Translation bureau in Canada: peculiarities of the market

The translation activity does not claim to make a significant input to national GDP. But you will not deny that in countries with two official languages, such as Canada, the translation of the texts occupies a special place. At least it would be interesting to know the number of the translation agencies in Canada, their turnover and number of translators that work there. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of statistics information on translation services, and being honest – there is almost no such information, and all the estimations are made by sight. That is why when you evaluate the translation market it is impossible to talk about precise or scientific information.

The translation market itself in Canada according to the classic scheme is separated into public and private sector. The public sector is mainly represented by government offices. And also remember about the federal government, that actually is the biggest employer for translators and also is the biggest customer for translation bureaus.

Local government institutions, in Quebec and Ontario, order translations from French and from English and actually are very big and interesting customers for any translation bureau. But it should be noted that these customers very often prefer to work with free lancers because of the rates.

The private sector is represented by enterprises of different categories and spheres of work, so translation bureaus work not only with enterprises from economic sector, but also with institutions from the sphere of culture etc. As in the government sector on some small enterprises there are the departments of translators, but in case they have a lot of work they use external sources. These enterprises uses the services of free lancer and of translation bureaus. If we are talking about the publishing sector, there they work just with free lance translators that work with the translation of books and articles.

The geographical character of the market of translations can be easily identified in accordance with the administrative and economic map of the country. The big translation centers are located in Ottawa, which is an administrative center, and also in Monreal and Toronto, the economic centers of the country.

When there is no exact data, the examination of telephone directory showed that there is 70 translation bureaus in Montreal and about 50 in Toronto. Mainly these were the translation bureaus that specialize on translations from English and French, but some translation bureaus dare to say that they "translate from all languages". About four or five translation bureaus work at the same time in Toronto and in Montreal, but in most cases they have their representative office in one of these cities.

If we are talking about the number of translators working in this translation bureau, it is very difficult to estimate their number. For example, some translation bureaus hire on permanent position only one translator, and the role of translation bureau is mainly the role of the intermediary between the customer and between the free lance translator working with this particular translation bureau. There are also translation bureaus that were opened by one translator and where all the work is done by this particular translator.

At the same time on the market you can find other translation bureaus that by their side are the exact opposite of the above mentioned translation bureaus. In these translation bureaus more than five translators work on constant basis. But actually you should understand that these numbers are much more bigger. Some translations bureaus claim that they can offer to the customer more than 2 000 experts. A lot of such translation bureaus are working on the market for quite a long period and for fourth of the century they were able to develop an impressive base both clients and translators.

The common feature for all translation bureaus is their universality and versatility. The clients are flowing from all spheres of activity – economic, technical etc. It is not worth talking that such a difference of clients creates certain difficulties. In fact it is impossible in one translation bureau to have on permanent positions translators that specialize in such different spheres as pharmaceuticals and insurance, law and electronics, moreover, it is impossible that in translation bureau there are clients just from one sphere, as it is impossible to foresee the demand. And for sure it is not worth mentioning that for work with different customers you need different reference materials. In most cases, when the translation bureau wants to work with serious orders, it should turn for help to free lancers that specialize in this or that sphere: technical translation, financial translation, legal translation etc.

The situation with the specialization, when translation bureau works only with certain sphere - financial and accounting, certain spheres of mechanics, medical and pharmaceutical texts etc – is very common for small translation bureaus. In any case you should always remember, that a serious translation requires a lot of time and forces: search of the needed documents on the language of translation, correction, editing and proofreading etc. The speed, universality and the quality of work – these are the characteristics not only of each translation bureau, but also of the whole sphere.

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