Poll: If you work in multiple language pairs, is one of them more profitable to you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:55
Dec 1, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you work in multiple language pairs, is one of them more profitable to you?".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:55
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Significantly! Dec 1, 2015

My strongest second language is Portuguese because I spoke it almost exclusively for so many years, but I get 80% of my work from Spanish. Spanish is where the action is.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, significantly Dec 1, 2015

In fact, I rarely if ever do French translations nowadays, and I'm extremely rusty. I get the impression that French language usage has changed quite a bit in past 30 years or so, but maybe that's just me.

As Muriel says, for me Spanish is where it's at!

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 21:55
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, significantly! Dec 1, 2015

I work in four language pairs. I translate from English, French, Spanish and Italian (in this order amount-wise) to my native language: European Portuguese. As I charge more or less the same for all four languages the difference has to come from volume. Nowadays the vast majority of my work is in one combination (EN-PT), though some years ago there was a kind of balance among language pairs. Over the years I have noticed a big shift: when I started out some 40 years ago the demand for other languages (French, in the first place) was much higher. For instance, last year I had next to no work (8,000 words) in IT-PT…

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Depends what you mean by profitable Dec 1, 2015

If you mean do I get higher prices for one/some, yes (in my case: Bulgarian or Slovak to French), on average, because the clients involved are not the same. If you mean do I get more work in one, also yes - unfortunately, it is the pair that 1) I hate, and 2) for which the prices are the lowest - English to Czech.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes Dec 1, 2015

I find Norwegian pays better than Danish and especially Swedish

The big agencies haven't got the same stranglehold there

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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:55
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes ... Dec 1, 2015

I work Dutch to English, Dutch to Greek, Greek to English and English to Greek.

I am not sure if the question concerns total earnings or rate per word/task per language pair, so my explanation covers both.

I would guess that more than 75% of my work has always been into English (over the years from 75% - 95% of that work Dutch to English and the remainder Greek to English).

I charge more per word for Dutch to English than Greek to English or English to Greek, so that's by far my most profitable pair as regards total income. I charge the most per word for Dutch to Greek - but I rarely work in that language combination, especially these days.

Currently I am doing less work into Greek than ever, which I guess is crisis-related, there is less work in the market and what work there is seems to be being offered at lower rates. I hope that's a trend that I'll see something of a reversal in, at some point in the future.

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
When it comes to my languages… Dec 1, 2015

…which are English and Spanish, they both pay the same, given the current local market conditions.

Somedays I wish I had taken up a second foreign language, but I was too focused on excelling in English and Spanish.

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CI_translation  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:55
Partial member (2013)
English to Japanese
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In quantity, Yes, but rates are the same Dec 1, 2015

In quantity no one compares with English but in rates the other pair is competitive enough.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:55
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Only one pair Dec 2, 2015

I only work with one pair, but I have been asked to translate from Spanish and French to Portuguese, as my CV says I speak both at an intermediate level (obviously not qualifying me to translate in those languages), and that has happened several times. I have acutally done a few ES-PT translations, without any trouble, but these were sporadical jobs.

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Local time: 04:55
English to Chinese
+ ...
Same Dec 2, 2015

My pair is English > Chinese and for most of the time it's simplified Chinese. Sometimes the client also needs a traditional Chinese version, and the rate would be the same.

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