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Poll: With your education and experience, could you earn more doing something other than translation?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:47
SITE STAFF
Aug 22, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "With your education and experience, could you earn more doing something other than translation?".

This poll was originally submitted by Bill Greendyk

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 21:47
German to Polish
+ ...
40% would earn more Aug 22, 2006

to be honest, I am a bit shocked to see the current (23:22 GMT+1, 22 Aug 2006) result of the poll.

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?

Or is there a hook?
Regards,
Agnieszka


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Denise DeVries  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
Spanish to English
+ ...
Freedom!!! Aug 22, 2006

tygru wrote:

to be honest, I am a bit shocked to see the current (23:22 GMT+1, 22 Aug 2006) result of the poll.

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?

Or is there a hook?
Regards,
Agnieszka



I can live wherever I want, I don't have to commute to work, I don't have to deal with a boss every day, I can wear what I want, I set my own hours, and I'll probably live a longer, happier life.


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Gabor Kun  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 21:47
English to Hungarian
Why not something else Aug 22, 2006

tygru wrote:
If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?


Convenient workplace, flexible schedule, various subjects, educated people from all over the world.


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Reed James
Chile
Local time: 17:47
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
Well said! Aug 22, 2006

Denise DeVries wrote:

tygru wrote:

to be honest, I am a bit shocked to see the current (23:22 GMT+1, 22 Aug 2006) result of the poll.

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?

Or is there a hook?
Regards,
Agnieszka



I can live wherever I want, I don't have to commute to work, I don't have to deal with a boss every day, I can wear what I want, I set my own hours, and I'll probably live a longer, happier life.


The greatest thing about my work hours is that I can drop off and pick up my kids from school and spend plenty of time with them.

Reed


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:47
French to English
Because... Aug 22, 2006

tygru wrote:

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?


...some of us feel that there is more to life than the simple pursuit of wealth.


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Sophia Hundt  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
Russian to English
+ ...
No way, man Aug 23, 2006

Being a translator is absolutely perfect for me - it's incredibly easy money, in terms of time and effort relative to compensation, and it fulfills my true passion - working with languages. Very important is also the fact that it fits perfectly into my lifestyle - farming and being a full-time mom. By doing what I truly enjoy and always wanted to do, I am able to add significantly to my family income, putting us on whole another level financially, and also accomplish everything I've been doing before - taking care of my baby, working on the farm, housekeeping, cooking and canning. So I can see myself translating for many more years.

Regards,
Sophia Hundt


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
I might be earning approx. the same Aug 23, 2006

had I continued with my marketing career.

Au


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Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lower! Aug 23, 2006

Actually, working with languages, my other option is teaching or research (which I have done).

Less flexibility and the pay is really less!

Like doing both: I get to leave my "cave" and see other people, while doing something I also enjoy.

But I would not stop translating!!!


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
I like what I do, AND... Aug 23, 2006

I choose my own hours;

I don't have to commute to an office;

I don't have to work with people I don't like;

I can spend time with my children when they need me.


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:17
German to English
I've never thought of doing anything else Aug 23, 2006

I've been working as a translator for the past fifteen years, which is most of my professional life, so I don't really have anything to compare it with.

I did a two month internship in a bank when I was a student and I hated it!

As Sophia says, being a translator is just perfect for me too!

[Edited at 2006-08-23 05:05]


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Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:47
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I like this better Aug 23, 2006

tygru wrote:

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?



II'm doing nicely as a translator, but I was earning almost twice as much in my interlude as a manager (in the translation department of a software company).

In exchange for less income I get:

no bullshit meetings ("let's have a department meeting to explore new avenuse for improving performers' performance by getting the low-hanging fruit to do an end run around the cometition and have fun along the way)

no inhane rewards ("you have managed to show up for work...good job!")

no useless performance review ("Jane Smith is a valuable member of our great team but could be more of a real team player if ...")

no commute

and so on (for reference, see Dilbert).

Looks like a bargain to me


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Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:47
German to English
money isn't everything... Aug 23, 2006

My original career goal was to become a hot-shot lawyer, which would have paid better than translating.
Life didn't quite work out like that, I ended up having children at a rather young age and you can't establish a legal career part-time.

I am very happy with working as a translator - it fits in perfectly with the rest of my life (rather than the rest of my life having to fit in with work ), pays well and is intellectually stimulating.


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Pundora  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:17
English to Hindi
+ ...
Depends on your location, wherewithals, etc. Aug 23, 2006

tygru wrote:

to be honest, I am a bit shocked to see the current (23:22 GMT+1, 22 Aug 2006) result of the poll.

If 40% of respondents would REALLY earn more, pursuing a career different than translation/ interpreting, then... why don't they give up this worse paid job?

Or is there a hook?
Regards,
Agnieszka


Honestly, it depends on your country of location, language pair and the means at your disposal to handle translation, besides education and experience. In India, for example, individual English-Hindi translators do not get respectable rates and mostly they have to depend on local agencies who give them as less as 20 Rupee per page!! Currently, 1 USD is equivalent to 46 Indian Rupees. Most, even do not know it is such a respectable and wonderful profession. Whereas, an experienced tutor may be getting 500 rupees per hour, an English-Hindi translator at the same time just 50 rupees per hour.

Regards


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Javier Herrera
Spanish
The poll's result is still bad news Aug 23, 2006

My original reaction was the same as tygru's.
Now, it's very true that there's more in life than wealth, and I've always thought that.
But my concern after reading all these comments is that many of those 40% translators who could earn more by doing something else could as well do something to make translation more profitable (at least as much as those other activities), ie, by demanding higher rates, specializing more...etc.


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