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Is it worth to pay the proz.com membership?
Thread poster: Rafa Martínez
Rafa Martínez
Local time: 16:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 26, 2008

I mean, put yourself in my place, I've never made a paid translation, I don't have lots of experience, I'm a student, I don't have a recurrent job, I can only go to work certain weekends, that is my only income source, I think I have the money but maybe I'll need that money within two months to eat, but the question is, if I pay the membership when am I going to receive the amount I've paid for the membership in jobs?

Now that you know my case, what would you do ?

Thank you!!


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Alessandro Cattelan
Italy
Local time: 16:50
English to Italian
+ ...
Honestly, I think it isn't Apr 26, 2008

Rafa Martínez wrote:

I mean, put yourself in my place, I've never made a paid translation, I don't have lots of experience, I'm a student, I don't have a recurrent job, I can only go to work certain weekends, that is my only income source, I think I have the money but maybe I'll need that money within two months to eat, but the question is, if I pay the membership when am I going to receive the amount I've paid for the membership in jobs?

Now that you know my case, what would you do ?

Thank you!!


I'm not a paying member and I think I'll never be one. I don't think there's anything wrong with paying for being a member of this site and I assume that it could indeed prove somehow useful. However, I strongly believe that this is not what will make you a translator and it will hardly let you get any jobs in the sector.

I believe that very few agencies look for translators on this - or any other similar - website for their regular job. They may put their bids here when they have some urgent job or they want to extend their databases, but most agencies rely on their own freelance translators and not on Proz members.

I have no idea how much the membership costs here, but I would certainly put my money somewhere else. I'd rather buy and start learning a CAT tool (Wordfast or Trados) or invest in some specialized course on translation.

Just my 2 cents.
Ale.


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:50
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
In your shoes I would join ProZ.com as a student member Apr 26, 2008

I am certain that you will learn a lot from the student community, and pick up a lot of useful tips to help pave your career path.

Under the tab "Community", and then "Exchange", you can also request mentoring.

Good luck!

Astrid


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:50
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Can you deliver? Apr 26, 2008

First question you should ask is - when you get a job are you going to do it well? Do you have skills and tools it requires? If the answer is yes than I would certainly recommend paying for the membership. You can start with paying for less than a year - this way it will be cheaper and you will see if it works for you.

Paying for Proz.com was my first expense on advertising and I never regretted it. Just remember - if you invest money in the membership - remember to invest also some time in polishing your profile and Kudoz.

Good luck
Stanislaw


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 11:50
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It certainly is. Apr 26, 2008

You are thinking of a Proz membership as something you do with some extra money, if you can spare some money. Wrong! You should think of it as an investment. Proz is a tool and a means.

You don`t advertise when you have extra money, you invest. You don`t buy a PC or software IF you have the money, you need that to work so you invest in it. You also take courses to keep updated. That`s also investment.

It´s the same here. Just switch your point of view.

My suggestion:
Be a non-paying member for 2-3 months, browse around, get to know the site and the colleagues, participate in Kudoz, be active in the fora, get familiar with the features you already have as a regular member and learn what features you will have once a paying member. Make up your mind after that. I`m sure you will become a member then. That`s what I did. And it was certainly worth it.


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Rafa Martínez
Local time: 16:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you a lot!! Apr 26, 2008

Hello,
thank you for answering! You've been very useful!

I think I'm going to do what Walter said. I'll wait two or three months, maybe six. And then if I can I'll invest in Proz.com.

Thank you Walter, Stanislaw, Astrid and Alessandro for your time. You really have been very useful!!


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Full access to BlueBoard alone is worth is price Apr 26, 2008

If you plan to start freelancing, you'll need to determine whether potential clients are reliable payers. Full access to BlueBoard, and in particular the ability to read the comments, is invaluable.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Look at what you get in return Apr 26, 2008

Rafa Martínez wrote:
...but the question is, if I pay the membership when am I going to receive the amount I've paid for the membership in jobs?


I only got ProZ.com membership when I was able to afford it above and beyond my existing income. In other words, I didn't think that ProZ.com membership was a critical investment, but I do think it is a good investment.

Let's see what you're up against, dear Catalan translator:

English to Catalan:
* Top or only pair, native Catalan: 102 ProZians, of which only 7 are paid members who appear in the first page of search results.
* Top or only pair, non-native Catalan: 198 ProZians, of which 10 are paid members who appear in the first page of search results.
* Top three pairs, native Catalan: 344 ProZians, of which 42 are paid members and only 25 of those appear in the top page of search results.

So you see that it is unlikely that you'll reach the second or third search result pages unless you're a paid member. You'd have to rake in lots and lots and lots of KudoZ points before any of the other 302 people to even reach the second page. And that is unlikely to happen soon. However, if you pay, you jump the queue and in the first two of the above examples you'll be on the first results page (in the third example, you'll likely be on the second page).

Also note how many clients restrict their jobs to paid members during the first 12 or 24 hours. By the time you as a non-member can quote, the job has been taken.

On the other hand, since you're only available on weekends, for 5 out of 7 jobs that you qualify and would have been the client's first choice, you would have to say "no" to the job. In essense, your ProZ.com membership is four times as expensive to you as it is to someone who can take jobs 7 out of 7 days, because 75% of the time you'll have to say "no" when you could have said "yes" if you had worked full-time.

I say again, if you can afford a ProZ.com membership without making any impression on your cash flow, then that is a good time to get membership. In the mean time, learn to make maximum use of the free features here and elsewhere.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:50
French to English
Browniz, no? Apr 26, 2008

Steven Capsuto wrote:

If you plan to start freelancing, you'll need to determine whether potential clients are reliable payers. Full access to BlueBoard, and in particular the ability to read the comments, is invaluable.


True enough, but unless I am mistaken, you can get access to the BB record for one client for 50 browniz points. 50 browniz points can be earned in a week with almost no effort - respond to the polls and agree with a handful of answers that are ultimately selected by the Asker.
I can't imagine that our chum will need to check more than one client a week in the current circs. Anyway, if he starts now, he should have a ample by the time he gets working for real.

For the record, in the interests of transparency, I was a paying member for 2 or 3 years and let it lapse last May/June with no discernable impact.


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Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 16:50
German to English
Membership is an investment that promises good returns. Apr 26, 2008

Rafa Martínez wrote:

if I pay the membership when am I going to receive the amount I've paid for the membership in jobs?




Proz membership is certainly good value for money.
To answer your question: In my case it took approx. 2 weeks for me to make some interesting contacts that led to a series of well-paid jobs.

But as others have noted, membership is only worth it if YOU REALLY WANT TO BE A TRANSLATOR. People just hoping to pick up a few quick jobs will be disappointed, but if you are committed to developing yourself as a professional -you´ll definitely get a lot out of it. Try the student membership for a while and then maybe upgrade.
Good luck.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:50
French to English
A good investment Apr 26, 2008

I joined when I decided to try to translate full-time, I have been part-time for many years. I did get quite a few jobs directly through the postings, most of which turned out to be repeat clients. I also haven't been stiffed yet (knock wood, still a few invoices out), for which I do credit the Blue Board, I have only worked with top rated agencies so far. I was, and still am, very nervous about working with new clients, but it's good to know who has nonpayment complaints against them and who doesn't. It was definitely worth it to me, and I would advise anyone who was serious about working as a translator to start here. Now, after a couple of years building up clientele, you may find you can let your membership lapse and just use the free features, but I would recommend a full membership, or at least the student membership to start. It really isn't that much money, and usually deductable. You can make back your membership money just by doing a couple of those crappy rush jobs no one else wants, and anything beyond that is profit.

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Elene P.  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 18:50
Member (2007)
Georgian to English
+ ...
It is very helpful. Apr 26, 2008

In my opinion you should join. Right now I think proz.com is the best portal in this field. Me personally I appreciate it a lot.

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Mirella Soffio  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:50
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
A different point of view Apr 26, 2008

I've been a member here since the beginning and although most of my jobs come from clients I've met elsewhere, I'm still happy to pay my quote to keep the site running - for me and for people who might decide they do not want/cannot afford to pay the full membership.

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Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:50
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, it is Apr 26, 2008

The Kudoz glossaries alone are worth what I pay. One can find a number of online glossaries for free, but the proz.com glossaries compiled through the live participation of people is one of the most valuable I use. Here one generally finds answers to terms not found anyhere else. Now, there's also the BB, the translator's directory, etc., etc.

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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 16:50
English to Norwegian
+ ...
yes Apr 27, 2008

I am getting reminders to renew my membership these days - and I think I will. It did not take me long to get back the investments from the jobs I got - and without the blue board, I could have been fooled into accepting the wrong jobs...
Kudoz is also great - at least in my language pair.
Good luck!


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