The value of ProZ membership for interpreters
Thread poster: Alexandra Goldburt
Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:59
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 26, 2008

This question - to be or not to be? (a member, I mean) - has been raised dozens of times, and will surely be raised again and again in the future.

And yet, there is one angle of this question that I have not seen being addressed: does it pay off to become a member if you are doing strictly, or mostly, interpreting jobs, as opposed to translating jobs?

We interpreters are a minority here. According to a "quick poll" done in October, only 0.2% do strictly interpreting, 1.9% do mostly interpreting (I belong to this category), and 8% do both.

If you add these numbers up, it's 10.1%. Not a lot, I would say.

So, from our special point of view, let me ask this question: would the investment in ProZ membership pay off if you are primarily, or exclusively, interpreting?

Looking forward to your thoughtful answers.


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The Misha
Local time: 15:59
Russian to English
+ ...
Draw your own conclusions Nov 26, 2008

Do you get most of your business - or any at all - through ProZ? I don't. You can draw your own conclusions from here.

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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
You can only bid for jobs by being a member Nov 26, 2008

Chicken and egg question really...

If you're not "in" you can't win.

I am a translator and interpreter and mainly joined ProZ to try and get more translation work (and I did)...I have several clients now.

Most of my interpreting work is local. I have only submitted a quote for one interpreting job that was advertised on Proz. I got it!

My answer would be yes, it is worth joining ProZ. The one job above that I quoted for paid the Proz membership quite easily...

Interpreting jobs do come up, though much more in the minority compared to translation ones.

Good luck!

Liz Askew
Interpreter and Translator
French and Spanish into English


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Rekha Narula  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:59
English to French
+ ...
Worth joining Proz as an interpreter? Nov 26, 2008

Hi, as someone who joined Proz about 4 years ago, I can't say it's been a huge boon. I am essentially an interpreter and do some translating work. Only one agency contacted me via the Proz website. I have done quite a bit of work for them, although not for a few months. I am not a platinum level member and so perhaps that may be the reason why I don't get calls/emails requesting my services for either interpreting or translating. Since I am already paying quite a lot of money to 4 professional organisations, I can ill afford the Platinum membership fee of Proz. Although I don't get work via Proz, I am still a member. Perhaps if you became a Platinum level member that might help?
All the best,
Rekha

[Edited at 2008-11-26 16:19 GMT]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:59
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
It does pay off for me Nov 26, 2008

Hi,
I was not surprised seeing the poll results (interpreters make ~10% of prozers), because generally I find there is many more translators then interpreters, especially conference interpreters who are usually a minority. Interpreting jobs, though, pop up quite regularly both on jobs board and via profile mail.
ProZ.com is not my main source of jobs, however the jobs I got via this channel definitely pay more then my membership.
Getting jobs via ProZ.com is indeed a big topic in its own, discussed extensively not only on the forums but even being a topic for conference sessions Membership (I mean paid membership) is definitely one of the important factors. And it applies equally for interpreters and translators, I think.

Magda


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:59
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your answers. Nov 29, 2008

I'd like to thank Misha, Liz, Rekha and Magda for replying.

But the small numbers of replies speaks for itself. When a similar question is posed about the value of membership in general, i.e., for translators, there are tons of reply!

I'm glad it worked for Liz and Magda. But what works in one language combination and one geographical region will not necessary work in other combinations and regions.

Rekha raised an important point here: since we have to pay for being the members of other professional organizations, many of us can ill afford to buy ProZ platinum membership on top of those other memberships.

I personally think that my money will be better invested in local interpreting organizations.

Thanks to all, and have a nice weekend!


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Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tough call Nov 29, 2008

It's a tough call for me. I answered "both equally" during the quick poll, but I am shifting my business focus towards interpreting.

I've only secured one job via ProZ, and it was for a mere 50 USD. However, I like having full access to resources like the Blue Board.

I've gotten more jobs through responding to ads on Craig's List. Maybe I will still keep my full membership once it comes time to renew it.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:59
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Sara. Nov 29, 2008

Srta Sara wrote:

It's a tough call for me. I answered "both equally" during the quick poll, but I am shifting my business focus towards interpreting.

I've only secured one job via ProZ, and it was for a mere 50 USD. However, I like having full access to resources like the Blue Board.

I've gotten more jobs through responding to ads on Craig's List. Maybe I will still keep my full membership once it comes time to renew it.


Well, I think if you are in the United States, shifting your business towards interpreting makes sense from purely economical point of view: it cannot be outsourced!

This is not the reason I'm interpreting, though. I simply like it a lot.

Thanks for the tip about Craig list! I'll give it a try.

Have a nice weekend!


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italia  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:59
Italian to German
+ ...
Craig's list Dec 1, 2008

Dear all!
@ I got curious: what is the Craig's list?
Even for me the membership has not paid off. Honestly the last two years I have not had that many interpreting assignments due to family reasons (two-year old princess toddler:)))
I wish us all tons of awarding projects in the next year:)))
BW from cold Germany


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:59
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
craigllist Dec 2, 2008

italia wrote:

Dear all!
@ I got curious: what is the Craig's list?
Even for me the membership has not paid off. Honestly the last two years I have not had that many interpreting assignments due to family reasons (two-year old princess toddler:)))
I wish us all tons of awarding projects in the next year:)))
BW from cold Germany


Well, it's hard to say in a few words what craiglist.org is all about, because it's just about anything, really. It's like an on-line advertisement board, where people put all sorts of ads. It has jobs, too. Simply visit their website and see for yourself!


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hfp
United States
Local time: 16:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thinking about joining Dec 3, 2008

Alexandra,

I have been considering joining for a while now and maybe I'll get a membership as a Christmas present for myself. I am really into asking questions and a full membership will allow me to ask more than 5 in a 24 hour period, I think.

Just out of curiosity, what languages do you interpret?

Spanish English
Russian English

I am just guessing here. I hope all is well.


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 12:59
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You guessed right, hfp Dec 3, 2008

hfp wrote:

Alexandra,

I have been considering joining for a while now and maybe I'll get a membership as a Christmas present for myself. I am really into asking questions and a full membership will allow me to ask more than 5 in a 24 hour period, I think.

Just out of curiosity, what languages do you interpret?

Spanish English
Russian English

I am just guessing here. I hope all is well.


Yes, that's what I interpret.

Good luck with you membership. I hope it will bring you more than the ability to ask lots of questions. As for me, 5 a day is really enough.


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