to French
It depends Jun 8

I feel like some branches are in more demand like subtitling&IT. But that's my feeling.

However being in high demand doesn't always mean great value contracts


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 18:41
Member (2016)
English to German
A statistics question Jun 8

Since we are mostly individual translators, most of us won't be able to provide statistics about the complete translation market (maybe you'll find something on slator.com on this?).

Having said that, my personal impression is that skilled translators with IT and tech specialization are highly in demand.


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:41
Member
Italian to English
"MT immunity" Jun 9

Another point to bear in mind is that certain areas are more "immune" to machine translation than others. I can't see machines ever being able to cope with Italian art texts, for example. Medicine is another area where quality and accuracy are paramount, as opposed to a badly-translated kitchen appliance manual that you can chuckle at and toss aside.

As others have said, choose an area that you are passionate about and hone your knowledge. Good translators who work well (communicate
... See more
Another point to bear in mind is that certain areas are more "immune" to machine translation than others. I can't see machines ever being able to cope with Italian art texts, for example. Medicine is another area where quality and accuracy are paramount, as opposed to a badly-translated kitchen appliance manual that you can chuckle at and toss aside.

As others have said, choose an area that you are passionate about and hone your knowledge. Good translators who work well (communicate well and promptly, who pay attention to detail, who don't miss deadlines) are always in demand.
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A. & S. Witte
Sheila Wilson
Christine Andersen
 


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