Is it difficult to get job offers if you don´t live in the Source or Target language country?
Thread poster: Jenny211

English to German
+ ...
Nov 1, 2001

I am currently taking a distance course in Translation (Source language English/Target language German). Afterwards I would like to take another course which prepares for the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation. My question is: I am living in Spain. Once qualified, to be able to get work (even as a Freelance Translator), would the fact that I am not living in a German or English speaking country be a considerable disadvantage? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.


Telesforo Fernandez (X)
Local time: 05:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Do not worry Nov 2, 2001

Apparently it seems so. But the world is getting smaller thanks to Internet and slowly this feeling of place of residence may go away. Besides, EU is just aiming at that.

But for jobs on PROZ.COM it may be a different story. Its job postings most often carry such conditionalities.


Sven Petersson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:46
English to Swedish
+ ...
Yes! Nov 3, 2001


I used to live in England and in South Africa. 90% of the jobs offered to me were into English.

Then I moved to Sweden and overnight 95 % of the jobs offered to me were into Swedish!!!



Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:46
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
It definitely does Nov 3, 2001

I live in Israel (well, may be the country is more problematic than Spain...), I translate from English into Italian and of course it\'s very hard to get jobs from Italian customers/agencies and I also had to invest a lot in order to establish contacts abroad. I always felt the location was a disadvantage. However, eventually I succeeded in getting some work from Canadian, Belgian, and Greek agencies. And Spain does not have the reputation Israel has...

In short, it is a disadvantage to some extent, but not something you cannot overcome.

Good luck!


Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO) (X)
Local time: 19:46
German to English
+ ...
It depends Nov 4, 2001

There is no simple answer to this question. I know that Spanish agencies often look for German-English translators based in Spain (there have been several jobs posted right here on ProZ).

Spanish agencies, unfortunately, pay miserable rates (for anyone living outside Spain), but since you live in Spain, that should not be a problem.

Generally, however, you should live in a country where at least the source or target language is spoken. Living in Spain, for example, will do wonders for your Spanish, but you will not have that day-to-day immersion experience in English or German.

I am fully bilingual (English and German), but I do notice that, after many years in Canada, and less exposure to German on a daily basis, my active German is not what it used to be (as a result, I am scaling down on my translations into German).

You will have the same experience, because simply watching German TV (which is ubiquitous in Spain) or reading newspapers in English and German will not be enough - it cannot replace the actual immersion in a country where language x is spoken all the time and where you will be required to speak language x every day.

My advice: for now, you will be fine, but for the longer term, you should consider relocating or including Spanish in your primary combinations (e.g., Spanish to English or German to Spanish).

Viel Glück - Good Luck - Mucha suerte


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Is it difficult to get job offers if you don´t live in the Source or Target language country?

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