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Why don't I get work?
מפרסם התגובה: Paul Dixon

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:51
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@ Mirko Jun 30, 2018

I meant the Plus package in reality-and wrote 'Professional' instead. Sorry and thanks for clarifying. It is with the Plus package that one can get the free CAT tool which does speed up work and which is easy to learn to use and easy to use. It is like killing 2 birds with 1 stone for poster. Good day to all.

 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
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Local time: 20:51
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Change British currency to Euro in your profile Jun 30, 2018

Most translation business takes place in the Euro zone. Portugal is part of it. How many even know how much a British pound is worth? Brazil is an attractive field for business in the EU, so you could look for clients in Germany, Austria and the Northern countries, all very strong exporters of all kind of goods.
Get a translation software, it looks expensive but you are a pro. Do dentists use free tools?


Valérie Ourset
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
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Not a good analogy... Jun 30, 2018

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Get a translation software, it looks expensive but you are a pro. Do dentists use free tools?


Are literary translators not "pros"?

In other words, while dentists cannot operate without tools, we definitely can. And personally, I believe that using a "free tool" (e.g. OmegaT, WF Anywhere, etc.) doesn't make someone "unprofessional" (if the type of work you do and/or the clients you have allow for it, obviously).


Josephine Cassar
Anthony Teixeira
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
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What problem does it solve? Jun 30, 2018

Josephine Cassar wrote:

With Proz.com Professional membership You also get access to CafeTrans Espresso as a Cat tool-easy to use and very good. Consider and do not just discard. Paying for CafeTrans Espresso is also cheaper than paying for Studio 2017/19 though there is a very good offer now and many agencies demand the latter. Cafe trans Espresso will speed up your work no end too till you can get to grips and buy it. (Studio offer a 30-day trial period) but Cafe trans is easier and cheaper.


Proz subscription gives you CafeTrans. Most Proz job posters demanding a specific CAT tool absolutely require Trados and no other.

It's like offering a free crash course in Spanish to travelers who a bought an air ticket to Australia or South Africa.

Yesterday I saw a large job post on Proz. Modesty aside, according to a few clients then, some years ago I'd be among the top choices for this specific job; competition may have increased ever since, or not.

Proz membership required absolutely, quite fair! This job alone would make the membership fee worth it. Trados required absolutely! Not worth it any more...

Considering the workflow implied by the job offer, it was forcefully twisted just to make Trados particularly necessary to some extent, however that client will have some sizeable - albeit unnecessary - expense with DTP work after the translator's job is done.

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

As for the CAT tool itself, as I always say, it all depends on what your clients require. If they work with the server versions of a specific CAT tool to prepare and allocate projects, then you just have to have that specific CAT tool, no matter how good, easy to use, cheap, feature-crammed or whatever another tool is...


Of course, however the decision should make sense.

If the client has a good reason for requiring a specific CAT tool, because it must match the one on their server, it makes more sense to offer a portable license of it to qualified translators who own a different one, for the duration of the project.

Imagine a company hiring drivers who, for some reason, must be driving a Toyota during that assignment. Those who can do it with their own Toyotas are okay. Another one, deemed competent for the job, could perfectly leave his BMW at home or in the parking lot, and drive a Toyota from the company's fleet.

So I don't regret having to shun this job. I feel sorry for the client who will be wasting money on unnecessary additional DTP work, but it was their supposedly educated choice.

[Edited at 2018-06-30 12:09 GMT]


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
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Local time: 18:51
חבר (2014)
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Henry's right, at least on this Jun 30, 2018

Henry Dotterer wrote:
Chris S wrote:
Henry Dotterer wrote:
There are companies out there that need your skills and are willing and able to pay the rates in your profile. (People care more and more about quality of writing. They have to.)

Indeed, but I'm not sure they use ProZ.

Where would you go, in such moment of need? They come.

I am by no means an uncritical supporter of ProZ, but my experience bears out what Henry says. Having a decent profile on ProZ has allowed me to slowly and steadily accumulate high-quality agency clients who are, indeed, prepared to pay my rates. I earn a decent living as a result.

As Henry says, there are simply not many credible alternatives. Direct clients may also look at things like LinkedIn, I guess, but I have never had an approach from that direction.

EDIT 1: I just want to add a line or two emphasising a key point, which is that these clients contacted me directly to ask me to work with them - I was not responding to a job posting. Indeed, I don't think any of my current clients have ever posted a job on ProZ. This action goes on behind the scenes.

EDIT 2 (In for a penny, in for a pound): With regard to the OP's questions, I would say - in addition to the rates issue - that you have to spend money to make money. If you invest in the kind of work tools (CAT) mentioned by clients, in marketing tools (ProZ, your own web site), and in networking (meeting people), you have a much better chance of success. Victory goes to the 20% who grit their teeth and sustain the effort, not the 80% for whom pursuing clients is too expensive, too troublesome, or too demeaning.

Regards,
Dan


[Edited at 2018-06-30 13:01 GMT]


Jorge Payan
Michele Fauble
Monica Pires Rodrigues
Raquel Cardoso
P.L.F.Persio
Vera Schoen
Anthony Teixeira
 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
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Local time: 18:51
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stop overcharging, or the world will move on without you Jun 30, 2018

Here's my hard advice: Your rates are the reason, if you can't see that it's time to look for another profession right away.
I work in this pair, and it's poorly paid compared to the other pair I work in, NL to ENG. In fact, nearly all my requests are for NL to ENG these days.
I suggest you invest in a CAT tool, and drop to 0.04 GDP or 0.05 EUR/word (20 quid an hour) if you want to get anywhere. And remove sloppy stuff like 'kWords' from your profile, it hardly inspires confidence in
... See more
Here's my hard advice: Your rates are the reason, if you can't see that it's time to look for another profession right away.
I work in this pair, and it's poorly paid compared to the other pair I work in, NL to ENG. In fact, nearly all my requests are for NL to ENG these days.
I suggest you invest in a CAT tool, and drop to 0.04 GDP or 0.05 EUR/word (20 quid an hour) if you want to get anywhere. And remove sloppy stuff like 'kWords' from your profile, it hardly inspires confidence in your skills I'm afraid.
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123Translations
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
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Local time: 20:51
חבר (2003)
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The poster is no literary translator Jul 1, 2018

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Get a translation software, it looks expensive but you are a pro. Do dentists use free tools?


Are literary translators not "pros"?

In other words, while dentists cannot operate without tools, we definitely can. And personally, I believe that using a "free tool" (e.g. OmegaT, WF Anywhere, etc.) doesn't make someone "unprofessional" (if the type of work you do and/or the clients you have allow for it, obviously).


By owning a paid software you signal to the world that you are serious about your profession. You can use whatever you like, but many customers would not trust you. When I had no Trados back 2012 some agency would phone and ask if I have Trados. I replied "What?". The phone call terminated.


P.L.F.Persio
Jorge Payan
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:51
חבר (2012)
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@ José Jul 1, 2018

[quote]José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Josephine Cassar wrote:

With Proz.com Professional membership You also get access to CafeTrans Espresso as a Cat tool-easy to use and very good. Consider and do not just discard. Paying for CafeTrans Espresso is also cheaper than paying for Studio 2017/19 though there is a very good offer now and many agencies demand the latter. Cafe trans Espresso will speed up your work no end too till you can get to grips and buy it. (Studio offer a 30-day trial period) but Cafe trans is easier and cheaper.


I only meant to start off with till asker can afford Trados and to get used to a CAT tool should it be needed as not all areas need a CAT tool.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
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Local time: 19:51
חבר (2003)
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In some cases Trados would be excellent for literary translators too Jul 1, 2018

A CAT is not just about automatically inserting repetitions like 'page 3 of 5 ' and safety regulations such as 'keep out of the reach of children'.


If I had been translating the Harry Potter series, for instance, I would use Trados at once. All the characters' names (except possibly Ron and other very short ones) would go into the glossary as soon as they were mentioned. Likewise all the spells, place names and whatever else might be referred to later.

It is quic
... See more
A CAT is not just about automatically inserting repetitions like 'page 3 of 5 ' and safety regulations such as 'keep out of the reach of children'.


If I had been translating the Harry Potter series, for instance, I would use Trados at once. All the characters' names (except possibly Ron and other very short ones) would go into the glossary as soon as they were mentioned. Likewise all the spells, place names and whatever else might be referred to later.

It is quick and easy to do, and then when anything is referred to later on, you can find it instantly. There are lots of other literary works with their own specific 'terminology', especially if there is a whole series of books. Detective novels, Rosamund Pilcher… the Lord of the Rings... Game of Thrones, whatever!

To get back to more 'commercial' translators like us, if an agency has to keep track of a client's terminology in several languages, there are enormous advantages in a tool like Trados Multiterm. Also for the individual translator - seeing the German definitions has occasionally helped me to check a term in Danish and translate it correctly into English.

That is why agencies like CATs. They do have their preferences, but the good CATs are to a great extent compatible, so if you go for MemoQ, for instance, you can send files that an agency can use with Trados, etc.

That is why I say find a CAT you like and stick with it as far as possible. Many people - including me - hate them at first, and they really are a distraction until you can use them without thinking about the mechanics all the time.

Not using a CAT cuts you off from a lot of otherwise good clients, including medium-sized agencies who are helpful and pay comparatively well.
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P.L.F.Persio
Karen Wooddissee
Rita Translator
Matheus Chaud
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 18:51
חבר (2007)
אנגלית
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CAT tools aren't just for the client's benefit Jul 1, 2018

I never comply with agencies' demands to give discounts for fuzzy matches etc. After all, I'm a marketing specialist and I actually go out of my way to avoid repeating myself most of the time! I've never provided an unclean file or a TM either. There aren't a great number of unknown terms in my texts but I do have plenty of entries in my CAT tool's glossaries. I rarely translate anything without using the tool. And I did actually start offering discounts to one direct client a while back - an am... See more
I never comply with agencies' demands to give discounts for fuzzy matches etc. After all, I'm a marketing specialist and I actually go out of my way to avoid repeating myself most of the time! I've never provided an unclean file or a TM either. There aren't a great number of unknown terms in my texts but I do have plenty of entries in my CAT tool's glossaries. I rarely translate anything without using the tool. And I did actually start offering discounts to one direct client a while back - an amount I calculate as being an appropriate share in the time savings when, for example, he sends several texts with a number of similarities (e.g. invitation letters to trade fair exhibitors, advertisers, and visitors). It's just like a loyalty card, but my client only gets a discount on some words, not all of them.

I don't think it matters much what CAT tool you use, unless you find you're losing out on a high number of jobs you'd really have liked doing. Then you'll want to switch or add a second. And it doesn't necessarily have to cost anything - if a free one will do the job then go for it. And if you can find enough work without using one then fine, but do at least learn how they work so you can defend your decision in a knowledgeable way.

But I do very much agree that a translator who isn't prepared to invest time, effort and money (i.e. all three of them) in their chosen career is more of a hobbyist than a pro translator. Clients can see that plain as day and naturally don't like to pay pro rates to a person they see as an amateur. Especially in a place like this where there are so many professionals around.
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Michele Fauble
Josephine Cassar
Vladimir Filipenko
P.L.F.Persio
 

DZiW
אוקראינה
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mismatching - fuzzy matching Jul 1, 2018

Mostly (1) knowing the trade and (2) dealing with proper people is enough, but sometimes require (3) more hands-on exp in both, including publicity.

While there're a lot of decent and free* CAT tools, often they are overhyped. Now I work with local direct clients, yet I remember when clients (and a few agencies!) a
... See more
Mostly (1) knowing the trade and (2) dealing with proper people is enough, but sometimes require (3) more hands-on exp in both, including publicity.

While there're a lot of decent and free* CAT tools, often they are overhyped. Now I work with local direct clients, yet I remember when clients (and a few agencies!) asked for "Trados", but could NOT answer what version or what for exactly) They just parroted "Trados is a must!" as a queer pass phrase--for no real reason; like a buzzword or a brand. Why, I know many translators who deliver Trados packages... without Trados. For me OmegaT or WFC is more "serious" than Trados, so? Not the case: a decent translator without tools can do better than a wannabe with glorified "new industrial-strength billion-worth" potsy.

While CAT tools may be of use for routine texts, the approach with good intentions
never translate the same or similar again
has already spelled backward into a notorious
never get paid for translating the same or similar again!
Such misrepresented poor-mouthing idea turned as "best" discounts on discounts at expense of the translator, because they market it as
using a CAT == making ever growing discounts
. For instance, I wouldn't like to get a $4000 worth project with unpaid yet duly checked pseudo-repetitions, which would turn as some $400 net, only because there're so many internal repetitions or other lame excuse-Oops!--fancy "discounts".

Meanwhile, it won't be a big surprise when CAT tools developers introduce the long hoped-for "letter discount". Almost a joke)
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José Henrique Lamensdorf
Christel Zipfel
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
איטליה
Local time: 19:51
חבר
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Generalization Jul 1, 2018

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Get a translation software, it looks expensive but you are a pro. Do dentists use free tools?


Are literary translators not "pros"?

In other words, while dentists cannot operate without tools, we definitely can. And personally, I believe that using a "free tool" (e.g. OmegaT, WF Anywhere, etc.) doesn't make someone "unprofessional" (if the type of work you do and/or the clients you have allow for it, obviously).


The poster is no literary translator


I was referring to the fact that yours above is a very broad and generalizing statement, meaning "if you are a translator and use a free tool (or no tool at all), then you're not a pro". Plus, as I said, dentists cannot work without tools, we can, and we can definitely use "free tools" without being "non pros". Several clients have their own proprietary CAT tools, use cloud based tools, provide translators with floating licenses, etc. without considering that many end-clients probably don't care about what CAT tool you use, or IF you use one...

Personally, I would consider it much less "professional" of a translator to accept a project for which the client has specified the use of a certain CAT tool as a requirement, and then translate it using another tool (without telling them)...

And all of the above from someone who does own licenses for SDLX, Studio and memoQ.

By owning a paid software you signal to the world that you are serious about your profession. You can use whatever you like, but many customers would not trust you. When I had no Trados back 2012 some agency would phone and ask if I have Trados. I replied "What?". The phone call terminated.


That's another story. Besides, I hope you'll agree with me there's a good dose of hypocrisy in this (and I am not accusing you of being an hypocrite, just to be clear). We could extend this to ProZ membership and say that those who do not have a paid membership here "are not pros". IMO much of that is marketing, appearance, but has little to do with translation ability and is in fact no guarantee whatsoever that who paid for X is a "pro" (or, more importantly, a good translator) and vice versa. So, while you can certainly say that buying CAT tool licenses and advertising it might (perhaps) be a good marketing move, I believe that implying that you need to have a paid CAT tool in order to be "a pro" is quite debatable, at the very least.

Christine Andersen wrote: In some cases Trados would be excellent for literary translators too


IMO, although glossaries can be useful, segmentation doesn't really go hand in hand with literary translation, thing which would force you to continuously join and split segments...

That is why agencies like CATs.


Sure, they get more consistency, uniformity of style, formats and resources, can streamline projects workflow, etc. ... and pay you less for all of that and for investing your money in one (or more) of those tools...


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
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I see this approach as an insult Jul 1, 2018

Josephine Cassar wrote:

I only meant to start off with till asker can afford Trados and to get used to a CAT tool should it be needed as not all areas need a CAT tool.


I am a declared rebel against the "must have Trados to be a professional translator" approach.

Quite frankly, I've never used Trados myself, however their marketing strategy sounds to me exactly like the "must support and join the XXX (political) party to get food for your family" that we saw/read about in countries run by dictators throughout history.

That's why I don't - and won't - have Trados, nor join any tyrant's political party.

I have been using my own WordFast Classic for maybe 15 years or so. Tried its Pro version for a while, didn't like it, too slow/sluggish, gave up.
I have used client-provided portable licenses of MemoQ, Memsource, and Passolo so far, and remain open to using any others, except Trados as a matter of principle.
AMOF I almost bought MemoQ, because a potential project would justify the investment, however my client didn't get that assignment.

Next month I'll be celebrating 45 years since my first professional translation, without ever having used Trados. I am living evidence that making it a mandatory requirement for any professional translation is clearly a non sequitur. Using it as a mere standard within a company is, of course, its management decision.


Christel Zipfel
Meta Arkadia
Kaspars Melkis
P.L.F.Persio
Kay Denney
Maria Hansford
 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
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Local time: 19:51
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Behind the scenes on Proz Jul 15, 2018

Dan Lucas wrote:

EDIT 1: I just want to add a line or two emphasising a key point, which is that these clients contacted me directly to ask me to work with them - I was not responding to a job posting. Indeed, I don't think any of my current clients have ever posted a job on ProZ. This action goes on behind the scenes.



[Edited at 2018-06-30 13:01 GMT]


Nailed it, Dan.

The real action here goes on behind the scenes. I rarely respond to a job posting here. I wait for them to come to me, and they do.

Pretty early on, Proz picked up on the fact that lots of outsourcers and translators want their business to be private, and provided us ways to do it.

If you build it they will come.


Johanna Timm, PhD
Josephine Cassar
P.L.F.Persio
 

Trevino Translations
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Local time: 19:51
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CV needs to be shorter and clearer Jul 16, 2018

Hello,

I very quickly looked at your CV and it is all text and somewhat vague.

You studied Math and School Admin but chose never to work in either field?

Perhaps you could be more precise about the documents that you have translated in your career... What type of clients have you had? Businesses? Administrations? Cultural organisms?

Also, I think British citizen is enough, no need to mention a Euro passport. And no need to explain
... See more
Hello,

I very quickly looked at your CV and it is all text and somewhat vague.

You studied Math and School Admin but chose never to work in either field?

Perhaps you could be more precise about the documents that you have translated in your career... What type of clients have you had? Businesses? Administrations? Cultural organisms?

Also, I think British citizen is enough, no need to mention a Euro passport. And no need to explain how you've come to be bilingual.

Here are some good ideas: https://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/4001/1/A-Freelance-Translator’s-Résumé%3A-What-You-Should-and-What-you-Shouldn’t-Include

It's impossible to please everyone with a CV. I recently updated mine and several people said I should change the format, add this, take out that, and I took some of the advice but ignored some of it, too. Perhaps you could compare yours to your translator friends' CVs and steal some of their good elements.

Best of luck!

Best regards,

Trevino Translations
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