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Poll: I feel like I’m taking a big chance (risk) when I...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Aug 15, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "I feel like I’m taking a big chance (risk) when I...".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Buy new SW Aug 15, 2013

Because I'm so often disappointed with what I get.

Although a more accurate answer should be "other" or several of the above"...


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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:00
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
My choice(s) Aug 15, 2013

I suppose for me it would be subcontracting, but since I never subcontract my work, the next potentially risky situation down the list would be taking on a new client. Unless they have a proven track record and agreeing on rates is a no-nonsense process, I'd rather lose a potential client than agree to cut my fees then and there. Some agencies have the rather infuriating habit of letting the preliminary communications go on for quite some time before stating that they cannot pay me more than X (usually a few cents less than my current fee). And what's more, that 'plea' almost invariably comes before I even get to see any of the files that need translating. How annoying is that!

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Noura Tawil  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 12:00
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...
NONE / A Translator's Survival Strategy Aug 15, 2013

Some of these options I don't even do, like "Subcontracting my work".

Others I don't take unless I studied the possibilities well:

New Software: Download trial versions, hear what others are saying about it, wait for the beta versions to be released..
New clients: Check the BB, HoF/Sh.. And stay away from clients who don't have trusted records. If track records are not available, I think I may start with small jobs, or request upfront payments on big projects (Hasn't happened yet with clients who do not have WWA records).
Take multiple assignments : Only when I have comfortable deadlines.
Refer a colleague: I don't do it unless I REALLY have to, I must have previously examined the colleague's work myself, too. And I always make the client aware of the extent/limits of my familiarity with my colleague's work quality, so I don't bare any moral responsibility in the end.

Now the biggest risk that I AM prone to taking in this profession is not listed in the poll.. But I'm not willing to confess here!

Edited/Typo!

[Edited at 2013-08-15 09:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-08-15 09:04 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:00
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (multiple choice) Aug 15, 2013

1. Take a new client (even doing all the homework before accepting them on is sometimes a risk)
2. Buy new software (like Neil I'm quite often disappointed with what I get)

Regarding the other options:

- I subcontract exclusively to trusted translators with whom I have been working for some time in different language combinations than mine.
- I only refer colleagues whose work I know well.
- I only take multiple assignments if and when I have comfortable deadlines.
- I don’t consider negotiating a deadline as a risk but as an accidental necessity.


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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 10:00
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
other Aug 15, 2013

I don't feel like I'm taking a "big risk" in any of those scenarios. Possibly a bit nervous about new clients and deadlines but otherwise as Noura says, risks can be minimised

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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 10:00
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
infuriating and time-wasting negotiations Aug 15, 2013

Barbara Carrara wrote:

Some agencies have the rather infuriating habit of letting the preliminary communications go on for quite some time before stating that they cannot pay me more than X (usually a few cents less than my current fee). And what's more, that 'plea' almost invariably comes before I even get to see any of the files that need translating. How annoying is that!


Absolutely agree


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Szymon Metkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:00
Member (2006)
German to Polish
+ ...
Rasing rates Aug 15, 2013

The biggest risk is not listed. I feel the most uncomfortable when I have to approach a big client and raise his rate. Nevertheless I do it when needed.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other risks Aug 15, 2013

One of the biggest risks is to take on a project or contract that will occupy 100% of your useful time for several months.

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tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 14:30
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Others Aug 15, 2013

I feel more risk when I have lot of assignments and there is suddenly news of any emergency, which insists to go out of station and away from work. It make me feeling of insecurity of clients and work.

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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:00
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Ditto Aug 15, 2013

gallagy2 wrote:

I don't feel like I'm taking a "big risk" in any of those scenarios. Possibly a bit nervous about new clients and deadlines but otherwise as Noura says, risks can be minimised


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Taking on new clients... Aug 15, 2013

... is what may trigger all others.

I don't subcontract 'my' work. If it's something I can't do for any reason, I'll try to recommend adequate subcontractors, and put them in direct contact with the client.

If I can't do it because of time/volume, or because of subject matter expertise, I'll refer the client to reliable providers I know. Even if a large project must be split among several translators, I prefer they do it.

If I can't do it because of the specific operation involved, e.g. actually dubbing the video after translation, or DVD mass duplication, I'll refer them to reliable providers. If the client wants me to manage these operations - and I've done a few times - I'll charge for it, and it will be 'my' work to get it done.

Taking on multiple assignments relies on my time management, which has been proven quite effective over the past few decades. While I always prefer to deliver two days early than two hours late as a house policy, I'll never commit to a deadline I can't meet. If a new client wants to force their deadline, they'll know what I can do, and I'll try my best to meet their deadline, however I'll only commit to mine.

Buy new software? I only do it as needed. A new client might require some new software, however they'll have to justify the purchase financially. I won't buy a $1K program for a $100 job.

I don't take risks upon referring colleagues. I only refer specialists I know that are good in what they propose to do. However the new client is expected to do their due diligence in ascertaining that the colleague is suitable for their needs.

I don't take risks negotiating deadlines. I can quickly calculate my turnaround time, and they can take that as a promise. If they want it faster, I tell them that I can try, however I won't make any promises.

Others? Plenty, with a new client. I'll never know how reasonable nor reliable on payment they are until I've tried them for real. And yet this may change, or not.

With old clients I always know what to expect, and they know what they should expect from me as well.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:00
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 15, 2013

Normally I am not desperate for work, so in short, if it is risky, I don't do it.

Clients come and go, and I check new clients out before I accept work from them. Most of the jobs I do are small, so the risk is not too great either. But I do prefer traceable clients in Europe, with VAT numbers etc. rather than exotic agencies that are not on the Blue Board...

Multiple jobs? That's what I seem to specialise in. Anything over 5000 words is big for me, unless it is proofreading. It's a case of organising one's time.

New software? Aaaargh... I dislike it, but only buy new software from trustworthy suppliers who issue guarantees. I usually get fond of it when it works properly!

I negotiate deadlines whenever I need to. There is nothing to lose. If the deadline is impossible, I have to turn down the job, but if it is negotiable, and the client agrees to something realistic, then I can take it on.

I never outsource. I work for agencies, and even if it is not against the NDA, it is up to them to find another translator if necessary.

While I occasionally refer a colleague, I only do so when I am fairly certain it is the right person for the job.


[Edited at 2013-08-15 14:12 GMT]


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agreed Aug 15, 2013

gallagy2 wrote:

I don't feel like I'm taking a "big risk" in any of those scenarios. Possibly a bit nervous about new clients and deadlines but otherwise as Noura says, risks can be minimised


The only one that's more difficult to manage is taking on new clients. Even after all the research and everything, we can still be misled.

I would add buying/investing in new hardware to the list as well. We bought a new smart phone for one of our projects (in order to review the app natively). It was $250, which seemed like a fortune, but the investment has paid off and now we have an excellent new tool.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
None Aug 15, 2013

None of the above. Some I don't even do, such as subcontracting, which would be a big risk. The client always gets what he pays for... MY work, 100%.

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