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Poll: Full-time translators: are you satisfied with your income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:01
SITE STAFF
Apr 14, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Full-time translators: are you satisfied with your income?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marie-Hélène Hayles. View the poll results »



 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
Member (2006)
German to English
Pretty much Apr 14, 2011

satisfied, could always be more, but money is not everything. I am on the planned earnings.

 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Blast from the past Apr 14, 2011

It's over four years since I suggested this poll! It was at the same time I started this thread: http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/65050-are_you_happy_with_what_you_earn.html

My reasons are explained in the first post of that thread, and plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

Anyway, for the record, my response was "reasonably satisfied". I look forward to seeing other people's votes and points of view: it will be interesting to see if this poll might act as a temporary antidote to the bewailing so beloved of our profession.


 

Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Italian to English
Reasonably satisfied Apr 14, 2011

A little bit more would always come in handy and I imagine people in any income bracket will say the same. However, I am reasonably satisfied with my income at the momenticon_smile.gif

 

xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 11:01
English to French
+ ...
Pays the bills these days Apr 14, 2011

I used to be more satisfied, when prices were lower: it seems my earnings never manage to raise quickly enough to keep pace with the prices of energy and food.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
It pays the bills Apr 14, 2011

.. and I suppose that means I am reasonably satisfied. My rates have remained the same for a few years now and I may be raising them, just a little, later this year.
I just bought myself a "new" 2nd hand scooter for 1500 € cash, so I suppose that was disposable income. I also paid my VAT and income tax in full this morning and I have no debts outstanding.
So... the only reason I didn't say reasonably/totally satisfied is because I have had lean years in the past and now feel no misgivings at reaching the end of the month without a struggle...


 

xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 11:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Looking back Apr 14, 2011

At the peak, I generated three times average revenues for the industry in the US and I minimized costs.

Circumstances changed - the economy and industry in general, conditions in my specific specialization, and personal situation - I got old, and now I'm sort of semi-retired.

I think the main thing is to be as practical as possible, given one's talent and inclinations, in both choosing a specialization and in how to deliver value to the customer. On that basis, one can work as productively as possible and maintain long-term relationships with repeat customers and catch occasional customers to fill in the gaps if desired.

That's revenue maximisation.

On the other hand, to minimise costs, one has to be willing and flexible to work from relatively low-cost areas, which may mean moving from place to place from time to time. Not everyone can do that.

Good Luck!


 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Hardly pays the taxes Apr 14, 2011

In Brazil there are so many taxes, more than one hundred to be exact, and this is crippling the country's economy. My earnings are not that bad compared to the national minimum wage for example, but it nearly all goes to the Government.

On top of personal taxes, we have consumer taxes - the cost of food, for example, is more than 50% taxes.


 

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Not really Apr 14, 2011

The rates in my language pair are largely dictated by the Spanish market and I live in Britain at the moment which is much more expensive. So no. Must move back to Spain asap...

Here in the UK you hear stories about refuse collection workers and bus drivers earning over £ 30,000 a year and working 38 hours a week (not to mention plumbers on 60,000) which kind of ridicules our industry if you ask me. Money isn't everything but why should we be satisfied with wages far below other industries where a similar level of education and talent is needed (legal, medical etc)? We only have ourselves to blame though: linguists are generally a creative scholarly bunch and not good businesspeople (myself included); we're more concerned with our voyage of linguistic discovery than with filling our bank accounts.

I reckon this has led to us being exploited by more astute business minds. In fact throughout history translators have been undervalued: can you think of any world-famous translators? (Yes, Cicero and Luther were both translators, but it's not what made them famous).


 

Andrej  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:01
Member (2005)
German to Russian
+ ...
What is "satisfied"... Apr 14, 2011

...in this case? That is the question!

 

Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 04:01
German to English
I could support myself, but not a family. Apr 14, 2011

Title says it all, really. Must get some new clients!

 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Used to be much happier in the past... Apr 14, 2011

...but then again, I was in Italy, where taxes robbed all my hard earned money. I guess I should relocate to a place where cost of living is lower (but then again there will be some other problems...)

 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:01
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
could be better Apr 15, 2011

I could always use more, i'm doing ok but it's a good thing I don't have kids to support!

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It pays the bills Apr 15, 2011

I could work harder. I'm getting older and tire more easily, so I turn down quite a bit of work.

 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Member
German to English
+ ...
Very satisfied Apr 15, 2011

It keeps me in the manner to which I have become accustomed, as they say!

Technically, I'm not full-time as I only work school hours, but I have no complaints.


 
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