Tricks in the book All of them

  • Greater than 1 minutes

    According to Wikipedia, mobile phone penetration rate averages 96% across the world. Apart from unfortunate outliers such as North Korea (8.3%, seriously?), people generally have more mobile phones than mouths. It’s easy to understand then why carriers have to engage in dogfights and price wars to win even a meager slice of the subscribers pie.

    And how much is the “translation penetration rate”? One per cent? Five? It’s hard to count I guess, but I’m pretty sure the vast majority of our prospective customers don’t even know they are ones.

    That’s why I find it hard to understand why we have to bother about low rates at all. Someone is selling their services at a janitor’s rate? So what? Why does it have to be our problem, not theirs (and their customers’)?

    If we had the same level of market maturity and competition as telcos, it would be hard to compete through anything but prices. Every trick in the book would have already been tried by someone else, because people become are damn inventive when in a dogfight.

    But we are not, and we don’t have to make it a dogfight. For any given translator, there are so many ways to disrupt, that it’s amazing to see the creative folk we are struggling to use our imagination when it comes to rocking the market (or at least the boat).

    Guys, seriously. We aren’t even halfway through having tried every trick in the book. The book itself is still being written — and we are the writers. It is up to us — not undercutters or “the industry” — to make it a bestseller or a flop.

    As translators, we are already making the magic happen in our everyday work — all it takes is to let others see it.

    Now, where’s your wand?


    Want more tricks? Follow me on Ab HoC!

    Vladimir Zakharov

    About Vladimir Zakharov

    A translator with 15 years of experience, now Head of Community at — a platform that will change the translation industry and give the power back to translators.

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