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Is in-house translator a dying breed?
Thread poster: Anna Dundiy

Anna Dundiy  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Nov 30, 2005

Hello everybody!

I've read it somewhere in internet: "In-house translator is a dying breed". As I have just recently entered the world of the translation industry, I wanted to ask the more experienced whether you agree with this thought? Have you noticed that it is harder to find a job as in-house translator? Or is it easier to find an in-house position, if you work in certain language pairs?


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Olivia MAHÉ  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:56
English to French
+ ...
I hope not! Nov 30, 2005

Hi Anna,

I confess that up to now I have properly no experience in this field, but I'm quite interested in this argument and I think it would be nice to hear more often of those who chose to or try to relocate abroad for a while, or for the rest of their lives...

(By the way, why not opening a forum on this theme?)

I myself dream of going away, far, far in the east, but I never happened to see any offer coming from (let's say) INDIA, of someone looking for an in-house native French translator(...). I guess over there they have plenty of resident French-speaking persons meeting their needs...

Well, unfortunately I think that to find a position as an in-house translator, you have to live already in the country, and that as far as you are not an English-speaking native, it is HOPELESS!!!

Anyway, good luck!

Olivia


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:56
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You won't earn professionally as an in-house translator Nov 30, 2005

Yes, from what I hear, it is a dying breed. However, full-time translators do not get paid any more than secretaries, who generally have invested less in education than a translator has. Many secretaries get more than the translator at a firm (not a translation agency), because they do a more valuable job, in business terms, than the company translator does. Therefore it would seem not to make sense anyway to work in-house, when you can earn on a much more professional level as a freelancer.

Astrid


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Hellen Varela-Fdez.  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 23:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pros and Cons Nov 30, 2005

I am an in-house translator at Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (in fact, the only one) and I must agree that the job doesn’t pay, you can’t manage your time as you would like, and sometimes you have to do other tasks not related to translation, but of course, it has pros and cons: there are ups and downs but I always receive my pay, every month; I have many benefits, as paid vacations, Christmas bonus, etc.; at the same time I can make translations as a freelance in my free time. In my case, the combination is good, although I would love to have more freelance jobs (REALLY I WOULD!). Yes, I think it is very hard to find an in-house position. In Costa Rica, this profession is very young, and most of the people I graduated with from the Master’s Program are working as English teachers, “Interpreters” at a call center or even working in other area they have studied. So, I guess this has been the very best opportunity for me and I am really happy with it. Good luck!

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:56
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
BBC Monitoring? Nov 30, 2005

Are you actually hoping to find an in-house position in the UK? If so, you might consider BBC Monitoring, where I worked for 27 years listening to Radio Moscow and Soviet TV. I found this on the BBC Monitoring website at http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk/


Jobs
BBC Monitoring is a dynamic and respected organisation employing some 500 staff, including linguists, editors as well as technical and IT specialists.

Advertisements for vacancies can be found on the BBC web site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/jobs (location Reading) and in the British national press, particularly on Mondays in The Guardian. To contact our recruitment office phone 44 (0)118 948 6348 or email recruitment@mon.bbc.co.uk. We cannot hold speculative applications and CVs.


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:56
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Newspapers Dec 1, 2005

In Israel, where you can find translators under every tree, only Haaretz, a mainstream newspaper, has in-house translators, as far as I know. There may be a few employed by agencies as well. Everyone else is freelance.

Referring to Jack's point, I used to work for BBC Monitoring in the 1990's, and the broadcast-transcriptors there had gone all the way to becoming sub-editors. However, with the political changes in Europe twenty years ago, there's no need for that many languages anymore, but I believe there'll always be a need for good Russian translators.

Doron


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Terence Ajbro
Sweden
Local time: 06:56
English to German
+ ...
The job is often called Technical Writer in Scandinavia Dec 1, 2005

If you have good English skills plus fluency in one or more languages, then job possibilities are quite good in Scandinavia. That has been my experience. I have worked as technical writer and translator now for over 14 years in Copenhagen. The job is a mixture of DTP, translation to English, German and Danish and text authoring in English which is my native language. A lot of my work involves localisation to about 15 different languages. Needless to say I work with both Trados and Dejavu. I would get bored with a "pure" translation job to be honest. It is also much better to actually write and translate texts about something you actually know something about!

Regards

Terence


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Anna Dundiy  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:56
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for the answers! Dec 1, 2005

Thank you for the answers! And thank you, Jack, for the BBC link.
My question has come up, because there are virtually no in-house vacancies in my pair in the UK. In-house positions are advertised, let's say, once in three months, and obviously the competition for them is very fierce. Of course, I understand that not all in-house positions are ready available through internet or newspapers. I have a friend who did her work experience in a translation company. When her practice was coming to an end, the company decided to create an in-house position for her. It's just, firstly, there are more in-house positions in such pairs as English into Spanish, French, and German on offer. But then, as Astrid pointed out, you won't make a lot of money, which means that many translators leave their in-house jobs. Secondly, at present I have more offers and opportunities to register as a freelance translator with agencies. Therefore, it looks like a traditional route from in-house to freelance translator is actually not very traditional anymore.
Thank you very much for your emails once more. It's good food for thought.


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JennyC08
Local time: 00:56
German to French
+ ...
:) Dec 1, 2005

Terence Ajbro wrote:

If you have good English skills plus fluency in one or more languages, then job possibilities are quite good in Scandinavia. That has been my experience. I have worked as technical writer and translator now for over 14 years in Copenhagen. The job is a mixture of DTP, translation to English, German and Danish and text authoring in English which is my native language. A lot of my work involves localisation to about 15 different languages. Needless to say I work with both Trados and Dejavu. I would get bored with a "pure" translation job to be honest. It is also much better to actually write and translate texts about something you actually know something about!

Regards

Terence


Thank you for your answer.
It gives me hope as it is exactly what I want to go back to (like you, I cannot translate for 8 hours a day).

Cheers!

Caroline


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Ellinor Larsen
Local time: 06:56
English to Swedish
In-house translators do exist Dec 1, 2005

I work as an in-house translator for an education provider in Sweden. In Sweden, I've found that the demand for in-house translators is constantly increasing, or at least that has been the situation for the past couple of years. It seems companies here are realizing the benfits of having one person in charge of all their material, for consistency and what not.
The pay is good too, so I have no complaints. It's not quite as much as I would earn if I did only freelance work, but on the other hand I don't have to hunt for clients all the time.
And another benefit is that I always have access to people to ask, and people who can proof the content of my work, so I'm always confident the end result is of high quality.


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Dierk Seeburg  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:56
German to English
+ ...
Working as in-house translator with additional skills Dec 2, 2005

You can find a job as an in-house translator, if you have other skills and combine the two. For example, we currently have a position open for a bilingual German/English web content administrator at Choice Hotels International in Phoenix. This job requires translation skills as well as some IT skills such as HTML coding. If you're interested, please e-mail me at dierk_seeburg@choicehotels.com - thanks!

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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
* Dec 2, 2005

Well, I must say I don't remember seeing many job ads for in-house translators, or, to be more exact, hardly any, ever... So it would really seem a dying breed, yes.

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Yes, from what I hear, it is a dying breed. However, full-time translators do not get paid any more than secretaries, who generally have invested less in education than a translator has. Many secretaries get more than the translator at a firm (not a translation agency), because they do a more valuable job, in business terms, than the company translator does. Therefore it would seem not to make sense anyway to work in-house, when you can earn on a much more professional level as a freelancer.


Hmm... What is frustrating me right now is that, honestly, even street-cleaners seem to earn more than I do, or basically anyone who works in a "regular" job, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week... Plus people in regular jobs get holiday pay, sick pay, etc., which us freelancers don't. I have regular clients, but there's not that much work all the time, and if sometimes you are not working for some reason (technical problems, sick, holiday), the earnings really, really diminish... It's really depressing. If it was only money I'd be seriously contemplating going back to a "regular" job, but I do love the freedom of freelancing so much, and am not sure I could ever go back to being someone's slave (i.e. employee) ever again...


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Rosemary Harvey
Local time: 05:56
French to English
Working in house in the UK Dec 6, 2005

I now work as a freelance translator, but for two years prior to taking the plunge I tried to get a job as an in house translator. No agencies in the UK seem to have any in house positions. They all seem to be scaling back. I only managed to find a position as an in house proofreader. I think that most UK agencies out source all their work these days. Email makes it so easy and it reduces their costs.

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Barbara Bernardi
Ireland
Local time: 05:56
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
In-house translator job search Oct 29, 2008

Hi, I read the discussion regarding in-house translators. I'm searching a in-house translator job in US or Canada, can you advise me something? I'm searching on proz, google and other web pages but I didn't find anything. If you have some suggestions, please email me at barby310@yahoo.it
I'm an Italian technical translator working with English and Spanish.


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