Who are freelancers?  

Freelance – a regular occupation in any activity on a freelance basis, for example, on one-time contracts concluded for a specific order.

Freelancer - a person engaged primarily in freelancing.

These are the working definitions that I can spontaneously (ad hoc) offer for the two notions. No matter how it stands in other languages ​​(English or French). But by the laws of the Russian language it is advisable to adhere to this distinction in order to avoid confusion.

Synonyms for the term “freelancer”: out-of-staff member/employee. And with regard to the translation: a freelance translator, free translator, translator working on his own resources. Though, the latter two concepts are outdated and almost completely replaced by the phrase “freelance translator”.

Using the concept of “free translator” is also not a good choice - again due to the ambiguity: Free translator – a translator, who is free at the moment and can take a new translational order. Moreover, “free” rather belongs to the sphere of sociology and political science. Yuri Novikov, 25 December 2011

Why are there so many freelancers?

When two and a half years ago (in April 2009), I suddenly created my translation website Translation-Blog.ru, it was initially positioned as a resource called “The view of a freelance translator on the profession of a translator.” At that time I perceived the term “freelance translator” as a collective image, covering the most experienced and qualified translators working successfully in the open market of translations.

Today I position myself differently: framework of “freelance” proved to be too narrow for me. It does not fit into a lot of what I did or do in translation and what binds me with the translation profession. But that is not the point.

My view on freelancing and freelance translators for these two and a half years has changed significantly. And the reason is not only and not so much is in my own reconsideration of some values. Over the last 2-3 years there have been some changes on the translation market. Someone, perhaps, may consider that there is no change, but it is not so. And it is not a crisis, and not the amount of translation orders. The quality level of the translation market is gradually changing (and not yet for the better), the role of the Internet is steadily growing, opportunities for remote work, including translation, are increasing.

If 5-10 years ago, there were not so many freelance translators, then now, I think, 70 percent of translations are performed by freelance translators. It does not matter what they are called: freelance translators, invited translators, interpreters on a contract.

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