Who are freelancers?: page 2  

But what happened over the last 2–3 years? Thanks to social networks and numerous specialized portals for freelancers thousands of translators entered the Internet and actively offer their services in the virtual space. Marketing experts would probalby say that thereby the “structuring” of the translation market has changed. But most importantly, the composition of market participants has also changed.

I must admit that the image of freelance translators even in the pre–Internet period was not very high. Many people perceived freelance interpreters as a kind of irresponsible characters who were not charged with anything and could always fail. A good image of freelancers was rather supported and nurtured by freelancers themselves (“I’ve got really nice working conditions. Don’t go to work every day. Work when I want and as long as I want.”)

Here is a typical example from the German-Russian dictionary PONS:

er ist freiberuflich tatig – he does not work for hire (makes do with odd jobs).

Of course, this kind of translation is rather anachronistic. Dictionaries are not keeping pace with the changing of real content, embedded in the concept of freelancing, which actually began with the semi-legal part-time apology of a work.

Looking at the market of translation freelancing at the turn of 2011–2012 In fact, the present situation reminds me the reversed translation market in Soviet Union. At that time 99% were “full–time translators,” and it didn’t occur to anyone to beat his chest and proudly shout: “I’m a staff interpreter.”

Today, probably 90% of all translators (if you count persons, but not the volume of translations) in one way or another are “freelancers”. So you already can practically equate the terms “translator” and “freelance translator”. Those who consider themselves as office translators are either the “last of the Mohicans” or this is formality only and, in fact, most of the time they work at home and in a sufficiently free mode too.

The process of translators conversion into freelancers is fueled worldwide by the fact that keeping qualified interpreters on the staff in the absence of permanent large amounts of required translations is unprofitable. In addition, companies strive to save money, bringing interpreters out of the staff.

Today there are few purely staff translators. Most of them are managers or secretaries, whose translation work is not in the first place among their professional duties.

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