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Poll: Do you think of yourself firstly as a business person?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:04
SITE STAFF
Nov 21, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think of yourself firstly as a business person?".

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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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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 14:04
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Depends Nov 21, 2007

As translators or as individuals? I'm assuming it's the former, right?

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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 23:04
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Can't afford not to... Nov 21, 2007

...keep a business head on!

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Mike Hunter
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:04
Member
English to Flemish
+ ...
its business Nov 21, 2007

aceavila - Noni wrote:

...keep a business head on!


If you equate "business" with working in a professional way, then I think all translators are business people. I absolutely agree that you need to keep a good business head on.

cheers

Mike


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:04
Member
English to Turkish
Clicked on 'No' without a second thought, but... Nov 21, 2007

If the question has been asked within the context of translation only, and I suspect it has, then my answer would be something from 'Sometimes' to 'Most of the Time' - I never say 'never' and 'always'

[Edited at 2007-11-21 16:47]


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 16:04
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No Nov 21, 2007

Money is an important factor in my life but it's not at the top. Furthermore, we can help others through translation.

[Modificato alle 2007-11-21 16:58]


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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:04
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
depends Nov 21, 2007

If by 'business person', you mean someone who is a professional, like Mike's comment, then yes.
If you mean someone with training/education in marketing, business and the like, then no.
'Sending out invoices' makes me feel like an accountant. Which is not to say that accountants are not professionals and business people in their own right, but it does seem to limit the 'business' of translation/interpretation to monetary concerns only, whereas I associate business people with marketing, organizing, managing, etc.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
I don't really understand what the question is driving at Nov 21, 2007

.. so have nothing to add to what has already been said, although I must disagree with Mike, having come up against some self-styled translators and agencies out there that are totally unprofessional.

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:04
English to Russian
+ ...
No Nov 21, 2007

In my opnion, a translator is a creative type and a professional. These qualities can hardly coexist with those a businessperson needs.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:04
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bohemian rhapsody Nov 21, 2007

I got the impression the question was aimed at finding out how much of a business mentality translators have.

I think many of us are artistic, free-spirited types. People like us oftentimes have a reputation for having their heads in the clouds as opposed to those in more business like down-to-earth jobs or professions. There seems to be a certain stereotype of translators as bohemian artist types who would rather starve to death than allow their work to become “commercialized”. (I’m not saying that it’s what I think; I just think it would be easy to see how some people might think that of us. There have already been polls and forums in which some of us have said that our friends and neighbors don’t think we have “real” jobs – whatever that means.)

Getting back to the question… I don’t think that anyone can survive as a translator (or at least make a decent living) without having a business mentality. I’m always surprised when I see polls that say something like, “Do you negotiate X with clients?” and a large percentage answer NO. What type of businessman doesn’t negotiate?

I also think the question is an effort to find what percentage of people don’t see the business aspects of translating as important because they LOVE what they do. As they say, “Love is blind” and I think it makes many translators blind to the more mundane, dog-eat-dog reality of the business world.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:04
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
"No" off the hip (call me Quick Draw) Nov 21, 2007

but suddenly it strikes me all the decisions that have pared my life down to its simple basics have been business ones.

Work for 5 cents? (5 x 3000) NO.

Accept hour-long interpretations at hourly rates? (hours of research + travel time) NO.

300 words by PayPal (less commissions) NO.

etc., etc., etc......

After I've done that, I can afford to be an artistic, free-spirited type until the end of the month (invoicing time).


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:04
Italian to English
+ ...
An instinctive "No..." Nov 22, 2007

... And I wanted another option - "especially when doing the invoices"!

I think of people who work in Finance as being business people. But like everyone else, when actually thinking about I'm not sure what is meant. Professional? I think I am. Negotiate? Well, potential clients are free to take or leave my rates, not the other way round... Organised? Definitely. So does that make me a business woman?


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Sabine Schlottky  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:04
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
I am asking myself: Nov 22, 2007

Is there anything wrong with being a business person after all???

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JackieMcC
Local time: 23:04
French to English
Clearly, yes Nov 22, 2007

Because, as a freelance translator, I am running a translation business - aren't we all?

Although I definitely think I'm better at the translating side than the 'business' side

Jackie


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:04
English to German
+ ...
Define: business person Nov 22, 2007

As far as I know, translators are not exempt from paying rent, taxes, whatever bills, and BTW, they have to eat.

Each and every time you decline a job that would require you to work for peanuts, you are thinking and acting like a business person.

Each and every time you double- and triple-check your translation you act and think like a business person.

Slight mix-up between "business person" and "yuppie"?



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