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Is anybody else finding it quiet?
Thread poster: Terry Richards

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 12:02
French to English
+ ...
Sep 26, 2013

My last year has been a bit below average but the last 3 months (July-September) have been really bad compared with the same months in previous years. I don't think it is just me as I'm noticing a major drop in job postings and Kudoz questions in my pair (FR->EN) as well.

Has anybody else noticed this?


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:02
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My clients are waking up now Sep 26, 2013

I found the same thing, Terry, up until the start of last week. Finally, both existing and potential clients are waking up after their summer hols and realising that Christmas etc is only a short time away. I'm now very busy. It's infuriating as I didn't take a break during the summer but I'm having to take 10 days off very soon to sell my house in France.icon_frown.gif It's the same problem with freelancers of all types, the world over - feast or famine.

Mind you, more and more of my work is monolingual English (localisation, proofreading, editing) and I've only got one translation project ongoing at the moment. You could be right about FR>EN though I can't imagine why demand would suddenly fall.


 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Very quiet here too Sep 26, 2013

Despite working for seven different clients so far this month, all the projects have been very short, and, in general, my email is not buzzing with offers. Last September was not good for me either, and this one is set to be even worse. It seems that September is becoming my new August, and August is actually turning out to be an OK month. However, having said all that, this financial year (from April for me) had been a very good one up until this month.

I hope Sheila's right and that clients are now waking up after the summer holidays. But it seems to be taking longer than it ever did before. If this keeps happening, I may need to reassess my summer holiday plans and be available for work more in August and attend more conferences in September!


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:02
English to French
+ ...
French economy down Sep 26, 2013

SHOCKING!

Terry Richards wrote:

My last year has been a bit below average but the last 3 months (July-September) have been really bad compared with the same months in previous years. I don't think it is just me as I'm noticing a major drop in job postings and Kudoz questions in my pair (FR->EN) as well.

Has anybody else noticed this?


 

felicij  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:02
German to Slovenian
+ ...
I thought it would be Sep 26, 2013

but in August and September I had twice as much work compared to last year. Maybe the reason also lies in having less projects but higher project volumes. Basically I had enough work...

 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 12:02
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, yes... Sep 26, 2013

JL01 wrote:
SHOCKING!


I know the economy is down and I was quite willing to believe that it was the cause of a generally slow year but my last 3 months have been truly awful. Up until then, I was billing about 90% of my average for each month - not great but not exactly a disaster either. The last 2 months, I billed 40-50% and September looks like it's going to be even worse. Job ads and Kudoz questions seem to be following a similar trend.

I've had slow months before without any obvious reason but never three in a row...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:02
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Keeping a diary Sep 26, 2013

Terry Richards wrote:

My last year has been a bit below average but the last 3 months (July-September) have been really bad compared with the same months in previous years. I don't think it is just me as I'm noticing a major drop in job postings and Kudoz questions in my pair (FR->EN) as well.

Has anybody else noticed this?


For a few years now I've been keeping a diary, to try and predict when there will be a lot of work/not much work, in my language pair. It's been very quiet in September, but my diary tells me it was very quiet this time last year too.

In my language pair I put this down to the fact that everyone in Italy, or nearly, completely disappears in August, and then when they come back it takes them a few weeks to produce the documents they'll need translated.

It's interesting when you keep a diary; patterns emerge. For instance around June-July (end of the university year) there tend to be quite a few academic papers, course descriptions, etc.

[Edited at 2013-09-26 13:46 GMT]


 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
My thoughts too, but... Sep 26, 2013

Tom in London wrote:

For a few years now I've been keeping a diary, to try and predict when there will be a lot of work/not much work, in my language pair. It's been very quiet in September, but my diary tells me it was very quiet this time last year too.

In my language pair I put this down to the fact that everyone in Italy, or nearly, completely disappears in August, and then when they come back it takes them a few weeks to produce the documents they'll need translated.


The same can well be said of Spain too. However, although September has never been one of my best months, until last year (and again this year) there used to be more work around, i.e. businesses seemed to get back into the swing of it a lot faster than they appear to be doing now.


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:02
English to German
+ ...
On the contrary, Sep 26, 2013

but it's different every year.

 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 12:02
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I keep detailed financial records Sep 26, 2013

When I say a month is up or down, I mean relative to the average for that month. There are definitely good and bad months but I am comparing like-for-like here.

I also have various analyses on a month-by-month basis and, as a rule, August isn't too bad for me. I think there is less work around but there is also less translators around to do the work. August is my most variable month though. Normally, September is a reasonably good month which is why I am really noticing it this year. In a "normal" year, I expect a steady climb from August to the end of the year followed by a dip in January and February and then about average from March back to July.

For the first 6 months, this year followed the general trend of previous years but has been going steadily downhill ever since.


 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Try sorting the information by client Sep 26, 2013

You may find that it's one or two clients who have gone quiet, which is quite normal and is either an unfortunate coincidence, or time for some serious marketing. If the downturn is across the board then you need to make the most of this quiet period to find yourself new clients, diversify, learn new skills and work on your existing or new specialist areas.

[Edited at 2013-09-26 14:41 GMT]


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very quiet indeed Sep 26, 2013

I think that, in Spanish-to-English, there are gobs and gobs of translators willing to work for rates that I consider substandard, and who produce work that those writing the checks consider "good enough."

 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:02
English to Polish
+ ...
... Sep 26, 2013

Terry Richards wrote:

My last year has been a bit below average but the last 3 months (July-September) have been really bad compared with the same months in previous years. I don't think it is just me as I'm noticing a major drop in job postings and Kudoz questions in my pair (FR->EN) as well.

Has anybody else noticed this?


I usually have more jobs in July than any other month in the year, typically with a busy June before and somewhat non-idle August. Autumns perhaps tend to be less busy, but there have been significant exceptions.

As for the forum, yeah, it's quite dead. The French Kudoz board doesn't seem to be very much alive, either.

[Edited at 2013-09-26 15:51 GMT]


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Well of course Sep 26, 2013

Gudrun Wolfrath wrote:

On the contrary but it's different every year.


I mean translating to German is a different thing than translating to Italian these days, I think:)

However September is always a quiet month for me.

Sorry,edited for typo

[Edited at 2013-09-26 15:56 GMT]


 

Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:02
English to German
+ ...
Angie, Sep 26, 2013

Yes, it certainly depends on the language pair(s) as well.

 
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