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Does the place you live in influence the amount of work you receive?
Thread poster: Yolanda Otero Alonso
Yolanda Otero Alonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Aug 13, 2007

Good afternoon all,

Currently, I am living in Madrid, but I am thinking about moving to a town nearby. Right now, I receive most work through internet, and only a very small part consists of sworn translations that have to be sent by messenger or are picked up by the client.

My doubt is whether living in a (capital or mayor) city determines the amount of work you receive. Are agencies or clients more interested in giving work to those who live in a city as to those who live in a (small) town? Has any of you noticed any difference after moving to or from a big city?

Does the place you live in influence the amount of work you receive? Does the place you live in influence the rate people are willing to pay for your work?

Any suggestion, remark or opinion will be much appreciated. Thank you!

Best regards,
Yolanda.


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Ivana Zuppa-Baksa
Croatia
Local time: 22:56
German to Croatian
+ ...
Living in the city does not guarantee amount of translation Aug 13, 2007

Dear Yolanda,
I live in Zagreb in the capital of Croatia in the very center of the town. I have friends free-lancers from smaller towns who have
a great deal of work, much more than me. In a big town or city there is more competition and more agencies, so that free-lancers become
less work than those who live in smaller towns. Internet is a very
important tool for it.
I think that you must better advertise yourself in order to become more translations.
With kindest regards,
Ivana Zuppa-Baksa
from Zagreb, Croatia

[Edited at 2007-08-13 12:55]


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Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:56
Finnish to English
No Aug 13, 2007

No

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely Aug 13, 2007

I live in the largest metroplex on the U.S.-Mexico border. When I started there was no Internet. My entire client base has been built from this location, including some clients who are far away, but the original contact was here. Practically all the work I do is still from local or locally-derived sources.

However, with the Net, at times I have temporarily relocated and I have been able to keep up with business, so that is an advantage.


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truptee  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
French to English
+ ...
Not at all! Aug 13, 2007

It doesn't matter at all whether I live in one city or the other, provided my work quality is good and my modes of communication are extremely active.

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Binnur Tuncel van Pomeren  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:56
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Another city or another country? Aug 13, 2007

I will have to agree with all what is said before, as I don't know the answer myself. Besides, the anwers are the observations from our collegues' own experiences. So, surely I agree.

My case is a little bit more strange. I am a Turkish native speaker and live in Germany. In this case, the majority (if not all) of the work I am getting is from internet. I believe, it makes sense to stay in one country long enough to build a trustworty relation, then move wherever there is a modem (if not your country). Once your clients are used to you, they turn up again.

Warm regards,

Binnur


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not in the way you mean it Aug 13, 2007

Where you live can effect the amount of work you get, but it's more a function of what time zone you're in than whether you're in a major city. For instance, here in the Eastern Time Zone of the United States, I can effectively service customers in all of the Americas as well as Britain and the Central European Time zone.

But when I travel to California, it's very hard for me to communicate with European customers, and vice-versa because of the nine-hour difference.

[Edited at 2007-08-13 14:03]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:56
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not if your communication lines are kept open Aug 13, 2007

By that I mean don't move somewhere without broadband internet connection, no mobile phone reception etc.

I should know and I'm dying to move!


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 22:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
didn't affect me Aug 13, 2007

I moved from the city of Madrid to Colmenarejo (small town in the sierra, about 40 km away from Madrid) a year ago, and haven't noticed any change. I am usually very busy.

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Cintia Pecellin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:56
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
Not in my case Aug 13, 2007

Hi Yolanda, hope my personal case helps you here:

I moved from Madrid to a smaller town (near Navacerrada) about 4 years ago. I have indeed noticed a significant increase on my work load, but don't think it's related to location at all. I believe it has to do with the fact that I now lead a more relaxed life, don't have to commute every day (I work from home), and thus have more time to work, that's all.

As for hard-copy projects, they are delivered to my front door without a problem (just add a 30-45 delay in comparison to downtown Madrid).

Come to the Sierra! It's quiet and cool here...

Best,
Cintia.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Not now Aug 13, 2007

Spencer Allman wrote:

No


Agreed. When I started as a freelancer I lived in Fulham (London SW6) and established myself with many London agencies whom I got to know personally. That was before the Internet really got under weigh, and work was sometimes delivered by messenger. For many years now I have lived in a place considered remote (West Cornwall), though it is not remote to me, because I'm in it. I'm getting more work now than ever before, nearly all of it by email, so in my experience it doesn't matter at all not to be living in a big city - and it's so much nicer in a thousand ways.
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:56
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
There are other considerations Aug 13, 2007

Yolanda Otero Alonso wrote:
My doubt is whether living in a (capital or mayor) city determines the amount of work you receive. Are agencies or clients more interested in giving work to those who live in a city as to those who live in a (small) town?


I have never experienced or heard that agencies favour translators from bigger towns. Most non-local agencies probably don't even know whether my home town is big or small.

There are other considerations, however. If you live in a small town, you may spend more time away from productive work if you don't have easy access to the necessary shops and administrative offices. You may not have such an efficient library as in the city. Also, in a small town you may be expected to take part in community activities, whereas in the city you are accepted by people regardless of your level of involvement. The small town may not have fast internet, or if something breaks, the technician may take longer to come and fix it. Of course, I'm not saying cities are more efficient -- sometimes small places beat the bigger towns when it comes to efficiency.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 16:56
Yes but only for end clients Aug 13, 2007

Hi Yolanda,

Definately you have a much better chance to win end clients in a metropolis like Madrid through such jobs as interpreting, language teaching for companies located there. Once you gain the trust of your clients, they will approach you with translation work as well.

But for agencies, I see no reason why they should fancy translators in big cities more than those in small towns.

Best,
Bin

[Edited at 2007-08-14 10:12]


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:56
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
sleeping Aug 14, 2007

With all things equal my geographic location has no bearing on the volume of jobs that I get, and it shouldn't. Once in a while you'd see job offers limited to people living in a certain European city (or the US) but that has more to do with a certain company's internal rules.

A collateral effect of living elsewhere than your clients - which describes the condition of most freelancers - is the need to tweak daily routines.

The fact that I live in EST (GMT-5) allows me to straddle several time zones, meaning be awake during business hours of Western Europe and the Americas. And this fact has also influenced my sleeping patterns. For the last 8 years or so I tend to remain awake until 3 or 4 am, that is, until central Europe wakes up. The UK and France will have been awake 1-2 hours already. I usually get job offers at this time. I've also noticed that this is usually the time when European agencies post jobs at Proz.com that interest me the most.

Sleeping means that the job goes to someone else (my main clients however usually will wait until I wake up). If I were to move to GMT+8 (SE Asia) or GMT+10 (eastern Australia), I will just have to alter my sleeping patterns again but that will be a lot trickier since I will have to be awake for both Western Europe and the US....hmm...nah!


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Pro-Trans
France
Local time: 22:56
English to French
+ ...
It depends on whether you live in another timezone or not Aug 14, 2007

I think agencies don't care whether you are from a big city or a village! I live in a very small city that nobody knows abroad and I find clients (agencies). I have never wondered if I could get more clients if Paris was written on my resume for example...
I think they don't care providing you reply to them and send them good work.
I think being in Europe is good because you are awake in European and American working hours.
If I were in Australia, I should change my working hours and it would be difficult to be working during American working hours. So, when you have a family, I think living in Europe is a good compromising solution for translation.


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