Business, Linguistics, Translation

How was my 2013?

What has happened in 2013? Ha-ha…I can tell you, what has happened. I became a business woman!

I translated since 2009 regularly – and not regularly since 2001 – so I already had some customers, which got me through the month quite easily. (Un)fortunately this was not my idea of running a business: “to get through the month”.

In January I started working for a very good agency. They became one of my favorite and most prolific clients. I worked for them only in German – Hungarian and translated exclusively automotive texts. I became better and quicker in translating this kind of material, which was necessary, since until this year I almost haven’t worked with German source texts. Beside this agency I worked for five new agencies in January, who found me through proz’ listing.

In February I had my first direct client from Hungary. I had to translate contracts and company material for them from Italian, which is not my specialty field, but since they wanted to buy out one of their clients and they absolutely needed a translation as soon and as good as possible and it was a friend, working there, who asked me, I did it.

I learned the difference between working without an intermediary person in terms of contact with the end client, who can help – and wants to help – in their own interest and how much more one can earn by cutting out the agency. My dream of working for direct clients started…Also in February I have been called by Proz!! Och, how happy I was. Helen asked me, if I want to do a training course and I obviously fell in love with the idea. It took almost the whole year, until we found a suitable time, but then in September I did my first Trados workshop! It was amazing!

Also in February I started to think about setting up my own “General Conditions”, which I should send to the outsourcers to sign before accepting their conditions on my turn. There is obviously some fear, that if I try to dominate a relationship, in which I should be at the bottom of the food-chain, the outsourcer quickly will go to another translator (another point of working for direct clients). The idea is still there…not realized yet.

March and April gave me two new Italian clients. One of them rubbed off during the year – it was a very dubious agency, having their seats in San Marino, Cyprus, running two companies with the same staff…why I started at them? They had a project from my 3 source languages into Hungarian. Yes, one project, 3 source languages, 1 target. It was just mine. I loved that, but started pushing them off later, when they gave me strange conditions, impossible deadlines and started to push to lower my – already low – rates. The other company gives me every month more and more and I finished the year interpreting for their client (see below in December). The only problem is, they pay after 120 days (interpretation gets paid by Easter, yes).

Also in April a third, very good paying agency came into my ways. I have been recommended by a Hungarian translator, who knew my capabilities through another agency. This was the first but not the last time, that Alex recommended me. Very good feeling by the way and this collaboration also led to another interpretation (see below in September) through another brilliant mind: Kriszta.

In May I was at the MemoQ festival in Hungary, and got a deeper insight into this beautiful tool.

In July I have been offered a very large job, which gave me to do for several other months. (until October)

August was a dead month. I had some projects, which I only had to deliver at the end of the month (good paying, I quite enjoyed not to be pinned to my desk all the time). It happens every year. August is like December, clients organize themselves at the beginning of the month and only want to get the stuff back at the end of the month. If I could have it every month like this, it would give me certain freedom. Och, yes, has been launched in August.

September was the month of my first interpretation. I have been in Portoroz for the Sail Racing Academy, organized by BMW and I was  the Hungarian voice of Peter Steinkogler, the sailing coach of the course. Amazing experience, thank you Alex and Kriszta!

In October I finished the large job from July and felt like I would have my wings back. I went to IAPTI’s first conference to London. There I felt for the first time, like I would be in a union of very good and trustworthy people. IAPTI was the first translators association, which I joined in January. During the conference I had so many good laughs, heard of new conference destinations, met a brilliant Dutch translator, found new ideas, and Martha, a perpetuum mobile, whose business school I joined for January 2014.

November was the month of travelling. For the first time ever K2L switched off for a total of 10 days (became a virus, during the holiday season I just did it again)…

December? I joined ATA and registered for their exam. Well…we’ll see. Exciting four months for me to prepare.

The last important job, which I did was at Ducati. I interpreted the presentation of Model Year 2014 for the Hungarian Authorized Resellers. The year couldn’t have ended better.

2013 was the best year, I’ve ever had. So many things happened, so many exciting news made me proud of me and my business, I never earned so much in a year, like in 2013, I never met so many interesting people, like this year, I never had the feeling so strong of being able to succeed.

What 2014 will bring? Well…one thing for sure: a truly powerful and strong Hungarian translator for the translation business!


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