January 15, 2011
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presentation: "The Translation Industry Today - (1) An Overview of the Global Factors Affecting the Industry and (2) A Closer Look at the Individual Players and What Makes Them Tick"
Speaker: Usha Jayaraman
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011
Time: 14:00-17:00
Place: Forum 8, Shibuya (
Address: Dogenzaka 2-10-17, Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3780-0008
Cost: JAT members free, Non-members 1,000 yen (advance registration not necessary)
Nijikai: details to be announced

(1) An Overview of the Global Factors Affecting the Industry
Like most of the global economy today, the translation industry is in a state of flux and trying to find a new equilibrium. As industry members, we can do ourselves a favor by gaining a good understanding of the changes affecting us. In the first part of my talk, I will discuss some of the factors driving rates in the translation industry (globalization, new technology, the financial crisis) while putting them into perspective in terms of their significance and considering how we might respond to each. (Note: I propose to talk at some length about the realities of the Japanese translation scene in India.)

(2) A Closer Look at the Individual Players and What Makes Them Tick
It is clear that that, in a competitive world, market players do not always have each others' best interests at heart. We have all experienced instances of end users trying to get the best of agencies, agencies trying to get the better of translators, translators looking out only for themselves... Be that as it may, there also appear to be instances of the various players working at cross-purposes inadvertently, out of ignorance regarding each others' work processes. The latter inadvertent instances are what I would like to address in the second part of my talk, during which I will discuss the individual players in the translation industry and how they work, what motivates them, and what they expect from the other players.

Speaker Profile
Usha Jayaraman is a Tokyo-based JE translator. After getting a BA in Japanese, Usha obtained an MA in Japanese Interpreting and Translation from the University of Queensland in 2000. Usha then joined a Tokyo-based company as an in-house translator, but soon decided to go freelance. After a shaky start, during which she unwittingly got roped into doing a PhD in the translation of humor, Usha managed to establish herself comfortably as a freelance translator. Freelancing gives Usha the time to take on all kinds of challenging projects both related and unrelated to work. An ardent science student in school, Usha has recently returned to indulging her fascination with the subject. She enjoys studying about and finding connections between ancient history, anthropology, and molecular biology.