The ATC’s Member of the Month in March 2021 is long-standing ATC member The Translation…
ATC Member Inbox Translation’s comprehensive new study on the translation landscape focuses on freelance translators. The survey and subsequent report cover a multitude of areas: professional membership, continuous professional development (CPD), working hours, working with agencies and direct clients, challenges and perks of being a freelance translator, areas of specialisation, rates, and much more.
The 18,000-word report is split into five sections:
- Freelance translator survey 2020: 1. Key findings & demographics – Executive summary and details about the demographics and sample size
- Freelance translator survey 2020: 2. Working as a professional translator – Part-time vs full-time work, reasons for working part-time, time invested in CPD, CAT tools, refusing work, benefits and challenges of being a freelance translator, professional membership
- Freelance translator survey 2020: 3. Working with clients – Working with translation agencies and direct clients: challenges and benefits, finding and communicating with clients, online presence, feedback, rates, scams
- Freelance translator survey 2020: 4. COVID-19 & Brexit – If and how translators’ lives and work have been affected by one or both of these current events
- Freelance translator survey 2020: 5. Freelance translator profile – Trying to sketch a translator persona, by looking at things like pets and exercise, but also the language(s) they dream in
- Members of professional bodies charge on average 30% more than non-members.
- Only 2% prefer communication with their clients by phone.
- Women in the profession charge slightly more than men.
- 92% of translators conduct checks on agencies before accepting projects (a result in line with a study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) together with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC)
- Agencies are 2.5 more likely to ask translators to lower their rates than direct clients.
- The most commonly perceived benefit of working with translation agencies is that this allows the translator to focus on translating rather than client acquisition (67%).
- The main challenge when working with translation agencies is, according to 62% of respondents, ‘low rates of pay’.
- The rates translators charge vary widely, from £0.01/word to more than £0.50/word; the low end of this range represents 2.4% of the total responses, while the high end 1.1%.