Who are the translators currently based in SA?
Thread poster: Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 13:20
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2013

This forum seems so empty and unused that I thought I would fire off a question - who is currently based in South Africa? Not sure how popular ProZ is among South African translators to be honest, being that many freelancers that I have spoken to in South Africa tend to take a more face-to-face approach to gaining clients...

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Less than 100 SATI members are ProZians Jun 13, 2013

Sarai Pahla wrote:
Not sure how popular ProZ is among South African translators to be honest...


According to ProZ.com's translator association pages, 94 members of ProZ.com (including 54 paying members) are members of SATI (South African Translators' Institute). A directory search for translators in South Africa with "SATI" as a keyword on their site yields 11 results (2 of whom are paying members). However, over 750 ProZ.com members claim to be from South Africa.


 

Annabel Rautenbach  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:20
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I can think of at least 7 or so that I know of... Jun 20, 2013

I have actually worked and met quite a number of translators at ProZ who are definitely based in South Africa.
Do you think ProZ is furthering your carreer? Personally, joining ProZ was a turning point for me. I really did not have many clients when I decided to become a paying member. Since joining, there has been no looking backicon_smile.gif


 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 13:20
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lost track of this post completely! Jul 8, 2013

Hi Samuel,

Samuel Murray wrote:

According to ProZ.com's translator association pages, 94 members of ProZ.com (including 54 paying members) are members of SATI (South African Translators' Institute). A directory search for translators in South Africa with "SATI" as a keyword on their site yields 11 results (2 of whom are paying members). However, over 750 ProZ.com members claim to be from South Africa.


Interesting statistics, although I wonder how many are active on the site. In your opinion, do you find that translator portals are popular among the South African translators whom you know personally? I must admit, I really do not know very many, given my language combinations.


 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 13:20
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting question Jul 8, 2013

Hi Annabel,

Annabel Rautenbach wrote:
Do you think ProZ is furthering your carreer? Personally, joining ProZ was a turning point for me. I really did not have many clients when I decided to become a paying member. Since joining, there has been no looking backicon_smile.gif


I definitely think it has changed the way I market myself, and I have been contacted by a number of reputable agencies with whom I have built good relationships. I absolutely love the access to the Kudoz forum, despite some obvious issues with it, and the ability to communicate with translators from around the world in the forums is great.

On the other hand, sometimes I feel like ProZ makes me a bit "lazy" for lack of a better word - I don't actively use any other translation portals and I probably should!

Glad to hear it made a big difference to you - I think it is a great platform for many reasons, even though a lot of other people have complaints about it.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not really Jul 8, 2013

Sarai Pahla wrote:
In your opinion, do you find that translator portals are popular among the South African translators whom you know personally?


No, international work is typically not popular among my local colleagues. The main reasons are:

1. They dislike being paid in another currency (they believe that the client should pay in the translator's currency and should make sure that the translator receives the amount on the invoice).
2. They dislike losing money from international bank transfer transaction fees (they believe the client should ensure that the translator ends up with the exact amount on the invoice).
3. They don't use CAT tools, and even if they do, they don't like fuzzy match schemes (or they don't understand it, which leads them to believe that the client is cheating them).
4. They can't send or receive large attachments (internet is expensive and slow in South Africa, and mailboxes hired from ISPs tend to be small).
5. They can't handle long payment terms.

A whole generation of South African translators were taught that unresolved issues must be returned to the client, and I suppose that works fine in South Africa, but you can't send incomplete translations to international clients, who don't speak the language in the first place and who don't have any other resources to solve problems that are returned by the translator.

And let's not forget that portals such as ProZ.com don't have much to offer for South African translators anyway.


 

Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 13:20
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Love Proz, based in SA Jul 8, 2013

If it weren't for Proz and its international focus, I would probably not be working.

I definitely don't fit into the category of translators based in SA mentioned by Samuel -

1.I like being paid in another currency (the exchange rate is good right nowicon_smile.gif, at other times, I just have to work harder),
2. I don't mind paying international bank transfer fees (its the cost of doing business, and I love doing business),
3. I use two CAT tools (OK, I'm not a fan of fuzzy matches, but what can you do),
4. Large attachments are no problem - YouSendIt is great for larger files and my mobile broadband connection is definitely not slow,
5. Long payment terms are no problem, esp. when you have reliable clients who pay on time - at least I know my rent is paid for the next month or two or threeicon_smile.gif.

So, I don't think the reasons mentioned by Samuel are insurmountable to a translator based in SA.

Language combinations might be a reason why SA translators may not have a large presence on Proz, as there may not be that much international demand for the SA language combinations.


 


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Who are the translators currently based in SA?

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