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estimating my worth
Thread poster: Brian Joyce

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
Mar 3

What are my translation skills worth in todays world ? And why do I find it hard to find work ?

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not much Mar 3

Brian Joyce wrote:

What are my translation skills worth in todays world ? And why do I find it hard to find work ?


Not much if you don't know how to use apostrophes. Oh, and having visited your profile: commas too.

[Edited at 2020-03-03 13:46 GMT]


Jorge Payan
Liviu-Lee Roth
Thomas T. Frost
Olga Koepping
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Andrew (-: Mar 3

Brian Joyce wrote:
What are my translation skills worth in today's world? And why do I find it hard to find work?


Where have you been looking, Brian?

You are probably underselling yourself. I'm sure you did not really mean to omit the apostrophe and you must have accidentally added a space before the question marks in your question (twice, so at least you're consistent), and I'm sure it must have been an temporary oversight to put a space before a comma (instead of after it) on your profile page. But if you do these things, and clients who might have otherwise have contacted you see it, then they may be convinced to give a miss, which is terrible, don't you agree? Also, you should realise that using a comma to end sentences may be too avant-garde for some people's tastes.

What is the "Goodmorning Trader"?


[Edited at 2020-03-03 14:19 GMT]


Jorge Payan
Liviu-Lee Roth
P.L.F.Persio
Andrew Morris
Tatana Sivyshenko
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:37
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
And the sample translation submitted... Mar 3

is filled with mistakes:

"mesure d'éloignement" is not "a certain distance"
"s’en soit saisie" is not "to be shaken"
(...)


Thomas T. Frost
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Since you asked Mar 3

Your profile is not convincing. Tom has pointed out a few flaws, but your CV is a complete shambles. You should at least learn how to use tabs to align text. The year 2017 uses two different fonts. Some places you use hyphens between years, other places you use dashes with spaces. You need to decide whether to write 'ongoing' or 'on-going'. There are many other errors and inconsistencies.

And what is that shark image doing at the end?

In your Proz profile, you claim to
... See more
Your profile is not convincing. Tom has pointed out a few flaws, but your CV is a complete shambles. You should at least learn how to use tabs to align text. The year 2017 uses two different fonts. Some places you use hyphens between years, other places you use dashes with spaces. You need to decide whether to write 'ongoing' or 'on-going'. There are many other errors and inconsistencies.

And what is that shark image doing at the end?

In your Proz profile, you claim to have 10 years' translation experience, but the only reference to translation in your CV is, '2015 (ongoing) Translations online'. All the other work experience you list from 1996 to 2019 is unrelated to translation. This is not congruent.

Your profile photo looks like something the dog pulled out of the dustbin.

According to your CV, you should be at least 44 years old, but your photo seems to show someone in his early 20s.

Even with a well-presented profile and CV, work doesn't just start flowing automatically. It takes time and effort.

You may be perfectly bilingual, but your profile and CV don't do anything to convince any potential clients that you have the experience required for translation or writing. Your work in various sectors may have given you useful experience, but you still need to be able to write and format a document properly.
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Tom in London
Jorge Payan
Sheila Wilson
Kevin Fulton
Joe France
Tatana Sivyshenko
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Do sweat the small stuff Mar 3

Brian Joyce wrote:
What are my translation skills worth in todays world ?

Whatever somebody is willing to pay for them.

And why do I find it hard to find work ?

Your profile doesn't project the right image. I don't get a sense that you pay attention to detail, or that you're serious about this profession.

Posts like this or maybe this don't help your cause.

Busy project managers searching for a freelancer aren't looking for a free-thinking bohemian who laughs at conventional wisdom. They're looking for a translator who exudes competence and reliability, because they have to leave the office in 50 minutes to do some quick shopping and then pick up their child from daycare, and they really want to assign the job to somebody trustworthy and professional before they go home this evening.

All very sad and boring, I know, but that's the work, at least most of the time. You want fireworks, maybe try getting into showbiz.

Dan

[Edited at 2020-03-03 15:05 GMT]


Kevin Fulton
Thomas T. Frost
Sheila Wilson
Fiona Grace Peterson
Kay Denney
Zibow Retailleau
Susan Murphy Lamprecht
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:37
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Ahem Mar 3

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
Your profile photo looks like something the dog pulled out of the dustbin.


What? No, it's artsy. Pffft... old people just don't get it.


Thomas T. Frost
Liviu-Lee Roth
P.L.F.Persio
Eva Corijn
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
😂 Mar 3

Samuel Murray wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
Your profile photo looks like something the dog pulled out of the dustbin.


What? No, it's artsy. Pffft... old people just don't get it.


😂😂😂


Sheila Wilson
Kay Denney
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What's the worth of a translator with a low standard of literacy? Mar 3

Dan Lucas wrote:
Posts like this or maybe this don't help your cause.

OMG! I don't have a degree either but I've done tolerably well for myself, and my son did exactly the same as you in France: he dropped out from sheer(!) boredom. FWIW, he now runs a thriving (and bilingual) business there.

I was very hesitant to post on this thread, as I don't like nitpicking, "grammar police" attitudes. I well remember someone sending me a private message here many years ago about a slip I'd made by confusing "stationary" with "stationery". I was happy to have the heads-up, but I wouldn't have been happy if they'd mocked me for it in the public forum. But in this particular case, there are multiple "slips" in every sentence.


Thomas T. Frost
Kevin Fulton
Josephine Cassar
Tom in London
Kay Denney
Vanda Nissen
Joe France
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Sweat the small stuff Mar 4

Dear all
First of all Dan Lucas has touched on an important point, I am some "free-thinking bohemian who laughs at conventional wisdom", I can't help my nature. As for the shark, I was always told your CV should stand out, but the fact is all apostrophes aside translation is my future, I don't have any other. I know my profile lacks a professional sheen, but I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance.
I have a lot to work on, I
... See more
Dear all
First of all Dan Lucas has touched on an important point, I am some "free-thinking bohemian who laughs at conventional wisdom", I can't help my nature. As for the shark, I was always told your CV should stand out, but the fact is all apostrophes aside translation is my future, I don't have any other. I know my profile lacks a professional sheen, but I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance.
I have a lot to work on, I know it, but I have a lot to offer I know that as well. I hope y'all stay tuned for updates.

P.S. As for the photo of me looking like something found in the bin, anyone here wanna have a beauty contest?

[Edited at 2020-03-04 13:36 GMT]
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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:37
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Wonderful! Mar 4

Brian Joyce wrote:

I can't help my nature.

Neither can I!

As for the shark, I was always told your CV should stand out

It most certainly does!

but the fact is all apostrophes aside translation is my future, I don't have any other.

Of that I have no doubt.

I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance.

So do I!

I have a lot to offer I know that as well.

I'm sure you know that.


Brian Joyce
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Polish Mar 4

We all have our likes and dislikes, but the key to being happy and successful in your career is to match what you like and are good at with what your prospective clients need and want.

So when you say, ‘but I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance,’ you may well find yourself in a conflict between what you want to do and what your potential clients want. I’m not aware of any translation clients that want ‘polish without substance’, by the way. The
... See more
We all have our likes and dislikes, but the key to being happy and successful in your career is to match what you like and are good at with what your prospective clients need and want.

So when you say, ‘but I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance,’ you may well find yourself in a conflict between what you want to do and what your potential clients want. I’m not aware of any translation clients that want ‘polish without substance’, by the way. They want both.

You may get away with substance without polish in the bottom-feeder market, but can you make a living out of bottom rates? No mainstream agency would accept the quality you demonstrate. It’s not to criticise, but it would not be fair to you to pretend that you could get away with it when we know you can’t – at least not without first taking your writing seriously and changing your attitude. If you’re not interested in reading articles about and understanding punctuation and linguistics, I don’t see how you can succeed. If you have to force yourself to do it and find it boring, it’ll never work.

I’m not fond of stuffy ‘penguin’ restaurants, for example, but if I wanted to work there, I wouldn’t get far in an old pair of jeans, a worn-out and dirty pair of trainers and a sweater onto which a part of my cat’s fur had migrated through the years. So if I refused to polish my appearance, I’d have to look for work at a seedy joint instead.

Perhaps you think we’re a stuffy bunch, but we know what our clients want.

Yes, a CV should stand out, but in a way that is relevant to the clients you are targeting. If you want an artsy CV and an artsy photo, then you need to find artsy clients to target. But even ‘artsy’ and ‘bohemian’ don’t mean ‘poor quality’, and your writing looks more like ‘can’t be bovvered’ than ‘artsy’ to me.

There’s a style called shabby chic. It’s deliberately made to look old and worn. But there’s a method to it. It’s not the same as badly made furniture or old and dilapidated furniture. Confuse the two at your own peril. A friend of mine runs a B&B with old furniture and described it as ‘shabby chic’ on his website. One day, he found one of his guests had written in his review: ‘shabby, not chic’.

You have some decisions to make. It’s like saying you wanna be a football player, but you absolutely hate running, training and learning techniques. You just like to kick a ball. I’m not aware of any football player market for casually sauntering players.

Have you thought about alternative uses of your language abilities? Could you work with distance interpreting? Punctuation doesn’t matter in interpretation.
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Samuel Murray
Teresa Borges
P.L.F.Persio
Fiona Grace Peterson
tabor
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:37
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Substance Mar 4

Brian Joyce wrote:
I know my profile lacks a professional sheen, but I have always had an immense contempt for polish without substance.


You do understand what you are saying here, don't you?


Tom in London
Teresa Borges
 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Polish... Mar 4

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

You do understand what you are saying here, don't you?


Turd?


Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Perhaps you think we’re a stuffy bunch, but we know what our clients want. Mar 4

Alright I admit it, I think that I am too too talented to be ignored by agency staffers with a mickey mouse degree and a need to pay their coke bill, but I never said I had no time for articles on punctuation. I am currently studying the history of the French language as distinct from its Latinate origins to the modernized Latin it is today. The French language has over 8000 verbs, each conjugated in their own way, there is a lot to study and you will never know it all. Clients expect a professi... See more
Alright I admit it, I think that I am too too talented to be ignored by agency staffers with a mickey mouse degree and a need to pay their coke bill, but I never said I had no time for articles on punctuation. I am currently studying the history of the French language as distinct from its Latinate origins to the modernized Latin it is today. The French language has over 8000 verbs, each conjugated in their own way, there is a lot to study and you will never know it all. Clients expect a professional service but how do they know their getting it from Mr. freshly laundered who has little to offer in the way of understanding of sub text. I gonna clean up my act, stop being arrogant about my skills, my life experiences, my incredible talents and my passion for translation.
Thank you all for your contributions and watch this space!

[Edited at 2020-03-04 15:07 GMT]
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