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How do you see our profession in the future? I'm trying to figure out if this is a lifetime job...
Thread poster: Dan Marasescu

Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:36
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 24, 2003

Hi,

This is a question for our most experienced fellow translators, working full time as freelancers for many years: could you notice any important changes on the market over the years? Is the number of translators increasing in time? Is the demand for translation increasing? How do you see our profession in the future. Will you be doing it 20 years from now? I'm young and I'm trying to figure out if this is really a lifetime profession.
Thanks a lot.
Dan


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:36
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's you, not the market Jun 25, 2003

Can you hang around that long? On one hand, many young people would prefer a "real job". On the other hand, many of those translators who've been in it for years didn't jump into it cold turkey, but moved in edgewise from other fields of specialization and found out it was what they wanted to do. In the third place, it takes time to find your niche and get your market started, and many have abandoned after one or two years (some of whom studied to be translators). Maybe they found out they really didn't like it that much. I'm not in a position to judge. But as a general rule, I observe that more than 5 years successfully invested in freelancing makes it difficult for a freelance translator to be anything else, including an in-house translator.

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Rob Albon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:36
Japanese to English
+ ...
Translation will always be there Jun 25, 2003

I've been at this job for over 10 years now. It's not going away. Some big changes in the field, such as translation memory software, the world wide web, Windows support for non-Western European languages, to many technology-related changes in the past 10 years to easily list. However, the basics, such as outlasting your competitors, playing nice with others, remaining flexible, are still important. The opportunities for training and professionalization are also better than ever. If you find yourself running from job to job, though, this job will most likely send you running to.
Dan Marasescu wrote:

...important changes on the market over the years? Is the number of translators increasing in time? Is the demand for translation increasing? How do you see our profession in the future. Will you be doing it 20 years from now?


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Ursula Peter-Czichi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:36
German to English
+ ...
Few 'life-time occupations' left! Jun 25, 2003

Dan Marasescu wrote:
... I\'m young and I\'m trying to figure out if this is really a lifetime profession.
Thanks a lot.
Dan

I like your optimism.

There are not too many \"life-time occupations\" any longer. Predicting what the future might be in 20 years is all but impossible!

The trick is to develop new skills to increase your chance to be \"marketable\". It is fun too - keeps you from planning too far ahead.

Good luck!


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:36
SITE FOUNDER
Canada-specific report cites 8% growth rate, quality and time as most important factors Jun 25, 2003

This report say the industry has been growing at 8% per year. It also says the two most important criteria are quality and turnaround time:

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/pics/sc/transl-eng.pdf


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:36
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
hard to go back Jun 26, 2003

I observe that more than 5 years successfully invested in freelancing makes it difficult for a freelance translator to be anything else, including an in-house translator.

Thanks for your opinion. Do you think it's difficult because you get used to being independant, or because it's difficult to try a different job once you turn 35 for instance?


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Dan Marasescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 19:36
Member (2003)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
lifetime profession Jun 26, 2003

Ursula Peter-Czichi wrote:


There are not too many "life-time occupations" any longer.


You're so right about that. I exaggerated a little bit because I wanted to find out whether you think being a translator is a threatened profession now. Thank you.


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