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Long-term freelancing, in a world built for "employees"
Thread poster: Emma Page

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
German to English
+ ...
working in some fields Jul 8

DZiW wrote:

Maxi, while I respect other ideas and achievements, from a client's/employer's (a "freelancer" is a self-employer) view working in some fields, it's better to hire a relevant specialist--who already can do the job...

Certainly for certain fields, such as scientific, engineering, medical, when it gets very specialized, then the person doing that translation should be specialized in that field. Ideally, also trained in translation. In my professional organization, we are not allowed to claim a specialization unless we actually have that kind of background, and be able to prove it. It is also against our code of ethics to accept work that we cannot competently handle.

However, there are other types of translation that do need translation skills above all. I mean skills. What you seem to be thinking about:

.... than a top-notch translator who read some glossaries/theory backgrounds, let alone mere PEMT and CAT-operators. ...

You're not talking about top notch translators if this is their behaviour.

... I personally wouldn't recommend hiring a "pure translator" ...

I have a feeling that your idea of a translator is different than mine.

You keep writing about low rates and the rest. You wrote about "cheap/pure" (not sure what "pure" means) ... but a competent, well trained, experienced translator is not cheap. I know I'm not.


 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
German to English
+ ...
Emma Jul 8

Emma Page wrote:

Of course, everyone is free to take this conversation wherever they wish. But I will point out that my original intention was to spark a discussion about the parts of work as a translator which are not directly related to the trade as such....the "side effects" of being a translator, as it were. Perhaps, if we wish to have a discussion of the relative merits of specialisation vs being a generalist, a new thread is in order.

I think I didn't understand your original post properly first time round. The title "... in a world built for employees" I thought it was more a question about making it as a freelancer. I actually had a bit of a problem with "in a world built for employees" because my mind said, "But is it? (built for employees)" and I'm not sure that it is. If you think in terms of security - regular paycheque, seniority, that pension plan - how secure are those things in the modern world? For example, there seems to be a trend in "downsizing", and doing so when an employee gets into his 30's and is experienced, because a fresh graduate will be cheaper due to less seniority.

Still thinking about the notion of "side effects".

I have worked in employment before. In comparison, I like being able to keep my own hours; for those hours to be productive rather than having to "be there" since I've been scheduled for that time: not fretting at rules from on high that one has to follow which create inefficiency. Dunno. It's hard answering that question.


DZiW
 

Susan van den Ende  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
Some side effects for me Jul 10

Interesting question! I thought of a couple of 'side effects':

- I live in Germany and health insurance here is slightly more complicated when you're a freelancer. I didn't completely understand the different insurance options and their consequences when I moved here from the Netherlands (which has a different system), and I don't think I got the best advice.

- There would definitely be less support from the state if I were to get serious health problems that would pre
... See more
Interesting question! I thought of a couple of 'side effects':

- I live in Germany and health insurance here is slightly more complicated when you're a freelancer. I didn't completely understand the different insurance options and their consequences when I moved here from the Netherlands (which has a different system), and I don't think I got the best advice.

- There would definitely be less support from the state if I were to get serious health problems that would prevent me from working for a longer stretch of time, and it's (extremely) expensive to get a good insurance for that. As a workaround, I've made sure that I could live a decent life for at least two years if I were to lose my income. And I am definitely more careful in general, so I avoid activities like snowboarding or sparring without hand protection - the idea of breaking a wrist or finger just gets stuck in my head and I can't enjoy myself anymore.

- The savings will also help when I need to prove a solid income for whatever reason. I heard from fellow freelancers who wanted to buy a house that automated systems weren't able to interpret their credit-worthiness, and they repeatedly had to hunt for human representatives to get on to the next step in the process.

- Another side effect: there's nothing like a union or powerful, organised advocacy. Various rules for freelancers are about to change in the Netherlands. From what I've read, many feel that politicians are deciding without properly consulting the people who will be affected by their choices. Freelancers don't exactly have a strong lobby.
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Emma Page
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 07:10
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
SMB Jul 10

Susan van den Ende wrote:


- Another side effect: there's nothing like a union or powerful, organised advocacy. Various rules for freelancers are about to change in the Netherlands. From what I've read, many feel that politicians are deciding without properly consulting the people who will be affected by their choices. Freelancers don't exactly have a strong lobby.

Your mileage may vary, but tagging along with SMB interests is usually the way to go.

[Edited at 2019-07-10 19:35 GMT]


 
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