Translation market trends: what about you?
Thread poster: Dani Karuniawan

Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 18:54
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Dec 10, 2015

I served price-sensitive market in 1996-2010. In this period, my rate was only IDR 500 - 5,000 (US$ 0.05-0.5) per page. I work hard to only get peanuts. However, this market accepted low to low-mid quality. No challenge. In one day, I completed 20-50 pages (around 6000-15000 words).

In 2011, I left this tiring and less-rewarding market only to switch on quality-sensitive market. As its name implied, this market demands high-mid to high quality. My rate ranges IDR 10,000 - 200,000 (US$ 1-20) per page, depending on difficulty, service demanded, and importance. In a day, I only complete 3-15 pages, ranging from the most difficult source, such as, nano technology, genetic engineering, and biochemistry, to the easiest one, such as, manuals and common contract; from very importance, such as, for Central Banks, to moderate importance, such as, for individuals.

However, I see that market trend in 2015 is price-sensitive. Should we go back to price-sensitive market and work for peanuts again?

What about you?

[Edited at 2015-12-10 08:20 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:54
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Same movement Dec 10, 2015

Dani Karuniawan wrote:

I served price-sensitive market in 1996-2010. In this period, my rate was only IDR 500 - 5,000 (US$ 0.05-0.5) per page. I work hard to only get peanuts. However, this market accepted low to low-mid quality. No challenge. In one day, I completed 20-50 pages (around 6000-15000 words).

However, I see that market trend in 2015 is price-sensitive. Should we go back to price-sensitive market and work for peanuts again?



I have a same movement but I need to study for new issues continually not to be behind the trend.
I understand that MT plays a major role now and I work on what MT cannot do, better quality and knowledge-based translation.

Soonthon L.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 13:54
English to Russian
+ ...
It's not really the market trend, it's mostly your personal situation Dec 10, 2015

I don't believe the whole market can swing between "price-sensitive" and "quality-sensitive" - these are two separate segments of one big market with very little migration between the two, and the former is much bigger than the latter. From several estimates I heard (and I agree with them, too), high-quality translations account for less than 20% of the market. I only work in high-quality segment and have never had to lower my prices in response to market pressure - just the opposite, I've been raising them slowly but steadily.

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Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:54
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
If you can, don't Dec 10, 2015

If you can keep, at least in 2/3, the better market clients, keep them. For the sake of your own health and dignity.
I would like to disagree with "mostly personal situation" theory. Markets moves, we like it or not. At some times, we have client-oriented market, at other times - the product-oriented market. Bull market or bear market. And other reflections of the market movement. So it isn't always just up to us. Surely, globalization opens more doors for us, but the smae doors are opened for others, too. Thusm,in the end, we have to be much smarter than the others in the global market while it is sufficient to be just smarter than the others in the local market.


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Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 18:54
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks all Dec 11, 2015

Thanks for your opinions.
They are useful for me to consider my next step: Will I pursue high-rate/ quality-sensitive market? Or, will I change my direction and step back to serve low-rate/ price-sensitive market?
However, it is not possible to provide high-quality product at low rate, although bidding system tries to destroy healthy translation rate.
BTW, I rarely use bidding system and frequently withdraw my offering when my prospect enforces bidding system. I view bidding system in translation as suicide and self-destruction.


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Miguel Carmona  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:54
English to Spanish
... Dec 11, 2015

Dani Karuniawan wrote:

However, it is not possible to provide high-quality product at low rate, although bidding system tries to destroy healthy translation rate.
BTW, I rarely use bidding system and frequently withdraw my offering when my prospect enforces bidding system. I view bidding system in translation as suicide and self-destruction.


That is the whole purpose behind the ProZ jobs board and all the other reverse auction web sites.


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