Freelance translator survey 2020 report published

By: Alina Cincan

At the beginning of the year, Inbox Translation embarked on an extensive research project on freelance translators. It was based on a survey (almost 70 questions, exploring various aspects of the profession – working with translation agencies and direct clients, rates, non-payment, continuing professional development, routes into the profession etc.), which received more than 1,500 responses. Many people got involved, including from professional translation associations such as the Chartered Institute of Linguists, the Institute for Translation and Interpreting, The American Translators Association, the Association of Translation Companies etc.

9 months and 18,000 words later, the report is finally here:

https://inboxtranslation.com/resources/research/freelance-translator-survey-2020/).

Comments about this article


Freelance translator survey 2020 report published

Cmilja Milosevic  Identity Verified
בוסניה והרצגובינה
Local time: 00:57
חבר (2020)
מאנגלית לסרבית
+ ...
Nice work! Dec 12, 2020

I remember that I took part in this survey. I find some of the answers very predictable and the few of the results very surprising. For example, the fact that there are people in this business for more than 30 years. Living in the region with a bit slow expansion of the IT and online freelancing, for me that is an interesting information. Another thing I find interesting is the fact that the majority of respondents do not need continuing professional development. Et cetera. All in all, very info... See more
I remember that I took part in this survey. I find some of the answers very predictable and the few of the results very surprising. For example, the fact that there are people in this business for more than 30 years. Living in the region with a bit slow expansion of the IT and online freelancing, for me that is an interesting information. Another thing I find interesting is the fact that the majority of respondents do not need continuing professional development. Et cetera. All in all, very informative and interesting to read. And it's nice to know that I belong to the average in many of the question/answer categories.icon_smile.gifCollapse


Aslat Shah
 

Ice Scream  Identity Verified
הממלכה המאוחדת
משוודית לאנגלית
+ ...
Further evidence of gender discrimination in this industry Dec 12, 2020

The report says:
Women who work as freelance translators charge on average 7% more than their male counterparts (per word) ...

When using the median average, women charge in fact approximately 12% more

I want to know what the industry is doing to correct this gender pay gap.

I thought this was the 21st century...


Jorge Payan
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
Angie Garbarino
P.L.F. Persio
Cmilja Milosevic
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:57
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
@Cmilja Dec 12, 2020

I’m one of those who have been in this business for more than 30 years: in my case, I started translating part-time for a few years and later turned a full-time translator 36 years ago. I’m still going strong and enjoying myself!

Ice Scream
Angie Garbarino
P.L.F. Persio
Irene (Renata) Liapis
Karina Decke
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:57
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
@Chris Dec 13, 2020

fzuuvbpqnkhfjsu0jtra.png

Lol! Life is so much better and easier with a sense of humour.


Ice Scream
Angie Garbarino
P.L.F. Persio
Michele Fauble
 

Hongxia LI  Identity Verified
מאנגלית לסינית
+ ...
Will be better Dec 24, 2020

Translation will be a better job next year due to the pandemic, in my opinion, so I would like to read the results.

 

Alina Cincan
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 23:57
מאנגלית לרומנית
+ ...
Thank you Dec 28, 2020

Cmilja Milosevic wrote:

I remember that I took part in this survey. I find some of the answers very predictable and the few of the results very surprising. For example, the fact that there are people in this business for more than 30 years. Living in the region with a bit slow expansion of the IT and online freelancing, for me that is an interesting information. Another thing I find interesting is the fact that the majority of respondents do not need continuing professional development. Et cetera. All in all, very informative and interesting to read. And it's nice to know that I belong to the average in many of the question/answer categories.icon_smile.gif


Thank you for taking part in the survey and for the kind words, much appreciated. Regarding CPD, 90% of respondents actually do CPDicon_smile.gif Those who said they do not need CPD are from those 10% who do not do any CPD.

[Edited at 2020-12-28 12:19 GMT]


 

Alina Cincan
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 23:57
מאנגלית לרומנית
+ ...
Gender gap Dec 28, 2020

Chris S wrote:

The report says:
Women who work as freelance translators charge on average 7% more than their male counterparts (per word) ...

When using the median average, women charge in fact approximately 12% more

I want to know what the industry is doing to correct this gender pay gap.

I thought this was the 21st century...



The gender pay gap usually refers to employees and, sadly, in our industry there are significant differences (men being paid more than women in similar positions). When it comes to freelancing, most studies also found than men usually charge more than women, and this is probably one of the few studies to reverse the gap, albeit with the difference being quite small.

[Edited at 2020-12-28 12:19 GMT]


 

Marcel Karl Gomez Galarza  Identity Verified
פרו
Local time: 17:57
חבר
מיפנית לאנגלית
+ ...
All translators are based in Europe Feb 27

I am curious...
The report suggests that the vast majority of translators are based in Europe.
Why do you think it is??


Josephine Cassar
LIZ LI
 

Teresa Borges
פורטוגל
Local time: 23:57
חבר (2007)
מאנגלית לפורטוגזית
+ ...
@Marcel Feb 27

Maybe because there are, according to the United Nations, 47 countries in Europe today (area: 10 180 000 km², population: 746,4 millions) and some of these have more than one language, the record going to Spain (4) and Switzerland (4), followed by Belgium (3) and Luxembourg (3).

 

Alina Cincan
הממלכה המאוחדת
Local time: 23:57
מאנגלית לרומנית
+ ...
@Marcel regarding Europe-based translators Feb 27

The study says that most of the *respondents* to the survey were based in Europe, not that all (or even most) translators are in Europe.

This is because we are based in the UK (you'll also notice that the majority of translators who completed the survey live in the UK) and we simply have a better network hereicon_smile.gif


 

Joannzzz
Local time: 08:57
מאנגלית לסינית
Good choice for part-time job Mar 16

Lol. Obviously most of the posters here are in Europe. Freelance translator is good! There are much spare time after my normal work and I can still do some translation job if I want.

 

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