Dear Linguist
Thread poster: Gül Kaya

Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
Turkish to English
+ ...
Jun 11, 2013

Am I alone in taking umbrage at being sent emails not addressed to be specifically? When I first started out I would reply unthinkingly to emails addressed "dear linguist" or "dear translator." But not anymore. Straight to the bin. Am I being too harsh?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 19:35
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
No, you are not Jun 11, 2013

Dear Gül,

no, you are not. I do the same without wasting any second thought (or reading what's in the mail). Me or anyone else would do for those agencies, so end of the story (and of the time wasting).

Kind regards

Giuliana


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
Hebrew to English
I just got one too Jun 11, 2013

...which was addressed to "Dear Translator" and they even offered me 0.03 USD (as if the way they addressed the email wasn't bad enough they felt the need to rub salt in the wound!)
I politely declined with an email opening with "Dear Agency".

[Edited at 2013-06-11 13:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Recep Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 20:35
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Regular occurance Jun 11, 2013

Same here- if I don't see my name on it, it goes to the trash bin

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:35
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Hungry bin Jun 11, 2013

Same here, they just don´t bother to look up a name, I don´t bother to answer, it´s a waste of time.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

KateKaminski
Local time: 18:35
German to English
It's worse than just not bothering to look up your name Jun 11, 2013

They are not including your name because they have sent the same email to 10 other "linguists".

Better answer that email fast if you want the job!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
not a good business approach Jun 11, 2013

KateKaminski wrote:


Better answer that email fast if you want the job!!!


And people do, unfortunately. I'm surprised outsourcers don't realise how off-putting this impersonal, send-it-to-everyone-in-the-language-pair approach is. Sometimes they don't even bother checking the languages. I recently received a request - again not addressed to me by name - for Chinese into Turkish. Believe me I would love to have this pair, and I would make damned sure I charged accordingly, but it ain't never gonna happen.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:35
Danish to English
+ ...
Spam Jun 11, 2013

I'm nosey, so sometimes I do have a quick look, but most often, I bin them immediately.

How are these emails any different from the 'spam' from hopeful translators that so many agencies complain about?

And WHY OH WHY do they write to umpteen translators and then not even have the absolute minimum courtesy of acknowledging receipt when once in a blue moon I do respond to their rude messages?? The mind boggles...

Good agencies would do their homework and look through the profiles of translators who match their requirements, select a few and then contact them personally and have a decent, professional exchange. How hard can that be? Why else do we bother to work on our profiles here?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:35
English to Polish
+ ...
Brilliant Jun 11, 2013

Ty Kendall wrote:

...which was addressed to "Dear Translator" and they even offered me 0.03 USD (as if the way they addressed the email wasn't bad enough they felt the need to rub salt in the wound!)
I politely declined with an email opening with "Dear Agency".

[Edited at 2013-06-11 13:04 GMT]


Next time you're going to ask them for their best rates or something!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hello Jun 11, 2013

I also received emails like that and the classic one that I received was one that said: Hello, dear translator- we are looking to expand and would like translators from DE-etc, when I do not know any DE. I just binned it, that is the only place for it, and did not bother replying.
The start with Hello as they send to many, though it annoys me, but asking to add me when it definitely is not remotely my language pair is the limit!
Good luck to all and Happy Translating


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:35
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
They may be interesting - read on! Jun 12, 2013

It's true that many emails that start this way go on to offer ridiculous rates, and/or jobs that I'm not qualified to do. Others don't say clearly who they are, so I can't check them out or reply to a named individual. All these either go into the bin or get a terse reply. But I've had numerous successful working relationships that have started that way, so I certainly wouldn't bin something just because of the first two words.

Some examples of when I think it is acceptable:
- When someone is contacting me for the first time and maybe isn't sure of the correct way to address me. Remember, our clients may be from any part of the world, often writing in a foreign language. Maybe an agency should know what to do (I repeat, maybe), but an end client is probably struggling.
- When someone is contacting a few people using the ProZ.com directory. The facility is there to send one email to a few chosen translators (I think), so why should I penalise them for using it? It depends on what follows.
- When an established client has a particularly urgent request. Mind you, I'd expect them to apologise.

On the other hand, I have one client (or perhaps I should say ex-client) who from time to time sends emails to "Dear Translator" and asks for a quote for a text way outside my comfort zone, and an "updated CV". This from someone who has previously addressed me as "Sheila" and has my CV on file. I do take a real exception to that type of approach.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gül Kaya  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
New PMs Jun 12, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

On the other hand, I have one client (or perhaps I should say ex-client) who from time to time sends emails to "Dear Translator" and asks for a quote for a text way outside my comfort zone, and an "updated CV". This from someone who has previously addressed me as "Sheila" and has my CV on file. I do take a real exception to that type of approach.


Yes I agree this is particularly galling and has happened to me a few times.

I know there's no place for undue pride in this profession, but there is a feeling of being personally affronted by these anonymous emails and being contacted "anew" by agencies you've worked for before, however long ago it might have been. It happens mostly when a new PM takes over and starts rediscovering the wheel.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hannah D  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:35
French to English
+ ...
Usually happens with the sprawling agencies Jun 12, 2013

This can happen, along with other ''crimes'' such as sometimes sending me details of job offers in German (luckily I have just about enough German to get the idea) or sending me projects in fields I have specifically told them I don't deal with. Generally I've found it's the huge agencies that do business this way and in response these agencies can expect professional work from me, but not for me to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Once I had quite a serious medical problem and was getting job offers streaming through from one such agency. I responded briefly explaining the problem and gave them a date on which they could start sending me stuff to do again. No response. When the given day rolled round, the stream picked back up again, with no further comment. I'm not precious, but I have worked in a corporate environment, and no matter how false, a ''Sorry to hear that, get better soon'' takes 3 seconds to write but improves business relations enormously.

In contrast, there are other agencies where I have a good relationship with just two or three PMs. They offer me fair rates and interesting projects with reasonable deadlines and those are the clients I'm willing to help with urgent projects, last minute translations, and possibly cancel non-work plans for.

I second what Sheila says - if it sounds interesting, go for it. But don't let yourself get upset over it. Simply treat them the way they treat you.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:35
English to Polish
+ ...
Some cultures... Jun 12, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

- When someone is contacting me for the first time and maybe isn't sure of the correct way to address me. Remember, our clients may be from any part of the world, often writing in a foreign language. Maybe an agency should know what to do (I repeat, maybe), but an end client is probably struggling.


Some names are really difficult to guess for people from a different culture. Heck, there are even some names that are used by people of either sex. Also, in some cases you don't know whether the person's given name or surname comes first, as in, even if you know what's usual in that person's culture, he or should could still have swapped them around in transcription for your convenience. Some people will address their mail to 'Dear No_Honorific Full Name', but others might go for 'Dear Translator/Linguist' indeed.

On the other hand, I have one client (or perhaps I should say ex-client) who from time to time sends emails to "Dear Translator" and asks for a quote for a text way outside my comfort zone, and an "updated CV". This from someone who has previously addressed me as "Sheila" and has my CV on file. I do take a real exception to that type of approach.


Not good. On a different note, I'm still getting used to first names. I rarely like a 'Dear Luke' (actually, they write 'Lukasz' or something) in business mail, especially when formal register is used by the writer. For a moment, I seriously pondered putting it somewhere in my ToS or on my contact page that if you want to address me by my first name only, you must use informal language and we're presumed to be pals. If you want to go formal on me, I expect a 'Mister Gos' up there. I'm not just talking about English here, by the way. What the heck makes people think formal language combines well with first name address?

[Edited at 2013-06-12 22:41 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Dear Linguist

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search