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No recession in sight December 23, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.

I delivered my last job before the holidays at around noon and have just returned from getting a manicure and facial. To say I am relaxed is an understatement. There’s nothing like translating 9,000 words in about three days to make you really appreciate the soothing face and arm massage. I had fully planned on turning off the computer and turning my back to the online world for a few days, but I just wanted to comment on how much work there is at the moment. Whether it is because clients are trying to get everything done before the end of the year or trying to burn off their budgets, the end clients don’t seem to have slowed down, despite the holidays. Everyone I know is busy with translation work. One of my former students even commented on Facebook this morning “Wow, there is a lot more translation work out there than there are translators available right now…” and followed it up with the comment “One agency told me that they had to turn down 6 projects from their clients yesterday due to lack of translators.” I myself turned down a 6,000 word job for Monday that I would have had to translate over the holidays, and I have several jobs waiting for me on Monday.

I hope you all enjoy the holidays or enjoy taking on all the work that those of  us celebrating the holidays won’t. I’m over and out until next week. Peace!



1. Chris Durban - December 23, 2010

Good to hear that you are winding down, Jill! (reminds me that I’ll be hitting the hammam once I get back to Paris).
But your post calls to mind a question that has been buzzing around in my head for a while: translators often complain about how “the market” is grinding them down, pulling (or is it pushing) prices through the floor. That happens.
But how many translators are there who use the same market forces to *raise their prices* when there is an abundance of work around?
Just as an experiment. Just to test the waters. Just for fun. Just to prove it can be done.
I know that in times of plenty translators can and do negotiate on delivery dates, but why not log some extra (or normal) hours *at higher prices*. (Or even significantly higher prices.) 🙂
Happy holidays!

2. Judy Jenner - December 27, 2010

Agreed, things are super busy! We have several projects due early January, and are sending the projects we can’t take to trusted colleagues. We are managing to take some time off, though.

Interesting comment by Chris — might be worth a try. However, we don’t really change our rates based on supply and demand, but might be a fantastic experiment. We are, however, adjusting our rates for inflation on January 1, but that’s not a price raise; merely an adjustment.

3. Corinne McKay - January 5, 2011

Great post Jill! I agree; back in the pit of the recession (maybe 2008?) I had a very noticeable holiday slowdown. Not entirely unwelcome but a little worrisome. This year I mailed my last translation on our way out of town for our Christmas ski trip and the inbox was bulging when we got back. Here’s to a prosperous 2011 for the industry!

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