The Linguist

The Linguist 57-6 - Dec/Jan 2019

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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10 The Linguist Vol/57 No/6 2018 FEATURES companies such as One Hour Translation and Gengo. And it's true that many translators do often have spare capacity when they don't have any projects booked. Lara 1 has been translating full-time for three years and used One Hour Translations while studying for her PhD to supplement her diminishing savings. In that time, they were her sole client and the work kept her going, while their automated payment system meant that she didn't have to chase unpaid invoices. For Mina, who has been translating full-time for eight years, the bonus of quick translation platforms is that they provide small, easy jobs that she can fit in, even while she is in the middle of a project. They have played a part in her business since she returned from a placement abroad in 2011. Given the depressed market in her home country, working on a few quick-turnaround projects can see her earning more than she would if she worked for local clients. Jason's experience is somewhat different. With a physical disability that restricts his ability to travel, he struggles to find work. Working for quick-turnaround platforms allowed him to work flexibly while moving into interpreting. With the feast-and-famine cycles familiar to many translators, having a service where it is possible to pick up a bit of work to tide you over – or provide a bit of extra cash – can be helpful. Yet it would be unfair to ignore the stories of those translators who don't find such platforms lucrative. Rachel signed up with MyTranslation early in her career with the idea of using the platform to expand her portfolio, but their rates and conditions have been too low for Do the pros of working for quick-turnaround online translation platforms outweigh the cons, asks Jonathan Downie A nyone who has spent any time on online translators' forums will have seen how new arrivals to the profession are quickly socialised into the idea that translation is split into the premium and bulk markets: the good clients and the bottom feeders. For some translators, any agency or platform offering quick turnaround or budget translations would fall into the latter category. But is this the reality? To find out, I spoke to translators who have worked for them. Spare capacity "There are times when you have a bit of spare capacity, right? We help you turn that spare capacity into a reduction in your expenses." That was the slick sales pitch I heard recently for a new business bartering service, but it could easily be the pitch for quick translation Quick but not so easy? © SHUTTERSTOCK

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