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Poll: As a freelancer, which is the most difficult for you (besides translating)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:55
SITE STAFF
Feb 26, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "As a freelancer, which is the most difficult for you (besides translating)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Carla Araújo

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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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:55
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Getting Work Feb 26, 2007

I replied "Other" to the poll because, for me, the most difficult thing has been getting work, or at least a reasonable volume of work. Here in Brazil it seems that just about everyone has jumped on the translation bandwagon and there are many pseudo-translators which offer translation work (normally using machine translators all or most of the time) at very cheap rates, which often get the preference of individual clients. In the case of corporate clients, many of them insist you have a small business (microempresa) to be able to work for them.

[Edited at 2007-02-26 20:27]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:55
English to German
+ ...
Doing the accounting. Feb 26, 2007

For whatever reason, I don't like writing invoices. I am always late. I finish a job, take on another one and keep procrastinating the invoicing. Thanks God, my clients are forgiving and send money anyway. Maybe it's just too much - translating full time AND doing accounting. Maybe I am overly meticulous, at least I get praise from my CPA for perfectly prepared tax returns. However, I don't like it.

I never, ever had a problem with late payments or such. Guess, my clients are simply great. I am truly lucky.


PS. I am filing extensions on a regular basis. Don't like accounting...

[Edited at 2007-02-26 17:54]


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Sarah Appleby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
German to English
Two words Feb 26, 2007

Time management

Or maybe that is just today!


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:55
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 26, 2007

To conciliate professional and personal life...

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Tina Colquhoun  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:55
Danish to English
+ ...
Not difficult, but tiresome Feb 26, 2007

I answered 'Learning new tools' as it's usually the most time-consuming and tiresome. Luckily, it doesn't happen that often. Having to hunt down the solution to that niggling problem of why doesn't the thing spellcheck or why can't you make the font view bigger is just highly irritating.

'Chasing payment' is not difficult. It is annoying and dull. I am never late with my translations. I don't understand why even regular clients have to push beyond the 30 days every damn time.


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Shanie Ste-Marie  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:55
English to French
The hardest part? Keeping people away!! Feb 26, 2007

I find it quite difficult to keep people away when I'm working... for some reason, working from home is an excuse to disturb me... and in that I mean non-work related people of course!

Also, balancing family life and personnal life can be quite a challenge sometimes. I try hard not to let my work become a priority as family is what convinced me to work from home in the first place!

Happy translating!

Shanie

[Edited at 2007-02-26 19:18]


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Andrea Quintana  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same here Feb 26, 2007

I totally agree with Shanie, Ivana and Sarah! A mix of their difficulties is what I experience, as I am a mother working from home, too.
Cheers!

Andrea


Shanie Ste-Marie wrote:

I find it quite difficult to keep people away when I'm working... for some reason, working from home is an excuse to disturb me... and in that I mean non-work related people of course!

Also, balancing family life and personnal life can be quite a challenge sometimes. I try hard not to let my work become a priority as family is what convinced me to work from home in the first place!

Happy translating!

Shanie

[Edited at 2007-02-26 19:18]


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DR Maryam Taghavi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Prozac Feb 26, 2007

Hello Fellow Translators/Freelancers:

Before commenting on the forum, I wish to acknowledge how grateful I am to the proz initiators for setting up the present great community of translators. I am quite new to Proz (just joined in Jan. 2007) and have never had more fun integrating with other translators.

Well, sorry for the lengthy introduction. Translating has been like prozac for me. I do not feel the time passing when translating. During the past 12 years, I have been involved in translation business in addition to raising up my son (9 now), pursuing my studies to PhD level in Translation Studies (awaiting final exam) and teaching in the field. I am sure some of you can feel the pressure of joggling between responsibilities. To be honest, whenever I felt fed up I immersed myself in translating, writing invoices and dealing with the clients.

I guess it all comes down to love.


Happy Happy translating

Maryam


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
All of the above Feb 26, 2007

... I am lucky, don't need to market myself, am not a numbers person so find admin/billing a chore, etc yet feel I can sympathise with all the responses in so far.
My main problems currently stem from a non-work situation, as I work from home, shared until now with someone who has has just met their "significant other", so I now have to relocate, with all the problems that entails...
so, apart from the usual (clients in a hurry, not factoring in translation when setting deadlines/formats/costs, dodgy payers... etc), as someone once said:
"hell is other people"


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 02:55
German to Polish
+ ...
Time management & quest for motivation Feb 26, 2007

Sarah Appleby wrote:

Time management

Or maybe that is just today!


I'm afraid I'd need this as an option to vote in this poll, since my (sometimes too clumsy to admit) ways of time management are my main time waste

And on some days they go hand in hand with a gloomy lack of motivation. These are the days I get the flat cleaned, dinner cooked, the fridge is gleaming, the cats are groomed, etc.

Happy week, everybody,
Agnieszka


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
English to Arabic
+ ...
I hate hate hate negotiating... Feb 27, 2007

... and I'm so bad at it. I sometimes have to do it though, but I often prefer to just refuse a job altogether or accept a slightly lower rate than my own.

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DR Maryam Taghavi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
invoice Feb 27, 2007

Hello again

I forgot to comment on the invoicing. I have prepared a DTP invoice and when I accept the job I first get on the invoice by just filling out the relevant boxes. I have even written a contract form for those who may cancel or alter the project (such as requesting an earlier deadline, DTP, etc.).

I only negotiate the rates when very large projects are involved. And even so do not accept a large project or settle for a very low rate on the basis of regular income . Please my fellow colleagues do not settle for extra low rates. Lately, I was asked to cooperate in a large literary project for $0.01 per source word as the outsourcer argued this is a large project with regular monthy income for three or four months. I DID NOT accept it because afterall rates are a question of ethics too. One should not violate the practice and set the way for hard labour. Accepting less than the minimum wage is an offence any way.

Best Wishes
Maryam


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 21:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same here! Feb 27, 2007

Nicole Schnell wrote:

For whatever reason, I don't like writing invoices. I am always late. I finish a job, take on another one and keep procrastinating the invoicing.



I don't like paper work in general and that includes POs, confirmations, adjustments and all sort of exchange of mails.
Last year I did three (rather) small assignments for a good clients. They had a special rate, but also difficult to calculate: I had been all of these: revisor number one, translator, revisor number four (yes, four). The invoice would have been a nightmare, so I decided that I would not be able to find the mails, do the calculations and bla bla bla...

No, I am not rich, but... invoices certainly defeat me.

Au


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:55
Member (2004)
English to Italian
other Feb 27, 2007

all those things are not difficult... just boring.

Giovanni


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