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A little survey for translation jobs
Thread poster: Ruxi

Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
Jul 8, 2004

I could read here there many of you are very busy, having very much to work in the translation field.
Now I would like to make myself an idea about this matter and make a little survey, especially for English and German language:

Questions:
1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?
3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?

I really would like to know what the translation market looks like. It seems to me that there are language pairs which already have to many translators, languages which are not wanted (like Romanian) and finally countries where there is nothing to be translated like Germany for example.

Thank you,
Ruxi


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:15
German to Italian
+ ...
my 2 cents Jul 8, 2004

Ruxi wrote:

Questions:
1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?
3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?



My answers:
1 Sometimes a lot, even too much, and usually enough. I only had little to do for a couple of months, more than one year ago.
2 One. A small but very interesting project.
3 It depends on what you mean... I couldn\'t buy a Ferrari If you mean \"earn a living\", I do - by the way, I have no kids or so.
I work from English and German (say, 40% and 60% respectively)


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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Answers Jul 8, 2004

1. No
2. No
3. Yes


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Cristiana Coblis  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 04:15
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
survey responses Jul 8, 2004

Dear Ruxi,
Please find bellow my responses, hope they will help:
1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
Yes. I can hardly take a couple of days off. Jobs keep coming in, but this is only the result of years of hard work and continuous marketing. I had planned to take the week
end off and go somewhere, but now I have 3 jobs on my hands, after two large projects that kept me indoors for almost two weeks. As a freelancer you have to work a lot of hours to keep your clients satisfied and sometimes (or most of the time) you will have to sacrifice weekends or nights.

2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?
Yes, I have received jobs through bids and also directly through my profile page. I think somewhat more through my profile page than through bids. This is why it is important to have a complete and detailed profile page and updated resume. I have gained some valuable and regular clients through proz.

3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?
Fairly well, better than most people I know, much better than if I were employed. However, this comes after at least one-two year(s) of marketing my services, which is hard work, but a compulsory activity in a successful career as a freelace translator. You should never stop advertising, this way you will gain more and better clients, things change rapidly in the translation business, even when a client turned you down a couple of month before stating they have no work on your language pair, this may change in time and they might need you after all.

Best of luck and hope the above will help.


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 21:15
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
AGree with Cristina Jul 8, 2004

To answer your questions:
1. Most days, there are not enought hours to complete everything( mind you I have two childre, aged 4 and 2, who go to daycare, but usually the hours of 5 to 9 are taken up by family activities). But this would apply to a single person too; you have to have supper, clean up, have a shower, relax, go for a walk.
In the beginning I wq
orked every weekend but with a family that is just not feasible, or desirable. But put it this way: I could work every weekend if I wanted to.

2. I have had many one-off jobs from proz.com. I also have developed some long-term working relationships thorugh the site. In the beginning I bid a lot on jobs but now the outsourcers find me.

3. Live well? Financially speaking, yes. Healthwise, I spend toooooo much time sitting in front of the computer, and not enough time exercising.
On the positive side, having a laptop I can move out to the garden to work has really improved things, in that I now can see the sun which is cut off from me in my dungeon.
Nancy


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:15
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi, Ruxi! Jul 8, 2004

Ruxi wrote:

Questions:
1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?
3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?



Answers:
1. Not continually, but I think it takes some time to get established.
2. Most of my jobs came through Proz, and most of them very good and interesting ones.
3. Not continually.

Cheers,
Andrea
English>Spanish
Spanish

Same as Andy, I would be earning more money as a bilingual secretary (my former job) but I love and enjoy translating. And above all, I am my own boss!

[Edited at 2004-07-08 16:45]


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Natalya Zelikova  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 04:15
Member (2003)
English to Russian
+ ...
answers Jul 8, 2004

1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
I appreciate days when I do not have any assignments as these are rare times when I can do something for my marketing or educational activities or at least have a time for myself and family.

2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?
Yes, some of them were just interesting one-time jobs and some have developed into permanent cooperation.

3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?
Cristiana Coblis wrote:
Fairly well, better than most people I know, much better than if I were employed.
The same

I have been freelancing remotely for about a year and few months, and have been Platinum member only for 8 months.


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Todd Field  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:15
Member (2003)
Portuguese to English
How about a formal survey? Jul 8, 2004

With the huge number of participants here at ProZ, some interesting and extremely useful reference information could be harvested and updated on a dynamic, ongoing basis.

In addition to the existing rate information, which could (and should) be separable by country, the survey could include:

1) Annual gross income
2) General level of activity (needs more work, just right, has too much work)
3) Job satisfaction level
4) Percent work from agencies versus direct customers
5) Trends in rates (dropping, constant, rising)

And so on.

Hopefully the ProZ moderators will consider this. Wouldn't these statistics be fascinating?

Todd

P.S. In answer to your questions:

1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually? Some days nothing, then suddenly (often) too much.

2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ? Yes, the site has been very useful for landing jobs and establishing new working relationships.

3. Can you live well as freelance translator only? Yes, I think so. I may not be independently wealthy, but I live comfortably and enjoy tremendous job satisfaction.


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:15
Member (2002)
English to German
Survey Jul 8, 2004

1. Yes, all the time. Sometimes I am relieved when there are no jobs so I can relax a bit. In fact I stopped marketing my services over a year ago because there is too much work coming in.
Keep in mind though that I am very specialized: Only English to German and only Finance and IT. I have no degree in translation but I am Master of Accountancy (University of Georgia/USA) and Diplom Wirtschaftsinformatiker (Business Administration and Computer Science, University of Mannheim/Germany).
2. Yes, lots of.
3. Yes, but if I compare my hourly rates with my former student colleagues who chose to continue their consulting or accounting career I could earn much more. Of course money is not the only thing that matters and I am quite happy.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:15
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
for Ge > En only Jul 8, 2004

to 1:
I'm generally overloaded as my mouth keeps disengaging itself from my brain and says "yes" instead of "no, I'm fully booked, thank you for thinking of me (better luck next time)". I generally work 8 h/d, 5-7 d/w. I'm fairly certain that this is due to my fields of specialisation and 20+ years of work experience.

to 2:
yes, many - through Proz bids, referrals from other Proz members, and direct contacts from agencies/customers

to 3:
yes, if I lived alone with no kids. Although my husband is a civil servant and is the main breadwinner in the family.

HTH

Jill


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Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:15
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
poll Jul 8, 2004

1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?
Yes, apart from normal jobs, I do contractual work for some agencies and direct clients.

2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ? Yes,it's been very much useful for me. I've received some of my best clients through proz.com and to be honest, their number increased after I upgraded to platinum

3. Can you live well as freelance translator only? Very true.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:15
Member (2004)
German to English
yes, yes, yes Jul 8, 2004

1) I'm busy all the time - and grateful if I get a quiet moment/day or two. It was different when I started in 2000 - I could go days without any work and the rates were lower than now.

2) Yes, but I've been too busy to bid recently.

3) Yes, thank you.

I think a formal survey would be a good idea too.

[Edited at 2004-07-08 16:41]

[Edited at 2004-07-08 16:42]


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Selçuk Budak  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:15
English to Turkish
+ ...
Yes to all Jul 8, 2004

The overall translation volume of a country is dependent on, and directly proportional to, the volume of foreign trade of the country in question either in the form of import or of export. If your country has lots of thins to sell, or imports lots of goods, then the volume of translation would be large.

Here, two things should be considered separately: Getting translation jobs from domestic market is one thing, and getting translation jobs from international markets via proz.com or similar media is another thing.

Personally, I receive translation offers more than I can afford. For a while, I had to decline more than half of offers I had received. To cut the volume, I raised my fees.

The usual supply-and demand dynamics work here too. Cutting your prices may lead to an increase in demand for your services. But overall, this in turn depends on the total supply of services, and the total demand for such services.

And there is a delicate balance between them. If you manage to maintain that balance, then you are sure to receive jobs.

As to your last question, yes, I live well through income I earn as a freelancer (at least above the current standards of living prevailing in my country)supporting an ex-working spouse and two kids. Currently, I have two voluminous jobs to be completed by the end of this month, and have 3 other pending jobs to be translated. And, I am full for the next 3 months or so.

Even if you do not receive much jobs from international markets through such sites as proz.com, you have the option to work with domestic translation agencies although the rates they offer may be somewhat belaw the current rates applicable in international markets.

Best regards,











[Edited at 2004-07-08 16:49]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It takes time... Jul 8, 2004

1. Do you really have a lot to translate, continually?

There are occasional down times, but overall I'd say my work has increased over the past four years, and especially this year. When I moved to Brazil in 1999 and started looking for translation work, it was very slow. It took a long time to get established, but sending out e-mails to translation companies (both in and outside of Brazil) helped. Also setting up my own website helped a lot. And I believe my skills improved, so this also helped.

2. Have you ever received a job through ProZ?

No, and perhaps this is because I'm not a platinum member. However, at the moment I have pretty steady work and don't feel the need to look for more. Also, platinum membership is pretty pricey for us here in Brazil.

3. Can you live well as freelance translator only?

Yes, but I'm glad at this point that I don't have to depend on it entirely, as I have another source of income.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:15
German to English
+ ...
What do you mean, Ruxi, Jul 8, 2004

by the following sentence?

[quote]Ruxi wrote:

"...and finally countries where there is nothing to be translated like Germany for example."

Trudy


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