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Poll: Can you make ends meet by doing just translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:50
SITE STAFF
Oct 17, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Can you make ends meet by doing just translations?".

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



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 18:50
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Oct 17, 2013

Since the first day I started, just over 30 years ago.
Mind you, I was making more money 10 to 15 years ago. Sniff


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Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:50
English to Romanian
+ ...
Yes, but Oct 17, 2013

It's complicated (just like relationship statuses on FB) - this should have been an option

Well, it's complicated in my case because I cannot have a steady workflow (toddlers = lack of time, blah blah), hence I cannot have a steady income.
Sometimes I take a jump and accept a large project and ends definitely meet that month. But some other areas of my life get to suffer (usually my husband - who has time for his poor soul with work and kids around?!). So, I don't do that very often.

I will hang in there for the next 1 or 2 years, or at least that's my plan (so much for a plan..)


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

I can, but I consider myself lucky to have ended up in this situation (more by luck than judgement) and the fact that some people can make a good living from translation alone doesn't mean it's easy for everyone.
For example, I have friends/colleagues who don't have as much translation coming in and have to combine it with other activities. I also know a few people who have toyed with the notion of getting into translation, mainly because they are fed up travelling to work and think that working from home is a panacea, but have never gotten round to it, while others have tried and given up.

I suspect that the person submitting this topic may be struggling to make a living from translation, but unfortunately the only comfort I can offer is that you're not alone.


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Elina Sellgren  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:50
Member (2013)
Finnish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

But my expenses are not that high as I share an apartment with my spouse and I have no children (yet). But I'm working towards a better income and I've seen real progress little by little.


Julian Holmes wrote:

Since the first day I started, just over 30 years ago.
Mind you, I was making more money 10 to 15 years ago. Sniff


Just curious, how are you measuring/estimating this - inflation, higher living expenses these days, or is it simply that you can't find enough well-paying customers due to peanut monkeys? What do you think are the factors there?
I definitely think living expenses and the general financial situation in the world have an influence, but probably the peanuts are the biggest single factor in this internet age..

Personally I am trying to think of alternative careers and business possibilities for myself just in case..


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Vincenzo Di Maso  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:50
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
experienced translators Oct 17, 2013

Experienced translators with high skills will of course make ends meet even if in this crisis scenario.
Then there are many issues which may hinder a translator's workflow, revenues, etc, such as toddlers (like Cristiana said!), health, personal situations, etc...


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:50
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

Yes, but only just (and being an owner-occupier helps) and it is getting harder and harder with translation rates stagnant to falling and the cost of living rising.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Oct 17, 2013

I live off a combination of current income from translation plus retirement income - from my past career as an in-house translator.

[Edited at 2013-10-17 09:34 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:50
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

That’s exactly what I have been doing for the last 30 years, with some ups and downs here and there, and how I raised my kids as a single parent…

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Carmen Grabs
Germany
Local time: 11:50
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Yes, but Oct 17, 2013

I have a part-time job, too, just to be on the safe side and to get me started as freelancer. Once I feel I have enough clients to guarantee a more or less steady job flow, I may be living off translations only.

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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:50
English
+ ...
Yes, editing, proofreading and translating. Oct 17, 2013

I tend to do more editing than translating, but ends do meet....

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Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 12:50
English to Romanian
+ ...
chapeau! Oct 17, 2013

Teresa Borges wrote:

That’s exactly what I have been doing for the last 30 years, with some ups and downs here and there, and how I raised my kids as a single parent…


You are one h*ll of a woman! I cannot even imagine how that must have been (at times)


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Sabine Schlottky  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:50
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Like Oct 17, 2013

Teresa Borges wrote:

That’s exactly what I have been doing for the last 30 years, with some ups and downs here and there, and how I raised my kids as a single parent…


Where is the "Like" button here on proz? Respect! I'v been doing the same for 18 years - one child only, but single mother too


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

7 years and counting!

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Antonio Fajardo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:50
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Oct 17, 2013

Yes! And I don't know even one full-time translator (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) who earns less than the average salary in his country.

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