DOES COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE MATTER FOR A FREELANCE TRANSLATOR?
If you are a freelance translator that works through an agency, you will be exposed to clients with projects from all over the world and can bid on these projects according to your expertise.
However, there are perceptions about countries in the same way as people hold perceptions about professions and there are always exceptions to the rule. In many cases, the external view that many people have of a country is based on information that they receive from the media and unfortunately, there can be inconsistencies between what the media reports and the daily reality of the people living in the country.
For instance, in translation work that calls for “American English” the impression is that Americans speak the same in all regions of the country. However, America has regions which color the language just like any other country. Many times when I am translating documents into English for a client, they are surprised at my questions to determine how to best use of the language to suit their purpose.
Regardless of which country of residence you claim, this is an important aspect of translation work, depending on the content and context of the document; you may have to adjust to fit the need of the client.
In addition, the economic status of a country can also be a factor in the selection process. Most clients know that the rates of freelance translators living and working in the United States are higher than those of a freelance translator who lives and works in India. If their budget is their main consideration, they will seek out the translator with the lower rate. Conversely, when you are reviewing projects for bidding, consider the economic status of the clients’ county as well and adjust your rate to an appropriate level.