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
SITE STAFF
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
Spain
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
Portugal
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
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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
Japan
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
Brazil
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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Huasha
China
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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