Translators do not have the same status of other freelance professionals and consultants. Clients who would never question an accountant's or a lawyer's bill may reject a translator's quote in horror, and then rush to ask for the help of ‘that nephew of mine who spent a month in Rome.’
This is unfortunate, since good translation and localization are essential to effective communication with international clients and partners, and are even more vital in medicine and healthcare. Investigators and physicians need accurate rendition of technical terminology, while patients need easy-to-understand, straightforward information and guidance. Nowadays, most stakeholders in healthcare must communicate at a global level, with and between pharmaceutical companies, regulatory authorities, governments, hospitals, academic institutions, international markets, and doctors and patients all over the world. In drug development or product marketing, good translation services are a minor cost, but bad translation may cost dearly.
This also applies to many other industries, where corporate image and company-client communication can be disrupted by the bad use of language and localization, and even to individuals who need language services for education access, career advancement, or other personal purposes.
Machine Translation (MT) applications made enormous progress in the last few years, and in many situations are now able to allow basic comprehension and a certain degree of communication when we are faced with a document in another language.
However, this doesn't mean that we can do without human translators; the best MT software does its job by searching and selecting translations done by professionals, and in most cases only someone trained as a translator knows to what extent MT can be trusted, and how to correct it in order to obtain a translation that is precise and appropriate for the specific context and purpose.
I have always been a nerd - I'm always willing to try new software and I regularly use computer-assisted translation (CAT) applications like memoQ, SDL Trados, and Across, and neural translation engines such as DeepL. I am also available for machine translation post-editing (MTPE).