Independent "Boutique" Translators
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary
defines boutique as:
. . .
2: a small company that offers highly specialized services
an independent investment boutique
The New Generation (here we go again...)
The European shop-in-shop "concept store" appears to
offer a natural blend of life-style themes. Even U.S.
boutique law firms are being touted as the future
of the legal profession. Large translation agencies were
driven by the omnipresent internet, but more recently another commercial offshoot of IT is nurturing a new generation of translation agencies providing focused, high quality niche services.
Macro & Micro Despite, the wide range in quality and price among the global LSPs (language service providers/resellers with offices everywhere), they can handle lots of words at a moment's notice no matter what the field or language. The caveat, it seems however, is the incentive to achieve economies of scale — which defers the client/translator from the selecting and interacting process. In that kingdom, unrestrained "dialogue between client and translator” can be counterproductive and result in merry-go-round communication disasters.
But conferring as we all know is important, isn't it? If not, simple errors and attempts to convey a good narrative will be degraded and . . . well, lost in translation.
Wordsmithery (old skool & vintage) For profit, fame, and fun, boutique translators must also compose a magical transformation of words and perceptions. Then the final translation can be crafted and delivered with a sense of accomplishment. The key to mastering that is through building sustainable relationships with clients based on accuracy, trust, and care. Dedication becomes a mutual, long-lasting bond not at all easy to achieve without some humility and — all together now — grit.
As an intricate part of this noble profession, the capability for boutique translators (even with AI-CAT) to accept high-volume translation requests with quick turnarounds is still in the distant future. For clients not completely governed by time and big data requirements, we can offer a commitment to professional translation services at competitive rates. In the end our intent indeed is to enhance the international stature of the client's brand value where it is important.
("Hear, hear!" whispered the junior politician from the corridor.)