Viral videos to help educate clients about the translation industry?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 27, 2015

What we desperately need is a translator's organization that will help educate clients about what has become of the industry's supply chain for the benefit of both translators and translation agencies. And it's not just about price. A client who is only paying .05 a word, deserves what they get, but a client could pay .25 a word and at the end of the chain, the translator is only getting .06. Clients need more information so that they can select an agency that knows how to select competent translators and that pays them accordingly and does not sub-sub-sub-outsource to anyone with an internet connection and a pulse. Clients need to know what is going on (beyond the sometimes false and misleading advertising information displayed on websites) so that they can ask the right questions and select the right agency.

For example, a viral video showing the home office of a professional translator working at her computer, surrounded by dictionaries, classical music in the background, framed college diploma on the wall, talking on the phone asking experts for verifications of terms, staying up late at night to finish a project, etc. Next scene: happy client using the translation at a board meeting with now happy international clients signing deals, shaking hands.

Cut to the next scene of a young 20-year old drinking and dancing at a nightclub with loud music in the background. Suddenly, he gets a text message and sneaks off to the bathroom to quickly jot off a translation on his cell phone while angry inebriated customers with full bladders bang on the stall door. A message pops up on the cell phone "Congradulations! You've just earned another .10 cents!". The next scene is the client receiving a hefty bill and a rejected bid proposal from the very confused foreign client.

I believe that if clients were aware of what happens to their translation projects and who was actually translating them (and under what conditions) at least some would move over to better and more professional agencies.

Anyone else have any ideas for viral videos to help educate clients? Isn't this one way agencies and translators can work together for our mutual benefit?

[Edited at 2015-09-28 06:01 GMT]


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TranslateThis  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:30
Spanish to English
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Brilliant idea Sep 27, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
What we desperately need is a translator's organization that will help educate clients about what has become of the industry's supply chain.


Not sure about Proz.com, but maybe IAPTI would be interested? I think (hope) many translators would chip in if needed (at least I would), so that we can hire a professional to make a series of short videos.

Another idea: maybe we could have a contest for the funniest script for a viral video? Perhaps it could be announced during the Proz.com Virtual Conference next week? What do you think?


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:30
German to English
+ ...
Why stop there? Sep 27, 2015

Clients need more information so that they can select an agency that knows how to select competent translators and that pays them accordingly.

Why "select an agency who...." ? Why not go directly to the translator, and get personalized service?


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't way this thread to become anti-agency Sep 27, 2015

Isn't this one way agencies and translators can work together for our mutual benefit? Isn't that the goal of having corporate members in the ATA?

[Edited at 2015-09-28 06:00 GMT]


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
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What does personalized service mean in this context? Sep 27, 2015

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

Clients need more information so that they can select an agency that knows how to select competent translators and that pays them accordingly.

Why "select an agency who...." ? Why not go directly to the translator, and get personalized service?


What is the opposite to it? Non-personalized? What does that mean then?


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:30
German to English
+ ...
Answering Jeff Sep 28, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Isn't this one way agencies and translators can work together for our mutual benefit? Isn't that the goal of having corporate members in the ATA?

[Edited at 2015-09-28 06:00 GMT]

I did not mean it to be anti-agency. I was only suggesting that there is more than one choice.

I'm Canadian, btw. The CTTIC does not have corporate members. I'm not that familiar with the American organization. I do agree, however, that agencies and translators can have a synergistic relationship. I have quite a few longstanding clients that are agencies, and they are a pleasure to work for and with.


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 11:30
German to English
+ ...
answering Yuan Sep 28, 2015

jyuan_us wrote:

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

Clients need more information so that they can select an agency that knows how to select competent translators and that pays them accordingly.

Why "select an agency who...." ? Why not go directly to the translator, and get personalized service?


What is the opposite to it? Non-personalized? What does that mean then?

Sorry, I shouldn't use buzz words. They come out as meaningless. What I like about working directly with end clients is that I can talk to them and find out exactly what their concerns are, what is important to them, and it just lets me adapt my work more closely to their needs. Of course a good agency can go a long way toward doing this as well, especially if the PM can communicate well in both directions. Some intermediaries don't transmit much other than the work itself and then I miss that part of it.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 00:30
Member (2004)
English to Thai
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My painful issues Sep 29, 2015

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Cut to the next scene of a young 20-year old drinking and dancing at a nightclub with loud music in the background. Suddenly, he gets a text message and sneaks off to the bathroom to quickly jot off a translation on his cell phone while angry inebriated customers with full bladders bang on the stall door. A message pops up on the cell phone "Congradulations! You've just earned another .10 cents!". The next scene is the client receiving a hefty bill and a rejected bid proposal from the very confused foreign client.

I believe that if clients were aware of what happens to their translation projects and who was actually translating them (and under what conditions) at least some would move over to better and more professional agencies.


This is a great idea. I met with a number of painful issues due to agencies/clients who did not understand well how translation processes and translation output are. Yes, "client is always right" but our professional work processes should be honored as well.

Soonthon L.


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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:30
Italian to English
You can lead a horse to water... Sep 29, 2015

I think it's a great idea. The problem I see is actually getting clients to watch them, or rather, geting the right clients to watch them. Those who care probably will; the problem ones, who couldn't care less and probably never will, are more problematic.

But I do think something needs to be done, and videos are probably the right approach.

[Edited at 2015-09-29 12:33 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm pretty sure that with all the translators just on this site... Sep 29, 2015

...that we can adequately distribute the YouTube links.

A Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign could be started to raise funds. However, how much would it cost to professionally produce five two-minute videos and could we raise that much?

I'm sure we could get volunteers to subtitle the videos in other languages...

[Edited at 2015-09-29 13:40 GMT]


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 17:30
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Something definitely needs to be done Sep 29, 2015

I do think clients need to learn that just because they paid $0.25 a word for a translation doesn't mean they actually got a $0.25 a word translation. I'm all in favor of producing this video. How is it going to be funded, though? Kickstarter?

While we're at it, it would also be good to educate people about what kinds of projects are best served by agencies (very big projects, rush jobs, projects with a lot of languages, other complicated stuff) and which ones would be better off left to an individual translator (just about everything else). The video will only lose credibility if it goes down the "All agencies are evil!" route when that is certainly not the case.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Are clients really so stupid... Sep 29, 2015

...that they would continue to source cheap translations from a nightclub toilet if they weren't fit for purpose?

I wouldn't dream of watching or obeying "viral videos" telling me only to use main dealers rather than cheap local garages to fix my car. I just use common sense and if I get my fingers burnt I try someone else.

I really can't see the average translation buyer being any different. And unlike car maintenance, translation is rarely a life-and-death thing.


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