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Remote in-house position?
Thread poster: Alexey Ivanov

Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:45
Member (2004)
English to Russian
Jan 28, 2009

I have received an offer to join a translation agency as a remote in-house translator/proofreader in my language pair. They asked me to revert with my idea of the package I am looking for. First of all, I understand the implications of giving up all of my regular clients, and I am not particularly keen on the offer, but as usual there are advantages and disadvantages. Can you share your ideas what would be realistic to expect, and your ideas about advantages/disadvantages of working in-house versus working freelance? Thank you in advance. Any advice will be appreciated.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:45
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
What do you think? Jan 28, 2009

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages here? You didn't indicate if this is a domestic agency or one located abroad. That might affect issues such as tax withholding, etc.

The advantage I suppose is... hmm... well, if you have a regular clientele and a good income, I really can't think of one. Paid holidays maybe if you don't have enough discipline to save for them yourself? Less money to worry about, perhaps?

Seriously, though... maybe there are some advantages to team support or access to software resources, etc. you might not be able to afford otherwise.

I do have an acquaintance that accepted such a position after a bout of cancer so that she would enjoy the sick leave benefits if it recurred, which did in fact happen. It was a huge cut in income I think, but it made perfect sense in her case.

The disadvantages would depend on what you value personally about being a freelancer. What I think of as a disadvantage might be a positive point for others. I have a pretty high risk tolerance and little interest in having others dictate the course of my day.


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:45
Member (2004)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Advantages? I don't see many. Jan 28, 2009

Hi Kevin, thank you for your quick response. To answer your question: this is not a domestic agency. It is situated in the UK. But the issue does not involve withholding taxes, as in Russia translation is VAT exempt, and I pay income tax irrespective where it is earned - abroad or at home.
Frankly, as I see it, there are very few advantages. I have enough regular clients, and make enough money, and I am rather wary about laying all eggs into one basket. There's also one disadvantage which is important to me: if they concentrate on one subject, I will get bored no end. Currently I am tired of automotive, though I make most of my money on it. But translating/editing texts on one and the same subject all the time, however economically efficient, bores me. When I work for various clients I at least have something different from time to time. The only 2 advantages I see are:
1. As the agency is in the UK I will at least deal with PMs who speak good Englsh. I am really tired of dealing with French/Italian/German/East European agencies PMs who can't explain what they want and give very general instructions.
2. If they offer twice as much as I make now. But that's unlikely.

And like yourself I have little interest in others dictating the course of my life or even my day.
I just wanted to hear opinions of my fellow translators. I also asked the agency to give an indication of the package they have in mind. I suspect I will be disappointed.


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:45
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
One never knows Jan 28, 2009

The UK folks might surprise you, but I doubt it. Salaries I have seen in the UK are shockingly low with few exceptions. I can make more sleeping in and quitting work by noon, and I would still have the rest of the day to play with my dog.

I had one of my favorite agencies ask me about the possibility of going in-house in a telecommuting relationship a few years ago. If I would have taken the opportunity with anyone it would have been with them, because the people are simply very cool. I understood very clearly why they wanted me (or possibly both me and my partner, can't remember) "inside", but when I asked them what advantage I would have, the only answer they could come up with was a rather sheepish suggestion of "security". (I'm not German, so that idea doesn't impress me much - I don't believe it exists. I look at thousands of people getting laid off now, and I know I carry the only real security I'll ever enjoy in my head and in my heart.)

Chances are you would see variety - maybe more than you want to see. I love the variety of my assignments, but I am the one who picks them! If I worked for someone who wanted me to translate driver's licenses, birth certificates, fashion marketing brochures and ads for feminine hygiene products, I'd probably just go hang myself in the forest. Or quit, which is probably a better option

I understand the frustrations of trying to communicate with PMs who don't share your languages well; I go nuts trying to understand most French PMs when they call, and seeing NDAs in French makes me go ballistic. (Nothing against the language, which is wonderful, but I don't understand enough of it to sign legal documents or follow a conversation.) However, most of the people I cross paths with can communicate well enough in one of my languages that I get their point, and if I don't I just keep pestering them, or I dictate the terms just to make things clear.


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Dagmara Kuliś  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 10:45
English to Polish
+ ...
The same here Jan 28, 2009

To be honest, I received exactly the same e-mail today. It's from an agency I did some interpreting for last year and I was in their database as a translator too. I never heard from them in the sense of any translation jobs and now this e-mail. I'm a bit baffled. My answer was: 1. I can work as a freelance translator for them, 2. I could consider such a remote in-house for that and that amount of money (quite pricey actually). I sent the e-mail and got an out-of-office reply so no idea what's going to happen. We will see, I guess.

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Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:45
Japanese to English
Counterproposal Jan 28, 2009

The concept of 'remote in-house' seems to vanish every time you reach out to touch it...
Why not simply say, "Flood me with well-paid work, and I'll respond accordingly"?


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Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:45
Partial member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
I received the same offer too Jan 29, 2009

I received the same offer.
What puzzles me is the following sentence:
"The aim of this is to both improve quality and reduce costs so that we are much more competitive in this economic climate. "

This makes me think they expect people to accept their proposal for a rather low salary.

Anyway, I answered asking for more info and received an autoreply message stating that the person who sent the invitation to join is out of the office until Monday 2nd February 2009. This also puzzles me...


Laura

[Edited at 2009-01-29 06:48 GMT]


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:45
French to English
+ ...
me too Jan 29, 2009

I received that email as well - I think I will ignore it. I thought of naming the price which would induce me to give up freelancing (taking into account the current very beneficial strength of the euro, the variety of my current work and the fact that I would like to work less hard for the same money) but I thought I would probably be laughed at. Especially as this particular agency has tried to haggle down my freelancer rates every time it has contacted me.

I may well give up freelancing one of these days but I doubt it would make much sense for me to accept an in-house job as a substitute, unless the circumstances were as Kevin describes, or unless the money were very good.


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Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:45
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Me too Jan 29, 2009

I got the same e-mail yesterday.

Same contents.

It does not seem that interesting. I prefer to be completely independent, so I think I will reply anyway declining their offer.

Anto


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:45
Member (2004)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
I am rather sceptical too Jan 29, 2009

Angela Dickson wrote:


Especially as this particular agency has tried to haggle down my freelancer rates every time it has contacted me.



I know now we all are talking of the same agency. What you say is true and they tried the same with me too, but what made me interested at least to find out what they can offer is the fact that contrary to their previous practices they paid for the test I took recently for a tender they were fighting for at my requested rate. I thought that may be an indication of a change. However, after my initial post I visited their website and found they offer translation to clients at maximum Euro 0.09 per source word including proofreading and I lost all interest.


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:45
Member (2004)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly! Jan 29, 2009

Kevin Lossner wrote:

Chances are you would see variety - maybe more than you want to see. I love the variety of my assignments, but I am the one who picks them! If I worked for someone who wanted me to translate driver's licenses, birth certificates, fashion marketing brochures and ads for feminine hygiene products, I'd probably just go hang myself in the forest. Or quit, which is probably a better option


I can't promise to join you in either. Not yet, at least.:-)
I'll just stick to freelancing to avoid the horrors of the controlled variety you describe.


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Remote in-house position? Feb 3, 2009

Hi all

just received their proposal and below is my answer, based on my rate for them
0.06 euro x 3000 = 180 euro/day
a typical month without WEs is 22 days
180 x 22 = 3860 euro

I'm very curious to see their answer ....
))

Claudio

OK here are the info
Talkbase Reference Number: don't know it
Native of Country: Italy
Country of Residence: Italy
Native Language: italian
Language pair: EN to IT
Skill set: medicine, IT
Salary Expectation: 3860 euro/month
PLUS 15 payed days in august and 15 payed days for Christmas holidays
Daily throughput: 3000 words

reason:
0.06 euro x 3000 = 180 euro/day
a typical month without WEs is 22 days
180 x 22 = 3860 euro

Claudio

Hi,

Thanks for your email, please can you provide me with information on the following:




[Modificato alle 2009-02-03 11:37 GMT]


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Remote in-house position? Feb 11, 2009

finally they answered that:
Apologies, your expectation is over double our budget.

so everyone can applies now at the right level ....
***

Claudio


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Alexey Ivanov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:45
Member (2004)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Claudio Feb 11, 2009

Claudio Porcellana wrote:

finally they answered that:
Apologies, your expectation is over double our budget.

so everyone can applies now at the right level ....
***

Claudio


You saved my time. When I asked them to give their idea of the kind of package they have in mind, they asked me to fill in a small table (actually all of the data requested is in my profile on their site). Apparently entering into a dialogue with them is a waste of time.


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Gabriella Fassetta  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:45
English to Italian
+ ...
same here! Feb 11, 2009

Dear All,
same here. I've just received the same automatic answer to my inquiry for more details and I was wondering ...since I've already entered all information some one year ago...
I'm glad you are as puzzled as I was about this sort of proposal...I might go like Claudio, though...


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