An intern’s perspective on the future of translators and my work at Chin Communications, by Yue Cheng

What is the core competency? I think it is the ability to win users’ loyalty in the market.

——Ruimin Zhang  

Translation is a long-established industry, and with the recent rise of machine translation and improvements in translation output, the actions of overseas agencies providing cheaper prices to increase their competitiveness and the limited client resources in the translation market, have resulted in a lower supply of translation work. According to a study by the University of Melbourne, only one-third of T&I training graduates find a translation-related job after graduation, and nearly one-third choose a job in language teaching, while the remaining students either choose a non-language-related career or go on to further study.

During my master’s program in Translating & Interpreting, I was already aware of the fact that my prospects of being a translator did not seem so optimistic. And the lure of more job opportunities in language education attracts every graduate who has yet to step into the job market. I used to be one of them, but my interaction with Chin Communications, specialist Chinese translation and marketing business, changed my opinion. The Chin team showed me that a professional translator team should never lack development opportunities, and a company with core competencies has absolute confidence to face competition – all of which made me more determined to pursue the path of being a professional translator in the future.

Talent is a valuable resource for every company and Chin Communications values and cultivates it

It was during the second semester of my master’s program that I first heard about Chin when Professor Charles Qin of Chin Communications deeply impressed us with his most awarded translation experience. He introduced Chin’s professional team to us and said that even though all team members are already professional translators, they still undergo regular training to continuously improve their skills. I finally found my career orientation and direction in Chin Communications’ career plan for their team members and started to embrace the idea of joining Chin’s team. I also believe that at this moment, the seeds of aspiration were also sowed in the hearts of many of my classmates. A company that does not lack talent naturally does not lack development, and this became even clearer when I joined the team as an intern. Every afternoon, the Chin team conducts training for new (and old) members to help them adapt to their jobs faster or get in touch with and master the most recent technical and language skills, which contributes to the continuous development of the company while talent is nurtured.

Machine translation used to be a “competitor” that every T&I training student would worry about, and the increasing quality of machine translation output has made clients question the need for human translators. However, in my view, this does not bother Chin Communications because they are client-centred and possess fantastic creativity that machine translation does not and likely will never have. First, after receiving a translation project, the professional team will confirm with the client the nature and quantum of the work, the urgency of the deadline, the client’s translation goals and needs, the direction of the target audience, the typesetting, design, and so on. Then, according to the genre of the text, members of the Chin language team will apply creative thinking in the translation so that the translation is accurate and does not lose the flavour of the original text while being more in line with target language use and expectations. 

Chin Communications strives to customize a thoughtful and considerate translation and marketing experience for their clients, ensuring that they receive a satisfactory end product that meets their expectations in a way that machine translation can never do. Likewise, unlike overseas and local contractors who rely on cheap prices to compete for work, the method Chin uses to achieve customer loyalty and accumulate more client resources does not rely on prices that are below market, but on translating and designing products for clients with care. Clients do not know how to do it, but they know what kind of final product they want, and Chin’s team is able to grasp exactly what the client wants and, through their expertise, shape the product into what clients need in the shortest possible time. Therefore, it makes sense that Chin, which combines high quality and efficiency, is able to defy the challenge and gain more clients and respect by clients than their competitors who rely on price as their core competency and using machine translationto get a translation outquickly as a promotion point.

Chin Communications puts the customer first and presents the work perfectly to the customer. On the inside, I am deeply touched by Chin’s humanistic culture. The kind and friendly colleagues are like family members who give care to each other. There are various snacks placed on the table every day, and we sit together like family members during lunchtime to talk freely, discussing professional or interesting topics, and after lunch, we occasionally enjoy small surprises such as egg tarts and other desserts. The most unexpected thing was that on my birthday, everyone on the team gave me their best wishes, which made me feel the warmth that I had never felt before as I had come to Australia alone. This was the moment when I realized that I had become part of this family even though I was only interning.

Chin Communications has loyal, talented translators and interpreters, loyal clients, and a loyal professional team and will never lack core competencies. There will always be room for development as a translator in such a team. Translators are often hidden behind the scenes. We may not get flowers and applause like language teachers because our work is largely invisible, but I always feel that it is not a great industry that makes a group of great people, but a group of great people that makes the industry great, which is true of Chin Communications and the translation industry.

Zhang Ruimin is described as the most innovative Chinese management thinker in the world. He founded home appliance company Haier.


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