Why so slow lately? Seasonal patterns in translation?
Thread poster: Jason Cronin

Jason Cronin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:33
Spanish to English
Jun 6, 2013

Hey Prozers,

Lately, it's been dead, specifically in ES to EN. I mean really slow, like, I've been seeing 5 or 6 project posts a day, and lately they haven't been within my specialization of business/finance. And so many people have been quoting on those medical and legal texts that it wouldn't be worth it.

I'm curious to know if it's been like that for other pairs as well. Is it because it's the summer? Has the economy slowed down or something?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Stephanie Proulx  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:33
Member (2007)
English to French
Same here Jun 6, 2013

Been experiencing the same thing here in EN>FR (CA)... Been a really busy year before that but for the past 2 weeks you can almost here crickets in my office. It will probably pick up again soon and we will be sorry for not enjoying that small vacation

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:33
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Other pairs? yes Jun 6, 2013

Jason Cronin wrote:

I'm curious to know if it's been like that for other pairs as well. Is it because it's the summer? Has the economy slowed down or something?


Because of the summer no, there were many more jobs during the last years, economy slowed down, yes in my opinion, many companies close down or they try to cut expenses.

hard times, unfortunately


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Try keeping a diary Jun 6, 2013

About 5 years ago I started keeping a diary, updated every day, in which I just quickly note down the jobs that came in. This has helped me to work out roughly when the "dead" periods are to be expected. This isn't a foolproof system, but it helps ! Any time I hit a quiet period, I check back to see if the same period was quiet in previous years. Sometimes this can be reassuring.

[Edited at 2013-06-06 20:50 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
With hope this trend... Jun 6, 2013

... of fewer jobs posted will continue. As more and more translators refuse to work for slave rates, the agencies that need to post jobs (rather than using translators in their database) will disappear.

You cannot judge the status of the "translation market" by the number of jobs posted. The overwhelming majority of jobs posted in common language pairs are from agencies that require rush, low-rate and extended payment periods. Otherwise, there is no need for them to post the job publicly.


Jason Cronin wrote:

Hey Prozers,

Lately, it's been dead, specifically in ES to EN. I mean really slow, like, I've been seeing 5 or 6 project posts a day, and lately they haven't been within my specialization of business/finance. And so many people have been quoting on those medical and legal texts that it wouldn't be worth it.

I'm curious to know if it's been like that for other pairs as well. Is it because it's the summer? Has the economy slowed down or something?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:03
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Holidays Jun 7, 2013

If there were holidays in your main target geography, the following two weeks or so will be quiet. Was this the case?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:33
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Holidays in the source country Jun 7, 2013

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

If there were holidays in your main target geography, the following two weeks or so will be quiet. Was this the case?


I think there is a correlation with holidays in the *source* language countries, because the end clients are enjoying their time off and not generating documents for translation. Holidays in the target country probably don't have much of an effect (not that we get any in the US anyway!); while agency offices may be closed, they are usually still working from home and/or with a skeleton crew.

For some reason I notice a distinct slowdown for about a week around Carneval/Mardi Gras every year.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not rely on one source of work Jun 7, 2013

I don't think work has slowed down. In fact, in a globalized world there is always an increase in translation work.

However, a trend that seems to be clear is that agencies play it safe and look for their translators, select them more carefully, and stick to them instead of posting jobs in translator portals. There is a wider choice of translators and most of them actively invest time in constantly improving their skills and being noticed.

You should not rely on job postings in the web and should actively promote yourself:

- Improve your skills in translation (courses, masters programs) and seek certification (ideally ATA certification in your case)
- Improve your marketing materials (including the pictures you use)
- Improve your website (have one done professionally)
- Look for nearby agencies you can visit to introduce yourself (also make use of the opportunity when you travel to other places and try to visit agencies there too; call them first of course since they could have rules about unexpected visits)
- Find agencies that specialise in your area of expertise and contact them with a mailed, well presented letter (contacting agencies by email is pretty dead because of spam)

Given the large amount translators around, you have to ask yourself why an agency should hire you, and try to make your abilities stand out in the crowd. You need to invest time and money to achieve it.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:33
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The sample in your website Jun 7, 2013

May I also mention that perhaps it is not a good idea to use as a sample in your website a document that many would consider to be strongly biased?

You surely have other interesting translations that you can show as samples and that "no se meten en jardines" as we say in Spain.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susanna Martoni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:33
Member (2009)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
English and Spanish to Italian Jun 7, 2013

A very lazy period for me too.
In spite of my +20 years career and of many "up and down periods" over time, I do not feel confortable in front of this situation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:33
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
I would say the exact opposite Jun 8, 2013

In my experience, the past 3 or 4 weeks have been EXTREMELY busy to the point that I don't have time to catch my breath between translations sometimes. This is in contrast to the winter months, when it was quite slow.

I agree that it depends a lot on the holidays of your source language country. For example, in the first two weeks of May everyone in Russia had about 2 weeks of holidays and thus no translations were needed during this time period because they weren't at their offices to send me work. But immediately after the holidays were over I noticed an extreme increase in the amount of translation and editing requests.

I think a lot of conferences are held at this time of year which causes an increase in the number of translations needed.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:33
English to Polish
+ ...
PL<>EN in Poland, a small decline Jun 8, 2013

Jason, I can only really speak for the Polish market, even though I work in the PL-EN direction much more often than EN-PL. There does seem to be a decline in inquiries and rates and quality of jobs. I may be seeing things, and the decline is probably not huge anyway, but I recall several days in a row passing without an inquiry during some months. This said, I worked at a slower rate as I needed time to finish my Ph.D. Hence, I didn't engage in any sort of aggressive marketing or even the usual CV spam. I also opted out of a job that might have brought my annual income close to what it had been in those two preceeding years.

Right now, in mid-2013, while I could easily get booked full and even outsource a little if I were so inclined, some of my outsourcers seem to be getting less work and at worse rates than before. It's not that hard to get work at all, but it's harder than before to get work that doesn't involve some cumbersome instructions or a slightly reduced fee.

[Edited at 2013-06-08 22:41 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Why so slow lately? Seasonal patterns in translation?

Advanced search







PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search