In recent years, many translators jump on the bandwagon to be the first to translate works written by newly announced Nobel Prize winners for publication and profit. These works may be completed by several translators, with each chapter translated by different people and then combined together. Such translation work is often of poor quality, resulting in inconsistent content throughout the book. At present, there are no effective guidelines and authorities that regulate the local Chinese translation companies. The inconsistency and incompetence of some translators lead to poor translation quality.
Statistical data show that there are currently around 2000 people hired as professional translators in Taiwan, and thousands of others who in some way work as translators. Most veterans in this field are not full-time translators or do not specialize in translation; they do not make a living out of translation either.
The “translation industry” has been recognized as a concept and industry category in the past few years. In a market economy, over 100 Chinese translation companies in various sectors have been established.
Nowadays, there is a huge talent gap in Taiwan’s translation industry and the quality of translation work is inconsistent. “It is quite common to see translation works of poor quality; some of which even contain mistranslated and incorrect interpretations of the original text; even plagiarized texts could be found once in a while.” There are two ways to deal with these problems. One is to have incompetent translators eliminated from the market. The other is to have authorities regulate the market. The government often outsources work to translation companies, which may increase difficulty of supervision. To date, there has been no comprehensive standard for the domestic market. The low threshold for dealing with the translation profession in Chinese translation companies has led to a complicated market condition. Therefore, relevant laws should be established and implemented.