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Global slowdown
Thread poster: Roy Chaudhuri

Roy Chaudhuri  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:08
Member (2006)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Nov 7, 2008

Hi,

Was just wondering if any of you are facing any cutback of work due to the global slowdown. Also your views on how the slowdown is going to affect the language industry.

For me I have not felt any slowdown in my work so far, but my clients (mostly agencies) are a little apprehensive of the future as I talk to them. Some of them are predicting that 2009 is going to be a not so good year for the industry.

Your views are welcome.

Roy


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Da Best
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:38
English to Chinese
+ ...
Investment Field might get affected Nov 7, 2008

I guess for the most of the fields are still working as usual except the financial field, especially for the translation of investment products.

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Fabio Scaliti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:38
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
The next weeks will tell Nov 7, 2008

I think that the next weeks will bear the answer to this question.

The financial crisis which started at the beginning of September forced many banks, even smaller ones, to refund bonds and other investment products suddenly, which created liquidity problems to many of them. Therefore, banks were forced to close the lines of credit which many enterprises and firms had been basing on for their normal operation.

Consequently, these enterprises and firms, which are the translation agencies' end clients, have to cut on some expenses: the translation of a manual for a machine or a product into the language of a country where the machine or product are not bound to be sold in the foreseeable future is of course something the firm can do without.

This is just a simple consideration, and may not be worth the proverbial two cents. But I foresee a reduced dynamism in order flow in the coming weeks or even months. The full extent and consequences of the financial crisis I was pointing out at the beginning of the message are still to be seen in the real economy.

I will be glad to read more viewpoints on this issue.

Fabio

[Modificato alle 2008-11-07 09:11]


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Maartje Giebels  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:38
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not yet Nov 7, 2008

At the moment I'm very busy, although the rates are going down. My usual costumers still seem to find me. But you never know what might happen in the future. All I know is I'm taking on as much work as I can so I'll have a little nestegg if things do start to slow down.
Of course it depends on how the economical crisis will develop. If a lot of companies get financial problems, I guess translations are way up on the list of expenses that will be cut.
But who knows. I'm not panicked yet.

Maartje


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 01:38
Italian to Danish
+ ...
All Quiet On The Italian Front Nov 7, 2008

I mostly work with Italian agencies and for the last 4-5 weeks they have been totally silent. At first, I just expected it to be the normal silence after the summer holidays in August, September is generally very slow while you feel the "awakening" around mid October, but this year they are just not waking up.
I am lucky to have a second language to back me up, and English/Danish still seems to be moving a bit, although not as much as before.
Yes, I am getting a bit worried...


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:38
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Full steam ahead Nov 7, 2008

No sign of any slowdown, business as usual. Just to "poke" the market a bit and see if it is losing flexibility, I've been randomly quoting much higher prices than usual, and so far it only seems to have lost one potential job (which may just be delayed in preparation as far as I know). Of course one hears all sorts of worrisome things in the economy at large, and I have been translating a number of unpleasant notices to employees announcing layoffs, but the urgency of these and other recession-related matters allow for premium charges rather than discounts.

Yes, I know... I'm another one of those locusts....


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:38
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I don't know what to think Nov 7, 2008

Hi,

I really don't know what to think. I had a very bad October, and I was extremely concerned. As a single mother to 3 kids, I need to have work (and money) coming in all the time.
However, November is going very well, I even had to turn down a couple of jobs. I really don't know what to think...

Laura


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
No slowdown for me neither Nov 7, 2008

I haven't seen any slowdown in the amount of work received. My rates have not gone down either (in some cases have gone up). However, we'll have to wait and see...

Have a nice weekend!

[Edited at 2008-11-07 13:48]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:38
English to Polish
Bad Nov 7, 2008

My October was very bad, even worse then usually weak Jan/Feb period. November does not seem to get better so far, so I'm starting to worry.


Anni


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Ma.Elena Carrión de Medina  Identity Verified
Ecuador
Local time: 17:38
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It did affect me... Nov 7, 2008

One of my potential clients in Europe decided not to continue with their project "for now" and an agency I worked for in the States just dissapeared without paying their debt for the last translation job I did for them, something that did never happen before.

I´m not in despair because a good translator colleague once said "just go knock - knock", so that´s what I´m doing... hoping new opportunities and doors will open for me as the global slowdown starts to get a new course towards a lighter side and companies start putting their efforts towards better days!

I hope for better days for all!


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Nadja Balogh  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:38
Member (2007)
Japanese to German
+ ...
Several projects "put on ice" Nov 7, 2008

Several big projects I was offered were suddenly put on hold indeterminately (though not canceled completely) - this has never happened before, and I was quite disappointed.

I can't shake the feeling that this has to do with the current crisis. Right now I'm hoping that at some point, crisis or not, they'll simply NEED these translations to be done...


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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:38
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Nope Nov 7, 2008

No crisis for me. On the contrary, I want to have a rest and cannot stop working.
True that in the last month most of my jobs were from FR/RO/PL,
but I guess it is just a coincidence.
Most of my clients are from Italy and Benelux.
I am more than happy to see an increase on the PL and RO front.

Paola

[Edited at 2008-11-07 18:07]


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Romuald Pawlikowski  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:38
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Payment delays Nov 12, 2008

I have an impression that some of my so-far-exemplary clients start to delay payments. I think that the other problem related to the slowdown will be very late payments or even nonpayments. This is linked to "crazy" FX rates + final clients finacial problems (eg. GM). The last deluge of this sort of situations was in 2001...

My two cents....



[Edited at 2008-11-12 09:47]


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Anja Weggel  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:38
Member (2007)
English to German
Very quiet Nov 17, 2008

Hello all,

Thanks for bringing this up! I was already beginning to wonder if I made some real big mistakes and customers decided to drop me... it is very quiet at the moment. Usually, November and December are the hot months of the year but this year there are only a couple of jobs every now and then.

Therefore, a general question to all of you... if it is very quiet, do you ask customers why there is no work coming from them?

Thanks a lot
Kind regards
Anja


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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:38
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
the crisis excuse Nov 17, 2008

As I posted in the Italian forum, a client sent me a mail saying they have to become more competitive, because due to the recent crisis clients tend to buy translations at a knock-down price. The result is that we freelancers have to decrease our prices to allow them to become more competitive. Although I sympathize with them a bit, I cannot help thinking that agencies are playing it dirty, and sort of bullying us with the crisis thing.
If we are prone to accept a decrease in rates, just because we fear (and fear is a dreadful thing...) a big slowdown, we'll jeopardize the whole market and our own work.
I kindly answered that no, I was not going to decrease my rates. I prefer to endure, than selling my studies, experience, knowledge for peanuts.

Were you asked anything like this?

Paola


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