Why abandon translation industry

“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”

George Sand

 

When I decided to change my job, I asked myself why I want to abandon translation industry. I have worked almost 20 years as a freelance translator, I know the branch pretty well, and I am a good translator. But maybe this is the problem. After 20 years of making translations, I noticed that I don’t get any satisfaction of it anymore.

During these 20 years, the translation industry has changed dramatically. Nowadays there are CAT-tools, people use Google translator (that is awful). More and more often, clients ask me to proofread machine translations, but I never accept these assignments. The reason is that Finnish as a language is pretty difficult and therefore I should translate from scratch instead of proofreading. Still I would be paid for proofreading.

Competition is getting harder all the time. There are persons that work for peanuts, maybe they are students or unemployed persons that want to earn some extra euros. Due to the economic crisis clients, demand lower prices and their terms of payment are ridiculous. Especially here in Italy several clients say that they will pay in 90-120 days after the date of invoice. Unfortunately, I have to pay my bills much quicker than in 120 days. I’m fortunate though because my husband gets paid regularly every month and in this way, I have my personal sponsor. Because in Italy you need a personal sponsor if you work as a freelancer. Last year I paid about 150% taxes – the estimation was based on the year when I earned decently.

Therefore, after some thought I figured out that 1) I don’t like to work as a translator anymore 2) I don’t earn enough. I still make translations when asked, but I hope one day I can earn my living working with social media and I can say no to new translation requests.

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3 thoughts on “Why abandon translation industry

  1. Mavi, I find your statement very moving and I agree with your assessment of the situation. In this perfect triangle (client-agency- freelance translator), the freelance translator who does the actual work has apparently become the least important, easily changeable element.The present situation will discourage many to practice this otherwise very demanding profession which requires, what not to say, a lot of linguistic skills and subject knowledge.

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    • Unfortunately a freelance translator is the least important and I don’t know how to improve the situation. Clients think that anybody can translate and therefore are not ready to pay for professionals. A sad reality.

      Like

  2. Mavi, I find your statement very moving and I agree with your assessment of the situation. In this perfect triangle (client-agency- freelance translator), the freelance translator who does the actual work has apparently become the least important, easily changeable element.The present situation will discourage many to practise this otherwise very demanding profession which requires, what not to say, a lot of linguistic skills and subject knowledge.

    Like

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