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Poll: How profitable has translation been for you?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 21:15
Jun 3, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How profitable has translation been for you?".

This poll was originally submitted by Flavia Martins dos Santos

View the poll here

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Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:15
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Has been very profitable Jun 3, 2008

more than 10 years ago with few low-price competitors, But I still remember that timeicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2008-06-03 20:40]


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Although I keep my prices relatively low Jun 3, 2008

... it has worked out profitable enough for me: I have no debts to speak of and pay my rent every month, send my family money occasionally and can usually afford a holiday at least once a year.
In terms of working conditions, I am much better off as a self-employed translator/language consultant than I was as a TEFL hack working long hours for mostly unappreciative organisations.


María Eugenia Wachtendorff  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
More profitable than I ever expected it to be Jun 3, 2008

Back in 1989, when I started my freelance career, I instantly doubled my excellent previous salary as a bilingual secretary with an American bank. The first ten years were amazing! Then things slowed down a bit for a couple of years, but since 2003 I have been busy almost uninterruptedly.

I should state, however, that I will never be "rich" or get anywhere near that. I just want to keep my indepedence and continue to enjoy my job while keeping a good standard of living.

May all my dear colleagues have such a wonderful experience as I have!icon_smile.gif

Yes, profitable Jun 3, 2008

I don't think I am getting rich, but I am getting enough income every month to achieve my financial goal as I am putting pretty good amount of money into my bank, while enjoying life.

I have started escort interpreting in 1985, and since then I am in interpreting for 10 years on and off.
Then I got tired of interpreting, so I quit it in 2002. I was ready to put my mind to translation alone, but prior to that I was translating a daily newsletter for eight consecutive years. This brought me a steady income source, so I never bothered with any other translation job.

Then, lo and behold, the operation went down, and during this 8 years there was a computer revolution! Everything was digitalized, so when I came back to freelancing, I have to learn a whole a lot (needless to say CAT and other computer related nitty gritties), and some of these even from scratch!

At that time I joined a few trade organizations but nothing brought me as much exposure to translation industry as ProZ.

To make a long story short, I am very happy in the way I stand.

Like Maria Eugenia, I hope everyone is as happy as I.


Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It took a while... Jun 3, 2008

When I first started translating and thinking about it as a means of self-support, it took a couple of years to start making any real money, but once my name got around I had plenty of work (this was when I was living in Brazil), could support myself just fine, and even save some money.

It's not been that great since I came back to the USA last November, but I expect things will pick up over time. In any case, I haven't been disappointed about the money-making potential of freelance translating, and for me it sure beats going to an office every day (which I will never, ever do again).



M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:15
English to Polish
Very profitable Jun 3, 2008

... especially when I compare with my previous 9 to 5 jobs - I earn several times more.



Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very profitable! Jun 4, 2008

There's not the option "Incredibly profitable" over there?icon_smile.gif


Fernando D. Walker  Identity Verified

Local time: 01:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let's say profitable Jun 4, 2008

At the beginning, it was quite profitable, but this year, especially, the inflation in Argentina had an impact on my income and I quite noted it. I really need to start looking for alternatives, don't you think? Besides, this situation is affecting my mood... Anyway, I hope this year brings winds of change.

[Edited at 2008-06-04 04:22]

[Edited at 2008-06-04 05:12]
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:15
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Very profitable Jun 4, 2008

I used to work as an in-house Project Manager/Translator, and in my first year as a freelancer I increased my annual salary by more than £10K. My income has been stable for a while now, but this year I look set to make a lot more - which isn't bad in the current economic climate!icon_smile.gif



Chun Un  Identity Verified
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Profitable Jun 4, 2008

I added 10K USD to my annual income last year by translating and interpreting apart from my editing job. There's a price to pay though - I have not had a proper break since last May!

I look forward to a better 2008 (and more time off).


[Edited at 2008-06-04 06:25]


Local time: 06:15
English to French
+ ...
Profitable enough Jun 4, 2008

To live off and take a break once-in-a-while. Not quite as lucrative as being a teacher (my previous job) and much more time consuming, but so much more gratifying and brain stimulating (mind you, I enjoyed teaching: just got tired of it and didn’t like what things were coming to).
A pity so much has to be paid on taxes, social security, (compulsory) insurances of all kinds (all in all 70%+ of my turnover) in this country.


Johan Venter  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
Profitable, but at what cost? Jun 4, 2008

This line of business has been profitable enough in terms of finances, but the long hours required are beginning to take a toll on me and my family. People are just simply not meant to sit in front of a computer screen for 12 - 16 hours a day. Regular exercise helps me physically, but I also need to find more time somewhere to spend with my family...


Mohsin Alabdali  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 07:15
English to Arabic
+ ...
Very profitable, indeed Jun 4, 2008

I measure profit not only in terms of moeny but also in terms of personal pleasure. I take translation both as a job as a hobby. As a job I earn enough income to sustain a comfortable lliving. As a hobby, I drive immense pleasure that is more than rewarding.


David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:15
Spanish to English
Rewarding work Jun 4, 2008

Mohsin Alabdali wrote:

I measure profit not only in terms of moeny (sic) but also in terms of personal pleasure. I take translation both as a job as a hobby. As a job I earn enough income to sustain a comfortable lliving. As a hobby, I drive immense pleasure that is more than rewarding.

Exactly my sentiments, Mohsin. I also extend and update my knowledge and experience every time I translate a medical scientific article.

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