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Free-lance.ru and ProZ.com

Sorry I've been kind of silent recently. Last week was really busy. Now I'm more or less free and looking for new projects. So far my season specials have brought some new clients to me. I do hope we'll have a chance to cooperate again =)

Meanwhile, since I've had some spare time, I decided to work on my portfolio. Right now I'm updating the one on free-lance.ru (the biggest Russian portal for freelancers in different fields). Have been working on it all weekend and almost all day yesterday. It looks somewhat prettier, but definitely needs more work. After I'm done with it, I'll need to update the one on ProZ.com. These are two major translation portals where I find work (or where the work finds me), so I need to keep my prospective and existing clients up to date about my experience and projects I've done recently. What I like about free-lance.ru is that it allows me not just to enter text, but to attach screen shots with samples and logos. That's really neat I think.

The other thing that I like about it is that a lot of end clients there are looking for freelancers. Working with a direct client is always a great pleasure, because I can get fast replies to all my queries and I get a chance to participate in very interesting projects! And they pay much better.

What I don't like is that the membership there costs more than on ProZ and other foreign translation portals. The fee is growing, but the advantages of paid membership are decreasing. And what's more, the owners of the website are definitely oriented to getting profit and to serve clients more than freelancers, so there have been quite a few cases when clients have deceived freelancers and weren't banned for that.

From time to time I read posts from other translators on free-lance.ru with questions about ProZ. They wonder if anyone ever gets work from there, because there are thousands of different translators registered. Well, may be I was lucky because ProZ was the first website where I registered when I decided to become a freelancer. Yes, it took some time to complete my profile, to figure out how this site works and start finding and receiving work there. I can't say that I am an extremely active Kudoz answerer or forums participant. I answer only those questions that I'm sure about. Otherwise I just keep silent and if I have time I try to follow the discussions and learn something new. But even though I'm not as active there as I probably would like to be, I am very happy that all international agencies I work with found me on ProZ. I have often heard European translators complaining about agencies and even expressing their disrespect to them. Well, I can understand them to some extent since I also don't work with agencies in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries (though I definitely don't dispise them). Why? Because they usually have very tight deadlines, very technical projects and suggest very low wages. Working for them often feels more like being a slave than a self-employed business woman. =( I guess European and American translators have the same feeling towards at least some agencies in their countries. But I can't say that about agencies I work with. On the contrary, I am priviledged to work with them, because all of them have very nice staff, and they definitely pay better than the CIS agencies (AND direct clients from those countries).

I have also had a chance to work with some direct clients who have found me through ProZ. That was a great experience. I hope I'll be able to meet more direct clients there as my experience and level of professionalism grows.

Besides, I like ProZ.com training sessions, various services to determine your rate, to show your availability more accurately (not just busy or free) etc. I like that the ProZ team is focused not just on getting profit, but on delivering real quality services for both translators and their clients.

So, these are my thoughts about free-lance.ru and ProZ.com. Hope they are helpful to somebody.

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