On June 23, 2016, the UK population voted to leave the EU. Could this fact have an impact on the UK translation industry? Below are described some aspects that illustrate that yes, the translation industry in the UK will be affected by this decision.
It is well known that the UK has one of the most developed translation industries in the world. At the same time, it is also well known that the development of the translation industry in the UK is due mostly to immigrants. The greatest part of the persons involved in the UK translation industry come from Poland, Romania or Spain – mainly people from the Eastern Europe and European Mediterranean countries.
But will the UK be able to provide the same working conditions to the persons involved in this industry? Besides the fact that many persons who have been living in the UK have recently been exposed to racism and discrimination, as many newspapers and TV channels have reported, the UK market may not be able to provide the same income to the qualified personnel, even if the customer is charged the same as before. The British Finance Minister announced tax hikes and that “the country is going to be poorer”. Given the fact that the Poles, Romanians or Spaniards involved in the UK translation industry already have lower income, will they accept to continue working in the UK on even smaller salaries? Or will the translators around the world accept lower rates per translated word or page? Probably not. And here is the problem. The qualified PMs, the qualified linguists, and all the other qualified personnel involved in the UK translation industry or those who collaborate with UK translation companies will shortly start to search for new opportunities in other countries and collaborations with companies based outside the UK, while the UK translation companies will have to work with less qualified linguists or beginners, and therefore the problem will be the low quality of the translations. At the same price.
On the other hand, in the Eastern European countries, such as Romania, there is stability from this point of view: due to different political circumstances, these countries won’t leave the EU as it’s the only possibility of stability – on any kind – in the region. And it’s the same when it’s about the translation industry. Plus, the region is very well known for the extremely qualified and talented linguists – many of them in the UK now, but probably to be back home shortly.
In Romania for example, the new launched companies that have at least two employees have to pay a tax of only 1%, fact which will lead to the development in any sector, including the translation industry. Therefore, a translation company can provide translations carried out by high qualified translators at much lower rates, without having to cut the translators’ rates and by affording to work with the best linguists on the market. Besides this fact, an online translation company based in Romania can also cut expenses from the office maintenance, as all the employees and collaborators work from their own homes, and this means the best quality at the best rates.
The currently well-developed translation industry in the UK will therefore be replaced by an even more developed one in the Eastern Europe.