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Moving to another country - Is it bad for business?
Thread poster: Claudio Machado Junior

Claudio Machado Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 4, 2017

Hi, guys,

Hope you're all doing well.

I'm planning to move to another country, but I'm afraid I'll lose my current clients/won't be able to get new ones. My fear is that clients might consider that I'll lose my "native background", or the fluency of my current language.

Does anybody here have experienced something like that? Is it something I should worry about?

Thank you very much for sharing your perspectives.

Claudio


 

James Hodges  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:11
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Think Positive May 4, 2017

Don't build barriers for yourself from the outset. Look on it as a positive experience. I suppose this might have been an issue in the old days, however, your home country is still just a few clicks away. The only thing I would suggest is that you remain update with the "big stories" at home. Best wishes.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It depends on many things May 4, 2017

Time zone is an obvious problem area for existing clients. Then there are possible tax implications for them, plus extra payment fees and currency conversions perhaps. For you, there can be added complications for payment chasing.

I've never had clients worry that I'll lose my English by living abroad, but I imagine I have disqualified myself for some jobs by living in Spain and translating from French to English. That's inevitable, but personally where I choose to live depends first of all on my personal life, not my job. I've gained some good clients since coming here. But then moving within the EU, especially within the euro zone, is easy.

But physical location is so much less important in our internet age. I lost one client in my move. You might lose a few. But you'll gain other new ones. Don't make an issue of it to clients, and they probably won't either. Just tell them the positives and deal with any drawbacks.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
no impact on the business May 4, 2017

I've left France for good 2 years ago to live in Eastern Europe.
There's been no negative impact for me even in terms of rates whatsoever (although my rates are pretty high).
that's THE big advantage of being a freelance translator. However, it may be a problem if you're not available to
confirm the potential jobs you get because of the location you choose (for instance, Asia or Australia)



[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:08 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:13 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:26 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:27 GMT]


 

Claudio Machado Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 4, 2017

James Hodges wrote:

Don't build barriers for yourself from the outset. Look on it as a positive experience. I suppose this might have been an issue in the old days, however, your home country is still just a few clicks away. The only thing I would suggest is that you remain update with the "big stories" at home. Best wishes.


Thank you, James! I've heard some terror stories from people that had to go back to their native countries because they started to have problems to keep their clients. Anyway, being positive is the key, thank you!


 

DEVANATHAN RENGACHARI  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:41
English to Tamil
+ ...
Moving to Another country May 4, 2017

Hi,
I for sure, do not think that the way technology is changing, it matters where you stay. If your native Language is different from the country you are moving to, it does not mean that customers will not look at you. For example, I stay in Karnataka in India where the native language is Kannada. My native language is TAMIL. I translate from English to Tamil and vice-versa. But I do get enquiries from all over the world. You can also tell your reliable clients who have been giving business to you all these years, that you are moving to another country, but you will service their jobs from another country. It should not matter at all.


Hope this helps to bring in confidence in you.
Regards,
Devanathan


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
What country are you moving to? May 4, 2017

Claudio,

What country are you moving to? Or have you already moved to? Without knowing the destination, all you'll get will be general advice.

Even moving within a country is problematic. Depending on what kind of translations you do and what type of clients you cater to, you may lose some clients.


 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Strange... May 4, 2017

Mario Chavez wrote:

Even moving within a country is problematic. Depending on what kind of translations you do and what type of clients you cater to, you may lose some clients.


There are lots of translators on this site who live abroad. In some pairs, it's even a necessity because rates are
too low.

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:35 GMT]


 

Claudio Machado Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 4, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Time zone is an obvious problem area for existing clients. Then there are possible tax implications for them, plus extra payment fees and currency conversions perhaps. For you, there can be added complications for payment chasing.

I've never had clients worry that I'll lose my English by living abroad, but I imagine I have disqualified myself for some jobs by living in Spain and translating from French to English. That's inevitable, but personally where I choose to live depends first of all on my personal life, not my job. I've gained some good clients since coming here. But then moving within the EU, especially within the euro zone, is easy.

But physical location is so much less important in our internet age. I lost one client in my move. You might lose a few. But you'll gain other new ones. Don't make an issue of it to clients, and they probably won't either. Just tell them the positives and deal with any drawbacks.


Hi, Sheila,

Thank you for your perspective. Actually, I have already taken care of the tax implications and bureaucracy issues, and time zone wouldn't be a problem initially. I was just wondering how moving to another place would impact on my business today. I'm glad this is working for you!


 

Claudio Machado Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! May 4, 2017

David GAY wrote:

I've left France for good 2 years ago to live in Eastern Europe.
There's been no negative impact for me even in terms of rates whatsoever (although my rates are pretty high).
that's THE big advantage of being a freelance translator. However, it may be a problem if you're not available to
confirm the potential jobs you get because of the location you choose (for instance, Asia or Australia)



[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:08 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:13 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:26 GMT]

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:27 GMT]


Thank you, David! It's great to hear some successful stories.


 

Claudio Machado Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Moving to a close country May 4, 2017

Mario Chavez wrote:

Claudio,

What country are you moving to? Or have you already moved to? Without knowing the destination, all you'll get will be general advice.

Even moving within a country is problematic. Depending on what kind of translations you do and what type of clients you cater to, you may lose some clients.


Hey, Mario!

I live in Sao Paulo/Brazil and I'm planning to move to Montevideo/Uruguay. I know that this is not a major move (Uruguay is just one hour behind/a two hour flight from here), but I'm afraid to lose jobs because I'd be living in a country that speaks Spanish and clients would consider that I'm losing my native fluency in Portuguese.

Actually, I have very few clients in Brazil, so this wouldn't be a problem. Thank you for your opinion.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:11
French to English
Abroad May 4, 2017

David GAY wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:

Even moving within a country is problematic. Depending on what kind of translations you do and what type of clients you cater to, you may lose some clients.


There are lots of translators on this site who live abroad. In some pairs, it's even a necessity because rates are
too low.

[Modifié le 2017-05-04 12:35 GMT]


Hello David,
I'm not sure what you mean by "abroad". Within the context of this discussion we are all abroad to someone. I suppose, perhaps wrongly, that you mean in a country which is not that of one's native tongue.
I was born in the UK and live in France. Rates are fairly similar in the UK and in FR although the contribution to various funds are much higher in FR.




@Claudio.
Unless you are moving half way round the world, it will probably make little difference.
A change in time zone can be an asset in terms of being able to get the work done when others are asleep.
However, it can be a problem in getting work as it can sometimes be necessary to reply straight away, even if the job is for much later.

The things to be informed about are banking costs and so on. You probably need to do some calculations, but in theory, one of the best things about our work is that we are infinitely, so long as our head is firmly attached and we have a decent internet connexion.

[Edited at 2017-05-04 14:00 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:11
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not at all a problem... May 4, 2017

...as long as you are capable of altering your usual schedule to accommodate the change of time zone. I am assuming, of course, that the quality and breadth of your communications will not suffer with the change, i.e. you are not moving from downtown London to a lonely hillside in Tajikistan.

 

David GAY  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
For the EN>FR and SP>FR pairs May 4, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:


I'm not sure what you mean by "abroad". Within the context of this discussion we are all abroad to someone. I suppose, perhaps wrongly, that you mean in a country which is not that of one's native tongue.
I was born in the UK and live in France. Rates are fairly similar in the UK and in FR although the contribution to various funds are much higher in FR.

[/quote]
You're better off with your pair than those who work from EN or Spanish into French.
Many translators in these pairs move to Spain, South America, Asia...


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:11
Member
English to French
I think this is greatly overestimated May 4, 2017

Claudio Machado Junior wrote:
...My fear is that clients might consider that I'll lose my "native background", or the fluency of my current language.

I've been living out of my native country for 20 years, and I don't think my French has declined.
I speak French at home, watch the French news every day, write French every day, read French books and papers, and even think in French. I learn new words along the way, just like anybody else. Let's face it, a written language doesn't change that much over an average working life. As long as you keep practising your native language on a daily basis, there is no reason for it to fade away.
The only thing that I'm lost in is the jargon of youngsters, but since I'm no longer young and don't specialise in social media, it's not a concern.

I've also moved continents 7 years ago, and I brought all my agency customers with me.
Apart from business details, it didn't change anything to our relationships.

Changing time zones by 6-7 hours may have a far greater impact on your customer base than a mere change of country.

Philippe


 
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