As I am reading business articles and such recently, I see the term ‘ecosystem’ more and more. Apparently, this is due to the fact that a fence that defines a specific industry is disappearing.
Before, the translation industry had been made up of clients, translation companies, translators, DTP operators, drafting operators, printing companies, for example. Currently, especially in Osaka, translation ecosystem consists of companies that clearly did not belong in the translation industry before, such as hotels and travel agencies. It is most likely that companies such as railroad companies, bus companies, restaurants, convenience stores will join in the future (of course, I mean the headquarters, not every station).
With an emergence of online travel agencies where customers can make reservation online and does not require face-to-face sales, simultaneous translation (not simultaneous interpreting) to multiple languages is in demand. This is because it is necessary to translate user comments almost immediately. In these companies, there is an in-house translation department. It seems that former employees and translators at translation companies are working at these companies (along with proper employees, of course).
Like so, companies that did not belong in the translation companies now belong to the translation companies. The old fence is gone. Particularly in Osaka, construction boom of hotels will continue. I believe that the translation ecosystem in the hotel industry, the travel agencies, and the translation industry will expand. If the world expo is being held in Osaka, the translation ecosystem will be huge.
In the case of Osaka, I would not be surprised if a translation department is constructed not only in hotels, but also in department stores, and headquarters of drugstores (employing translators in each department store and drug store may be not impossible, but difficult).
I have always mentioned that translators will never lose their jobs with the arrival of machine translation and new technology. I continue to believe that new jobs will be created with machine translation. Not only new jobs, but also a new industry (ecosystem) is about to be born.
A new ecosystem where humans and machines coexist is born. There is no competition in the ecosystem. We support each other to better each other. It’s the same as the natural ecosystem.
A day where we are exchanging business cards, and I encounter a scene hearing “My name is ○○, manager of translation department in AAA railroad company...” may be closer than I think.