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Poll: What do you like least about being a translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:02
SITE STAFF
Jul 1, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you like least about being a translator?".

View the poll here

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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Denise DeVries  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other - Invoicing and payment problems Jul 1, 2006

Need I say more?

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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:02
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Me too Jul 1, 2006

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you like least about being a translator?".

View the poll here

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


Yes, the agencies with the typical legend "PAYMENT 30 days after we get your invoice" are growing up like mushrooms.

But 30 days is better than those of 60 days, uh?


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:02
Besides the payment problems... Jul 1, 2006

... the lack of respect the profession gets from some sectors, which translates, among other things, in offers of ridiculous rates. Other professions do not have to face the same situation.

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2004)
German to English
Waiting to get paid Jul 1, 2006

We need the translation yesterday but you will get paid when we feel like it.

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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 10:02
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Administration Jul 1, 2006

Yes, I think this very important point is missing from the poll. I had to vote "other" since my "hate-thing" in translations is invoicing and all the rest of the administration!

Since we're obviously quite a few sharing that feeling, maybe it's time to do something about it. I'm always dreaming about some sort of automatic system like 1) Translation finished 2) Click here for all related administration. I know it's out there somewhere, but I never have the time to go searching for it....

When I shall become REALLY successful in translations I'll get myself a secretary!



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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
Yep, administration, paperwork, invoicing Jul 1, 2006

Dinny wrote:


Yes, I think this very important point is missing from the poll. I had to vote "other" since my "hate-thing" in translations is invoicing and all the rest of the administration!

Since we're obviously quite a few sharing that feeling, maybe it's time to do something about it. I'm always dreaming about some sort of automatic system like 1) Translation finished 2) Click here for all related administration.


I agree with Dinny 100% -
As soon as I saw the poll I immediately looked for the "administration, paperwork" option..
I LOVE Dinny's idea with the automatic system - her dream rather.
Somebody invent it soon pleeeease!


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:02
French to English
Too much work... (qualified answer) Jul 1, 2006

Yes, too much work coming in
- particularly when the client has not even checked whether I'm available
- when it all comes in at once that is

And, not enough money coming in
- particularly when the client wanted his work the day before yesterday
- the bad payers seem to agree to go-slow at the same time


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Jonathan Faydi  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:02
Dutch to French
+ ...
Lack of feedback on your work Jul 1, 2006

Hi all,

what I like the least in the job is the lack of feedback one gets on his/her work. I don't need to get a bunch of flowers every time the customer is satisfied but sometimes I would like to hear where I could have improved, whether I have met the clients' expectations...

Jonathan


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:02
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Deadlines Jul 1, 2006

I absolutely hate them...

Giovanni


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marie-christine périé  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:02
English to French
+ ...
admin work!!!!! Jul 1, 2006

It bores me to death

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Silvina Matheu  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:02
Member
English to Spanish
Others Jul 1, 2006

Lack of respect for the profession, specially among local clients

having met the deadline and then needing to send reminders in order to get paid...

and lack of feedback!


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Rosa Cabral  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:02
English to Italian
+ ...
uncertainty, et.al. Jul 1, 2006

The worst thing is the uncertainty... regarding when you will get your next job and when your previous one will be paid! When I bid on projects I go through a dry spell and then "when it rains, it pours" and more than one come through so I work around the clock on everything and pray that I will be paid. I still have some invoices that have not been paid for nearly a year! It will end up that I write them off as a loss. I also do not enjoy that many companies pay 2 months after your invoice has been received so I am always in the uncertainty of having funds available for a certain time period. Collection from a foreign country is almost impossible.

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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:02
German to Dutch
+ ...
Wondering... Jul 1, 2006

For me the "admin" department is the most boring aspect as well. Invoicing, bookkeeping, filling out tax forms - I know exactly how to do that all, but even thinking of it makes me feel nervous. But then, if we'd like to work with figures, we'd chosen to become accountants, I assume. I'm only surprised that this option gets (as yet) only 6% of the votes.

At the other hand, I'm wondering why so many opted for "uncerrtainty". The certain amount of "freedom" - i.e. making my own decisions at what times of the day and for how many hours I want to work - is one of the most attractive aspects of being a freelance translator. (Not that it gives me more leisure time - on the contrary - but that's my own decision as well.) And if you don't like that "uncertainty" (I assume that's mostly income-related), why not take an office job in an agency? That results in a fixed (although usually very modest) income.

Herman


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avantix  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:02
German to Dutch
+ ...
Job overflow and payment terms Jul 1, 2006

gabryrains wrote:

The worst thing is the uncertainty
garding when you will get your next job [...] When I bid on projects I go through a dry spell and then "when it rains, it pours" and more than one come through [...]. [/quote]

I can understand that, and especially for freelancers in their first years that can be a major problem. After a certain time you'll have built your own client base and than it "pours" more often than you might like. This you can overcome by "teaming up" with one or more trusted colleagues. They can take your overflow if necessary, as well as you take care of theirs. It can also be very useful when you want to go on holiday. That's how I do it, and it works.


gabryrains wrote:

garding [...] when your previous one will be paid! [...] and pray that I will be paid. I still have some invoices that have not been paid for nearly a year! [...] [/quote]

That's very unfortunate. However, you'll come across non-paying clients in every branch of industry and/or profession. That's "common business risk". I guess that I've been lucky that I got only 2 or 3 non-payers in over 20 years (of which one was an over 10,000$ job, though, quite some years ago).


gabryrains wrote:

I also do not enjoy that many companies pay 2 months after your invoice has been received so I am always in the uncertainty of having funds available for a certain time period.


Well, usually you get a PO in which the payment terms are stated and usually the client pays within that period of time. After that period I take a quite liberal approach and wait for another two weeks before I send a reminder. Usually that's enough - except for the few write-offs mentioned above.

What strikes me, though, (and I am not saying that you are one of those people!!) when I have a look at blueboard ratings, is my impression that often colleagues complain about long payment periods, although they seem to have accepted the terms in first instance. That's not fair!
1) Payment terms/usances can rather differ, depending on the country you're dealing with.
2) If you accept a payment term exceeding your usual period, don't complain afterwards. If you don't like the payment terms, don't accept the job!

Herman


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