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Thursday, March 24, 2011

So it's come to this: Linguists pay to see jobs on offer

A funny thing that really shows the plight of the biggest players in the industry--Lionbridge expects translators to pay them for the privilege of being able to see what jobs might be on offer. From their GeoWorkz site:
...The marketplace gives you access to search, sort, and view hundreds of jobs such as translation, proofreading, desktop publishing, localization engineering and more. Get started today – just click below to subscribe. Access to the GeoWorkz Jobs Marketplace is part of every paid Translation Workspace subscription. Jobs are posted and updated daily so check back often. And remember, no matter where you are located, now you have access to Lionbridge jobs around the world...

Yes, this is an amazing advance for the industry. :)

All kidding aside, the biggest players in the industry have massive overheads since they are located in expensive locations, but their business model is the same outsourcing model from 1997. Any new start-up immediately begins miles ahead of them in terms of margins while being able to dramatically undercut them in price.

Besides an attempt to monetize the linguists they work with, GeoWorkz represents another attempt to rejigger the localization work flow in the face of Google Translate and Google Translator Toolkit. While we don't know what Lionbridge is really up to, "innovative" new directions like this are usually key for positioning the company for major mergers and acquisitions and its future strategic direction.