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Poll: What's your average annual income derived from translation?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 00:11
Aug 5, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What's your average annual income derived from translation?".

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 03:11
Let's see what we can do about making those numbers rise Aug 5, 2005

Having seen the initial numbers coming in, two thoughts:

- A minority of our members freelances only part time. That would push the figure down some.

- The numbers should be higher, anyway, especially in light of the demands of the profession.

I'd like to repeat this poll each year. Let's work to see the numbers go higher.

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Sara Freitas
Local time: 09:11
French to English
Let's make the poll more specific... Aug 5, 2005 *gross* income, for example...just to make sure that all those who respond to the survey are clear on what we are measuring...

*And* we could all vow to raise our rates this year for starters!

I agree with Henry that the numbers are way too low. Recently on the French forum someone was wondering if they would be able to count on making just over 1000 euros net per month translating; the person also said that they were having a hard time generating turnover of more than 1500 euros per month...

It would be interesting to find out why translators are struggling so much.

The yearly poll is a great idea.



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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Shocked Aug 5, 2005

Didn't think it was that bad.

Gross income is a good baseline figure for strict freelancers, but its significance may be different for those who outsource.

The yearly poll could turn into a mission (with targets)

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:11
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I assumed the poll was asking for gross income Aug 5, 2005

so that's what I voted for.

I agree, too, that the numbers seem really low. Another thought - some translators in lower cost-of-living countries could be making a respectable income that would seem too low to those of us in N. America/Western Europe.

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
gross income Aug 5, 2005

... is also what I understood. If I start thinking about my net income I'd get really depressed, the turnover does not sound that bad. It is of course not what you would expect to earn as a university graduate. There seem to be (too) many translators with very low incomes - perhaps because it includes part-time translating? Or because what is considered a decent income varies with the cost of living?
This poll is a good start, but perhaps you should (at least)make various polls for full-time translators and part-timers. Another division could be according to the cost of living (housing, hamburgers ...)

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Local time: 17:11
Italian to English
+ ...
WOW, when I saw the higher brackets I thought Aug 6, 2005

"there is hope" then I clicked on "View Results" and go a right shock!

As this is my first year FT I can't really vote but I could hazard a guess!
I'd just rather not "jinx" myself by clicking a box I feel may be true but then................

Tomorrow I could be no-one!

Oh to be in the 3.3% that as at today are earning over 80K!

Hmmmmmm, onwards and upwards!

It would be most interesting to see as the year's go by what changes or NOT!


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Very worrying... Aug 15, 2005

The result to this poll is very worrying indeed...
Especially considering results to somewhat related polls, and assuming that the people answering polls here are about the same:

Steady workflow:
ca. 70% have steady or somewhat steady workflow
Week-end work:
over 40% work at week-ends very often
Hrs work/day:
over 40% work 8-12 hrs per day
Source of income:
for 60% of respondents, freelance translation is the only source of income



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