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How to protect against the end of the Euro?
Thread poster: Günter Dannhauer

Günter Dannhauer
Australia
Local time: 16:05
English to German
+ ...
Dec 7, 2011

Hi,

I live and work in Australia, and I get many job from Europe. That fact alone makes it difficult for me to make a living from translations with the Euro going down since 2009.

Now there is the additional danger that the Euro might crash within days or months. I am getting really nervous now doing translations for which I will be paid in two months, and not knowing if by then there will be the Euro, the Nord-Euro or the Neue Deutsche Mark.

How do other
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Hi,

I live and work in Australia, and I get many job from Europe. That fact alone makes it difficult for me to make a living from translations with the Euro going down since 2009.

Now there is the additional danger that the Euro might crash within days or months. I am getting really nervous now doing translations for which I will be paid in two months, and not knowing if by then there will be the Euro, the Nord-Euro or the Neue Deutsche Mark.

How do other translators outside of Europe handle this. Any ideas?

Thanks
Günter, Sydney
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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
* Dec 7, 2011

Günter Dannhauer wrote:

Hi,

I live and work in Australia, and I get many job from Europe. That fact alone makes it difficult for me to make a living from translations with the Euro going down since 2009.

Now there is the additional danger that the Euro might crash within days or months. I am getting really nervous now doing translations for which I will be paid in two months, and not knowing if by then there will be the Euro, the Nord-Euro or the Neue Deutsche Mark.

How do other translators outside of Europe handle this. Any ideas?

Thanks
Günter, Sydney


From what you say I can conclude that you have already protected yourself against the predicted end of dollar and introduction of AMERO? If so, could you please share your strategy with all us - fellow translators?


 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:05
Member (2009)
French to English
Premature? Dec 7, 2011

I don't think the Euro is going to crash completely, but I am concerned with the direction the Euro is heading. As it stands, I have a large invoice in Euros due at the end of the year, but no idea how much it will be worth in USDs once it is paid.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Crash? Dec 7, 2011

Günter Dannhauer wrote:
Now there is the additional danger that the Euro might crash within days or months. I am getting really nervous now doing translations for which I will be paid in two months, and not knowing if by then there will be the Euro, the Nord-Euro or the Neue Deutsche Mark.

To me, this discussion sounds very much like the avian influenza. "We are all going to die like pigs/rats/roaches!", right? Or Y2K. Oh my! That did have a big impact!

I encourage you to remember that the euro is quite a solid currency, supported by many of the wealthiest and most democratic countries in the world. Do not believe that it will collapse just because of economic downturn. In the future, as an independent professional you should of course seek your peace of mind and write your invoices in Australian dollars, US dollars, Nepali rupee or crates of oranges if you wish, but your current invoice in euros is perfectly safe!


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A cultural thing? Dec 7, 2011

Jenn Mercer wrote:
I don't think the Euro is going to crash completely, but I am concerned with the direction the Euro is heading. As it stands, I have a large invoice in Euros due at the end of the year, but no idea how much it will be worth in USDs once it is paid.

Have you checked a chart of the Euro/dollar rate for the last five years? It is quite easy to find out there. The exchange rate hasn't changed much all over this time, despite the euro being "near a total collapse".

Now, I think your concern is more a cultural thing. Those of us who work with countries with different currencies are probably more used to exchange rate loss (or gain), quite a normal event in international trade. If invoicing in euros raised concerns about how much your work would be worth in the end, you should have certainly invoiced in dollars at the exchange rate on the date of the invoice, don't you think so?


 

Günter Dannhauer
Australia
Local time: 16:05
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is not me who says the Euro is doomed Dec 7, 2011

Thanks, seems I should better stop translating finance and economic documents

However, I keep getting all these small jobs translating or summarizing articles like this one here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111205-706012.html

Believe me, after some time you start to th
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Thanks, seems I should better stop translating finance and economic documents

However, I keep getting all these small jobs translating or summarizing articles like this one here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111205-706012.html

Believe me, after some time you start to think: What does that actually mean for ME?
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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:05
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
And in any case... Dec 7, 2011

an Australian worrying about the collapse of the Euro is the equivalent of a Swiss worrying about the consequences of the next tsunami.

Greetings from Greece!


 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:05
Member (2004)
German to English
Or expressed in a different way Dec 7, 2011

There are people on bigger salaries with more important responsibilities doing the real worrying. We just respond to whatever really happens - don't waste your energy on worrying!

 

Alexandre Maricato
Brazil
Local time: 12:05
English to Portuguese
The end is coming... but I want my money first! Dec 7, 2011

If the Euro crashes, having our invoices paid will be least of our problems.

Besides the economic, politic and social chaos derived from the disurption of such complex system, which will affect most economies in the world, we can add a huge level of insolvency, unemployment and stoppage on international trade.

So, as it seems that nobody wants the end of the world, I suppose the Euro wil not crash in the next decades (unless such crash is part of the 2012 prophecies, bu
... See more
If the Euro crashes, having our invoices paid will be least of our problems.

Besides the economic, politic and social chaos derived from the disurption of such complex system, which will affect most economies in the world, we can add a huge level of insolvency, unemployment and stoppage on international trade.

So, as it seems that nobody wants the end of the world, I suppose the Euro wil not crash in the next decades (unless such crash is part of the 2012 prophecies, but that's another story...)
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Miriam Neidhardt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:05
English to German
+ ...
That's what I thought, too Dec 7, 2011

The world will end in December 2012 anyway, so why bother about money?



Miriam


 

Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 16:05
German to English
On topic Dec 7, 2011

"Have you checked a chart of the Euro/dollar rate for the last five years? It is quite easy to find out there. The exchange rate hasn't changed much all over this time, despite the euro being "near a total collapse"

This is not entirely true. While long-term averages may paint a somewhat rosy picture, spikes and drop-offs can play havoc with freelancers' finances. Just take a look at these 5-year charts for the Euro/NZD ( See more
"Have you checked a chart of the Euro/dollar rate for the last five years? It is quite easy to find out there. The exchange rate hasn't changed much all over this time, despite the euro being "near a total collapse"

This is not entirely true. While long-term averages may paint a somewhat rosy picture, spikes and drop-offs can play havoc with freelancers' finances. Just take a look at these 5-year charts for the Euro/NZD ( http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=NZD&view=5Y ) and the EUR/AUD ( http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=AUD&view=5Y ). In the case of the NZD this represents a drop in effective earnings from the peak (when I moved to NZ) to the bottom of the trough of around 20% if I remember rightly. That is not something which can be easily addressed through raising your rates. A look at the ten-year chart reveals that the Euro is still "under-performing" and this is certainly a cause for concern amongst freelancers in Oceania.

Günther's concern is not cultural; as he explained, he is an EN>DE translator based in Australia. These are real issues for translators working in Euro languages that are based outside the Eurozone.

Hedging against currency risk is one way to deal with this risk, but that will tie up capital that you may or may not have. As others have noted, the most effective and immediate solution may be to shift the risk - wholly or partially - to your clients by insisting that you are paid in Australian dollars (just like all them other traders on the "interwebs", right?).

You might also want to adjust your terms of payment: why wait 2 months when you could be paid within 14 / 21 days?

Just a few "on topic" thoughts...

[Edited at 2011-12-07 08:08 GMT]
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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:05
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
... Dec 7, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I encourage you to remember that the euro is quite a solid currency, supported by many of the wealthiest and most democratic countries in the world.


In my opinion, the euro is a currency introduced mainly for political reasons, with little consideration to economic theory (and practice), the optimum currency area theory but one example, disparate fiscal systems and other key factors.

Many of the wealthiest countries in the euro zone have long funded too many less disciplined countries without putting enough control in place. Plus, the wealthy members have also broken rules. Now there's a late realisation that the system must either change or collapse.

I wish the euro all the best for many reasons, purely business ones topping the list. However, looking at the leadership, vision and courage the European big fish have shown over the years, I fear the worst for the common currency.

I personally wouldn't bet a penny on the euro zone surviving in anything that resembles its current shape.

My 3 eurocents' worth.

Maciek


 

Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:05
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
End of the world Dec 7, 2011

Miriam Neidhardt wrote:

The world will end in December 2012 anyway (...)


Right, like it did so many times in the past.

Maciek


 

Mark Hamlen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:05
French to English
+ ...
End of the World Dec 7, 2011

If the Eurozone collapses, it will take everything else with it. So the only real way to protect yourself is to find a nice hole in the Australian Outback to hide in.

 

Günter Dannhauer
Australia
Local time: 16:05
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
USD <> AUD Dec 7, 2011

Most think about the USD when they hear about dollars. Comparing USD to EUR does not make much sense for people in other countries like Australia. USD and EUR are both weak currencies and went down a lot during the last few years.

I just compared to similar jobs. 2009 I had a 3000 Euro job and received 5700 AUD. A similar job today pays me 3900 AUD.


 
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