0

Hi All, my name is Rob from Aus.  Thank you in advance for taking your time out to read this.

I have been looking into the idea of using Gengo as a part income substitute.  My plan is to drop one day of full time work (I currently work a Mon-Fri 9-5 job), and do translating on that 5th day instead (I don't intend to continue full time work and additionally take up Gengo).  My question to the experienced translators here is - are there enough jobs that you could make a reasonable wage across a working day or week (in small jobs here and there)?  My primary language is English, second language Mandarin/Chinese.  I am an inexperienced translator.  In a days work in my current employment, I earn $150-200 AUD.  It would be ideal to make this same amount through Gengo, however I appreciate that may possibly be unreasonable when starting off...???  I've no idea, hence this forum post :)

If anyone can provide some insight, I'm sincerely grateful.

Thanks,

Rob

7 comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    drewvfernando

    Hi Rob from Aus, I've also wondered about this myself...

    Chiming in with my "two cents" here. It seems that $150-200 Australian is US$130-175. Assuming you're standard level, then I honestly don't believe that you can make that amount in one day. That being said, I'm not familiar with your language pair. Are there a lot of jobs in your language pair? 

    And there's one more thing to consider. I'm sure you realize that you can never rely 100% on there being jobs available to work on...sure there could be a ton of jobs one month, perhaps so many that all the translators can't even get through them all. But the next month, maybe there could be no jobs at all. It seems unlikely, but you know it's possible, it all depends on how many people are posting jobs.

    But that's just what I think, I would never dare to tell you what to do. JP>EN seems to be a really busy pair, and I'm happy with the amount of projects in there, but I decided that it's too scary for me personally to give up my day job to work on Gengo. But as I said, I don't know anything about Chinese>EN.

    Hopefully someone who has been with Gengo for a long time will chime in on this too. 

     --Drew

  • 0
    Avatar
    Lara

    Hi Rob,

    As Drew said, I think there are many factors to consider and the first one is whether yours is a busy language pair or not... (and even for busy language pairs, there will be days with no jobs around, either because there have been no orders or because other translators have been faster picking them up.) Either way, I honestly don't think you can rely on making $130+ in just one day at standard level. First of all, even in the busiest language pairs (such as JP>EN, which is the one I work for) you are more likely to find short (ranging anywhere from $0.50 to $30) than bigger jobs (this does not mean that bigger jobs are not available, of course, but they are just rarer to come by, and definitely not something you come across on a daily basis.) This means there would have to be *at least* 5 x $30 jobs for you to make enough to make up for that day of full time work that you'd  be giving up...  And this, to be honest, would be extremely rare. Also, even if there were 5 jobs at $30 available for each and every translator in your language pair... again if you are working in standard level they might be around 2 pages (Microsoft Word) long each, more or less (random calculation from my experience in JA>EN) and depending on the topic will require more or less time - I am not sure whether, given the hypothetical case that those jobs were actually available, you could dedicate enough time to every one of them.
    And now the complete opposite situation is also very likely to happen... you may sit in front of your computer all day one Friday and no jobs will come up (or somebody will pick them up faster.)

    Of course this is not telling you what to do, and I am definitely not saying that you shouldn't do it, but I just wanted to give you a realistic perspective on the matter.
    If you do your numbers and you can make a living even in the event that you do not make as much money as expected, or if you have the possibility to go back to working full time on Fridays if this doesn't work, I would give it a shot. Otherwise, I would just start translating in my free time, after work, or weekends, etc... before making such an important decision.

  • 0
    Avatar
    robert.trieu

    Hi Lara and Drew.  Thank you, I really appreciate your input and I respect your gentle approach in "not telling me what to do" haha, it's all good :).  I've always been realistic about this idea and your "realistic" feedback really solidifies it.  I've always thought that although Chinese is a massive language on the world stage at the moment, it also means it probably attracts the most translators, thus tilting the supply-and-demand scale, potentially not in favour of the supply end. 

    The plan is not for Gengo to be the only income supplement for that lost day; other income streams would help to make up for that lost day so I needed to get a realistic idea of how much Gengo could fill that void.  Lara, your advice in your closing line probably is the way to go, even though my usual plan is just to dive into things and 'make it work'.  In my particular circumstances, I am in position to take your suggested approach.

  • 0
    Avatar
    Lara

    It's good to know we might have been of some help! :) Good luck!!!

  • 0
    Avatar
    richwarm

    Hi, Rob, I'm from Australia, too, and I am registered for both JA-EN(Pro) and ZH-EN(Standard). I am currently doing what you propose to do, i.e. cutting back on another job and doing Gengo work instead. The main issue for you, at this point, may well be that there seems to be almost no work available for ZH-EN. See

    https://support.gengo.com/entries/21887355-Nahhhhh-there-seems-no-jobs-for-Chinese-Simplified-to-English-translations-

    This may change in the future, of course. There appears to be much more work for JA-EN.

    Like you, I can earn a couple of hundred Aussie dollars in a day doing other work (AU$200=US$180 currently), and I can't make that much with Gengo at present. I started off doing Standard Level JA-EN a year or so ago, making perhaps $15 or $20 in a day. After I passed the Pro level test, I could earn more, but the number of Pro jobs is limited, and they tend to disappear quickly. In recent times, I have become more disciplined, and developed the mental stamina to focus on translating for hours at a time, without being distracted. The best I have done so far in one day is about US$100. This is generally composed of a mix of Standard and Pro JA-EN jobs. On one occasion, however, I earned that amount doing a large number of marketing survey responses for a single large job at the Standard Level. Other days, I struggle to get even half that amount in a day, especially when there are few Pro jobs on offer. Hypothetically, if you were very competent and efficient, and there were plenty of Pro jobs, I believe you *could* make as much as $180 in a day. But those are big IFs!

  • 0
    Avatar
    richwarm

    Another important factor is the US-AU exchange rate. Depending on which economists you ask, the rate could be US$0.66 to the AUD (which is what it was 5 years ago) by the end of next year, or it could be about the same as it is now: US$0.90.

  • 0
    Avatar
    robert.trieu

    Hi Rich, bit of a delayed response.  Just wanted to say thanks for your valuable feedback.  These were the exact responses I was hoping to get.  Thank you!

Please sign in to leave a comment.