State of IT translations? (it-en) And general questions
Thread poster: Isaac Imholt

Isaac Imholt  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Italian to English
Dec 21, 2013

Hello everyone, I hope I am posting in the right forum.

I have recently started (what I hope to be) my career as a freelance translator. So far I have sent many emails to agencies and a few have given very positive responses but work doesn't appear to be materializing. I've indicated I specialize in IT, and 2 agencies in particular stated they have a lot of opportunities for this work, but I've not heard from them since initial communications many weeks ago. Is IT a common translation sector? How much would the average rate be for this type of work? Also, I have worked with general texts before, and I've had a substantial amount of IT exposure (mostly web development), but I've not actually worked an IT translation job, what does it generally entail? Another quick question is would Italian agencies be more likely to give this sort of work, or would perhaps American agencies be better? Does anyone that works in this sector (even better in my lang pairs) have any advice on finding work?

Best,
Isaac


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Italian to English
Suggestion Dec 23, 2013

Hi Isaac

I'm no expert on IT translation, but in general terms, having worked almost entirely for Italian agencies for the past 10 years, in the current financial climate I am finding more work coming from Anglophone countries than from Italy, although my experience also suggests that some direct clients in Italy are finding their way around the ProZ.com directory to find freelancers in order to avoid the agencies' mark-up. Naturally this favours ProZ.com members - and in particular those with kudoZ points, experience and / or specialist knowledge.

I suggest you add an English version of your CV to your profile.


 

Isaac Imholt  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
text Dec 23, 2013

Thanks Russell, I had thought it was better to focus on Italian agencies, but I will seek out American/English ones as well.

I'll also add an English CV as you suggested.


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:22
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
IT and IT Dec 23, 2013

Well,

For Italian there is a lot of competition, anyone who can speak multiple languages can start as a translator - and many do - this combined with the normal payment delays in Italy of 90 - 120 days after invoicing and the bad economy as a whole - does not make for a good time to start as an Italian translator.

Your specialism (IT/ web development) is probably not the most exiting to agencies, and many won't understand if specialist knowledge is required. So the job goes to the lowest bidder. Where in the past some translators where hesitant about taking on subject matters outside of their knowlegde - todays market has many people who are totally clueless about either target or source language and subject matter.

Unless a job requires actual programming, you're probably just too expensive and to be honest web development is not entirely hardcore IT knowlegde either.

US, UK, Southern and Eastern Europe and large parts of the rest of the world probably have enough specialists in their databases, so rates will be fairly low. So you're better of focussing on people who speak Italian in other countries, Benelux, Scandinavia and German speaking countries. - You can provide easy communication , (and top quality translations) - and still hope to make a descent living.
Or if you have a very specific skill in IT, try to find jobs using that angle...

Of course - local clients requiring English -> Italian translations would be nice..

>> Oh, and with 0,04 / source word -you are very quickly making sure that working in translation is not a sustainable job - so you had better get a second income.


 

Isaac Imholt  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:22
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Edward Dec 23, 2013

Hi and thanks Edward,

Broadly speaking, what figures are you thinking of when you say rates will be fairly low? At the moment, any work I find is through oDesk and it can't get any lower than that.


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:22
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
oDesk = low Dec 23, 2013

and probably the reason why lower than bottom feeders are there...
0,04 is low
0,06 is low

You can look at it from different angles:

What do professional, highly educated people make in your country?
What does a cleaning lady / baby sitter make per hour?
What is the minimal salary /unemployement benefit in your country?

How much do you need for a home, food, education, pension?

If you are competing with cleaning ladies and babysitters - go clean!

Ed


 

Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:22
Italian to English
Where did this come from? Dec 23, 2013

Edward Vreeburg wrote:

Oh, and with 0,04 / source word -you are very quickly making sure that working in translation is not a sustainable job - so you had better get a second income.


For the life of me I can't see any reference to this (or any) rate in Isaac's posts, profile or CV.

[Edited at 2013-12-23 20:58 GMT]


 


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