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Why can't I get work?
Thread poster: Steve Melling
Steve Melling  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to English
+ ...
Jan 8, 2010

I've been a member for two weeks, have applied for thirty jobs and got one for the princely sum of 6 centimes. I've got ten years' experience, work in many "in demand" fields but it's not just working. Hugely disappointed. Am I alone?

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Shashi Kant Singh
India
Local time: 09:55
English to Hindi
+ ...
Only experience and expertise is not enough! Jan 8, 2010

My dear friend! In this age of cut throat competition, besides being a good translator, you should be a good salesman too! Explore the world with this approach. Good Luck!

[Edited at 2010-01-08 20:12 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to German
+ ...
What's the problem? Jan 8, 2010

...

There are many, many other qualified translators who never (or rarely) got an assignment through this site or other ones. That's the plain truth as far as I am concerned.

I have given up applying/quoting some months ago, because I now know for sure that most of the potential interesting clients I could deal with are sometimes not even aware of the existence of such sites, as said sites don't allow them to make choices according to their needs and requirements.

Stand up and go to the world!



[Edited at 2010-01-08 18:53 GMT]


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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
Member (2006)
French to English
Profile Jan 8, 2010

Dear Chappy,

I am a freelance translator but sometimes outsource translations (not editing and proofreading) to colleagues.

I would not outsource to you for the following reasons, even at €0.06 per word:
1. You do not use your real name and you don't have a picture of yourself for your profile. This is essential for establishing trust in any type of business.
2. You don't work with a CAT tool (or at least it is not specified on your profile). This is like trying to be an architect without using AutoCAD or an accountant without accounting software.
3. I have come into contact either on the phone or in person with lots of translators, I would try them first. When bidding up the jobs, it never hurts to pick up the phone and call the outsourcer to establish contact.

Hope this helps and don't be discouraged... just try to be better!

John Di Rico

[Edited at 2010-01-08 18:36 GMT]


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
I dont agree Jan 8, 2010

[You don't work with a CAT tool (or at least it is not specified on your profile). This is like trying to be an architect without using AutoCAD or an accountant without accounting software]John Di Rico wrote:

It is not a quality criterium for a good translator.


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:25
Member (2002)
English to German
Just Wait Jan 8, 2010

You are sad that you haven't received a job after two weeks?

Some of my clients responded a year (!) after I applied for a job on this site...

Best regards

Andy
www.interlations.com

[Bearbeitet am 2010-01-08 19:09 GMT]


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CFK TRAD  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
CV + samples Jan 8, 2010

Hi,

I write you both as a freelance translator and as the head of a TA.

Your name and address do appear on the contact page of your profile. Maybe you should mention a phone number in case the outsourcer needs to reach you quickly. Skype & MSN are also useful.

What should appear on your profile, and which I can't find:

- your CV: what fields, precisely ? What agencies ? Do you work mainly for agencies? For end clients? How many words approximately?

- samples of your translations. OK, I know, you're not supposed to publish "real" translations (I mean translations that were paid for). But you can take texts from Wikipedia or so, and have them translated. As an outsourcer, I want to see as many samples as possible, in the fields where you're a specialist.

- tell us about yourself:
* From a professional point of view: what format of files do you handle? If I send you a .ttx file, what will you do? If I send you a PDF file, do you have a software that enables you to convert it into a Word document? What is your process to handle quality assurance? What software do you use to check spelling? How many times do you proof your text before sending it back? Do you use TMs? On-line supports? Hard copy dictionaries? Which ones?
* Do you have hobbies/passions that make you specifically qualified for translating materials in such or such fields ? What are they?

Last, but not least: Assuming that you have 10 years of experience, don't you have already clients who send you enough jobs? Maybe you were an in-house translator? Can you have positive feedbacks from former clients/employers/agencies to display on your proz page ?

Hope this helps

Best

CFK


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Steve Melling  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jan 8, 2010

Thank you for your replies.

John: you were, should I say, to the point but maybr I needed that. I have changed my user name and will post my photo.

Concerning CAT Tools:

Say the rate is 0.08 euros. Surely having Trados or whatever is negative for the translator?


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Steve Melling  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CFK Jan 8, 2010

Thank you, you make a lot of sound points.

My own personal market has collapsed. I had several direct customers but they do it in-house now.

My best agency cut me out on rates.

I asked another one who paid the exorbitant sum of 8 centimes if there was a quality problem and they said "no, we just work with people charging 6 and 7 centimes".


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to German
+ ...
TEnT Jan 8, 2010

Steve Melling wrote:

Thank you for your replies.

John: you were, should I say, to the point but maybr I needed that. I have changed my user name and will post my photo.

Concerning CAT Tools:

Say the rate is 0.08 euros. Surely having Trados or whatever is negative for the translator?

Hi again, Steve.
One of the most outstanding translators I know (and who lives in your vicinity, as far as I could understand it) never worked with a CAT tool - nowadays the preferred denomination is rather TEnT (Translation Environment Tool) - and has a minimum rate of 0.18 euro ex VAT per word (and sometimes per target word!).

So yes, sometimes having a CAT tool does not bring much - and there are some that are cheaper and more efficient than Trados (my opinion).

And to be honest, if you work(ed) for French clients: large parts of the domestic market are really rotten. It is not specific to France, however... but seeing sites offering their end clients some 0.03 euros/word VAT included is not really encouraging.

[Edited at 2010-01-08 19:29 GMT]


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Steve Melling  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:25
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Rates Jan 8, 2010

England and Italy are worse than France. France was one of the best (with Germany) but the market's collapsed and/or unscrupulous crooks are cashing in.

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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Only two weeks!!! Jan 8, 2010

That's nothing. It took me ONE YEAR to get my first job through this site. One has to realize that if you want to get jobs here, on the whole, your rates should be at the low side of the scale. Of course, in that year I got jobs through other means. Search for other sources as well and be persistent.

ES


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Empty post.

Tamara Zahran  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:25
English to Arabic
Do not despair Jan 8, 2010

Steve Melling wrote:

I've been a member for two weeks, have applied for thirty jobs and got one for the princely sum of 6 centimes. I've got ten years' experience, work in many "in demand" fields but it's not just working. Hugely disappointed. Am I alone?


It took me months of marketing efforts and hundreds of applications after I became a member on this site to finally start getting projects. That was more than 5 years ago, but once I started getting them work never stopped, and now I can't find time to even check new projects posted on the site. Be patient.

All the best,
Tamara


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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 09:55
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Thanks to Steve Jan 8, 2010

Thank you very much Steve for your interesting posting which has generated some valuable information.

Regarding two weeks of membership, I have been a member here since 2 years now. Since 7 years, I am using this site (including paid and unpaid registration both). I feel that you should not depend only on the quotes you sendin here.

Instead take some positive actions and do self-marketing:
sending emails to potential clients.
call them up.
Reach to the world yourself independently as well, which will help you a lot in reaching to lot of potential clients and many helpful friends.

This site is a good platform to give you an identity among professionals. But, I suggest not to entirely depend your career on the jobs posted here. You will get interesting suggestions, information and updates on translation industry here, for which this site is a very good resource.

I feel that others have also given some valuable suggestions to you and very soon, even I will be applying the same myself, like say, using own name as 'profile names' and a picture of my own, if it is a cause of concern to potential clients? However, I use my first name as my profile name, which I always like to be called by.

: PRAKAASH

[Edited at 2010-01-08 20:21 GMT]


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