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Poll: Do you feel there is a lot of competition in your language pair(s) or field(s) of expertise?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:17
SITE STAFF
May 4

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you feel there is a lot of competition in your language pair(s) or field(s) of expertise?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
YES May 4

There are huge numbers of non-native translators working into English in my main pair (ES-EN). In fact, my Spanish colleague/partner occasionally has to do so if she wants to keep on getting translation jobs into Spanish from the agency she works with. However, we help out with the final drafts and what she delivers is at least as good as anything I can turn out. But this may not be the case with "lone rangers" struggling out there on their own.

It's basically a fact of translation life in this pair, although I think it is much more commonplace in the Americas than in Europe.


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Ana Vozone  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:17
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 4

"Language pair" and "fields of expertise" are not comparable, synonymous... Yes, lots of competition in, for instance, EN-PT, but not a lot of competition in certain fields of expertise.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:17
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I couldn't agree more! May 4

Ana Vozone wrote:

"Language pair" and "fields of expertise" are not comparable, synonymous... Yes, lots of competition in, for instance, EN-PT, but not a lot of competition in certain fields of expertise.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:17
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Depends May 4

As I work in a number of language pairs and fields AND in various markets, the situation is very variable. Little competition in Slovak to French for example, but a lot in English to French - in the international market, not in my country where most agencies just won't look for translators abroad. Bulgarian and Romanian to Czech, for many years forgotten pairs, are becoming a boon! The generation forced to study these languages under the Communist regime retired and demand has been growing since these countries' EU accession. As to fields, agriculture (the field of fields!) has served me well for nearly 30 years - it's complicated, not very glamorous and nobody wants to do it.

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Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:17
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Definitely Yes May 4

Both EN>RU and EN>UK are highly competitive in all of my fields of expertise.

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Klára Kalamár  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 16:17
Member (2010)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Other May 4

In my case: lots of competition in EN - HU but much less in FR - HU.

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:17
Member
Italian to English
With Ana and Teresa May 4

Lots of competition in IT>EN. Not so much in my area of expertise, which is medicine.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:17
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
(1) Yes, and (2) not so much May 4

A lot of competition for Spanish-English; not so much for Portuguese-English. Increasing competition in medicine and health in both combinations. Less competition in economics and finance.

But honestly, I don't worry about it because I have all the work I can handle. I'm not looking for more work (though I would like to broaden my direct client base just in case something happens with one of them).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:17
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not for my clients May 4

There are an awful lot of FR>EN translators of course and, as Neilmac experiences for ES>EN, many source-language native speakers are trying their hand at it too, with varying degrees of success. But why should any of that worry me?

I specialise in marketing, and nowadays only in those marketing texts that are actually designed to sell, rather than texts about marketing. I'm sure there are a lot of other translators doing the same thing, but my clients are happy with what I produce and happy with my terms and conditions. That's all that matters to me. I just click on the "X" when I see jobs wanting marketing translations for €0.03 per word (for example) because they're "easy". My competitors are welcome to those .


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Dunno May 4

I'm not really sure how you can tell.

I have to assume my customers use me because they don't know of any translators as good as me who are cheaper.

But that doesn't mean they're not out there. There's plenty of work in my fields that someone else must do, and not all of it is done badly.

In this sense I'm probably flattered by an inefficient matchmaking process. Busy freelancers don't have much time/incentive to market themselves extensively.

Agencies, on the other hand, do. Well, that's pretty much all they do.

So in reality maybe my main competitors are promise-the-Earth agencies who charge about the same as me and then give the work to cheapie give-me-a-TM-and-I'll-translate-anything generalists.

This business model will inevitably fail in the long term when end-customers wise up to the quality shortfall, but is probably very lucrative in the short to medium term in a world where suppliers are chosen by purchasing departments looking for savings rather than users looking for quality.


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:17
Member (2013)
English to Russian
Nope May 4

There are very few professional Russian subtitlers out there.

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Toby Wakely  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:17
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
definitely May 4

My language combination, Spanish to English is one of the most competitive ones there is. Just look at how many translators in this language pair are registered at proz and compare it with say Spanish to Japanese and you'll see a huge difference.
One problem is many Spanish professionals feel they have mastered English and can dispense with translators in this pair. A few potential clients have expressed a need for other less common combinations such as Spanish to French.


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Romain Galati  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:17
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...


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German is fine May 4

I agree that it depends on the language pair. I am doing German > French and English > French, as well as Italian > French.

I got most of my regular clients thanks to German. There are not so many translators with German. However, English to French is very common, so the competition is more complicated.

As for Italian into French, the competition is fine but there are just not many offers and the rates are often lower than with German for example.


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DarwinE
United States
Local time: 08:17
Member (2016)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Definitely yes May 4

When there's a job posted asking for multiple different languages into English or vice versa, Spanish-English will without a doubt have the highest number of offers. I guess this explains why in my short career as a EN-ES-PT freelancer, most of the offers I've gotten have been for PT-EN.

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