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moving to another country and demand for language combinations
Thread poster: Simon Bruni

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:04
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Mar 17, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

I am originally from the UK and now I live and work in Spain and my main language combination is Spanish > English. I have been freelance for 7 months and I have more than enough work coming in (nearly every week I have to turn down projects).

What I am wandering is: how different would my situation be if I return to the UK?

I have no intention of doing so at the moment, but would like have the option to go back one day if I so wish. What worries me is that I may have to change career (stop being a freelance translator? Nooooo!).

The way I see there would be three main issues:

-less demand from UK agencies for my combination (true?)
-higher cost of living meaning that I could not continue to do projects from my Spanish clients at Spanish prices
-refusal on behalf of Spanish outsourcers to continue our collaboration on the basis of my not being able to invoice legally in Spain (in Spain you have to be registered self-employed or a registered company even to issue an invoice), and because of other complications due to not living in Spain.

Any opinions / advice / experiences related to how moving to another country can affect your career?


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Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member
English to French
+ ...
I moved back 1,5 ago Mar 17, 2006

Hello,

I started my job as freelance translator in Italy IN 2002 and in September 2004 I moved back to France and was a bit afraid I would loose some clients. In fact most clients continue to call me and I have new ones in France. I don't think it's a problem in the internet age! Even when I was in ITaly I used to work with people I did not even talk to on the phone and with whom I comunicated only via mail.
Regarding climate I would definitely stay in Spain, I feel terrible in parisian cold while I have been used to the Southern sun!


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Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:04
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
UK perspective Mar 17, 2006

Hi Simon,

I have a few clients in Spain and it has never yet prevented me from issuing them a valid invoice. Whatever funny laws they have in Spain the situation you describe is not possible as Spain and the UK are both in the EU.
Yes, getting paid Spanish fees in the UK might be a bit offputing but then again you stand better chance of getting work from the UK agencies. I have noticed they prefer working with translators based in the UK. And they pay accordingly. Yes, of course, the colst of living is very high but provided you do not live in London it is managable especially if you do not have a family to provide for.

HTH,
Ines


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
^^^^^^ Mar 17, 2006

What Ines said
No need to add anything else!
Grace


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bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:04
English to French
+ ...
A business entity is all that you need Mar 17, 2006

A business entity can sign contracts with foreign business entities without problems. You may have a business entity outside the country where you live (provided that this kind of business entity is allowed to non-residents). You may own several business entities. So why not start a business in your native country and see how it works ? They will know where your business is, but do they need to know where you are physically, especially when it is about the same timezone ?

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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
maybe the EURO/Pound issue will affect you more Mar 17, 2006

Simon Bruni wrote:


The way I see there would be three main issues:

-less demand from UK agencies for my combination (true?)
-higher cost of living meaning that I could not continue to do projects from my Spanish clients at Spanish prices
-refusal on behalf of Spanish outsourcers to continue our collaboration on the basis of my not being able to invoice legally in Spain (in Spain you have to be registered self-employed or a registered company even to issue an invoice), and because of other complications due to not living in Spain.

Any opinions / advice / experiences related to how moving to another country can affect your career?




Answering in turn your questions:

Not necessarily in this day and age, and as Burrell pointed out, being in the country may be an advantage in some respects.

Definitely a problem, if you are dependent on Spanish agencies for work, as opposed to Spanish clients or clients/agencies in other countries. Having a SECOND source language you will be in a slightly better position perhaps.

Invoicing shouldn't be a problem, especially as this is EU. Translation agencies surely are used to dealing with translators based in other countries. Not sure if you are/plan to be 'legal' - whatever that means may vary from country to country, and I suspect the UK may be more 'lenient' than Spain.

What might cause complications is moving outside the EURO zone; an agency might prefer the transparency of working with a translator in EURO land.





[Edited at 2006-03-17 19:48]

[Edited at 2006-03-17 19:49]


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:04
French to English
+ ...
partially agree with this Mar 20, 2006


What might cause complications is moving outside the EURO zone; an agency might prefer the transparency of working with a translator in EURO land.


If you possibly can, leave your Spanish bank account open if/when you come back to Britain. I am kicking myself now because I had an account in France when I lived there, several years ago and before I thought of becoming a translator, and closed the account when I came back to the UK. Now I am trying to re-open the account and am unable to do so as I am not resident in France.

It doesn't seem to be a problem for my eurozone clients to pay me into my UK account, and none have complained about my lack of euro account, but bank charges and exchange rates can be a problem, and would be less of a problem between two euro accounts. So it's more for you than for your clients, really.


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Cristina Golab  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
It will be fine Mar 23, 2006

Hi Simon,
I am now in a similar situation. I moved from the United States to U.K over three months ago, and many of my American clients still contact me for jobs.
As one colleague suggested above, do not close your bank account in Spain as this may facilitate invoice payments and transactions for many of the clients and for you. We are so fortunate to have internet, online banking and all these e-features that you may practically run your business from anywhere in the world.


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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:04
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
thank you all for sharing your experiences Mar 29, 2006

Dear Elisabetta, Ines, Grace, bohy, Lia, Angela and Cristina,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.

I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your experiences with me, which I have read with great interest. It is reassuring to hear that moving to a different country isn’t necessarily a serious problem for a translator (although there are perhaps some complications!).

Thanks again, Simon


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