Scott Martens in A Fistful of Euros writes about the future needs of clients for big translation companies in Europe:
bq. I work for a medium-sized Belgian translation firm. We have some 200 freelance translators who take work from us and a handful of full-time staff. Our freelancers can and do take work from other sources, what we do is mostly dealing with clients. Like all good middlemen, we make it possible for businesses to negotiate a single price for their translation work and we act as an insurance policy.
bq. The ability to charge less for translation, and to invest in technologies that enhance translation productivity and quality, depends quite closely on the size of your firm. As recently as the early 90’s, it was still rare to find pan-European translation firms. The translation market in the EU wasn’t very integrated, and as a result, firms tended to be fairly small. The large, integrated markets – the US and Japan – are monolingual; they don’t do very much translation.