A great read from Paul Suizberger.

The translation business

What comes to mind when you think about used car salesmen? The words “sleazy”, “disreputable”, “untrustworthy” or “con man” perhaps?

Of course, this assessment may be totally unfair to used car salesmen…

But the market for translation has many similarities with the second-hand car market. Luigi Muzii [1] has frequently made this comparison [2]. Luigi is someone who is never too shy to elaborate on a controversial viewpoint, so I asked him what he had in mind:

Paul: Luigi, do you really think that translators are like second-hand car dealers?

Luigi: No, not at all, Paul! Well… there might be the occasional one! But people who buy and sell translations find themselves in the same sort of economic predicament as people who buy and sell second-hand cars.

Paul: So what sort of predicament is that, Luigi?

Luigi: The sellers know a lot more about the quality of the…

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