Challenges of 2024

As you well know, the government has decided to introduce several regulations, especially in the tax area, which have resulted in a significant increase in expenditure (not only for companies but also for individuals). And here, I am referring in particular to the e-invoice. Although other countries (more developed, such as Poland) have abandoned this project because of the very high costs and especially the impact on the economy, the Romanian Government has decided that Romanians can bear these costs. The government probably doesn't care about the galloping inflation that has squeezed the last drop of financial strength, about the growing and higher taxes (18-20%), but it does care about... the underground economy. And, in line with "best practice", it was decided to go ahead with this project, even though the necessary infrastructure for data analysis (Big Data) does not exist and insufficient time was allowed for all entrepreneurs to get used to the new IT tools needed to implement this project. 

They thought that the best quality could be achieved by open-source tools that are not optimized and by using MT (machine translation). The result was disappointing, sometimes hilarious. Non-existent units of measurement, such as "shrouded shrink" (a translation of “shrinkwrapped" done with Google or another AI ) and many translation errors appeared, due to the belief that artificial intelligence is smarter and cheaper (with an emphasis on cheaper) than the human translator. Nothing could be further from the truth! 

The translator's profession is still looked down upon, as evidenced by the extremely low rates imposed by the state on certified translators and interpreters in their dealings with state institutions (30 lei per hour for interpreting, when transport often costs more). This is (unfortunately) also reflected in clients who want to negotiate prices that are already very low (I've never heard anyone go to a notary and tell them: Your price is too high, don't you give a discount? A week ago, the fee for legalizing the translator's signature practically doubled, reaching about 3 times the price of the translation (before the price increase, it was already almost double). Many companies seek (and unfortunately find) collaborators at rock-bottom prices, out of a desire to optimize their capital flow, disregarding quality (which comes with experience and, implicitly, sustained work by translation experts). There is a growing demand for proofreading of translations done either by MT or by amateurs, due to the difficulties encountered in commissioning various industry workflows caused by incorrect translations (hence the increased cost and turnaround time or PIF of firms with such practices). 

I would like the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economy to proceed with stricter regulation of this specialized area, as, for example, the creation of tourism companies is regulated. To set up a tourism company, you need a tourism license, which can only be obtained by demonstrating specialist studies (university, courses, etc.). I would like the establishment of companies specializing in certified translations to be restricted and only available to linguistic specialists. Non-specialists can set up companies to carry out unauthorized translations (technical etc.). The translation market has been flooded with people who have no translation training (no university degree) and who are unable to provide advice(or not at all) professionally.

Also this year, I would like the Government to update the rates for authorized translators and interpreters, not only because it owes them at least that, but also to cover all the cases before the courts, the public prosecutors' offices, and the police. The current rates are designed to cut the momentum of specialists who refuse to go to court or the police because, in this case, 'time is money'. 

Finally, I would like translators to be united and have a single voice to address state institutions. 

Translators, unite!