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Poll: Have you worked as an In-house Translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:38
SITE STAFF
Mar 31, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you worked as an In-house Translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marisa Schiavi

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Elena Carbonell  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:38
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other options Mar 31, 2008

No, I wanted to in the past and now I wouldn´t.
When I started as a translator I wanted to work as an In-house translator and I was a little bit jeaulous of my colleagues that were. I applied for a few companies but I never got accepted and now I am grateful since I started to build my career as a freelancer. Being your own boss is my way to go, nobody interferes with my work, with the music I play or if i start to make funny noises when I read something surprising, boring or when I cannot find a good translation and I start to pace around. I also talk out loud...I cannot think of doing that in an office.
Oh my! It sounds like I am a nutcase but I am sure you will understand.


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MLG  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
I agree 100% with you! Mar 31, 2008

Elena,
I can relate to every reason you stated. Freelancing allows me the creative "space" I require especially when translating in various fields.


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Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:38
Member (2004)
English to French
I always worked as an in-house translator Mar 31, 2008

I am an in-house translator but I also have regular freelancing jobs on week-ends. I feel I have the best of both worlds and I am very grateful for that. My freelancing clients know of my in-house status and that I am not always available on demand. I get to see colleagues every day. My freelancing helps me to get to know other topics beside wireless technologies.

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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 15:38
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
I associate "in-house" with middle school Mar 31, 2008

I clearly remember that in middle school, there was suspension where they sent you home for a few days and there was in-house suspension where you had to stay in a room all day instead of going to class.

Ever since, I have had this aversion to the adjective "in-house".

I would never give up the freedom of being a freelance translator!


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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:38
Member (2009)
English to French
A happy in-house freelancer Mar 31, 2008

I started as a freelancer while trying to be an in-house translator. I finaly was hired in-house after making a good freelance client base. Now I am doing both at the same time and trying to decice which is best for me. Both have their pros and cons.

I really wanted to try both before deciding to do only one, and so far, great times on both ends so lets see what the future holds.


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
Freedom is relative Mar 31, 2008

Reed D. James wrote:

I would never give up the freedom of being a freelance translator!


I thought the same thing for many years, but the freedom I had engendered its own sort of slavery... demanding clients, unreasonable requests and deadlines, constant pressure on rates, being my own tech support, tax accountant, having to self finance everything... you know what I'm talking about.

It was great while my kids were little, but eventually, after 16 years of freelancing, I took a position in-house, and I love it! I am in charge, my work is praised and appreciated, I do something meaningful, I don't have to be subjected to the stress caused by someone else's deadlines created by corporate structures that treat translation as an afterthought, force you to work under conditions that do not lend themselves to quality. Plus I can choose how to work instead of having to use tools I often don't like and don't want, I get benefits, and when my computer doesn't work this really nice guy comes and fixes it for me. I can even work at home two days a week!

I'm more free now than I ever was...


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:38
English to Arabic
+ ...
I'd go back to "in-housing" (is that a word?) Mar 31, 2008

For the exact same reasons David mentions. I never felt so much freedom as when I used to work in-house, working at a leisurely pace, not having to chase payments, write invoices (uuugggh!) or find clients, etc., then coming home and knowing the remaining hours of the day and the weekend are MINE all MINE (and my family's of course).
Freelancing has been a good alternative as we moved to a new country, the family got bigger, etc. but I now long for the opportunity to work in-house again. Unfortunately, no such jobs in that town I live in!

[Edited at 2008-03-31 22:01]


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 15:38
German to English
+ ...
my work is praised and appreciated, I do something meaningful Mar 31, 2008

David says the key words right there - whether in-house or freelance THAT is the most important.

Otherwise I agree with Elena. Being able to be my own nutcase is a great thing. For a while I wasn't even going to the barber; but then this weekend I went to an event with friends. Everyone was treating me like a homeless person. So last night I went to the barber.

The only thing I really miss as a freelancer is social kamaraderie. Being so isolated from the rest of the world as I deliver, without the rapport with the main agencies that I work ("we are family"), my deliveries can get as tangled as the agencies requesting them ...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I learned a lot... Apr 1, 2008

...and I enjoyed the company and the feedback, but after 25 years, I was happy to be on my own. That in-house job blessed me with a pension, so I'm not complaining, but I've been free-lancing for 15 years, and it has been the happiest time of my life.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:38
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I get the best of both worlds Apr 1, 2008

I would never have dared start on my own - although I dreamed of it.

I had never seen an in-house job advertised before, and I couldn't believe my luck when I got it. It really set me up, and I learnt a lot from colleagues during those shared coffee breaks and whenever I needed help. The company paid for my translation diploma, and I too miss the nice guys who used to fix the computer! Not that my husband isn't impressive - he is - but he is more fun when not muttering over a pesky computer in his free time! And the pay checks that just arrived...

However, it had its drawbacks - I was tied to commuting with 2½ hours in the bus every day, and that blocked any kind of flexi-time. I could barely spare the time for a lunch break and a breath of air, and that is unhealthy.

Now I don't seem to have more free time, but my former employer is my biggest client, and I am still in touch with several of the old colleagues when I need help. I don't have to worry about other people's perfume and aftershave (I'm perfume intolerant and it sets off my migraine) - or their noise, embarrassing phone conversations, poor taste in music ...

I personally wouldn't go back, but I warmly recommend it for beginners, and it has many advantages.


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Anindita Basu  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:08
English to Bengali
+ ...
Other / NA Apr 1, 2008

I work in-house as a tech writer, and that's my major job responsibility.

But sometimes, I also do in-house translastions for two Indian languages, so the option that I'd chosen would have been Yes, but not full-time, and I love it..



I wouldn't want to translate full time because I like writing stuff more than translating stuff...but, if I were to choose any other career, it would, indeed, be translation


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Murat Uzum  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:38
English to Turkish
Freedom Apr 1, 2008

Reed D. James wrote:

I clearly remember that in middle school, there was suspension where they sent you home for a few days and there was in-house suspension where you had to stay in a room all day instead of going to class.

Ever since, I have had this aversion to the adjective "in-house".

I would never give up the freedom of being a freelance translator!


Reed summarized things clearly especally with his last paragraph. There are many companies out there which wish to imprison you and earn huge profits by just paying a low fee. It's also great to have your own holidays and the opportunity to work from any place of the earth.

By the way as David stated freedom and the advantages through in-house translating can depend on the country and the company you work for too.


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Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:38
German to French
+ ...
I would never ever work as an in-house translator Apr 12, 2008

I love my freedom and flexibility as a freelance translator, and yes, some clients are demanding, and it's a hard business, but I can decide about every single client and order wether I would like to do it or not.

I can take a day off whenever I want, and when I need some additionnal money, I can accept more orders than usual.

I can practice sport or meet friends in the afternoon, and do the work either in the early morning or in the evening.

Actually, I am not always available on the phone, but it is not THAT bad.
If wanted to enslave myself with precisely defined working hours and special rules as to when, how and what I translate, I wouldn't have chosen to work freelance!

What's more, a freelance income is pretty good... but not the reason why I chose it. I just love this freedom and flexibility.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:38
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The story of my hero Apr 12, 2008

When I started in this industry of localisation and translation as a localisation engineer for a Madrid-based company some 14 years ago, a guy worked there who was my hero: He was a freelancer working in-house exclusively for in the agency's jobs into Spanish.

I saw him translate some 10.000 words a day, day after day, apparently effortessly as he also had time to chat with the rest of us, have a coffee, go out for lunch... and he was paid per word. I reckon they did not know about his capacity when the company accepted the arrangement, or they would have offered them a monthly pay!!

[Edited at 2008-04-12 08:26]


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