This is with regard to the issues faced by a freelance translator. Being a fulltime freelancer,
there are numerous problems that we undergo on a daily basis that goes unnoticed by everyone.
Having no one to complain with, I have put forward this letter to you, hoping that you would
understand and help us in certain issues if not all.
Being a freelancer, we get numerous clients, companies or private ones. We treat all of them
equal giving them priority and fulfilling their needs. Even after pouring in all our hard word
into the article or blog, we get to experience unhappy clients. They remain unsatisfied for
some reason or the other. They either refuse to pay or get it re-translated by someone else.
I had come across a MNC where he got two brochures done from me and when the
payment date arrived he kept postponing and eventually disclosed that it’s
being disapproved by his client. The company did assure me to give some more work
in future to compensate the amount but it didn’t happen. According to me, stylistic
disagreements is commonly faced by all freelancers.
They disapprove the writing style or the sentence structure. This is due to the outset
of toovague instructions where they do not specify their requirements. Generalizing
view from our side creates a problem. Nonpayment is another problem that
creates a havoc in our mind world. Repeated mails or reminders help but to some extent.
This is the worst nightmare for any freelancer. Payment traps are commonly seen
with most of the companies. There still remain a few that make the payment instantly.
Miscommunication or wrong rate quoted in the mail with respect to the size of the
work also contributes to this issue. Sometimes jobs are being cancelled midway.
A freelancer dedicates time and effort for a project and disapproves other projects
due to its priority. Regardless of all this, clients cancel their job midway. They do
not handover any deposit and neither any partly payment is been done for the
efforts done so far. Many translation services in Bangalore also face the same
problem. Thus, they find partly payment before the job as a viable option.
The most difficult and challenging part of a translator is the language complexity.
Every language as its own meaning. Every language comprises of different elements.
Every language might not have a verb and adjective attached to every sentence
like that of English. Languages like Arabic, pronoun is written as a part of verb.
Clients fail to understand the knowledge and time that goes behind translating each line.
and knowledge about every language. Freelancers even need to understand the culture of
Many of the spoken dialects are woven into many languages, which can affect the
content. Every language has its own structure and is unique in its own way. Few
languages are complex and so becomes translation. We struggle to find the right
equivalent in the target language. Cases like law, medicine are quite complex and
lack of knowledge will clearly be visible in the translation.
With this brief, I hope companies understand the trouble that freelancers take in
order to get the work done.
An agonized Freelancer
Photo Courtesy: fantasticpixcool.com