In January of 2007 the magazine Professional Translation will come out in Russia. This is a collaborative project of the Russian Edition Publishers (Издательство «Русская Редакция»), which has many years of experience in preparing and publishing professional field-specific publications, the company Logrus, specialized in the provision of high-technology translation and localization services, and the editors of the catalogue Who is Who in the Translation Business (Кто есть кто на рынке переводов) , an authoritative guide to the field.
We asked Mikhail Tsareykin of Russian Edition and Serge Gladkoff of Logrus a few questions about the new project.
Dmitry Fufaev: Тhe people who thought of a publication of this type were very concerned that a magazine devoted to professional translation wouldn’t have a broad reading public, as the subject matter would really only be of interest to translators. Doesn’t this cause you some concern, Serge?
Serge Gladkoff: First I should say that our magazine is aimed not so much at a few professional translators as at a corporate reading audience – mid-level managers, specialists, co-workers, etc. producing Russian companies’ work on the international market, the work of foreign companies in Russia and the work of Russian companies themselves, all of which demand support in terms of information vis-à-vis the translation and localization of materials for the Russian market. Translation and localization are a part of the business processes of corporations in all fields, whether they are aware of the fact or not. Translation has to do with the activities of a large group of people, including employees of corporations who need to organize these projects as well as the specialists who render these services. For this reason such a magazine should be of use to the business community as well as individuals of various backgrounds, among these translators included. Users of translation services will find the materials on technologies and methods for increasing efficiency and reducing prices interesting; service providers will need such an industry journal as a source of news about means and ways of working, as well as having it as an instrument for their activity on the market. The magazine’s content may offer valuable support to those who are actively working on the problems of translation and localization and are working out a strategy for getting their company onto the market internationally.
Dmitry Fufaev: Serge, it is being proposed that a significant part of the content of Professional Translation will be made up of articles from the original English-language publication Multilingual Computing & Technology. Why was this publication chosen for this?
Serge Gladkoff: The magazine Multilingual Computing & Technology is one of the most authoritative and asked-for international publications on translation and localization. Our company has for some time successfully collaborated with this magazine. The fruits of this collaboration are finally being enjoyed by our readers, those who subscribe to Professional Translation. Thanks to the collaboration of the two journals just mentioned, our readers will gain the opportunity to benefit from the results of international experience in the field of rational organization of translation processes, which is so vital in this age of globalization.
Dmitry Fufaev: Мikhail, you publish a large number of professional journals for specialists. What interested you, as a publisher of journals for very specific target audiences, so much about this particular project to do with the issues of translation?
Мikhail Tsareykin: We mainly publish journals, and books as well, for specialists in the field of IT solutions, translated into Russian. Top-notch translators work in our publishing house, and their knowledge of computer technology and software is far from superficial. And of course other employees of the publishing house have excellent knowledge of foreign languages. So we are really interested in the issues of multilingual translation, which, in our view, have been insufficiently dealt with in our own, Russian national publications. A new magazine for the suppliers and users of translation services, and at any rate for the translators themselves, will help increase the quality all around.
Dmitry Fufaev: Serge, why in your opinion will companies and private individuals want to subscribe to the new magazine? After all, anyone can find virtually anything they need with a little surfing on the internet. Why will they pay for the magazine when the same can be got for free?
Serge Gladkoff: The internet allows you to get to know the projects only to the degree that the authors want you to know about them. But information is not just a quantity of bits and bytes, but actual, useful data which is not always easy to obtain.
Actually the internet doesn’t always allow you to obtain reliable specialist information, and it should also be said that finding this information is not easy there. The more the internet develops, the more expensive access to truly valuable information becomes, and the more the value of information which is publicly available depreciates. After all, the internet is – to put it graphically – an information dump you can rummage around in all day without finding anything useful. And if you should happen to find something, there is always the question of its reliability and currency.
Even if a free resource has merit and contains the detailed information you need – as with Wikipedia, a perfect example of this – the problem of finding the answer to a specific question is difficult without the help of specialists. The more complete a Wikipedia article is, the more time is required to make sense of the exhaustive material in the definition. To resolve a specific issue, one needs to have specialists who, considering all the parameters of the project, will be able to identify a suitable solution. In order to assess the suitability and feasibility of a proposed solution, the client should be informed of developments in its field – purchasing a service is rather more involved than, for example, purchasing a piece of merchandise.
Thus our goal is to fill the magazine with reliable information taken from authoritative sources and give it content which has been meticulously evaluated and selected or which has been specially written by experts in their field.
Dmitry Fufaev: Could you mention a few of the trends in the evolution of multilingual translation in Russia?
Mikhail Tsareykin: From my point of view, with regard to strengthening the international connections of our country and the natural increase in the number of companies and enterprises operating internationally, the number of translation orders companies make will only keep growing. The realm of technology will expand, including machine-aided translation based on the most advanced software. We plan to give technology special attention in the magazine. I think the application of modern individual achievements will be far from decrease; on the contrary, the role of experienced professionals in translation will be more important. The intrafield interrelation will become more complex and have to be further organized, and this new development should simply have its own journal.
Dmitry Fufaev: Serge, how independent and objective can a journal started by one of the players in the field be? How will it be different from the other publications, such as Who is Who?
Serge Gladkoff: A publication which is known to be biased will of course not have the trust or hold the interest of clients or service providers. It will turn into a kind of advertisement for the company putting it out. It’s for this reason that the project Who is Who in the Translation Business enjoyed such popularity among a very interested reading public. In this catalogue you’ll occasionally find conflicting points of view, authors’ material without denomination. We’re planning to do just the same thing, really there’s no other way. Publishing the proposed articles in the journal is actually a plus, because the author prepares them on his or her own, the only criteria being that they’re interesting and have substance and are not some covert advertisement for someone’s services. (There will be special advertising sections for the ads.) We’ll differ from the others in that mainly articles on special subjects will be printed, that is, this will be a journal specifically for the field concerned, not a catalogue of service providers or a paper with news (which is also quite useful, but this will require another format).
Currently the market for translation services in Russia is already quite developed, and every client and service provider has its own formula for success or company secret, thanks to which it is able to succeed in the market. Every translation service provider, every single one of them has something to say about their experience, and we invite each of them who wants to share their experience with their colleagues.
The journal Professional Translation will be available by subscription and will not be sold in retail. To subscribe please use the agency «Роспечать» catalog number – 36111, or go to the internet subscription site – www.ITbook.ru.