How hot is the translation market? (Video)

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This does not make Common Sense to me at all... Oct 1, 2012

"The market is worth more than US$33 billion and growing; the market is growing at a rate of 12.17 annually; demand for content is booming; profit margins remain high.."

and yet

"The average price per word is falling (in most language pairs)."

Sounds like someone wants to convince translators to lower rates. Sorry, I don't buy it. 2012 has been my busiest year ever and my rates remain in the double digits per word. If only there were a way to open an agency without translators - imagine the profits!

As Sheldon Cooper would say: "Hokum!"



[Edited at 2012-10-01 21:16 GMT]


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Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:08
Polish to English
+ ...
Strange. Oct 1, 2012

Different universe here.

Out of 15 years in translation, for me this year has been the worst so far. Guess it depends on the language pair and areas of expertise.

2004-2010 had double-digit rates for me, and I boasted rejecting jobs daily. 2012 has lower rates, and fewer jobs. Even though I have more experience and stellar references.

Still, I'm optimistic. And I have more time for frequenting forums.


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Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Here I was... Oct 2, 2012

Thinking that I was going to see a video of sexy translators...good info though

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Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 01:08
German to English
+ ...
Very busy early 2012, very quiet now Oct 2, 2012

I was very busy earlier this year and am very quiet now. Much busier in previous years. If the translation market is so big, I'm obviously looking in the wrong places (??).

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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:08
German to English
Not great news is it... Oct 2, 2012

... taking bald stats. If, for sake of argument, the world can boast one million working translators, each can dream of an income of 33k USD per year. But does anyone know how many working translators there are?
Must be over a million surely?


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Inge Luus  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 01:08
German to English
+ ...
Around 700,000 translators in 2008 acc to CSA Oct 2, 2012

@Daniel - there were around 700,000 translators worldwide in 2008 according to CSA.

http://tandibusiness.blogspot.com/2008/02/what-is-total-number-of-translators-and.html
and
http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/mygengocom-state-of-global-translation-industry-2009.


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Ana Myriam Garro  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Very quiet here too Oct 2, 2012

Just like Paula, I think that I am looking in the wrong places. No boom here at all

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation income Oct 2, 2012

$33,000 is barely enough to survive in the U.S. You would be better off managing a fast-food restaurant.

You need to make a minimum of $65,000 if you want a decent place to live, food, a vehicle, health insurance, a retirement fund, etc. not to mention paying the high self-employment and social security taxes. You can't do that on .07 a word without getting government assistance.

Daniel Bird wrote:

... taking bald stats. If, for sake of argument, the world can boast one million working translators, each can dream of an income of 33k USD per year. But does anyone know how many working translators there are?
Must be over a million surely?


[Edited at 2012-10-02 16:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-10-02 16:35 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:08
English to German
+ ...
I absolutely agree with Jeff. Oct 2, 2012

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

$33,000 is barely enough to survive in the U.S. You would be better off managing a fast-food restaurant.

You need to make a minimum of $65,000 if you want a decent place to live, food, a vehicle, health insurance, a retirement fund, etc. not to mention paying the high self-employment and social security taxes. You can't do that on .07 a word without getting government assistance.


There is nothing to add.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation rates Oct 2, 2012

Another issue is the unrealistic expectation of new translators that all they have to do is set up a profile, send out a few resumes, fill out some applications, and presto - they have a business. Without a back-up plan and an additional income stream, their disillusionment quickly turns into desperation and they erroneously believe that they must be doing something wrong and that their only option is to offer lower rates (contributing to the fear, illusion and self-fulfilling prophecy of falling rates - oops there went another penny...).

What no one dares tell these excited new translators is that with some rare exceptions, it takes years (not days, weeks or months) to gain experience and build a successful business. In the meantime, they need an additional income stream.

On average, new translators should expect to earn less than $500 during their first year, between $2,000 and $5,000 during their second year and then maybe $10,000 to $15,000 during their third year if they have the right stuff.


Related articles [How I Tripled My Translation Business in One Year]:
http://translationjournal.net/journal/62prof.htm

[Using Low Rates to Attract Clients] (don't forget to read the comments section too):
http://thefreelancery.com/2012/09/using-low-rates-to-attract-clients/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=using-low-rates-to-attract-clients

[Edited at 2012-10-03 00:11 GMT]


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Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:08
Italian to Russian
+ ...
One crucial parameter is missing Oct 2, 2012

Number of claims: which would give a material dimension to the "booming" market.

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Iryna Crany  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:08
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you for the numbers. Oct 3, 2012

Looks like it is good time to be an agency, and bad time to be a translator.

Internet and CAT tools allow agencies to choose low bidders to keep the costs (as well as quality) down. It drives price per word down, pushing those of us, who will spend extra time to find the right word and really polish the final translation, to look for income elsewhere.
Agencies report high profits, but most of the time when I read a translated document I wonder if the only thing they used was Google Translate.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Misconception Oct 4, 2012

"Overall productivity is stagnating"

I think the video misses one important point: with CAT tools and (for those who use it) machine traslation technology, the norm is still 2,500 words/day... but we all probably agree that these are 2,500 NEW words/day, or their equivalents in different ranges of matches.

My productivity today is easily double of what I would achieve without a CAT tool, and if I compare my current main tool (memoQ) with the previous one (Trados 2007), my productivity has easily increased by 25%. Productivity is clearly NOT stagnating!


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How hot is the translation market? (Video)

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