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Showing posts from April, 2010

How do we make sure we get paid for our work

First of all, I would like to say that it is my own opinion based on my own experience. There can be more or less Internet fraud depending on the country you are from, our language pairs and your profficiency level. Well, in the former Soviet Union there are quite a few people specialising in this shameful business. They like getting professional services for free. I met another person like that just a couple days ago, but thank God I had enough experience already and immediately saw that something was wrong in the way that person communicated with me. He contacted me on one of Russian translation portals, so I wrote to other translators there and asked if he had contacted them, too, and, in case he had, if they got the same test assignment. As soon as we found out that each of us got different pieces of one big project as a test translation, his intentions became clear. This person is now banned on that portal, hopefully for good. But I have quite a few friends who are just thinking …

Why I don't think that lack of regular translation assignments is a disadvantage

When I wrote about advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer, I got a comment that one of the disadvantages is also lack of regular work, i.e. lack of regular income. I promised to think about it and now I am ready to share my opinion on this issue. May be I am wrong, who knows.
I think that not having regular translation assignments is NOT a disadvantage. Why? Well, let me share my reasons:
It helps me to stay active in my marketing efforts. I am constantly learning of new ways to promote my services and do my best to use them. One day I might make a very good marketing strategist =)It helps me to never stop growing professionally. Some time ago I came across the words of a very experienced translator "you are only as good as your last project". This is so true. Being a translator, I am learning to be as detailed-oriented as possible and double check everything, including things I think I know very well. Freelance work is not for those who think too highly of themselv…

Number of words translated - is it important?

I've recently come across quite a few translators' profiles and websites where they share approximately how many words they have translated in the previous year. I understand why they do that - the number should show to the prospective clients that they've really been active and working. Thus, they show that they are in demand. However I think the number of words isn't that important and if I were a client I'd rather look at their areas of expertise and portfolio to make sure I choose the right professional.

Do you think counting the number of words is important? Does it influence your rating or how often you get new clients?

Recent discussion on ProZ

I'm talking about the discussion at http://www.proz.com/forum/russian/158030-Движения_на_рынке_переводов.html
The discussion was about recent tendencies in the translation market: More and more direct clients and translation agencies insist that translators should lower their rates for translation. Many prefer to seek translators in the former USSR territory because the cost of life is cheeper there and because there's a huge amount of translators willing to work for prices as low as 0.02 USD per word and less.There are more and more agencies. Many of them have very short life, but still clients prefer to look for agencies than individual translators for reasons which are important for their business. But it is not exactly a great tendency since agencies traditionally suggest lower rates for freelancers and working just for agencies will merely help you and your family survive, but no more than that.There is a clear tendency for not taking quality into consideration. There are…

Advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer

This topic is also based on the article "The case, and the plan, for the virtual company". It really made me think and helped me sum up some of the advantages and disadvantages of my work.

So, advantages:
1 - flexible schedule which allows me (more or less) to spend time with my family, do all the chores and earn money.
2 - I am my own boss: I decide when I work, when I rest, when I take a vacation etc.
3 - a possibility to choose the areas I'll work in (or won't work in) and their wider variety than when I was working inhouse which keeps my brain active (one of the greatest advantages for me!)
4 - more money

Disadvantages:
1 - it's hard for family members to understand that if I'm at home it doesn't mean I have nothing to do (but it gets better with time usually)
2 - I have to take care of all the tax issues by myself (that's the biggest disadvantage for me because I hate to spend my free time on calculating my earnings, taxes and all that stuff. But on the…

Why I like working virtually

I've got some friends who are also linguists and who have worked as inhouse translators for a long time like me. They are considering going virtual, but at the same time afraid of the change. So I'm thinking now about an article (or series of articles) about the life of a freelancer, its advantages and drawbacks and what a person can do to get astablished as a freelance translator.

The first thing I am thinking about is advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer. A couple days ago I came across an interesting article exactly on this subject. Here's the link to it: The case, and the plan, for the virtual company

I really like this article. The only thing I can't agree with is that when you are working from home your life becomes less dynamic. For some reason my life has become a lot more dynamic when I started working from home! Very often I feel sorry that there are only 24 hours in a day =) It would be so much better if there were at least a couple hours more!
On…