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Questions you have always wanted to ask one-day recruitment opportunities!

Apr 24, 2012



Panel

Translation Agency Interview

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Schedule:This session ended at 14:45
Description:

Join moderator Konstantin Kisin for a 1-on-1 interview with an active and experience translation agency representative. Details for the interviewee will be provided in the coming weeks.

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Language(s):English
Speakers:Konstantin Kisin — Moderator
Konstantin Kisin is a highly successful legal, financial and video games translator. Since joining ProZ.com in 2004, he has made full use of the website to propel his business to new heights and build long-term relationships with clients and colleagues.

A regular contributor to Proz.com on the business side of translation, Konstantin has extensive training in the psychology of communication and human behaviour. Sharing his attitude to doing business with his customary passion and enthusiasm, Konstantin's mission is to assist freelancers the world over in establishing professional relationships with clients, making more money, working less and having more fun.
Colin Whiteley
COLIN WHITELEY – President & Linguistics An honours graduate of Cambridge University (UK) in Modern Languages and Linguistics, Colin has over 30 years experience in global business. He has worked in the areas of Marketing, Communications and Knowledge Management and has extensive knowledge of the translation needs of large corporations. Colin speaks five languages fluently and has a working knowledge of several more.

Colin Whiteley started work with Mather and Platt in the UK in 1971 and was trained in fire engineering before being sent by the company to Brazil in 1974. He was appointed General Manager of Mather + Platt Spain in 1976 – the youngest such appointment ever – just before the entire company was acquired by Wormald of Australia. For the next 30 years Colin held a series of upper management positions in Wormald and subsequently Tyco International, which in turn acquired Wormald, managing the Southern European companies and later serving as Global Special Hazards and Global Marketing and Communications Director. Throughout this period Colin was an active member of the fire protection fraternity, serving as President of Tecnifuego-AESPI in Spain, Vice-President of Eurofeu (based in Frankfurt), and representing Spain on many European industry committees, technical working groups, etc., notable at CEN and CEA. He was the editor of the first ever European sprinkler standard (EN12845) and involved in a number of other standards and industry initiatives.

Colin has had a key role in creating and developing the Quicksilver brand and business, turning an internet start-up into a documentation services firm with nearly €1M yearly turnover, 10 employees and offices in 3 countries.

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Discussion for Questions you have always wanted to ask one-day recruitment opportunities! session (2012): Translation Agency Interview

Katherine Schirmer-Tully  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:19
English to Portuguese
How to stand out as a freelance translator when there are issues regarding the country/currency? Apr 24, 2012

I’m from Brazil, graduated in Journalism from a Brazilian university and I have been living and working in the UK since 2007.
Would you please advise me on how to stand out as a freelance translator English/Brazilian Portuguese? Please consider the following points:
-The competition for jobs/projects with translators based in Brazil is fierce (many clients/agencies only consider the translators who are currently based in Brazil).
-The rates in Britain are higher compared to the rates in Brazil because of the currency (1 British Pound = 3 Brazilian Real // 1 British Pound = 1.6 US Dollar).
Thank you very much in advance.


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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
3 to 8 cents per word? Wow... Apr 24, 2012

Holy cow.

They pay 4 to 6 (euro) cents a word in India!!!!

I started at 8 (euro) cents per word 10 years ago.

There has been 27% inflation since!

And they do Engineering, Medical and other Technical translation?

Wow... can't really believe my ears. And he speaks of reliability and availability? C'mon. What can one expect when the range of rates is rather pitiful? Ai ai ai.

Great session though. Good eye opener to the state of the market.

[Edited at 2012-04-24 16:29 GMT]


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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:19
English to French
+ ...
3 to 8 cents per word? Wow... Apr 24, 2012

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

Holy cow.

They pay 4 to 6 (euro) cents a word in India!!!!

I started at 8 (euro) cents per word 10 years ago.

There has been 27% inflation since!

And they do Engineering, Medical and other Technical translation?

Wow... can't really believe my ears. And he speaks of reliability and availability? C'mon. What can one expect when the range of rates is rather pitiful? Ai ai ai.

Great session though. Good eye opener to the state of the market.

[Edited at 2012-04-24 16:29 GMT]


I have stopped working for British agencies. They are not the best intermediaries a translator can use to get him/herself money.


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jferedo  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:19
Hungarian to English
+ ...
How true Apr 25, 2012

I totally agree with Bryan. Rates have been going down for years and years. The present situation, I believe, is caused by the widespread of the Internet, when anyone can present him/herself as a professional translator. Students flooded the market with offering generally very poor services for peanuts. I used to receive translations to proofread - some of them entire useless. Money is always the first question asked by agencies who look for freelancers. Motto: you pay peanuts you'll get a monkey.

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Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:19
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Bryan Apr 25, 2012

[quote]Bryan Crumpler wrote:

Holy cow.

They pay 4 to 6 (euro) cents a word in India!!!!

This would be wonderland. I have been working for Indian companies (not anymore, for sure), and they pay from $0.02 to $0.05.

Natalia


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:19
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
very valid points made in this session I gues Apr 25, 2012

Apart from the shocking rates (or maybe it's an eye opener?) I think some very valid points where made

- - you cannot be a generalist and know everything about anything - so clearly stating your experience and fields of expertise will help
- - make sure you are available in the agency's hour of need and supply great translations
- - asking questions when you're not sure about the source language (although in my experience many agencies simply forward those questions to the client, if they are not too embarrassed about not knowing themselves)
- - having a professional attitude, delivering on time and using professional software to ensure consistency could make all the difference

And this one is not clearly stated as such, but a little bit in between the lines:
- - With the right tools you can still scrape together a decent living as long as your rates are low enough / would you rather be working at a lower rate or not work at all?


So are we saying the market is dictating us to work faster, using new tools and online resources to go from 2000 / words a day to 4000-5000 words a day (and maybe not spending much attention to quality), or is there something wrong with agencies who are simply bending over backwards to keep their clients? Or is there something wrong with the clients who have lost their contacts with translators (globalisation, more languages needed, higher volumes) and contacted LSP's (yuk) (Language Service Providers) who promise them the moon at a reasonable price...and no longer have any idea how much effort it takes a single translator to translate their document and have no other concerns except for pricing?. (i.e. 1 translator takes a 1 week to translate a 10.000 word document for say 1000 euro, while 5 translators take 1 day to translate a 10.000 word document and it only costs 600-800 euro - - which would you choose?)

Maybe we don't actually have a problem with too many translators worldwide (especially in more exotic languages), but we have too many agencies...
- Are we supporting a war between agencies giving them the ammunition (accepting lower rates) to compete with each other? If some of those intermediate agencies (or even some big LSP's) went out of business - - would other agencies have to contact us directly, thus paying us the rates they would normally pay those intermediaries...

But then again the Moderator himself said his personal rates where much much higher... so there is hope for us still!


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