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How to earn $80,000+ per year as a freelance translator
Thread poster: Olga-Translator
Olga-Translator  Identity Verified

English to Russian
Feb 18, 2005

Hello, everyone!

I wonder if the book "How to earn $80,000+ per year as a freelance translator" by Alex Eames is worth purchasing and reading.
Can you share your opinion of this book, dear colleagues?
Is is true? Can it be helpful in building a career of a freelance translator?
Anyone who read it, please, reply.
Thank you very much!


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Refugio
Local time: 17:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Feb 18, 2005

I found it to be outdated and unhelpful.

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Suzanne Blangsted  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:53
Danish to English
+ ...
$80.000 not a guarantee Feb 18, 2005

Not worth buying the book.

[Edited at 2005-02-18 21:48]


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Ramon Somoza  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
Dutch to Spanish
+ ...
I haven't read it... Feb 18, 2005

... but there are several locations where they provide you with useful tips (for free!).

For example, Chantal Wilford's tips (http://www.linguabase.com/tips.asp)are worth reading.


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
not a guarantee, but IS possible Feb 18, 2005

Don't forget that rates in the US are much higher than in the Ukraine. In the U.S., if you are a very good translator and you can market your services very well, you can earn up to 20 cents per source word. Multiply this with a steady flow of jobs, and you can reach this annual amount.
It also helps if you can write a book that you sell for fellow translators for a certain fee.
I have not read the book, but I purchased another product from Alex, a list of translation agencies. That I found quite useful and I gained several jobs, even some large ones, by contacting agencies listed there.
A few months ago I met Alex in person, and he seems to be a very knowledgeable guy and probably a marketing expert.

Bottomline: if I were you, I would NOT buy the book. You can find a wealth of practical information for free if you dig deep into Proz.com forums...

The important thing is to develop an attitude that you can deliver a high-quality service and clients should be familiar with your skills. The last step is "just" convincing them to pay you more than they pay others, and still keep YOU busy with orders, and not the others.

vsIvo horOshevo (sorry for the phonetic spelling)


[Edited at 2005-02-18 23:36]


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Olga-Translator  Identity Verified

English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Feb 18, 2005

Thanks, everybody!!!!!!!!

Everything is clear to me now. I was suspecting that. Proz.com Forums can be of much help.

Good luck!!!


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 18:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Well worth it Feb 19, 2005

I got this book when I was starting out and I found it very worthwhile. I did not regret buying it.

If the question is "Can I make $80,000 if I buy the book," of course the answer is probably not. But following the advice in the book will help a beginning translator to manage her business (particularly client relations) in a professional manner. Certainly everyone knows that acting professionally is a good idea. But the value of the book is in its concrete examples showing how to do so.

[Edited at 2005-02-19 17:41]


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
To be taken with a grain of salt ;) Feb 19, 2005

I did buy this book a few years ago, when I was transitioning into full-time freelance mode, and mostly found it useful to confirm what I already knew. Perhaps it is more useful to freelancers at the beginning of their careers, but in that case I would agree you would be better off saving your money and spending some time browsing the Proz forums...or using them to ask any questions you might need clarification on

As for those famous $80,000+ per year...if memory serves me, Alex himself wrote in his website that, since becoming a parent and changing his priorities, that figure had decreased substantially. I think Csaba makes some excellent points in that the idea is to develop a professional attitude, and work towards being able to make a decent living from your chosen field, no matter how the circumstances in your life might change over time.

Best luck to you,

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EN-ES
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com

[Edited at 2005-02-19 02:47]


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Alaa Zeineldine  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Worthwhile Feb 19, 2005

I second Goodwords. The book is an enjoyabe easy way to learn some essential practices of the trade, especially for someone who is switching careers. Don't get hung up on the title's promise, the newsletter's title "TranslatorTips" is more appropriate than the book's.

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:53
Member (2004)
German to English
Yes, yes, yes Feb 19, 2005

I found this book incredibly helpful when startingto freelance from scratch. I certainly didn't make that money in the first year but I have built up a successful freelance business using the advice given.

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:53
Flemish to English
+ ...
$40.000, not 80.000$ Feb 19, 2005

To make $80.000 as a freelance translator, you have to use productivity tools such as TMs combined with machine translation and voice-recognition to correct machine translation. You have to be an able negotiator to get the best deals and conditions from your suppliers and you have to work almost around the clock.
And when you have earned this sum, don't forget that it is a gross sum, because the state where you live (except for a fiscal paradise) will be "grateful" for your efforts. How to earn $80.000 as a freelance programmer or top interpreter is more realistic because of rates (about $400/day) and payment terms (30 days net). As a translator you find yourself too much in a monopolistic competition: Everybody with a pc and an internet connection can be a supplier of translation services. A translator is a price-taker.
As an interpreter, you find yourself in an ologopolistic market: a limited number of suppliers, who have at least gone through some form of training. More or less fixed rates and you are more or less a price-setter.

[Edited at 2005-02-19 12:53]


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Worthwhile, indeed Feb 19, 2005

I bought that book about one year ago and I found it very helpful. For somebody who has just decided to start as a freelancer, it’s an excellent choice. Anyway, if you are not fully satisfied with the book, you can ask for a refund.

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:53
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
The book is worth reading Feb 20, 2005

I have had this book a few years, and certain parts of it are out of date, because methods and technology have changed a little bit over the past three years or so.

It is a book which gives plenty of common sense advice, in a straightforward and humorous way. There is nothing surprising inside its covers. It could be useful for someone just entering the world of translation.

As for the promised earnings, I think they are a fair average for a year, if you do the job full-time.

Good luck!

Astrid


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Per Riise  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 02:53
Member (2003)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
80,000 a possibility Feb 20, 2005

I bought the book several years ago when I was starting out. Doing translations approx. 50 % of the time I made USD 50,000+, so it is by no means impossible. I guess things like language combinations, formal qualifications, marketing aggressiveness etc. matter as far as generating income is concerned.

[Edited at 2005-02-20 11:27]


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