Did your business change after your country entered the EU?
Thread poster: Rossitsa Iordanova

Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 06:48
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Oct 9, 2005

Hi, all!

This is a question, which, I hope, will get answers and opinions mainly on part of my colleagues from countries which have recently entered the EU.

How did your business change?
Did it change?

I am looking forward to your opinions with high interest!

Have a great day!


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
A lot more work Oct 9, 2005

Basically I can choose now which projects I want to take and which ones I do not fancy. Of course, it depends on ones language. But if you compare Poland (the biggest of the new member states), for example, and Latvia, then there is the same amount of texts to be translated into Polish as Latvian, but there are a lot less Latvian translators around. So chances are the existing translators, especially if they already have their business up and running, will have plenty of work.
Would be inteserting to hear from other translators.

Cheers,
Burrell


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Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 06:48
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more work? Oct 11, 2005

Hi, Burrel!
Nice to meet you!

So.... 'more work' you're saying.
'Sounds "promissing"!

Could this be the reason why this topic lacks answers by our colleagues from these countries?
(Kiddin'! )

I see you live in the UK, but you must have information about how actually things are back in Latvia, and that your opinion is valid for your colleagues there, too.

What else changed?


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
German to English
+ ...
More inquiries Oct 11, 2005

I am in the US, but now regularly get inquiries about Latvian translation in all sorts of combinations - LV>EN, EN>LV, even LV>DE.

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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I can only speak for myself Oct 11, 2005

Some Latvian translators I know who live in Latvia also get a lot more offers. It all depends how well your business is established and how well you advertise yourself.

Burrell


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Austra Muizniece  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 07:48
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
The difference is huge Oct 15, 2005

The biggest change I've noticed is the amount of product specifications that need to be translated-now, after joining EU, no product can be sold here unless it has a description or instructions in Latvian. So I get loads and loads of manuals and related documentation, due to market expansion.

The other major area is all EU documentation, even our national terminology and translation centre can't keep up with the flow...


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Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 06:48
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What changed? Oct 16, 2005

Thank you all for your answers!

So, was only the volume of work that changed?
No new requirements?
No new standards?
No Western translation compnaies "invading" and taking over the national market of this type of service?

And what about national prices, and with overall situation with national clients?
Did it change?


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:48
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Only more clients for me Oct 16, 2005

Hi again Rossitsa,

I am not sure I am your average Latvian translator as I am not living in Latvia. If other major players move into the market, I would not notice that. Nor do I notice any change in rates - mine are just normal West European fees anyhow, I cannot afford for low rates and do not even contemplate that. Majority of my clients are in the UK and they would not dream of pointing out that translators in Latvia charge less than I do (which still is the case, although there are a lot of Latvian translators charging the same rates I do). That is why I do not work for Eastern European agencies - their rates are ridiculous and the argument is the one I already mentioned - other Latvian translators charge less. I have only one client from that part of the world. They pay a bit less than I would normally charge but I know they really cannot afford any more (the rate they pay me is very generous for their standards) and the projects are interesting.
As to different requirements, again I am not sure I can speak for everybody. I was translating EU legislation and other documentation already seven years ago when EU membership was nothing more than a dream. And the requirements have not changed in this field, at least not that I am aware of them - I am a bit of perfectionist anyhow.
So yes, the only thing that has changed in my case is the number and quality of clients. Also, because the need for Latvian translators is so great I get fewer offers with low rates. Not much else I can say, really.

Rgds,
Burrell


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Rossitsa Iordanova
Belgium
Local time: 06:48
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
the effect of the ... EU Oct 18, 2005

Dear Burrell,
Thanks again!

Now ... what I'm very much interested to learn about, is how things changed inside the country.

To be more precise - from my observations (for more than 20 years in the translation business) our national clients are not ready to meet the changes in this field of services.

When it comes to rates, I wonder whether national rates changed, and how national clients in other countries, after entering the EC, accepted this change.
National rates here have only slightly moved up for the past two years only, and that - thanks to the craze of the English to buy properties in BG. Still, the change is observed mainly in interpreting rates, while written translation rates have not changed too much.
And this - with the effect of the EU already starting to be felt!

On the other hand, rates, in fact, reflect the relations "clientprovider".

People here are still reluctant to admit the importance of translation services, hence - reluctant to pay good money for it!
The process of translating/interpreting seems to most to be something easy, hence deserving neither much respect, nor much pay!
The strangest effect imaginable is, that this particular attitude, leads to worsening of the quality of the service itself! This is one of the reasons, why lately I am witnessing the uncontrolled and ... I would say - ridiculous!, phenomenon of more and more "translation agencies" (imagine the inverted commas very, very big! ) appearing.

The "arithmetic" , or say ... the "logical" string is simple: clients do NOT care too much about, or do not have a clear understanding in the importance of translation >> hence they (the majority, that is!) do not know what a true high quality of this service is/should be >> hence do not expect to receive it (many "forgive" mistakes, or incomplete or too "free" variants of translation/interpreting) >> hence they do not trust the translators/interpreters too much >> hence they are reluctant to pay good money for this service, even though they need it (more and more often).

The BACK effect has its ridiculous "logic", too, namely: clients (the majority, that is!) do NOT care too much about, or do not have a clear understanding in the importance of translation >> hence they do not know what a true high quality of this service is/should be >> hence do not expect to receive it (many "forgive" mistakes, or incomplete or too "free" variants of translation/interpreting) >> hence the providers of this service become more careless at providing/controlling the translation/interpreting services and allow mistakes, or too much "freedom" in translating/interpreting >> hence the quality drops ...( I would not even touch upon such issues as the technical culture /CAT-tools for example/, or the overall workflow management, of the providers! Hopeless in most cases!)...

From all the above, you can understand that this forms a closed circle. And I am interested to learn whether and HOW this situation changed in other countries.

Of course, I have to admit, that some national clients have already started to change their attitude and their requirements to the providers of translation/interpreting services. These, too, ARE ready all right, to pay good money if they want their ... say, website, or Manual to look and to "sound" good in the foreign language.
On the other hand, some providers of translation services have started to change their own professional attitude towards the very service they provide.
This is promissing, and I am interested to learn whether this was part of the changes, and how long such changes took to settle in the society, due to the "effect of the ...EU" in the countries that entered the EU.


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