Local vs. Global

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After the dissolution of the USSR, some translators created translation bureaus in Kazakhstan. Those bureaus immediately gained advantages and began to work in more favorable conditions than individual translators. International clients prefer to deal with reliable translation bureaus, but not with individuals. So, the clients choose to cooperate with stable and experienced translation companies. That is why even professional translators generally cooperate with translation bureaus.

Nevertheless, few local translation companies managed to grow substantially. At present there are many translation companies operating in the Kazakhstani market, but only some of them have their headquarters based in foreign/CIS countries. The number of local translation companies grows from year to year (according to the Kazakhstani Law #214-III “On licensing” dated January 11, 2007, translation business is not licensable; only state registration is required). Immediately in Almaty, there are about 200 translation companies now. These are mostly small bureaus translating up to 100 pages per month.

However, the global trend is to create large international translation agencies with their offices in several countries. Such agencies use combative advertising, invest much in innovative technologies, develop their proprietary applications, as well as engage web developers and IT specialists. The transnational translation companies widely use the internet technologies and easily access foreign clients.

With this respect, capacities of local translation bureaus with small output and low income appear to be quite limited. In addition, all Kazakhstani companies, including translation ones, have experienced the effect of the current crisis faced by Kazakhstan. Therefore, the majority of translation companies are ready to translate any text and by any deadline for a dumping price. Despite the dumping prices offered by private translators, students and other non-professionals, some larger translation companies manage to maintain their relatively high prices. As a rule, the older the company is, the higher its prices are. Such companies apply to advertisements, their flexible pricing policies and well-established personal relations. Due to the local specifics, personal relations and referrals often prove to be more efficient.

In these circumstances, world-wide marketing and access to the foreign markets would be  too expensive for most local translation companies.  Sophisticated technologies and translation memories are not affordable either.

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