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Would you reply to this email?
Thread poster: Nicole Schnell

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
Mar 20, 2012

A few days ago I received the following email through ProZ.com:

"Am in need of your translation service; English to German.
Get back to me as soon as possible."

The sender's IP address is located in the US, the email address itself is a Yahoo address. This is the entire text, no greeting, no nothing.

Uhm... what am I dealing with in this case?

- A scammer? Usually they are rather verbose. Or,
- A person who is plain rude?

?


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:27
Chinese to English
Rude, ignorant, unlikely to be a source of real work Mar 20, 2012

Do you have a form email you can send back? I'd send standard email, and include a minimum rate, to weed out jokers.

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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
deserves no response Mar 20, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

A few days ago I received the following email through ProZ.com:

"Am in need of your translation service; English to German.
Get back to me as soon as possible."

The sender's IP address is located in the US, the email address itself is a Yahoo address. This is the entire text, no greeting, no nothing.


Hi Nicole,

I received the same message a few days ago, only for En-Hu. I marked it as "Spam" so that I won't see any further messages from this IP address (we can permanently block individual IP addresses - a lovely ProZ feature). I receive about 4 of these per week, the wording can be slightly different, but the style is the same. The latest I received, from someone I have never heard of before, went like this:
"Hi
We have a short text that we need translated. Are you available?"



what am I dealing with in this case?

- A scammer? Usually they are rather verbose. Or,
- A person who is plain rude?


It doesn't make any difference, in my opinion. Why would I want to work, or even communicate, with someone who is not professional enough to address me, disclose who they are, and show at least a basic level of common courtesy? If I consider myself a professional (and I do), I think it's only reasonable that my clients need to be professionals as well. Another reason for ignoring these types of unsolicited emails is that once you answer, you confirm your email as valid, so they can spam you some more. If I were you, I would not respond but file such messages where they belong, in the junk folder.

Best regards,
Ildikó


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Send him your standard rate sheet Mar 20, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:
A few days ago I received the following email through ProZ.com:
"Am in need of your translation service; English to German.
Get back to me as soon as possible."
...This is the entire text, no greeting, no nothing.


1. Have a standard rate sheet (or résumé) available that you can send to anyone who asks. This is obviously such a case -- simply send the rate sheet and let the person decide if he wants to contact you again. If he does, you can ask him for more information, etc.

2. Some people who send most of their e-mails (and twits) via a smart phone sometimes don't realise that using fuller sentences and non-essential elements (such as salutations and well-wishes) grease the wheels when it comes to new business contacts. Do not judge a client by any lack of cordiality in his e-mails. There is a difference between being deliberately rude and being ignorant of etiquette.


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Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:27
English to Russian
+ ...
No in either case!.. Mar 20, 2012

These are, I would say, "fishsters" ©.

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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
@ Nicole Mar 20, 2012

Reply: "Am in need of a larger trash bin - can you send it to me first before bothering me again?"

That's where such "enquiries" go straight away.


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Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 11:27
English to Russian
+ ...
Hey YOU! I need you to do something for me!.. ;) Mar 20, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

[ There is a difference between being deliberately rude and being ignorant of etiquette.



Sir,

Given that e-mail quoted by Nicole, I wouldn't even judge much on nuances. If people do this on your way first, you hardly can expect good practice and attitude. Who is in need, after all?..
Nicole has no obligation to engage, IMHO.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
This email made me think, though. Mar 20, 2012

While I agree with absolutely everything my colleagues mentioned in their above posts - and I wouldn't dream of replying to this email, aside from a certain itch to send back various chapters from the latest Emily Post edition in bold print:

This kind of curt approach has become awfully common lately. It seems as if the briefness of text messaging and what-not has seeped into overall communication.

Samuel summarized this quite nicely:
"Some people who send most of their e-mails (and twits)
via a smart phone sometimes don't realise that using fuller
sentences and non-essential elements (such as salutations
and well-wishes) grease the wheels when it comes to new
business contacts. Do not judge a client by any lack of
cordiality in his e-mails."

I used to ignore about 30% of all direct requests. Lately I ignore about 60% of all direct requests because I don't like the tone...


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Hebrew to English
Fourteen words! Mar 20, 2012

I had one the other day...

"Hello
Please quote the attached doc for a translations from Hebrew into English.
Thx"


It's verbatim, so the English isn't mine! I admit it did make me raise my eyebrows with its brevity and curtness.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt and subsequent emails were more courteous, even humorous (strangely enough for a PM)

I can forgive a busy PM for dispensing with the niceties in an initial email, even if it does "offend" my English sense of good manners and contravenes my idea of what constitutes professional business practices.

If the tone of the emails remains abrasive, then that's when it's time to say goodbye.

[Edited at 2012-03-20 08:53 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Member (2008)
Italian to English
In a hurry Mar 20, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

"Am in need of your translation service; English to German.
Get back to me as soon as possible."



Could be just a very busy person who's brusque but not rude. I'd reply: "What do you need?"


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hehe... an anecdote for Torao-O Mar 20, 2012

Torao-O wrote:

Hey YOU! I need you to do something for me!..



Many years ago, in a fine and pricey stationery store in downtown Portland, I managed to dismantle some gorgeous, yet highly fragile store decoration by accidentally hitting it with my purse. Of course I was highly embarrassed, went on my knees and started to pick up the merchandise. Which for whatever reason - well, I sort of was restocking some shelves - made some lady mistake me for a store-clerk. "Hey you!", "YOU!!", she addressed me. "Excuse me?," I replied. "Yes, you! You work here. I don't know how to call you."



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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:27
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I love busy companies and busy people who don't waste my time Mar 20, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

Could be just a very busy person who's brusque but not rude. I'd reply: "What do you need?"


Unfortunately Bill Gates and consorts don't use Yahoo...


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:27
French to English
To answer your question. Mar 20, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Would you reply to this email?"


No.




(D'y see what I did there? )


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Member (2008)
Italian to English
:) Mar 20, 2012

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Would you reply to this email?"


No.




(D'y see what I did there? )


Ha ha Charlie



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Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Even worse.. Mar 20, 2012

I got an email the other day that just said

ESTIMATED, TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN TO ENGLISH? USES TRADOS?

I replied asking them what they actually were asking me but didn't get a response. Going by the email address it was sent from English wasn't their first language so I would have given them some leeway if I could figure out what they were after!

[Edited at 2012-03-20 10:01 GMT]


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