No offers, thanks. Not ever. Ever.
If you represent a translation agency, please go away. Thank you.
If you are a potential client browsing this site looking for a good translator, the prospects are very bright that Bowman International Latin Language Solutions (BILLS) is definitely not what you need.
At BILLS, we have certain standards. Standard Number One is that we don’t work for 5 cents a word. Standard Number Two is that we don’t work for 7 cents a word. Standard Number Three is that we don’t work for 9 cents a word. The intervening standards are obvious. Standard Number Thirteen is that we will, perhaps, sometimes, consider working for 19 cents a word on certain conditions. Here are the conditions.
1. You are not now, and never have been, a representative of a translation agency.
2. You are not a moron (if you approach BILLS, this will be tested).
3. When you communicate in writing with BILLS, all your messages will be in a grammatically perfect form of some known language. We don’t care what the language is. We just want it to be right.
4. At least 51 per cent of the people in your workplace dress in natural fabrics. No more than 49 per cent of them wear polyester. No more than 10 per cent of the men have wretched comb-overs to hide their bald patch. No more than 10 per cent of the women have made very poor efforts to dye their hair.
5. You have your shoes cleaned regularly and you drive with due care and attention to other road users (this too will be tested).
Other stuff you should know …
The standard BILLS contract obliges clients to affirm that they have never, under any circumstances, accepted a translated text containing any of the following words:
Alternate (when the meaning is ‘alternative’)
Disconnect (as a noun)
Empowering (except in a deeply ironic sense)
Gender (meaning ‘sex’)
Impact (as a verb)
Key (except in the context of opening locks)
Multiple (when the meaning is ‘several’)
Outreach (see ‘stakeholder’)
Professional (meaning ‘amateur’). As in: ‘I want a professional translator but I want to pay an amateur’
Stakeholder (when it’s a word used by the dull to obviate their having to think about what words are actually supposed to do)
Substantive (in every conceivable circumstance)
Utilize (if you use this word and you have a language-related job, you should simply resign immediately and do something else. Goat-herding, for example. Language is definitely not your vocation).
Any potential client approaching BILLS is obliged to take a short but rigorous exam. In the case of corporate clients, this exam is usually taken by the chief executive officer. Some clients, however, prefer to send someone with a tragic comb-over or poorly dyed hair and unclean shoes from the office of the chief financial officer. At BILLS, we really don’t care who you send.
The exam takes about a day. Applicants are encouraged to avoid being under-educated people in poorly-fitting polyester clothing with egos that vastly outstrip their natural ‘talent’. All those applying to be BILLS clients are encouraged to consult the many online references to the Dunning-Kruger effect.
There follows a typical question from the standard BILLS examination for companies and individuals who apply to be clients:
If BILLS submits a translated text to you, and a poorly-educated person with a really bad dye-job and shabby shoes asks you to question one sentence in the translation, will you:
A. Send an email to BILLS, asking for clarification.
B. Make a telephone call to BILLS, asking for clarification.
C. Make no attempt to contact BILLS, and assume that poorly-educated people in polyester who dye their hair probably don’t have the best grasp of semantics.
D. Have a nervous breakdown and fail dismally to deal with the matter yourself.
E. Watch television with your spouse/partner and bleat like a lamb about the hardships of your day
The correct answer is C.
If you're looking for a good translator on this site, then we appreciate that you definitely don’t want BILLS. What you're looking for, on this particular website, is an idiot who will work for peanuts.
We wish you, nonetheless, the very best of luck in your search for a skilled professional.