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Poll: Do you have local clients?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 17:40
Apr 5, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you have local clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Francesca Battaglia. View the poll results »


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, many Apr 5, 2013

If "local" means in the same country, then almost all my clients are Spain-based. In fact, most of them are physically located within an hour or two's journey away. I prefer working this way and am reluctant to take on clients from further afield.

[Edited at 2013-04-05 08:25 GMT]


Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:40
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, one or two ... Apr 5, 2013

.. is what I answered, but I have not done any work for a local client for several years. Cyprus is a small place, and the world is large.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:40
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, many Apr 5, 2013

As in all of them, if "local", as Neilmac asks, is referring to your country of residence.

All of my work is for Japanese industry and my customers act as the interface so that I do not have to spend half of my time traipsing around Japan having lots of meetings, which is what direct Japanese clients demand of you. icon_smile.gif


Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
Yes Apr 5, 2013

Most of them in Italy, many of them in my county. I like to deal with people whom I can meet in person.


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
A few, if you mean within an hour's drive from where I live Apr 5, 2013

As I largely work for agencies, most of them are further away, and it makes no difference with the Internet.

I have on one occasion, when there was a power cut, considered driving to the client's office with a memory chip, as I could not deliver an urgent job.

However, I phoned before I set off, and the client said wait an hour... by which time the power and Internet were working again.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:40
Member (2007)
+ ...
There are only 100,000 Majoreros (my local population) Apr 5, 2013

neilmac wrote:
If "local" means in the same country, then almost all my clients are Spain-based. In fact, most of them are physically located within an hour or two's journey away. I prefer working this way and am reluctant to take on clients from further afield.

I'm exactly the opposite!icon_smile.gif I've only been in Spain a year, but I've never had a Spanish client in 7 years of translating. And I'm not actively looking for any as, from all I've heard on this site, they don't seem to pay well (which might only affect Spanish language translators) or fast (which affects everyone). As for really local, that's highly unlikely: anyone out there got clients on Fuerteventura?icon_smile.gif Lanzarote isn't far but the ferry fare is extortionate and would probably make it a worthless trip.

I like to work with those clients who respect my rates and payment terms, who give support where needed, and appreciate my hard work in providing a quality translation. Where they live comes low down on my list of priorities, and fortunately it seems to come low on their list of priorities, too - I lost one client in the move from France. The only unpaid bills I've ever had in 15 years of freelancing were from 2 clients in France, whose companies folded. Clients in other countries have given problems from time to time but I've always ended up with my money. If it's the client dragging their feet, then that's the end of the collaboration; if it's a question of the honest client battling against money laundering laws, trade sanctions, international agreements etc., then it's sad for both of us.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 01:40
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, a few Apr 5, 2013

(if local means my country of residence) but most of them are based in the EU, with a sprinkling of clients in North and Central America, Africa and Asia.

By the way, in 30 years I had only 3 (two translation agencies and one direct client) non-payment cases and they all were... locals!

[Edited at 2013-04-05 09:57 GMT]


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:40
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, a handful ... Apr 5, 2013

These days I have a handful of loyal local Greek clients. One is an agency that was one of my very first clients when I started out freelancing, the others are all individual translators or small companies run by individuals or academics that I know personally. I have never had any problems of any sort with any of them.

However most of my clients are in the eslewhere in Europe, especially Benelux, and the UK and US.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:40
English to German
+ ...
I voted "None" Apr 5, 2013

I would only consider clients in my own state (Oregon, which is only slightly smaller than Germany) as local.


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
German to English
+ ...
Local? Apr 5, 2013

I took local to mean near me - Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia in my case. I have two occasional clients in Barcelona and are both probably within 15-20 minutes walking distance, so you can't more local than that. If we're talking about the country, I'd probably only add one more, in the Basque country. The rest of my clients are in the north of Europe, mostly Germany.


John Cutler  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, but don't want too many Apr 5, 2013

If local is defined as being from the city I live in, I'd say I have one or two; actually, maybe only one. I've dropped the ones I did have because I found they had a very provincial mentality, were nitpicky and annoying and paid badly; no, better said, very badly. (The only one I've worked with recently has owed me money since last December. I'm sure they'll pay me, but I'm also sure I'll have a few more gray hairs on my head before I see any cash.)

Although I don’t really consider them local, I much prefer clients from bigger cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. They have a broader mentality and, in my experience, are better payers in regard to amount and payment dates.


Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Not anymore Apr 5, 2013

I had some local clients until I moved to another country. I still work with them but they are now, of course, no longer local. Which is a pity as I actually got to see some of them and I liked the face-to-face contact.
I have tried a couple of times to contact the agency across the road but they always seem to be closed and are remarkably uncommunicative, which I consider a bit of a negative point for a translation agency, so I am no longer trying...


David Hayes  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:40
Member (2009)
French to English
I take local to mean... Apr 5, 2013

the small commune in which I live. I did have one client from this source, but it was for a one-off job. Other jobs have come from the largest city nearest to me (Lille). I take local to have a more restricted meaning than simply the country in which one lives.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
If by local you mean... Apr 5, 2013

...Hahahahah! Thanks for the laughs, folks.

To me, local means what it means: near the place, town or city I live and work.

I have a direct client about 110 miles from me, that's the closest local customer I have.

I have attempted to contact local translation agencies (near Cleveland, Ohio), but only two of them have contacted me because a fellow translator recommended me. It is like they have enough translators in their roster to operate with, or that they are too busy to facilitate a face-to-face visit. I sincerely don't know.

I am a member of a regional chamber of commerce in order to secure local clients. It's a slog of a process but it gives me some exposure. Plus, I get to give out my business card and make a distinct impression.

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