Should Translators Give Discounts for Typos?

Discounts for Typos for Translators

In July 2023, the US Screen Actors Guild joined 11,000 film and television writers in their ongoing strike over contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The strike has caused a halt in film and television production, and it has impacted media localization companies.

The strike continues in August 2023, and many major production releases and projects have been postponed. The technology side of the multilingual audiovisual industry, however, moves ahead in speed and product proliferation. At the same time, legal concerns over AI-enabled automation, such as who owns a voice that can now be so easily synthesized, continue to be the subject of many debates and rants on social media.

We asked readers how much prime entertainment content they think will be largely AI-generated by 2030, and the majority (48.0%) believe it will be less than 25%. The next size group of respondents (21.7%) think it will be at least three times as much, more than 75%. Two equally sized groups of respondents (13% each) believe it will be either less than 5% or about half of the content. Only a few (4.3%) think it will be most of the content.

Thou $hall Not Err

On July 26, 2023, video game translator Alicia del Fresno posted on X (as in ex Twitter) a screenshot of a PO discount matrix that she had received from an agency. The matrix included penalties for assorted translator-caused issues, including discounts of 15-20% for typos. These are steep penalties, and perhaps they will be effective on two sides of the spectrum: persuading some linguists to use spell checks and dissuading some from working with that agency.

We asked readers their opinion on discounts for typos. The majority (62.4%) chose a hard no for their answer. Close to a quarter (24.6%) of respondents believe these discounts may be applied for certain jobs, and the rest (13.0%) think it is fair.

Nation Representation

Indigenous or, shall we say, original languages, are a bastion of national identity. A nation, understood as a group of people bound by language and cultural identity, may occupy one or more countries (like The Basque Country in Spain and France). Spain has a few official languages, and its foreign affairs minister recently requested for Basque, Catalan, and Galician to be added as official languages of the European Union.

This type of petition is not new. The request for the addition of Irish as an official EU language a few years back did not go anywhere. It is hard to tell whether Spain will get different results, but if the three languages were to be added, it would mean opening the door for more potential business opportunities for language services providers (LSPs). 

Member state representatives are free to use any of the official EU languages for official EU business, thus requiring translation and interpreting to and from all other official languages. We asked readers if they think Catalan, Basque, and Galician should become official EU Languages. The majority (47.5%) support this addition. A little over a quarter (29.3%) are not in agreement and think there are too many languages already. The rest of the respondents (23.2%) agree that there is a real need.