Is there a freelance translator who joins the chamber of commerce and industry?
Thread poster: Hipyan Nopri

Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
May 1, 2007

Hello everybody,

Recently, I have had an idea of joining my local chamber of commerce and industry. As an organization whose members are companies of various business fields, I think it is a good idea to promote translation services.

However, before joining, I want to ask the following questions:
1. Is there a freelance translator who joins the chamber?
2. Do you think the membership is really beneficial to your translation business?

Thank you very much for your information and time.

Warm Regards

Hipyan


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Compare effort and outcome May 1, 2007

Hello Hipyan,

Although I cannot speak for freelancers (as we act as a company), I'm maybe able to give you some hints:

- In Germany, all companies from a certain size have to join a local Chamber of Commerce, i.e. we are also a member of the CC. Sorry to say, but in 5 years' time we haven't received one single job via the Chamber.

- If joining the Chamber just means that you will pay your annual fee and get listed in a long members list, and that's it, I don't think it's worth the money.

- However, if your Chamber of Commerce is active and can forward your communication data to any prospective clients (also members of the Chamber) every time there's an enquiry for your language pairs, it can be a good idea.

- Also, you might be able to do some valuable networking by visiting different conferences, discussions, meetings etc. organized by the Chamber, and to do some name-dropping among other Chamber members.

Although different chambers around the world have different scopes, I doubt whether a chamber membership can be beneficial for freelance translators. Needless to say, we don't agree with the present compulsory membership at present in Germany. We need to pay the annual membership fee, but get nothing out of it (just a monthly high-glossy magazine with lots of photos from different parts of the world the board has visited - nice to see how they use up our money..)

Hope this helps.

Regards
Erik


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Erik May 1, 2007

As for the investment, it is quite cheap in Indonesia. The registration fee is only Rp5000, and the monthly and yearly fees are Rp5000 and Rp60,000 respectively (1 US$ = +/-Rp9000).

Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no Indonesian freelancer who is registered as its member so far. Thus, I have no idea of its real benefits for freelancers.

Therefore, fellow freelancers' willingness to share experience with the chamber membership is really appreciated.

Thank you very much, Erik. Really helpful information.

P.S.: Is it also compulsory for freelance translators to join a local chamber of commerce in Germany?

[Edited at 2007-05-01 16:01]


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hind goubet (WAHIDA)
France
Local time: 23:02
Arabic to French
+ ...
Merci May 1, 2007

Thank you both.
I do not speak English very well.
To join commerce chamber is a good idea, to be tried and informations given by Erik are very helpful, to be verfied in FRANCE.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Membership conditions May 1, 2007

Hipyan Nopri wrote:

P.S.: Is it also compulsory for freelance translators to join a local chamber of commerce in Germany?

[Edited at 2007-05-01 16:01]


In Germany it is not compulsory for freelance translators to join the Chamber of Commerce, only companies need to join. The membership fee for the companies varies depending on different factors, like turnover/profit, number of employees etc. There are however some freelance translators who have decided to join the Chamber, either the regional IHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer) or some binational chambers, like the German-British chamber etc. Maybe we should let them tell us if they had any benefits?

Erik


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you once again, Erik. May 1, 2007

Erik Hansson wrote:

Maybe we should let them tell us if they had any benefits?

Erik


It would be a good idea if you could provide me with their contact (email address) for information of the benefits.


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Ulrike Schmidt
Local time: 23:02
English to German
+ ...
Give it a try - it may be worth the effort May 1, 2007

Hi there!

I am writing from Germany too - and I am a compulsory member of the Chamber because of my other job as a finance consultant. I do not actually agree with Erik as our Chamber is very active.

My suggestion: speak to your Chamber about the programmes they offer and if they agree to admit you for some time free of charge so that you can make up your mind. Admittedly, many Chambers' activities are "invisible" to the public. So I suggest: Give it a try - it may be worth the effort. It is always good to know people.

Ulrike


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Darrell Champlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, and no May 1, 2007

Joining a Chamber is much more for networking opportunities than anything else, I believe. I (as a company) am a member of Amcham Brazil, São Paulo chapter. They are the second biggest American Chamber outfit in the world (only trailing the one in Washington) and very active, holding networking events at least twice a week in different lines. HOWEVER, you have to be active. There is no point in spending good money just to be listed. Good luck!

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Enlightening Responses, Ulrike and Darrell May 2, 2007

Thank you very much Ulrike and Darrell. Your shared experiences are really enlightening.

Please share your experience my other fellow freelancers.

Best Regards

Hipyan


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Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:02
Italian to English
+ ...
Definitely worth a go May 2, 2007

It all depends on your local Chamber and how clued-up they are, and what departments they have. The one in my adopted home town is an absolute waste of space, you have to pay a registration fee for which you get absolutely nothing in return, they cannot even print off your documents without misspelling your name and putting the wrong address on, they are all half asleep and appear to know nothing about anything. However, the one in Ancona, about half an hour from where I live, is excellent and is now one of my best clients as they do a lot of EC project work with Eastern European countries.

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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank You Claire May 3, 2007

Claire Titchmarsh wrote:

It all depends on your local Chamber and how clued-up they are, and what departments they have.


Thank you very much for your inputs.

Best Regards

Hipyan


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lingomania
Local time: 07:02
Italian to English
Italian COCAI May 8, 2007

In Italy, the Chambers of Commerce have a category called "Perito Linguistico" = Language expert or 'profiler' as they are called today. I joined many years ago as a freelance interpreter and I must say it's good publicity for me. Logically, the bigger the city you live in, the more competition there is. There is an annual fee (about 100 euro) and the trading companies that need an interpreter look up the COCAI lists first especially the ones interested in fairs, exhibitions, showrooms, etc.

Rob

[Edited at 2007-05-08 23:08]


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Hipyan Nopri  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Language Expert Category May 9, 2007

Thank you, Rob.

As fellow freelancer, your experience as a freelancer member of the chamber is really interesting to me. It makes me more interested in joining the chamber.

I will contact my local chamber for more information of existence of the same category.


Hipyan


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