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Off topic: What would you do now if Proz.com had not existed.
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:20
Flemish to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2009

This site also functions as a temporary employment agency (in bad times) or for people in between jobs. Bankers, traders, chemist, lawyers specialized in all possible branches of law, MDs, s, certified nurses, jeopardy winners (a reference for translation capabilities (?), IT-specialists of all kinds, former executives of all trades, architects and urbanists and finally, surprise, surprise... translators and fully certified conference interpreters (a rare breed). The only people whose profiles I have not met, are former politicians.

What would you have done if this site (and others like this site) had not existed or if you had not stumbled upon it/your attention had not been drawn to it. If would probably still be translating and looking for direct clients in a good old fashioned way. And you?


 

Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:20
English to Romanian
If ProZ.com had not existed... Aug 16, 2009

... I would probably have invented iticon_wink.gif

 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same thing Aug 16, 2009

I actually am still translating and not looking for, but getting, direct clients the good old fashioned way which is through word of mouth. Proz.com or not, that's how it works for me, having been well-established for many years in a good local market.

Not knowing Proz.com existed I could not miss it, but now with that knowledge I sure would! I have a lot of fun here. But during those pre-Internet (and pre-Computer, pencil and paper) days I managed to get by in isolation, never realizing that some day we would all be so fortunate to be connected.


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:20
Swedish to English
+ ...
if I hadn't got there first Aug 16, 2009

Maria Diaconu wrote:

... I would probably have invented iticon_wink.gif


 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
No difference Aug 16, 2009

Frankly, this site has not been a source of work for me, and I still look for clients the old fashioned way, as you put it, and I use very few of the site's "features"...

I am not sure how much visibility I actually get from my profile (no I am not a paying member, but when I was, I saw no difference at all); the few work offers I have seen over the years were at rates so pathetically low as to be insulting. I have gotten some spam, and there is one agency that insists on sending me mailings with offers for translation at 3-5 cents per word, in spite of my repeated requests for them them to stop.

However, ProZ has to provided a place to exchange information and views about the profession, to help others through KudoZ, to break the sense of isolation that is inherent in this work. And the glossary, which, for all of its flaws, has turned into an important resource.

As Henry said, had it not existed, how could I miss it? But were it to disappear now, I sure would!


 

xxxPRen
Canada
Local time: 16:20
French to English
+ ...
Agree in part Aug 16, 2009

David Russi wrote:

Frankly, this site has not been a source of work for me, and I still look for clients the old fashioned way, as you put it, and I use very few of the site's "features"...

I am not sure how much visibility I actually get from my profile (no I am not a paying member, but when I was, I saw no difference at all); the few work offers I have seen over the years were at rates so pathetically low as to be insulting. I have gotten some spam, and there is one agency that insists on sending me mailings with offers for translation at 3-5 cents per word, in spite of my repeated requests for them them to stop.

However, ProZ has to provided a place to exchange information and views about the profession, to help others through KudoZ, to break the sense of isolation that is inherent in this work. And the glossary, which, for all of its flaws, has turned into an important resource.

As Henry said, had it not existed, how could I miss it? But were it to disappear now, I sure would!

I've never had to rely on the Internet for work (thank God) and have had one or two offers that were laughable, in terms of rates and deadlines. As far as I can tell, proz represents the very low end of the market, and now with the proz turn-key translation service, the site is actually competing with members it charges a membership fee. One can imagine a member offering a job, paying 15 cents a word for proz to find a translator, and being solicited to do the job for 10 cents! The site used to offer a place for discussion but with the latest heavy-handed strategies, has managed to stifle even that feature. So... off to greener pastures where discussion is welcome!


 

Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:20
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
No difference for me too Aug 16, 2009

I started working as a translator in 1986, when no doubt Proz.com not even existed.
My best and long-established clients did not find me via my profile on Proz.com. Most clients still find me thanks to my website, especially direct clients.
Still, Proz.com is a useful place to 'meet' colleagues and communicate. Also, it is very useful to stay in touch with a community that otherwise would be almost isolated: it's a virtual workplace and a real mine of resources.
But I could say the same of other not-so-well-known translators' portals.
So, I will continue to rely on it as a resources place more than a place where to find new clients in.

Anto


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
This is the same... Aug 16, 2009

...when somebody tells me: "What would you do without a computer (and in particular, without a(n) (in)famous OS, which I won't mention here...)?!

I answer: "Translation is the second oldest profession in the worldicon_wink.gif, and it existed well before that certain OS, the computer, Proz, and the Internet." Sure, the computer may facilitate certain tasks, but complicates others, and the same is true for everything else.

I didn't start my profession thanks to Proz, and even if some of my clients were found through Proz, I never asked myself (and probably never will) the question mentioned in this thread.


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:20
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The question. Aug 16, 2009

consisted of 2 parts with one implicit question : why don't the above-mentioned professionals (except for translators-interpreters) stick to their turf (medicine, law, architecture , psychology, engineering or whatever)/would the above-mentioned professionals have stuck to their turf if there were no sites like Proz.com and others?
AND what would you do if sites like these and others which according to rulez, I am not allowed to mentioned by name, did not exist?

[Edited at 2009-08-16 18:44 GMT]


 

Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:20
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
without ProZ Aug 16, 2009

• I would not have attended the ATA conference in 2004 in Toronto, my first “professional” conference ever that marked the onset of a serious case of Powwow-sitis!
• I would not have booked flights from Canada to Europe 7 times to attend powwows in Germany
• I would not have had various delicious dinners with intelligent, witty colleagues
• I would not have had met a good number of fabulous direct clients who contacted me through my profile page
• I would not have teamed up with my kayaking buddy who found me by sheer accident through ProZ
• I could have kept a tidy house with spotless windows for years instead of living in constant chaos to feed my KudoZ addiction
• I would have worried endlessly about what my teenagers might be up to instead of clicking on hilarious links in the Off-topic forum at odd hours
• I would have watched waaay more Grey’s Anatomy episodes instead of doing research for tricky medical KudoZ questions

Jeeez, come to think of it, I would have been one very grumpy, malnourished, stressed-out old translator with a clean house, control freak-damaged teenagers, and no one to kayak withicon_smile.gif


 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
In my case... Aug 16, 2009

... being a chemist, medical device materials developer and an IT specialist I would probably be living under a bridge somewhere brewing coffee in a rusty old can over a campfire. I am eternally grateful to ProZ for providing the platform and to qualified translators for refraining from competition so that I can eke out a living until the orangutans of Borneo learn to read German and type. Beats the heck out of being a frustrated wannabe pilot icon_wink.gif

 

Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Dutch to English
+ ...
Turf conquerers Aug 16, 2009

Williamson wrote:

why don't the above-mentioned professionals (except for translators-interpreters) stick to their turf (medicine, law, architecture , psychology, engineering or whatever)



The mere fact that there are experts from other fields who have managed to make a success out of specialist translating would indicate there was a gap waiting to be filled -- a gap that wasn't being adequately filled by what the market otherwise had to offer.

Perhaps the 'turf' just needs to be weeded out of the over-supply of generalists who aren't up to par, either because they never were or because the bar has been raised since they started out.

I would never knock a solid translation/interpreting degree, but it's like anything in life -- if you rest on your laurels thinking that it is or should be enough, somebody else is going to come along with something more to offer.

And then the blame doesn't lie with the translation/interpreting school that painted a pretty picture about career options that haven't materialised. Or with a site that connects and attracts people from all over the world. The blame then lies with the person who just hasn't been pro-active enough to get out there and make things work -- the simple fact is there are the 'whiners' and there are the 'go-getters', in any walk of life.


Williamson wrote:

would the above-mentioned professionals have stuck to their turf if there were no sites like Proz.com and others?


I can only speak for myself, it wasn't a factor. I already had a solid client base before joining ProZ through legal circles. For the most part, I find it positive that it does exist -- as two of my very good clients found me here and, with a few notable exceptions, I've met a lot of great people here -- but it remains only one of many resources.

[Edited at 2009-08-16 23:44 GMT]


 

Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 14:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Similar thing here, Johanna Aug 16, 2009

Johanna Timm, PhD wrote:

• I would not have attended the ATA conference in 2004 in Toronto, my first “professional” conference ever that marked the onset of a serious case of Powwow-sitis!
• I would not have booked flights from Canada to Europe 7 times to attend powwows in Germany
• I would not have had various delicious dinners with intelligent, witty colleagues
• I would not have had met a good number of fabulous direct clients who contacted me through my profile page
• I would not have teamed up with my kayaking buddy who found me by sheer accident through ProZ
• I could have kept a tidy house with spotless windows for years instead of living in constant chaos to feed my KudoZ addiction
• I would have worried endlessly about what my teenagers might be up to instead of clicking on hilarious links in the Off-topic forum at odd hours
• I would have watched waaay more Grey’s Anatomy episodes instead of doing research for tricky medical KudoZ questions

Jeeez, come to think of it, I would have been one very grumpy, malnourished, stressed-out old translator with a clean house, control freak-damaged teenagers, and no one to kayak withicon_smile.gif



Except for kayaking and those several flights, I agree with all the rest. I can add that I would be workless, because 90% of my jobs I get through Proz.


 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
French to English
Personally.... Aug 17, 2009

Williamson wrote:

consisted of 2 parts with one implicit question : why don't the above-mentioned professionals (except for translators-interpreters) stick to their turf (medicine, law, architecture , psychology, engineering or whatever)

I think everyone should be allowed a career change if they fancy it (I would say that, of course).
And even if they are merely "dabbling", if they're good enough, why not?
Quie honestly (and as with your fave "mother tongue only" debate), my view is that I couldn't really give a stuff where your roots or what your methods are, it's the output that counts, and if the output is good enough, I don't care if you are a Latvian doctor translating tractor manuals into Italian.

/would the above-mentioned professionals have stuck to their turf if there were no sites like Proz.com and others?

Speaking personally, I was blissfully unaware of such websites before I changed careers (although they did exist at that time). So in at least one case, the answer is yes.

AND what would you do if sites like these and others which according to rulez, I am not allowed to mentioned by name, did not exist?

Tricky one, because under this hypothesis, translation would be about the only job in the world without websites like this one. I suppose I would probably be attention-whoring myself on other vaguely related websites.


 

David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
I am not surprised Aug 17, 2009

Cristina Heraud-van Tol wrote:

Except for kayaking and those several flights, I agree with all the rest. I can add that I would be workless, because 90% of my jobs I get through Proz.


A peak at the rates that are posted in your profile explains why you get 90% of your work fro0m this site and people like me have never been able to get a single job: you are undercutting the rated I charged 3 years ago by 50 to 75%!

Sorry, nothing personal, I am happy that things are going well for you, but it is disheartening to once again why rates in our language combination generally are stagnant or trending downward.


 
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