Meet Central Europe 2018: the takeaways for Technolex Translation Studio

On October 30-31 The Meet Central Europe 2018 international translation and localization industry summit took place in Budapest.

We met with our delegates Maria Malykhina and Igor Marach, who had just got back from the forum, to ask them a few questions about their takeaways from the conference.

Read about their impressions and discoveries in our quick-fire interview below.

How was MCE2018 different from past Meet Central Europe conferences?  Was there perhaps a clear kind of development?

MCE2018 was the first event of its kind, a conference for LSPs that specialize in the languages of Central and Eastern Europe.

What immediately leaped out at you?

The number of people taking part. Considering it’s a new event and competition from other similar events is so high, perhaps this says something about the timeliness of holding a conference of this kind.

What trends and patterns in the translation industry were confirmed for you and what new ones did you discover?

The main emphasis was on MT, AI and automation of processes. New developments and research are focused around these issues.

Did you gain any interesting insights in the course of the panel discussions?

Because the whole conference was aimed at inspiring vendor managers, there was a lot of useful information that we will be able to use to improve our own internal processes.

We also took part in a master class with Welocalize vendor manager, Agi Szaniszlo (her official title is Talent Program Manager). It was interesting to find out about the integrated approaches to selecting, training and maintaining resources used at one of the largest MLVs.

What was your biggest surprise?

We didn’t hear about any revolutionary announcements this time and we didn’t make any sensational discoveries. It was good and helpful to speak with our long-term clients in person and get to know potential new ones.

From the technology world, there was one presentation that stood out about a speech recognition tool which can be used as an add-on for CAT tools. But so far it doesn’t work with our languages, Russian and Ukrainian.

Was there anything you particularly noticed about the translation community represented at the conference? Were there any new players (has the group got any younger, or is it just the same old stalwarts of the industry)? What other changes did you observe in the development of the translation services market thanks to the forum?

For us, there were a lot of new faces at the conference. Mainly this was people from medium-size LSPs and MLVs from Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the Baltic States. Some of them offer all possible languages, but on the whole they’re focused on language pairs from their own regions.

What is the market like in Central and Eastern Europe? What are the factors influencing its development the most?

The market is small, but it’s distinguished by the large number of working language pairs. Most companies try to offer as target languages not just their own native language, but those of neighboring countries.

What factors do people take into account when ordering translation services in the Central and Eastern European market?

There are a lot of rare language pairs that are quite hard to find practitioners for. This would include combinations with Hungarian, for example. Overall, companies in Central and Eastern Europe aren’t too different from, say, the German companies we work with. They use all the latest technologies, they offer competitive rates.

Speaking of languages from neighboring countries... Why would you order translations into Russian, for example, from an agency in Ukraine?

To start with, the Russian language standards are universal across all countries. There is no such thing as “Ukrainian Russian.” Most people living in Ukraine are bilingual and, generally speaking, translators possess a native level of Russian. As in Russia, there are companies in Ukraine that look to compete by lowering their prices. But there are also those that are oriented in a particular direction, meaning they can offer services of a higher standard and at a higher cost. So Ukrainian companies are able to deal with any inquiries on Russian translations. On top of that, Ukrainian companies don’t have the same limitations that can hold back the services offered by Russian companies due to political factors.

What are the prospects for the translation market in Central and Eastern Europe that you could outline over the medium and long term?

The domestic market in Central and Eastern European countries isn’t too broad, and most single-language vendors are becoming multi-language. It is likely that more and more small companies will be assimilated by larger MLVs. However, considering the overall growth of the localization industry, everyone will be able to find their own niche.

What would you like to thank the organizers of the forum for most?

The organization of the conference was excellent: an original and very suitable venue (Budapest Music Center), good information content, nice informal events ideal for networking. Thank you to the organizers of MCE2018. We hope to see you again at MCE2019 in Prague.

To see all photo from MCE 2018 click here.



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