Poll: In general, I prefer...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:25
Apr 29, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In general, I prefer...".

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Teresa Borges
Local time: 22:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No preference Apr 29, 2017

As I said before (another very similar quick poll), I have no preference whatsoever, but what I really, really, like is having a long term project with a comfortable deadline and in parallel handling a good bunch of shortish projects…


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 29, 2017

As long as they don't all come at the same time, in a flustered rush of "urgency", with excruciatingly brief deadlines, I don't mind. However, in the real world, longish translations, say 10,000 and over, can end up getting in the way of shorter texts, depending on whether or not the deadlines clash.

And it's different. Although I get a feeling of satisfaction delivering a short job really quickly, I also feel good (relieved?) after finishing a long translation. Most of my longer translations tend to be in academic fields like education, history, or sociology, while my business translations rarely exceed 10K words in a single document, and in fact most business texts I translate are much shorter. Let me just check; it's the end of the month, and out of seventeen business translations, two of them were roughly 4K and one was just over 6K. Another 3 or 4 had between 1000 and 1500 words, and the rest were all shorter. However, I enjoyed (or suffered) them all equally, no preferences really due to length. A couple of the jobs were awkward due to formatting issues...

[Edited at 2017-04-29 08:48 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-04-29 08:49 GMT]


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:25
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Longer jobs Apr 29, 2017

Like Teresa, I enjoy having longer jobs with loose deadlines so I can work in shorter ones along the way, but even if the deadline is tight, I basically prefer the longer ones. I basically don't like really short jobs. Too much hassle to invoice them.


EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Short but... Apr 29, 2017

not too short, let's say between 1 and 10 pages. When there is one sentence to translate, I will spend more time on administrative processing of the job and on discussions with the client than on the job itself.


Toby Wakely  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
long but not too urgent Apr 29, 2017

In general I prefer longer jobs. I find I can pick up pace as I become more and more familiar with the subject matter of the text. Also, they give more financial stability, important in such an unstable profession as translation can be, as well as help build up TMs.


Ricki Farn
Local time: 23:25
Member (2005)
English to German
Medium-sized and recurrent Apr 29, 2017

I love customers who send 1-3 days' work at a time, on a regular basis. More than 3 days spells boredom, less than one day means waste through a "patchwork" workflow, and non-recurrent is a waste of content/terminology research.

Now to find a butterfly net that catches me just this type of customersicon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2017-04-29 13:12 GMT]


Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Other Apr 29, 2017

Define the size of a job please!
In my field for example a small size job is between 2500 and 7000 words, a medium size job is between 7000 and 15000 words and over 15000 words it is a large job.

According to that, I prefer medium-size jobs, because thanks to CAT tools I can manage them in a reasonable time and I can accept more jobs.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
The longer Apr 29, 2017

The better

Because I can get more involved in the project and learn more about what I am translating. The more I get involved in a project, the better my translation will become and the quicker my turnaround will become. This is a win-win situation for all parties concerned.
As translators, we are in the 'knowledge business.' The more we know, the more proficient we become. This is something that cannot be gained by lots of 'ships in the night' type of one-off jobs. A nice 4- or 5-month long project is a must if you want to prove your worth in a particular field. FWIW


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:25
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Is this a choice at all? Apr 29, 2017

This is not the kind of choice a professional translator should think about.

As a mechanic, do you prefer to fix old cars or new cars?
As a doctor, do you prefer male or female patients?
As a translator, do you prefer small, medium or large jobs?

Of course you can have your preferences. But it's a really meaningless preference, once it's not a choice at all.


Bruno Veilleux
Local time: 17:25
English to French
I favor medium jobs Apr 30, 2017

Mario Freitas wrote:
Is this a choice at all?

For me it is. Working full time for several weeks becomes excruciating for me, so I don't bid on very large jobs regardless of how interesting they seem. It's also why I avoid jobs where you're asked to commit to a certain number of words/hours every week until further notice. I need to be able to stop for several days if I need to, and with large jobs I can't do that with the peace of mind that everything I had committed to has been delivered. I do like medium jobs that extend over 3-10 days, though, for the same reasons already mentioned in this thread, and clients that have frequent smaller projects as opposed to one large job with a less manageable deadline.


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:25
German to English
+ ...
Medium Apr 30, 2017

I prefer medium, but I don't mind short jobs for regular clients. What I really don't like are long jobs with many different files, because it is more difficult to make changes with regard to terminology or other aspects.


Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
German to English
A mixture May 2, 2017

is always best - a big job to maintain a steady work flow combined with small jobs that you slot in for interest and variety.


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