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Poll: Has your location ever worked against you as a freelancer?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:34
SITE STAFF
Oct 24

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has your location ever worked against you as a freelancer?".

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 10:34
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Not at all Oct 24

Because I'm seated in front of a computer more or less every day.

Thanks Anonymous for 29! consecutive anonymous polls. Yep, Anonymous is on a big winning streak!


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:34
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
yes Oct 24

Various times, when I log on in the morning, a job offer from a different time zone (mostly the US) has come and gone while I was offline.
Once, my location really worked against me when a client decided to give me a call to see if I had received the email, because I had still not replied. I was very grumpy pointing out that it was 3 am in my time zone so I had not been checking my email and a reply was going to take another few hours.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:34
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 24

Far from it. All but one of my regular clients are based in the same country as me.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:34
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Oct 24

No, quite the contrary, the fact that in 1985 (the year before Portugal’s adhesion to the then European Community) I was working as a freelancer in Brussels worked strongly in my favor (this was before the Internet era). I moved back to Portugal last year and the only drawback is that the rates I charge are way above the competition in the area; fortunately I managed to build a good client base over the years…

P.S. I must say though that I can’t remember a single occasion when a client asked me where I’m located…


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:34
Member (2008)
English to Italian
No Oct 24

Nope

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Texte Style
Local time: 02:34
French to English
Not that I know of Oct 24

All my clients are based in France like me. I don't really want to work with people in a foreign country because of the hassle involved if they don't pay.

I have no idea whether there are potential clients who pass me by because they would prefer someone living elsewhere. I remember a translator in the UK telling me she was hesitant to move to France in case any clients thought her English would become stilted. I'm pretty sure mine isn't, but who knows what clients might think? Their English isn't usually good enough to be able to tell.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
All the time Oct 24

It's harder to woo customers when you're in another country.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:34
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
As far as I know only once Oct 24

A major client suddenly decided they would only work with translators living in the country where their native language is spoken. I could argue that of course English is spoken in Denmark, but it is not the country's official language. The client dropped me.

Meanwhile I was getting tired of their CAT tool and proofreading rates, so I found other clients and don't miss them!

On the whole I find my location an advantage - I can get to the UK and keep up with the language on the Internet, and being surrounded by my source language is definitely an advantage too.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:34
French to English
Yes and No Oct 24

For translation, not at all. I used to live in the countryside and finally rented an office overlooking the fishing harbour in the nearest village. That was good fun. When ASDL came in, I was lucky to be among the first in the village to be able to access it. Had I continued to work at home, I would have had to wait a few years before being able to access ADSL. That would have slowed me down and I would probably have been forced to rent an office really quickly if I had not done so already. Seeing where things were going at the time, it was one of the reasons I did in fact rent an office. Some parts of France still do not have access to ADSL.

When it came to interpreting, then living a little far away from major centres means that traveling costs to jobs makes you expensive to hire.

For the past 7 years, I have been living in a small university town and now live in a towncentre. Communication is simply not an issue any more. I am now just 1h from Paris by high-speed train (TGV) which makes all the difference to my employability for interpreting jobs in terms of time, accessibility and cost, be it borne by me or the client.

[Edited at 2017-10-24 10:22 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:34
French to English
I sympathize Oct 24

Marjolein Snippe wrote:

Various times, when I log on in the morning, a job offer from a different time zone (mostly the US) has come and gone while I was offline.
Once, my location really worked against me when a client decided to give me a call to see if I had received the email, because I had still not replied. I was very grumpy pointing out that it was 3 am in my time zone so I had not been checking my email and a reply was going to take another few hours.


When my main source of clients was in a particular field, my clients would travel a lot. They would lose track of time, or not care. I too had a couple of calls from thoughtless clients at unearthly hours. That was when I was working at home, and in spite of the fact that I had a separate telephone line for work. It contributed to my decision to rent an office outside of my home.

I transferred my work telephone line to my outside office and it could ring at 3 in the morning and it made no difference to me whatsoever. Funnily enough, although the same clients -with one exception (there often is) - also had my personal telephone number, they would no longer call me at home, which they had done in the past out of office hours. The one who called at midnight until he got an answer, was met with an unfriendly reply, and I asked him never to call me again.

[Edited at 2017-10-24 10:28 GMT]


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:34
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 24

Nobody trusts a b***y East-European to write good French and English!

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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:34
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sometimes Oct 24

As I live in the UK and speak a somewhat Yorkshire version of the Queen's English, I have occasionally missed out on jobs because I am not American.

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Fernán González  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:34
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...


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Yes Oct 24

Living somewhere where many interpreters live, like Madrid, actually offered fewer chances for common language pairs like EN-ES than living in a smaller city with no translation/interpreting university.

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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 19:34
German to English
+ ...
No, and to the contrary Oct 24

Since freelance translation is generally done remotely, location isn't much of a factor. However, obviously when a client needs a Canadian certified translator, then being one (and thus in Canada) is a good thing. Being in the country's capital doesn't hurt either.

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