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Thread poster: Mariela Diaz-Butler
Why are rates so low?

Halvor H. Halvorsen  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 05:57
Member (2007)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Location doesn't matter Oct 3, 2009


Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:

Many have not realized that their "place of work" is actually the Internet, and it is not a "cheap country". Personally I would propose to all proz members to change their address to "New York".


Your home location and local living expenses don't really matter much to agencies and outsourcers. It's where the majority of competent translators live and work that matters, because that helps determine the market rates for your combination(s).


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:57
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Did it work Oct 3, 2009


elias melhem wrote:

First I offered 0.05 USD per word, than i lowered my rates because no one hired me.


And did that work Elias?
Henry and site staff tell us that outsourcers seldom accept such low offers; they don't believe people who offer them are serious translators.

[Edited at 2009-10-05 23:13 GMT]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:57
German to English
Leave the cheapskates to the ones who can't serve a better clientele Oct 3, 2009


Cristina Lo Bianco wrote:
BUT: what if most clients are not really interested in quality? What if I never find anybody willing to give me the right price? Are there enough good payers for all the worthy translators?


I think the question is better phrased as "Are there enough good translators for those willing to pay a good rate?", and in my language pair at least the answer is clearly "no". The decent agencies I know have a hard time finding people who deliver high-quality work. As for the other qualities, that is mostly left to the bottom feeding agencies.

It really doesn't matter even if most are unwilling to pay your dream rates. When you pan for gold, most of what you scoop up is mud and rocks. However, with careful sorting and patience one can end up with a heavy poke of the yellow stuff if you are panning the right stream. Don't expect to find much gold in the local sewer.


Russel commented:
Henry and site staff tell us that outsourcers seldom accept such low offers; they don't believe people who offer them are serious translators.


Interesting tidbit there. I would question whether double the rate Elias mentions is to be taken seriously. Certainly not for the types of text I usually see.


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elias melhem
Local time: 06:57
English to French
+ ...
did it work Oct 3, 2009


Russell Jones wrote:
And did that work Elias?
Henry and site staff tell us that outsourcers seldom accept suich low offers; they don't believe people who offer them are serious translators.


I don't know, I've been doing it for a week now.
I don't know what I should do. Do you have any suggestions? Will raising my rates increase my chances of being hired?


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:57
Member (2005)
English to French
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Which clients? Oct 3, 2009


Cristina Lo Bianco wrote:

BUT: what if most clients are not really interested in quality?

What do you mean by clients here? If you mean end clients, let me assure you that end clients always want a high quality translation. It is agencies that trick them into believing that a) high quality translations can be bought for cheap, and that b) they ARE getting a high quality translation (even when it is not true).

The end clients are interested in quality. They have simply been brainwashed by unrecommandable agencies into thinking that high quality and dirt cheap rates can go hand in hand.

Here's what you need to do:
- Bypass the bottom-feeders by picking up direct clients whose interest in you is getting a quality service and not exploiting you
- Educate end clients on quality, what goes into a translation and how much a translation, good or bad, is actually worth

Edit: I just ran a quick Google search for the phrase cheap translations. A whole lot of agencies came up, many of which, not surprisingly, are big players on this site. Just a few quotes from their websites:


Quality and Same day Cheap translations nationwide


Online translation agency XXXTranslations can provide you with a low cost, effective translation of your text for just 10 cents per word. Within 24 hours!


The best quality translations for the lowest price! We have 200+ native translators. Low cost translation agency!


Offers Web translations, Congress translator, Economical translations, Cheap translations services. [note the typo - telling!]


The lowest prices possible for translators. The ability to talk to anybody, anytime, anywhere, without breaking your bank account.

There are lots more, but there is no point in posting it all.

But wait! There is more! Right now, there are 179 freelancer profiles on this very site who use the phrase cheap translations among their ALT tags for Google indexation!

And, to top it off, here are a few quotes from agency websites, where the agency is trying really hard to educate clients against cheap translations:

But the people doing cheap translations do not qualify. Translators who will work for 2 or 3 cents per word are not even qualified to do translations into their own language. They are desperate and willing to work for whatever they can get. Agencies that use them know that and are willing to exploit them. Quality is of no concern to such agencies.


Clients need to realize that if they want cheap rates, they will get cheap translations—you get what you pay for.


There is even a category on aboutus.com called cheap translations!

Then, there are all the results from translator blogs, but let's not even get into that. They are mostly echoing what most of us have been saying here (it's starting to feel like a mantra).

To finish, here is a link to a forum where a person is looking for cheap translation services because they find that the rates professionals charge are way too expensive. Very interesting--the very last post smells really bad!

Some food for thought.

[Edited at 2009-10-03 17:20 GMT]


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Mariela Diaz-Butler
United States
Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What qualifications do I want in a translator? Oct 3, 2009


Hynek Palatin wrote:

Mariela,

If you still were a translation project manager and you needed a translator for, let's say, a business document, what information/qualities would you be looking for in the translators' profiles on ProZ.com? How would you choose?

Please reply here, don't just think about it.

Hynek


That's simple enough. I'd want me. I'm dead serious. As a project manager I was ruthless with my translators in general, and the Spanish translators in particular. I am notoriously picky, and knowing the language pair as well as I do, I could spot a cheat a mile away (i.e., those who make a translation read well, even though they are not really translating the text accurately). I proofread every single document before going to the client, and I would not let it go out to the client before me reading it first, so I could be satisfied that it was correct. I'm no talking about misspellings (I'm the queen of misspellings, since I tend to type real fast and can understand how it happens), but more in terms of terrible grammar, and just plain mistranslations.

So, yes, I'd want a person who has extensive language knowledge. I didn't really care if they had certifications, because somtimes even a monkey can get certified with some luck, and I have seen certified translators make huge blunders that can cost us a client, and the best translator I ever dealt with never had one. Also, my candidate would have to be generally well educated, well read, a person who has, not necessarily deep subject knowledge in one area, but ample knowledge about many subjects. With enough curiosity, a well read, educated person can learn new subjects like the best, so I don't need a PhD in physics, as long as the translator is smart enough to go and do the necessary research.

In terms of rates, I never really trusted the real cheap ones, although I dealt with one translator who did have really low rates, and were overall very reliable, but with them, I used to have to read their work a whole lot more closely (still do, as a matter of fact. My ex-boss still sends me her work to proofread). On the other hand, there were a couple of translators who we had to stop working with because their rates became, quite frankly, not competitive with some of the other translators we were dealing with. This one guy was really good, but not any better than a couple of my other people who charged 2 cents less per word.... so, rates do factor in. And as agencies go, we were really good about paying the translators the rates they asked for. We never tried negotiating anybody's rate down, except for very specific situations and with their express consent (i.e., when we were trying to win a government bid, which always tend to go to the lowest of the best qualified bidders).

Anyhow, I do know that there are many agencies out there who do require nothing less than excellent work; my issue is that I do not know, for the life of me, how to get through to those agencies. How do I make myself stand out, when there are so many qualified translators in my language pair? I seem to get lost in the numbers.

Does this make any sense?

Cheers!
Mariela


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xxxAguas de Mar
A couple of ideas Oct 3, 2009


mdiazbutler wrote:

Anyhow, I do know that there are many agencies out there who do require nothing less than excellent work; my issue is that I do not know, for the life of me, how to get through to those agencies. How do I make myself stand out, when there are so many qualified translators in my language pair? I seem to get lost in the numbers.

Does this make any sense?

Cheers!
Mariela



1. Look for direct clients, not just agencies.
2. Develop a niche market (specialize yourself in a very specific area where competition might not be as fierce).
3. Offer added value (this can be 24 hours availability, or free quick over the phone consultations, or design and DTP services (at an additional cost, of course), or an always friendly attitude towards your customers (yes, thislast one becomes an added value after clients have to deal with intransigent, I-know-more-than-you translators).
4. In another forum you mentioned you were debating whether going to the ATA conference or not. If you can afford it, I suggest you go and do lots and lots of networking. You can write the expenses off as business costs.


elias melhem wrote:

Let me tell you why I offer low rates. I'm a medical student from Lebanon, and I have helped a doctor/teacher do some medical translation. He got the credit and I got some of the money. That's why my CV is free of translation related experience. I've joined proz.com about a month ago, and I have applied to every job offer that suited me. First I offered 0.05 USD per word, than i lowered my rates because no one hired me. I can't even afford a proz.com membership, and I need money desperately. It's not to buy a house or a new car as I read in a previous post, but to be able to help my father pay my tuition.


Do you realize that, not being a professional translator, you have placed yourself in a very difficult situation by competing with a whole lot of EN to FR and FR to EN professional translators in this site?

We all need money and a job for different reasons, but I am afraid that lowering your rates will not solve your problem. You could try working with Arabic as your source or target language; rates might be higher in this case, since translators to and from Arabic are less abundant that those in the EN and FR pairs, but you still have to your disadvantage that you are taking a translator job as a means to an end, and not as a profession for you. A better idea would probably be to look for jobs in other fields, more related to what you are studying now, and what you plan to become. How about medical teacher assistant or clerical jobs at a clinic or hospital?

One last important comment: One has to go out looking for the customers (and this applies to any field); and not expect the customer to come looking for us, or we risk waiting for a very long time until they find us...

[Edited at 2009-10-03 20:12 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:57
French to German
+ ...
Cynism Oct 3, 2009


ViktoriaG wrote:


Edit: I just ran a quick Google search for the phrase cheap translations. A whole lot of agencies came up, many of which, not surprisingly, are big players on this site. Just a few quotes from their websites:


And this is the offer to translators who try to get jobs through one of those sites:


Featured membership - 12 months - Only 99 €!

For all who wish priority access to translation jobs ...

Quote right away on job postings limited to featured members
Best exposure on the directory for more client contacts
Less competition on limited job postings for better prices



So basically, you pay for having the privilege of some kind of priority/visibility etc. and this, for being offered jobs which rates are close to insults. Seems some folks out there are making their money on both potential clients and potential translators.


[Edited at 2009-10-04 06:28 GMT]


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Cathy Flick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:57
Member (2003)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sometimes you do need a Ph.D. in physics... Oct 4, 2009


mdiazbutler wrote:

With enough curiosity, a well read, educated person can learn new subjects like the best, so I don't need a PhD in physics, as long as the translator is smart enough to go and do the necessary research.



Well, luckily for me, sometimes you DO need a Ph.D. in physics! I've had many jobs where the end client insisted on a translator with advanced degrees in specific fields, and for very good reason. The degrees are no guarantee of a good translation, but lack of them is virtually a guarantee of a bad one in some cases.

You're right, of course, that translators are typically good at self-learning. But some subject areas are less amenable to self-learning (i.e., without formal academic training and lab experience). I've seen many terrible technical translations by otherwise good translators who simply didn't have enough background to have the proper instincts about terminology or the ability to quickly evaluate the reliability of what they might see while scurrying around the web. I am both a chemist and a physicist (Ph.D. in a joint program), and I know how long the research can take me despite my extensive formal training and decades of translation experience. In the physical sciences, the academic coursework even through the Ph.D. level is just the starting point - there is so much detail and so many advances occur so rapidly that nobody really knows very much specifically after spending 4 years in college and 5 or 6 years in grad school. We just have the basis for learning more as needed. Practically every translation I've ever done has required more or less extensive outside reading.

My job minimum is high for this reason - it once took me 4 or 5 hours to properly translate a 100 word Russian patent abstract about a semiconductor device. Bilingual dictionaries in my fields are only starting points, also, and it is rarely obvious which word among many to choose in an entry or when to come up with another possibility. For the 100 word abstract, for instance, I needed to read and understand enough of the full patent to then read in the relevant English (and Russian) literature, so I could be sure I knew which English terms to choose for the abstract (which of course used all the key terminology for the full patent). I don't know how anyone could have managed this in a reasonable time without some decent background in solid state physics at the level anyone with a master's or especially a Ph.D. in physics would have. On a similar patent project, for reference I was given a truly horrible translation of the original application by someone who didn't have that background - it was unreadable even by an expert in the field. I threatened to quit if the client insisted I match the prior terminology, because it was just plain wrong. The translator just didn't understand the patent, and certainly had no idea how people in the field talked. (Contrary to myth, patents are not supposed to be unreadable - they are just very carefully written to meet the legal requirements.)

I also know how much I struggle with even tiny little bits of other areas that creep into my pristine pure techie work sometimes (legal, business etc.) when others with the right background would sail right through with no problem, and how many queries I have to leave for the editor in those cases (or at least a warning....). I have to insist on strong editorial support in those awful "mixed jobs" where two difficult disciplines (e.g., chemistry and legal) are so closely intertwined that any translator is going to be in for a rough ride, whether they're a chemist or a legal eagle. In areas within my own fields, however, I can work quite successfully with a very general editor just on the lookout for possible general errors or omissions.

So brains are not really enough sometimes - the amount of time it takes to learn enough to be able to do translations in some fields is just not conducive to processing the work fast enough to pay the bills, plus we risk uncertainties in the results unless blessed with an editor who knows what we don't. This is why, even though I know there are amazing "generalists" out there worth many times their weight in gold, it's wise to pick and choose subject areas carefully according to our real-life backgrounds and our willingness to spend considerable time really studying new areas to pick up a new specialty. Even excellent non-techie generalists fall flat on their faces in my fields, for example. They often don't know how flat they have fallen, and their project managers don't know it either (being just grateful that the translator can string together sentences that sound like real English, and not being familiar enough with the field to know how wrong it is).

I'm sure my attempts to deal with legalese or bureaucratese etc. are just as amusing to those initiated in those fields. But even if I work very hard at it and guess right in the legalese etc., I am still making far too little per hour to justify the struggle. And that's the real bottom line: what we make per hour, not what we charge per word or per line. That's why it's hard to compare rates - someone who charges 1/3 as much as I do "per word" might be making four times as much as I do "per hour" because of the difference in fields and experience.

Peace, Cathy Flick

Ph.D. Chemical Physics/M.A. Physics/B.S. Chemistry
Scientific Translator since 1978
Russian/French/German/Spanish/Italian into US English


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Mariela Diaz-Butler
United States
Local time: 23:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm talking in general here Oct 4, 2009


Cathy Flick wrote:

You're right, of course, that translators are typically good at self-learning. But some subject areas are less amenable to self-learning (i.e., without formal academic training and lab experience). I've seen many terrible technical translations by otherwise good translators who simply didn't have enough background to have the proper instincts about terminology or the ability to quickly evaluate the reliability of what they might see while scurrying around the web. I am both a chemist and a physicist (Ph.D. in a joint program), and I know how long the research can take me despite my extensive formal training and decades of translation experience. In the physical sciences, the academic coursework even through the Ph.D. level is just the starting point - there is so much detail and so many advances occur so rapidly that nobody really knows very much specifically after spending 4 years in college and 5 or 6 years in grad school. We just have the basis for learning more as needed. Practically every translation I've ever done has required more or less extensive outside reading.



Hi Cathy:

I think you migh have misunderstood what I said before a bit. I was, in no way, minimizing the value of an advanced degree in a specific subject matter. All I was saying is that, in general terms, I prefer a well educated translator with thirst for knowledge, who would be willing to go the extra mile to do research if need be, than someone who offer all sorts of accreditations but is inflexible when it comes to going beyond his/her comfort zone. I encountered many an arrogant translator who wouldn't even admit when they made mistakes, because heavens forbid, they had a PhD, and that could not possibly be the case.

Also, part of being a well educated, smart translator, is the ability to recognize when a particular job is out of their area of competence, and being modest enoguh to admit so. I respected those translators who had the courage to tell me, "sorry but this is not something I'm comfortable doing", far more than those who accepted a job knowing full well that it was not something they were really capable of doing, and then delivered poor translations or fell unacceptably beyond the deadline.

With that said, when a particular job warranted deep technical knowledge, you'd better believe we looked for that extra something that told us a person had already put in the time learning the subject. The truth is, though, that the vast majority of the work we received was more of a commercial nature (and that includes legal in all its glory) than a technical nature.

Anyway, I thought I'd clarify that particular tidbit. I do value higher education quite a lot. It tells a lot about a person that he/she is willing to put in the effort and extra time in their education, but it would not, I confess, be the main thing I would look at.

Thanks!

Mariela
P.S.- Cathy, your name sounds awfully familiar. I bet you did do some work for our agency, which goes to tell, that if you're good, that's what really matters.


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Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:57
Dutch to English
+ ...
You can better clean houses... Oct 4, 2009


elias melhem wrote:

Let me tell you why I offer low rates. I'm a medical student from Lebanon, and I have helped a doctor/teacher do some medical translation. He got the credit and I got some of the money. That's why my CV is free of translation related experience. I've joined proz.com about a month ago, and I have applied to every job offer that suited me. First I offered 0.05 USD per word, than i lowered my rates because no one hired me. I can't even afford a proz.com membership, and I need money desperately. It's not to buy a house or a new car as I read in a previous post, but to be able to help my father pay my tuition.


if you are willing to work for those kind of rates. Cleaning is simple and pays relatively well. I pay my cleaner € 10.00 per hour ex VAT. If you translate a 1,000 word document for USD 0.05 per word, this comes down to 2-3 hours work for USD 50.00, being USD 12.50 ex VAT on an average.... What in heaven is the point of doing such complicated (although more interesting than cleaning, I must agree) work if you can get better paid as a cleaner?

By the way, a number of translators have found this low-rate development rather troublesome, for which reason a group was formed to discuss low rates and the agencies offering those rates, and at which translation portals. Please see: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/rates-information/

[Edited at 2009-10-05 13:12 GMT]


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:57
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
IF... Oct 4, 2009

a) IF (hypothetically) all translators started charging $0.20 per word, what would happen?

b) IF we all became outsourcers (even "outsourcing to ourselves") what would happen?

c) IF we all changed our address at Proz to "San Francisco" what would happen?



(basically I'm asking this question to get a general idea about the business sense of the "community")


"I believe it is people who don't have any motivation to ever purchase some property, or even the desire of getting a new car."

What car are you talking about... most translators (especially in this site), have bicycles or just ride the bus if they need to. Property? Most live with mom and dad or high-income spouses/partners.

As far as the "challenge" to provide "evidence", well, I do not have the time, the means, or the slightest interest to conduct surveys in funny unregulated industries, but proz.com could make a survey among its members (all members) and post the results ("do you own a car?", and "do you live in your own place?", or "do you think you will be buying property in the next 6 months", etc.)

To Kevin (about the falling prices in the "general segment" of the market): We have seen nothing yet.





[Edited at 2009-10-04 17:56 GMT]


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Cathy Flick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:57
Member (2003)
Russian to English
+ ...
not to worry... Oct 5, 2009


mdiazbutler wrote:

I think you might have misunderstood what I said before a bit. I was, in no way, minimizing the value of an advanced degree in a specific subject matter. All I was saying is that, in general terms, I prefer a well educated translator with thirst for knowledge, who would be willing to go the extra mile to do research if need be, than someone who offer all sorts of accreditations but is inflexible when it comes to going beyond his/her comfort zone. I encountered many an arrogant translator who wouldn't even admit when they made mistakes, because heavens forbid, they had a PhD, and that could not possibly be the case.



Not to worry - I didn't think you were disparaging the value of technical education in any way! It just was amusing that you chose the example of "Ph.D. in physics" when I actually am one. So I took the opportunity to expand a bit on the perils of wandering too far outside your background/experience and most importantly, your ability to quickly learn enough about new things to translate. Usually advanced degrees at least indicate some persistence, but they are no guarantee of the qualities of a good translator, as you've described quite well. Plus some people are just jerks and/or lazy, educated or not.

I intended to just point out that some subjects are easier to "get up to speed on" without the degrees than others. It's really a "money matter" ultimately, since if I have to struggle to deal with such jobs then I'm just not going to be able to pay the bills. I know translators who think their excellent knowledge of the source language and web surfing will solve every problem - but I know that it doesn't. I've had to tell people who obviously worked very hard on a translation way outside their limits that the results just weren't good, as diplomatically as possible (e.g., "Well, obviously chemistry isn't your field, you would be wise to concentrate on field X, for which you have splendid qualifications.).

This doesn't apply to you, of course, but for some reason, a lot of non-techies think they should do technical translation because "that's where the money is" (not really... it's more time consuming and our daily output is less if done properly) and that technical translation is "easy" because "nobody expects it to make sense". I've been told that it's better not to understand a patent so the translator just "translates the words" and doesn't read anything extra into it. I've never heard a literary translator say it's okay not to understand a sentence while translating it; the whole concept is bizarre to me. The general rule in all translation really is "If you don't understand it, don't try to translate it." The corollary is "If you understand it but don't know how real experts in the field talk about it in the target language -- LEARN."

I myself cheerfully turn down jobs for such reasons frequently. I generally tell the PM that I am unqualified and what kind of translator credentials to look for, if possible. (I do the same thing if I just don't have the time but can tell them enough about the material to help their search for someone else.) In some mixed cases, I ask them if they can pair me with an editor well-versed in the other field (e.g., legal, business, chatty language, whatever I don't know well enough to do alone) who can and will fix whatever I break in the non-technical bits. If the agency can't do that - then I don't do the job.

I never claim to be able to translate all things, but freely admit that I only have a reading knowledge in my fields for my source languages. I don't sell myself as a polyglot but rather as a scientist who can understand and translate scientific materials. One client who needed a highly technical French patent translated wanted to know if I could "converse in French". I told him "probably not very well nowadays". But he didn't need a conversationalist - he needed someone who understood enough fluid mechanics to translate the patent. Some areas of translation do require extensive knowledge of the source language and culture - but my areas do not, especially not a speaking knowledge. The pool of qualified scientific translators shrinks to nearly zero if that becomes a deal-breaker.

Well-trained PMs will tell me, "Cathy, you'll love this job - it's full of equations!" or think of me right away when they see a patent or journal article filled with chemical formulas. Less well-trained PMs send me a sales contract (where the only techie bit is in the name of the product, easily found on the manufacturer's web site), which would be hellish for me but easy-peasy for someone who does sales contracts. Some job offers are so arcane to me that I not only have to use a bilingual dictionary to figure out what the heck it is about, but then have to use a monolingual dictionary to understand what the bilingual dictionary said (not a good sign). Better to spend my time marketing myself to new clients than agonizing over jobs I don't even understand in my target language (English).

Teamwork is a great way to deal with mixed jobs - for instance, I've provided the technical backup for legal translators faced with a pile of correspondence and other documents for a patent opposition case even though legalese (and especially the hissing and spitting in Opposition docs) gives me hives. I translated all the "techie bits" (pulling them out of the original documents) and the whole purely technical docs, and provided terminology consulting as needed. The legal translators also helped me with some legal boilerplate stuck in the beginning of the purely technical docs. So teamwork is another idea for expansion into other areas: team with another translator who has complementary skills. So many documents are written by teams - why shouldn't they be translated by teams? This way, no one has to waste time and energy obsessing over things that another team member can solve right away.

But in general, when working alone it's very important to be willing to "just say no" to jobs really out of our leagues, even if we have no other work on our desk and are sorely tempted. Bad work doesn't generate repeat business once discovered by a knowledgeable end client, and isn't fair to the client.

This doesn't mean that a translator can't go beyond what they learned in school - I certainly have, building on my basic education in chemistry and physics to branch out to related areas, for instance. I would advise anyone to build on their own background (not just academic) and also on their own interests to develop real specialties as a translator and to emphasize those assets to any potential clients.

Peace, Cathy Flick

Ph.D. Chemical Physics/M.A. Physics/B.S. Chemistry
Scientific Translator since 1978
Russian/French/German/Spanish/Italian into US English


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Cathy Flick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:57
Member (2003)
Russian to English
+ ...
consider direct clients and team management Oct 5, 2009


mdiazbutler wrote:

I have been a freelancer for a bit over a year (since I left my agency), and so far, the only client I have is my old agency! (which is a really good thing, as I do get steady work from them, but still...).



I promise I won't blather on again on a tangent - but looking at your proz profile, you have a wonderful base for dealing with direct clients in the business area and also for managing small teams of translators for projects (in other words, you can sell project management skills to direct clients also).

As long as your old agency is your only client, you're basically an employee without benefits... So definitely getting more clients is important for you. Work from your old agency is a good "filler" while you're trying to make a dent in the market, but don't let them monopolize you.

If you're a good editor, you can also market that skill both to agencies and to other translators who work for direct clients and need to incorporate an editor into their package for their clients.

I don't know how long it takes from "get in the database" to "first job" in your areas (in mine, months or years...), but don't give up. Keep letting other agencies know about your availability and skills, but also consider the direct client option if you're comfortable with their care and feeding. (I'm not, hence I work generally for agencies.)


Peace, Cathy Flick

Ph.D. Chemical Physics/M.A. Physics/B.S. Chemistry
Scientific Translator since 1978
Russian/French/German/Spanish/Italian into US English


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 05:57
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Autobiographical? Oct 5, 2009


Eleftherios Kritikakis wrote:... most translators (especially in this site), have bicycles or just ride the bus if they need to. Property? Most live with mom and dad or high-income spouses/partners.


Eleftherios,

Could you please provide some evidence for this statement, or are we to take it that you are speaking from experience?

Andy




[Edited at 2009-10-04 17:56 GMT]


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