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Poll: What worries you the most as a freelance translator?
מפרסם התגובה: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:39
צוות האתר
Jun 18, 2019

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What worries you the most as a freelance translator?".

This poll was originally submitted by Teresa Borges. View the poll results »



Garibey David
Sarah Muda
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:39
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Other Jun 18, 2019

What, me worry?
Said to emphasize one's calm, perhaps cavalier, attitude. The phrase is most often associated with Mad magazine and its cartoon cover boy Alfred E. Neuman. A: "I can't believe you're so unconcerned with all the problems in the world today."

But seriously, if I had to choose one aspect most likely to give concern, it would probably be technical issues, as I rely on my computers and Internet connection for work. However, to assuage any latent worries, I have emer
... See more
What, me worry?
Said to emphasize one's calm, perhaps cavalier, attitude. The phrase is most often associated with Mad magazine and its cartoon cover boy Alfred E. Neuman. A: "I can't believe you're so unconcerned with all the problems in the world today."

But seriously, if I had to choose one aspect most likely to give concern, it would probably be technical issues, as I rely on my computers and Internet connection for work. However, to assuage any latent worries, I have emergency measures in place - 2 backup desktop PCs fully equipped and good to go, plus one laptop (I used to have 2, but one got stolen a couple of years ago).
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Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:39
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
Technical issues Jun 18, 2019

I can deal with all the rest of it but technical issues as sticking to deadlines, as well as quality work, is my first priority.

Paulinho Fonseca
Constance de Crayencour
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 00:39
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...
Other Jun 18, 2019

In the long run, what worries me most:

-clients' inability to gauge quality
-clients' misguided notions about how high quality can be achieved (hint: delusional blind faith in MT/AI and low rates won't do the trick)


Jacek Sierakowski
Maja_K
Liena Vijupe
Robert Rietvelt
Teresa Borges
Anna Herbst
Carla Catolino
 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
ארצות הברית
Local time: 15:39
חבר (2003)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Steady decline in rates Jun 18, 2019

It's the main topic of conversation among my colleagues -- all of us old-timers who are used to getting higher rates than agencies are currently offering.

I recently noted that our group was getting higher rates 40 years ago than we see people working for today. As this trend continues, the survival of the profession is at stake: the pay is becoming so low that many freelancers can't make ends meet on translation income alone, while in-house jobs are disappearing because it's cheape
... See more
It's the main topic of conversation among my colleagues -- all of us old-timers who are used to getting higher rates than agencies are currently offering.

I recently noted that our group was getting higher rates 40 years ago than we see people working for today. As this trend continues, the survival of the profession is at stake: the pay is becoming so low that many freelancers can't make ends meet on translation income alone, while in-house jobs are disappearing because it's cheaper to farm out work to agencies.

[Edited at 2019-06-18 09:00 GMT]
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Maja_K
Robert Rietvelt
Teresa Borges
Anna Herbst
Angus Stewart
Paulinho Fonseca
writeaway
 

Constance de Crayencour  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2009)
מגרמנית לצרפתית
+ ...
No more translation jobs Jun 18, 2019

Even though I have been working as a freelance translator for many years now, I'm always worried when I receive less translation orders than usual.

Axelle Hawkins
Arkadiusz Jasiński
Isabelle Pelchat
Michelle Gress
Angus Stewart
Sarah Muda
 

DZiW
אוקראינה
מאנגלית לרוסית
+ ...
Transitional negoti-nation prospects Jun 18, 2019

I work with local direct clients only, so I feel sad many good people drop out come into so-called "pure translation" without visions, relevant business and people skills, or even some specialty.

Meanwhile, I believe the problem is so many unskilled/needy optimists get into the middlemen industry, watering the "pure translation" bubbles and dumping the low rates even lower. Furthermore, it ap
... See more
I work with local direct clients only, so I feel sad many good people drop out come into so-called "pure translation" without visions, relevant business and people skills, or even some specialty.

Meanwhile, I believe the problem is so many unskilled/needy optimists get into the middlemen industry, watering the "pure translation" bubbles and dumping the low rates even lower. Furthermore, it appears that modern translators are often those who couldn't find their place in life, with a 'standardized' self-esteem low enough for bottom-feeding.

So far, they came where "only a PC and the internet" required, yet they don't know where they are--or really want to come.
No wonder a cheap bargain without knowledge, negotiation and the veto right is but a real flop!


* No worries: It does take some time, but soon there will be no such thing as "pure translators", just good specialists with decent foreign language skills. Or telepathists requiring no translation at all))

[Edited at 2019-06-18 14:40 GMT]
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Jorge Payan
Julio Madrid
 

Yuan Zhao
אוסטרליה


Posted via
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No more translation jobs Jun 18, 2019

I find international trade conditions have a big impact on the number of translation jobs I can pick up. For instance, I have seen fewer jobs due to the recent trade war.

Mark Possemiers
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
גרמניה
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2009)
מאנגלית לגרמנית
+ ...
Other Jun 18, 2019

Not having enough work and steadily declining rates are both cause for concern. As is the increasing interest in MT along with the idea that "proofreading" MT can be paid per word and, of course, at a much lower rate than translations.

Robert Rietvelt
Michelle Gress
Jennifer Forbes
Garibey David
Renate Nallinger
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
צרפת
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2018)
מצרפתית לאנגלית
Tech issues Jun 18, 2019

It's what I understand the least, and it covers everything from "am I sure nobody's hacked my account" to "MT will annilihate the profession".

Although I must say that since I started freelancing, things have been going so well, my work is what worries me the least in this world!


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

Ricki Farn
גרמניה
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2005)
מאנגלית לגרמנית
Other Jun 18, 2019

I'm generally worried about the war of the strong against the weak and the war of the asshats against the non-asshats, but that's everywhere, it's not translation specific.

Is that an increasing tendency, or is it just my perception?

Sometimes I feel like la chèvre de Monsieur Seguin - just hanging in there long enough to complete my (abstract) task would be great.

Edit: I should have said "narcissists" instead of "asshats" and "sad" in addition to "worri
... See more
I'm generally worried about the war of the strong against the weak and the war of the asshats against the non-asshats, but that's everywhere, it's not translation specific.

Is that an increasing tendency, or is it just my perception?

Sometimes I feel like la chèvre de Monsieur Seguin - just hanging in there long enough to complete my (abstract) task would be great.

Edit: I should have said "narcissists" instead of "asshats" and "sad" in addition to "worried", in about equal parts.

[Edited at 2019-06-18 20:39 GMT]
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Kevin Fulton
Jan Truper
Julio Madrid
 

Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2008)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
I voted Other, because... Jun 19, 2019

I find that although working long hours from Monday to Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, I find it hard to make my economy work, mainly due to having to accept low or very low rates, and/or extended payment terms, (some of my clients pay after 90 days at the end of the month -meaning from 100 to 120 days-).

Somehow, I just don't believe that agencies are being paid at those periods. Especially in the country where I live, where there is a law that all invoices must be paid at a maxi
... See more
I find that although working long hours from Monday to Saturday and sometimes on Sunday, I find it hard to make my economy work, mainly due to having to accept low or very low rates, and/or extended payment terms, (some of my clients pay after 90 days at the end of the month -meaning from 100 to 120 days-).

Somehow, I just don't believe that agencies are being paid at those periods. Especially in the country where I live, where there is a law that all invoices must be paid at a maximum of 60 days. ???

Regarding my office set-up, I am pleased with what I have. 1 PC and two laptops, WiFi with optic fibre connection and the latest updated versions of software.

Still, this is what we have to put up with, besides those clients, who don't seem to understand the importance of good human translation as opposed to machine translations.

Have a great day,
Nigel
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Magnus Rubensson
Sarah Muda
 

Carolina Vieira  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2019)
מספרדית לפורטוגזית
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Getting clients Jun 19, 2019

I am new at proz so my worry is to attract clients righr now.

Sarah Muda
Garibey David
André Nunes Valadão
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2012)
מאיטלקית לאנגלית
+ ...
Payment hassles and very short deadlines Jun 19, 2019

Besides the ones mentioned by other translators here such as the steady decline in rates with fuzzy matches, repetitions and whatnot, I add the above. Unfortunately there are many translators who boast they can do 5,000-8,000 words a day -or even more -which they can maintain for a short period but with drastic consequences for their health (eye strain, Repetitive Stress injury, back and hand problems, to mention the first 3 that come to mind), at least, besides translation quality. The natural ... See more
Besides the ones mentioned by other translators here such as the steady decline in rates with fuzzy matches, repetitions and whatnot, I add the above. Unfortunately there are many translators who boast they can do 5,000-8,000 words a day -or even more -which they can maintain for a short period but with drastic consequences for their health (eye strain, Repetitive Stress injury, back and hand problems, to mention the first 3 that come to mind), at least, besides translation quality. The natural consequence of this is that it creates a downward pressure on the rest of us as agencies will award translations to fast translators as they pride themselves on "really fast deliveries".
The other- the first one- is more serious as I hate having to chase agencies for payment even if I would have carried out 'due diligence' before accepting any translation from any new agency that contacts me. The BB 5 on Proz. is not always so reliable and payment hassles range from chasing and sending the invoice multiple times to chasing for payment and the more steps you need to take for the latter, the more time-consuming and worrisome it is though you do finally have to get paid and do in fact get paid. One thing that helps here is that the translation cannot be used due to copyright issues. Another thing I hate and that has grave consequences is that agencies are using in-house non-native reviewers to review our work and then send off the 'revised' translation to the client and we do not know what they have sent off.
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Magnus Rubensson
Garibey David
 

Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
ספרד
Local time: 00:39
חבר (2011)
מספרדית לאנגלית
+ ...
Not many things worry me Jun 19, 2019

Lack of work doesn't worry me, although I sometimes worry about having too much. It means I don't get enough sleep and it raises my stress levels. I suffer from bruxism and too much work makes me stressed, which worsens my bruxism, which ruins my teeth, which means going to the dentist, which means having to work harder in order to pay the dentist's bills!

I'm not worried about my health (yet) but I have a healthy lifestyle and I take special care of my eyes.

The int
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Lack of work doesn't worry me, although I sometimes worry about having too much. It means I don't get enough sleep and it raises my stress levels. I suffer from bruxism and too much work makes me stressed, which worsens my bruxism, which ruins my teeth, which means going to the dentist, which means having to work harder in order to pay the dentist's bills!

I'm not worried about my health (yet) but I have a healthy lifestyle and I take special care of my eyes.

The internet connection in my area sometimes worries me - I have been known to translate by candlelight!
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Gareth Callagy
 
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