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Poll: Do you feel successful as a translator or interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:57
SITE STAFF
Jul 2, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you feel successful as a translator or interpreter?".

This poll was originally submitted by changwinnie. View the poll results »



 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:57
English to German
+ ...
Yes, I am. Jul 2, 2013

Because I have somehow managed to stick to my guns, even if I have lost many "opportunities" on the way. Result? My clients are hand-selected, we are equal partners, and I happily put my signature on every little bit I do.

 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 04:57
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Not really Jul 2, 2013

I am still lack of clients, but I like this jobicon_smile.gif

 

Marc Cordes  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:57
English to German
+ ...
Yes Jul 2, 2013

I would have never thought that it could be that (relatively) easy to start in this industry. I can make a living and finally got out of the standard rat race. Just the fact that I do not have a boss who tells me when to come in each day is PRICELESS! Of course this way of working also has its downsides but all in all the pros outweigh the cons a LOT.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes, most definitely Jul 2, 2013

However, self-perception - hopefully not self aggrandizement - can be a deceptive thing. I wish that increased personal achievements and satisfaction would equate with a proportional increase in financial gains.

I seriously wonder when our profession will be ranked alongside that of doctors and lawyers, in both social esteem and earnings? Hmmm......

@Nicole
I do share your pride. icon_smile.gif

Julian H.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, somewhat Jul 2, 2013

I see so many ropey transations and howlers out there that I reckon I'm pretty sound most of the time.

Nevertheless, pride comes before a fall. The other week a client cryptically commented that his end client had complained about a "serious mistake" in one of my translations, but without specifying what the error was. I looked over the translated text and couldn't see anything wrong with it, so replied rather stroppily than I thought the translation was fine. However, it subsequently turned out that I had only been looking at the words, where the mistake was in a number (in Spanish, the common term for a fortnight or two weeks is literally "15 días", literally 15 days , which, in a hurry or lapse of focus, I had blithely translated as 15 weeks....

I haven't been so mortified for ages, but I do think it's good to have a reality check from time to time. Pobody's nerfect...


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:57
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... Jul 2, 2013

I think I must be somewhat. I am not competing or comparing with anyone though. I don't get much feedback but I have been freelance for almost 10 years now and I still have many clients I had when I started out, so I think I must be doing something right.

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Define parameters Jul 2, 2013

Successful? As Julian hinted, the term can be used for self-aggrandizement. To me, it carries the stench of cheap marketing scripting and typical American self-promotion (and I'm American).

Therefore, I refuse to qualify what I do as successful or unsuccesful. Practicing a profession is a continuum. Not all of us have the same origins or share the same circumstances or opportunities, and it goes beyond individual distinguishing capabilities or skills.

I may say that I successfully completed a project or assignment, but that's it.

I prefer to feel satisfied, content, pleased, etc. with what I do, and excited about what I can still do.


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:27
English to Hindi
+ ...
Definitely Jul 2, 2013

I have kept the wolf off the door for all the time I have been a full time freelance translator and that is a measure of my success.

When I chucked up a reasonably secure job for a freelancing career, there were quite a few doubting Thomases around, who doubted my sanity. Now they are more or less silenced, which is another measure of my success.

On a more serious note, I have many successful clients who repose their confidence in my translation abilities again and again, and that is a more reliable sign that I am a successful translator.


 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jul 2, 2013

Yes, people from several countries offer me work. That's a good parameter.

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 06:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Now that Jul 2, 2013

discussion is just beginning to pick up

What are your parameters for gauging success as a translator?

Comments so far lean more towards job satisfaction than the monetary or financial side. Would be interested to see what you all think .... icon_smile.gif

Julian H.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 2, 2013

I make a living from it, which is what a job is for, so yes I'm successful

I also think I'm good at it, but that's a different matter altogether


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:57
German to English
+ ...
Yes Jul 2, 2013

Saying yes does not preclude there being room for improvement. Could I be more successful (whatever you take that term to mean)? Yes.

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:27
English to Hindi
+ ...
Some parameters that could be relevant Jul 2, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:
What are your parameters for gauging success as a translator?
Julian H.


1. The ability to demand and get a rate that you think is commensurate with your skills and your needs.

2. The ability to limit yourself to the type of translation work that you enjoy doing, while at the same time meeting your financial goals. That is, you are able to avoid hack work altogether.

3. Receiving recognition from those for whom you work, which could be in various forms - repeat work, appreciation for a job well done, timely payment, etc.

4. The ability to take adequate breaks, rests, holidays and do other non-translation pursuits which are necessary for leading a holistic human life, and at the same time being able to meet your financial goals.

5. The ability to earn enough to support your future needs (this point is indirectly covered in point 1, but could do with further emphasis here).


 

Yuri Radcev  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:57
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
definitely, it's not a success story Jul 2, 2013

translating...on one hand, it gives me money and freedom. at least, a sort of.
on the other - it's an obvious downshifting from what I've used to do.
wearing two hats, but sitting between two chairs.


 
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