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Is Heavy Discounting the Only Way to Land Business These Days?
In their search for the best possible deal, prospects and clients put tremendous pressure on language service providers to reduce their prices. In our recent series of interviews on quoting, we inquired how LSPs decide when to cave in and offer a big discount – or simply walk away from the deal. It’s no easy decision. Not all buyer demands

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New Vendor Payment Option for the Language Services Industry
Paying vendors across borders has long been an issue for language service providers. These companies often use bank wires (through SWIFT codes, ACH transfers, or EFTs) to process payments to linguists in other countries. But these options are riddled with bank charges that eat away at the profitability of the recipients – LSPs or freelancers –

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CSOFT Swipes Left for Translation, Right for the Source to Mobilize Translation
The language services and technology sector has long been in the vanguard of high-tech trends, actively putting memes like cloud-based collaboration, crowdsourcing and community translation, and big data- based statistical machine translation into practice. Earlier this month CSOFT EVP Carl Yao briefed us on his company's (#23 on our global list of

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Smaller, More Frequent Transactions Will Drive Translation Market Growth
The need for translation comes in many forms. It may be a brochure, a user’s manual, a contract, or an e-mail. Some jobs are big, but most are small. They may be fully predictable, tied to formal marketing campaigns and product launches. Or they might be last-minute reactions to new market requirements. Demand varies greatly in terms of languages

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Low-Cost Solution Arrives for International Payments
Cross-border payments create challenges for language service providers (LSPs) as well as the freelance community. Beyond simple payment terms, when an agency decides to work with a translator in a different country, the linguist has to agree to a preset payment currency, payment method, and bank transfer fees that are often to their disadvantage. The

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Machine Translation Continues Its Journey to the Promised Land
Until a few years ago, anyone wanting to use machine translation (MT) had to buy it from a commercial supplier or build it themselves (see “Trends in Machine Translation,” Oct11). Then along came the Moses decoder, an open-source statistical MT (SMT) engine that is available at Github. Two commercialized variants -- a new do-it-yourself

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Translation Prices – Up, Down, or Unchanged?
Common Sense Advisory’s 2010 report on pricing found that demand for language services continued to grow while the price for most translation and localization fell (see “Translation and Localization Pricing,” Jul10). Language pairs involving French and German were the only ones to escape substantial price drops since our 2008 report

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Translation Demand-Supply Mismatch
Given the US$31.4 billion in language service revenue booked in 2011, it may seem counterintuitive to state that high-quality human translation may soon become a scarce, if not more expensive, offering. However, in our recent report on translation providers, we saw a coming shortage caused by burgeoning demand for translation, a chronic shortfall of

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Google Announces Paid Version of Translate API
When Google deprecated its Translate API at the end of May 2011, we wrote that "we suspect Google's plan for the next few months is to quietly wind down the free service while the company puts the finishing touches on its Translate API 2.0, the new no-longer-free sequel." Yesterday, Google announced the availability of Translate API v2, the paid

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What Suppliers Think about Requests for Price Concessions
On October 29, Lionbridge VP Didier Helin sent a mass-mailing to the company’s many contractors, freelancer and other language service providers. Citing continuing economic woes, the letter “required” the contractors to give the company a 5% discount through the end of 2010. Not surprisingly, this letter lit up the tweetosphere

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Predictions for 2009: Globalization Technology, Services, and Business Models
Where did 2008 go? For those of us in the United States, it was mainly a blur of the permanent campaign for President, with dozens of contenders methodically whittled down to just two candidates. The election took place against a backdrop of troubling economic news. In light of market conditions, we downsized our Crystal Ball Department, thus producing

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Predictions for 2008: How Right Were We?
Last year, we peered into the crystal ball of the translation industry to make some predictions for 2008. How well did we fare? Let's take a look. "Foreign exchange drives more translation and shifts production centers." We said that the shrinking U.S. dollar signaled an opportunity for companies in markets with strong currencies to get more

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American LSPs Poised to Increase Rates for Translation Services
Just three weeks ago we wrote that American LSPs using non-U.S. translation resources were suffering squeezed margins due to the devaluation of the dollar against major world currencies. We also predicted that when the U.S. dollar/euro exchange rate reached 1.45 translation prices would need to be realigned. Well, the euro is now worth US$1.45 and anyone

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That Clinking, Clanking Sound of Money -- and Its Impact on Translation
Over the last 2 years, the dollar has lost more than 18% of its value against the euro (sinking from $1.20 to 1.42 per euro). This foreign exchange (forex) reality means that the cost of translations into Western European languages paid by American companies has gone up by the same rate. Conversely, translations into English done by American translators

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Idiom Releases WorldServer 9
Idiom pre-briefed Common Sense Advisory last month, giving us an extended demo of WorldServer 9 which it announced today. We applaud Idiom's focus on collaborative product development, involving the community who suggested and then vetted new features. While many software companies do this, participation of the entire language supply chain through its

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LSPs Large and Small Automate Processes
Worldwide, a pool of roughly 5,000 translation agencies with five or more employees sell language and related services to business customers. Last year we wrote that investment in technology was a pipe dream for most of these companies, but today we are in fact seeing small agencies in the US$2 million range taking on big-time translation management

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