The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 28

AN INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION IN MARKET(ING) RESEARCH continued

MARKET(ING) RESEARCH
INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
According to a 2019 global market
research report by the European Society
for Opinion and Marketing Research
(ESOMAR), the global industry for
research and insights was valued at $80
billion in 2018.1
There are basically four types of
market(ing) research providers: major
international firms like AC Nielsen
or Kantar, national institutes in each
country, small institutes sometimes called
boutique institutes, and freelancers.
Major companies generally have
their own internal market research
departments, which tend to use a
number of different institutes. The
rate of employee turnover at institutes
is often high, but, at least in my
experience, satisfied clients who switch
jobs tend to take their translators along.
Working in the market(ing)
research industry gives you plenty of
opportunities to expand your own
network, as there is a lot of crossover
with, for example, advertising agencies,
creatives, public relations, transcribers,
and graphic designers.
There are also a large number of
market(ing) research associations.
The largest and most significant
global one is ESOMAR, a membership
organization for market, social,
and opinion researchers founded
in 1947. The majority of reputable
research institutes are also ESOMAR
members. Most countries have their
own associations, such as the Insights
Association in the U.S. (formed
by the merger of the Marketing
Research Association and the Council
of American Survey Research
Organizations) and the U.K.'s Market
Research Society. Germany has the
Berufsverband Deutscher Markt- und
Sozialforscher e.V., Japan has the
Japan Marketing Research Association,
and Austria has the Verband der
Marktforscher Österreichs, to name just
a few. These associations are a good
source when it comes to finding out
what market(ing) research institutes are
in your country.
28

The ATA Chronicle | September/October 2020

also frequently deal with text fragments
from face-to-face interviews or focus
group transcripts, where a respondent
may stop halfway through the sentence,
necessitating (human) common sense,
intuition, and extrapolation.

MORE INFORMATION

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE A GOOD
MARKET(ING) RESEARCH TRANSLATOR?
We've come to know the saying "A
jack of all trades is a master of none"
as having a negative implication. The
complete and original saying, though,
was actually "A jack of all trades is a
master of none, but oftentimes better
than a master of one." Its intention
was praise, meaning that a person
is a generalist, versatile, and skilled
at many things. This best sums up
translation in this industry, because
although market(ing) research has its
own terminology, the research topics
vary immensely. The list is endless, from
eyewear to yogurt packaging to new
Alzheimer drugs, which makes excellent
research skills, a broad knowledge base,
flexible thinking, and an interest in
continuous learning a must.

CAN MARKET(ING) RESEARCH
TRANSLATORS BE REPLACED BY
MACHINE TRANSLATION?
In my opinion, translation in this
sector will most likely not be taken
over by machine translation in the
near future for a few reasons. The
first is due to data protection and
privacy-confidentiality plays a major
role here. In addition, texts in this field
often require sensitivity, creativity, and
context-specific knowledge. Translators

If you would like to find out more about
market and market(ing) research, you
can visit www.marketresearch.com
and www.mymarketresearchmethods.
com. The Marketing Research Kit for
Dummies, by Michael R. Hyman and
Jeremy J. Sierra, is also a very helpful
book for finding out about market
research.2 Some associations also have a
newsletter you can subscribe to.
To learn the English terminology
used in this field, you can refer to
the glossary of market research terms
compiled by Modern Marketing
Partners3 or the market research
glossary compiled by SIS International
Research4, or download ESOMAR's
master marketing research glossary.5
Websites with information about market
research exist in many languages, so use
those research skills to find them!
NOTES
1.	
See http://bit.ly/ESOMAR-research.
2.	

Hyman, Michael R., and Jeremy J. Sierra.
Marketing Research Kit for Dummies
(For Dummies, 2010),
https://amzn.to/3gxioM1.

3.	

Glossary of Market Research Terms
(Modern Marketing Partners),
https://bit.ly/market-terms-glossary.

4.	

SIS International Research,
http://bit.ly/SIS-market-research.

5.	

ESOMAR's master marketing research
glossary can be downloaded as a pdf at
http://bit.ly/ESOMAR-master-glossary.

Robin Limmeroth is a full-time
freelance German>English
translator, transcreator, and
proofreader with 24 years of
translation experience in the
marketing research sector.
Based in Mainz, Germany, she works for a number
of market and marketing research institutes,
advertising agencies, universities, and direct
clients. Contact: robin@robin-limmeroth.com.
www.atanet.org


http://www.marketresearch.com http://www.mymarketresearchmethods.com http://www.mymarketresearchmethods.com http://www.bit.ly/ESOMAR-research https://www.amzn.to/3gxioM1 https://www.bit.ly/market-terms-glossary http://www.bit.ly/SIS-market-research http://www.bit.ly/ESOMAR-master-glossary http://www.atanet.org

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