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Poll: Where are most of your clients located?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:11
SITE STAFF
Apr 28, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Where are most of your clients located?".

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:11
Member (2006)
German to English
A bit of Apr 28, 2015

everywhere really.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other, mainly in the same continent Apr 28, 2015

No big change since the last time this question was asked (http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/269800-poll_where_are_most_of_your_clients_located.html), except that I lost my Japanese client (decided to translate only in Brazilian Portuguese), so my main clients are still spread all over Europe: Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Portugal, with a handful in Africa and Americas, plus one in Australia.

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 14:11
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
And before the comments about repeated subject start coming in... Apr 28, 2015

... I would say that I think it is informative to ask this question relatively frequently to see how the market is moving. Obviously this is not going to produce statistically reliable information, but it does give us a sense. Something I ask myself quite often is whether European clients are using cheaper translators in other continents...

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
A vaguely related question Apr 28, 2015

I have done occasional jobs for a couple of large agencies where we had to bill the US parent company but otherwise dealt with their offices in the UK and Ireland.

Is that Starbucks-style tax avoidance? Should we boycott them?

Otherwise, we work almost entirely for customers in Scandinavia (same continent, different country). They pay better.

[Edited at 2015-04-28 09:33 GMT]


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Rita Utt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:11
Member
English to German
+ ...
Why? Apr 28, 2015

It would be interesting to know why.
Is it more difficult for a translator to find work in his country of residence ? (If his mother tongue is the language of this contry)
Or do translators need to source clients form all over the world to generate enough income ?
Or is this typical for translators registered on international Websites like ProZ?
Or are there any other reasons?


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other: half and half Apr 28, 2015

48% of my clients are domestic, i.e. Brazil, South America; other 48% of them are in the USA, North America. This roughly applies to both constant clients and one-night-stands.

It is worth noting that most of my one-night stands are individuals or direct clients (hence not agencies) who request sworn translations for some specific purpose. Once it has been accomplished, they will need no further translations.

The interesting metrics is where my revenue comes from. I began serving the international market via Internet in 2006. The foreign income rose gradually, and I think it was 50% domestic/50% from overseas in 2011/12.

Yesterday I filed my income tax return, and realized that in 2014 it was 80% foreign/20% domestic. So far in 2015 (late April now), revenue from overseas has gone down to 2/3. Maybe there is some kind of a cycle, but it's too early to tell.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Agree - why could be interesting Apr 28, 2015

Rita Utt wrote:

It would be interesting to know why.
Is it more difficult for a translator to find work in his country of residence ? (If his mother tongue is the language of this country)
Or do translators need to source clients from all over the world to generate enough income ?
Or is this typical for translators registered on international Websites like ProZ?
Or are there any other reasons?


It varies presumably from one language pair to another and according to which direction you translate in.

Most of my clients are in my country of residence - I live where my source language is spoken and translate into English.

Everyone needs English... while translators who live in English-speaking countries and translate into other languages will presumably have many clients in the countries where those languages are spoken, i.e. in different countries from where they live.

Small countries (like Denmark, where I live) with languages not spoken in the rest of the world need translations for practically everything that leaves the country, while other countries can 'get away' with their own language or localisation / localization if they want to make a good impression.

Factors like how widespread a translator's source and target languages are will almost certainly make a difference.


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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:11
Member
German to English
+ ...
Source language countries Apr 28, 2015

My main clients are usually in countries where the source language for my main language combination is spoken, i.e. Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:11
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Split Apr 28, 2015

I would say 50% of my clients are based in mainland Northern Europe, 25% UK and 25% US and an odd few in the Far East: Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Arab Emirates. I no longer have any clients in my country of residence (Greece).

I forgot to say that the percentages I mentioned are for no. of clients not for volume of work.



[Edited at 2015-04-28 12:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-04-28 13:01 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Personal answer Apr 28, 2015

Rita Utt wrote:

It would be interesting to know why.
Is it more difficult for a translator to find work in his country of residence ? (If his mother tongue is the language of this contry)
Or do translators need to source clients form all over the world to generate enough income ?
Or is this typical for translators registered on international Websites like ProZ?
Or are there any other reasons?


I mainly work with German SMEs and start-ups as direct clients. I tend to get on with them and simply enjoy the collaboration. There is a significant difference in attitudes between German entrepreneurs and their British counterparts; in particular with respect to quality, flexibility and long-term orientation. This allows me to operate within my comfort zone.


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Jose Arnoldo Rodriguez-Carrington  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other. A mix. Apr 28, 2015

It varies all the time, but I could say:
40% From outside my country but in my continent (the US and Canada).
30% from my country of residence (Mexico), mostly from local branches of international companies.
30% From Europe (The UK and Italy, and ocassionally Germany). I avoid Spanish agencies, since I have had payment problems with every Spanish agency I have worked with.

[Edited at 2015-04-28 16:09 GMT]


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Another question Apr 28, 2015

According to this poll, 9% of translators work mainly for clients not located on any continent. So are agencies busy setting up offshore like pirate radio stations in a bid to cut costs further, or is the long-awaited extraterrestrial market finally taking off?

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not necessarily Apr 28, 2015

Chris S wrote:

According to this poll, 9% of translators work mainly for clients not located on any continent. So are agencies busy setting up offshore like pirate radio stations in a bid to cut costs further, or is the long-awaited extraterrestrial market finally taking off?


Translators may have their clients spread so thin all over the world, that "most" of their clients are everywhere. Others, like me and a few others, may have them split almost equally between their home country and their source language's homeland.

Some translators who accept despicable rates, and who in turn provide the deserved despicable service, may be agency-hopping forever, never having a chance to serve the same one twice, so their always new clients may pop up anywhere on the planet.

After all, less than 1 out of every 10 translators who replied fall into this group.

[Edited at 2015-04-28 21:07 GMT]


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
Still statistically inane for a poll Apr 29, 2015

Noni Gilbert wrote:

... I would say that I think it is informative to ask this question relatively frequently to see how the market is moving. Obviously this is not going to produce statistically reliable information, but it does give us a sense. Something I ask myself quite often is whether European clients are using cheaper translators in other continents...


IF and WHEN Proz builds a comparative table so that we can see the same poll's evolution over the years, yes, I agree with you. But let's be serious: Proz's model is stuck in the early 2000s.


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