Poll: Which of the following has had the most positive impact on your translation success/workload?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:23
SITE STAFF
Jul 7, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Which of the following has had the most positive impact on your translation success/workload?".

This poll was originally submitted by Charlotte Farrell. View the poll results »



 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2013

1. Moving to a source language country (Belgium)
2. Adding new language combinations (ES, IT)
3. Adding new specialisms (medicine)

Finding the right customers (and retaining them) has been the key to my career's longevity, but that wasn't the question...

[Edited at 2013-07-07 09:54 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Moving... Jul 7, 2013

If I'd never moved to Spain, I'd never have become as fluent in European Spanish as I am today. QED.

Having said that, I should add that I was sorely tempted to simply post "other" yet again, since there is more than one factor involved. If my clients come back to me time and time again, or recommend my services to friends and colleagues, I must be doing something right...


 

Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Providing good customer service... Jul 7, 2013

...so they come back.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:23
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Finding the right clients Jul 7, 2013

No other factor comes close. I have found a string of clients who like my work and send me more than I can handle. It's a win-win situation, and my business is bursting at the seams.

 

James A. Walsh
Spain
Local time: 22:23
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
My Profile and "WWA" record on this site Jul 7, 2013

In the last two years or so, I've had 10+ new regular customers find me via my ProZ.com profile, and all of them mentioned in some way or other that they were impressed by my profile and "Willingness to Work Again" record. This demonstrates to me that potential new customers trust this system, and are prepared to take a chance with new freelancers based on it.

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:53
English to Hindi
+ ...
The obvious opiton was missing - adding a new client Jul 7, 2013

I have noticed that my workload remains unaffected by qualification, CAT tools, specialization, or language pairs. I mostly work only in two language pairs English to Hindi and Hindi to English and occasionally from Gujarati to English.

The only thing that impacts my workload and hence my earnings is the addition of a new well-paying client.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2013

1. Adding translation-related services, such as DTP, video subtitling, DVD authoring.

2. Taking the exam (happens every 20 years or so), passing, and becoming a government-licensed sworn translator.

3. Networking I, i.e. referring specialty jobs to colleagues specializing in them, and getting referrals in my specialties.

4. Networking II, i.e. getting recognized by colleagues as a dependable resource to help them out when they bite more than they could chew.

5. Packing my web site with useful information on translation, regardless of whether visitors will be using my services or not.

6. Never missing a deadline. Clients feel reassured that if I them that I'll deliver by then, I will.

7. High quality customer service. I make sure every prospect gets all the relevant information I can provide them. If I see they are going the wrong way, or the unnecessarily more costly one, I show them the options. Well, if they don't wanna listen, it's their problem!

8. Cards on the table. If they want to impose their rules, I tell them exactly what they'll be missing. And if it's either their way or the highway, I have no problem with stopping at the gas station to fill'er up.

9. Ethics, linked to #4. If I can't do a satisfactory job, I'll be open about it. I'll either refer them to someone who can, or simply say I can't help them. They'll know that if I take it, I'll make a good job of it.

10. The most positive one? Balancing all the previous others, not letting any of the balls drop.


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:23
German to English
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2013

In addition to previous suggestions, acquiring a speech recognition program.

 

Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:23
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2013

Setting up and maintaining a website. By now (it has been in existence since 2007), it brings me several inquiries of new clients every week.

 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:23
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Adding a new language combination Jul 7, 2013

There are of course a variety of things but I definitely wouldn't have got as much work if I hadn't added French>English to my combination. Out of my two degree languages, German gets me a good amount of work but anything for Spanish>English is pretty rare. French now makes up about 45% of the work I have coming in so I'm definitely glad that I worked hard to add it as a source language.

 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:23
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Other Jul 7, 2013

Better business communication and - to a certain extent, i.e. unless customers overdo it in that respect - customer and after-sales service. Thru Astrid, I have really learned a lot in that respect. I have become reasonably customer-oriented without selling out. It can be done.

Teaming up with someone probably gifted with the flyest formatting skills in the industry (again, Astrid).

I have also become faster thru the coming of Studio and my properly learning the ropes of it plus its integrated MultiTerm term recognition and am now able to edit up to 6,000 source words a working day (into English). Together with a fast-fingered translator that's a maximum daily throughput of 6K words when it used to be much less than that. In this respect, I should also mention that my monthly track record in terms of experience gathered in what is probably our most important language pair, GER to ENG, has skyrocketed, again, making me faster.

And then, always having remained an avid learner in my specialist fields, not ceasing in my eagerness to get to the bottom of things. Never stopping in my yearn to understand what is really behind it.

Networking and outsourcing has helped as well.

[Edited at 2013-07-08 07:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-07-08 07:33 GMT]


 

Alan Corbo, CT  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 17:23
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Being ATA Certified Jul 8, 2013

Getting certified has definitelly paid off. The investment has returned several times over.

 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:23
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Other Jul 8, 2013

It can be said that being a paid member of Proz has had the most positive impact on my translation success/workload. I wonder why this being a paid member of Proz is not included as one of the possible answers.

 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:23
German to English
mailings and referrals Jul 8, 2013

Maybe I should have said moving to my source country (over 10 years ago): It is very important to be able to speak and correspond in your clients' language very well and, of course, lack of knowledge of source language is probably among the leading causes of poor translations. Having an art history degree also brings me a lot of work and allows me to charge more than my competitors. However, neither of these changes had anything to do with my career as a translator (which came later).

As far as the other things go, I would say that NOT doing the other things has probably brought me more work: learning a new CAT system would be a waste of time, adding specialties would be useless for my clients, adding a source language or translation direction would be useless for my clients (I know plenty of English>German colleagues to recommend). At some point I would like to get a translation credential (German state exam), but my clients couldn't care less about it.

I seriously doubt that there is a specialty field in any major language pair without a market large enough to keep at least a dozen good translators busy.

A good (primarily meaning highly ranked) website is big deal and - with Sebastian and José - teaming up with someone to allow me to bid on projects involving DTP.


 


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Poll: Which of the following has had the most positive impact on your translation success/workload?

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