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One word translation
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 07:05
Feb 21, 2008

I get some super-mini translation inquiry on a regular basis: one or two words needed to be translated into Chinese. I used to do it for free or charge only a few Euros, hoping that more orders may come in. Since all the assignments turned out to be only one-night relationships, I started to respond such inquiries with my minimum charge of 25 Euro; then I never heard from the clients. Now I just stop answering such inquiries, wondering if it is morally correct to do so.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:05
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
You never know... Feb 21, 2008

It is not immoral not to answer but it would be polite to do so. And after all, you never know if it might lead to more work. I think a minimum charge of 25 Euros is a bit much for a few words but you could consider a separate minimum charge for such requests, for example 10 Euros for 1-10 words, and give that as your standard reply.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Another strategy... Feb 21, 2008

Tell such people you usually do the small things at no charge for your clients, and you consider a "client" anyone who generates you at least EUR 25 in monthly income. If they pay you EUR 25, they'll be your "clients" for this month.

Of course, if they send you 500 words in 1-word installments, at the end of the month you should invoice them, and take the EUR 25 as an advance payment on that.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:05
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Cover your bank charges Feb 22, 2008

My minimum is higher. And if they give you advertising copy...

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ANNE FAGES  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
English to French
+ ...
josé has got it Feb 22, 2008

I think José has got a great idea in your case.
Sometimes I'm asked to translate a few words but they are regular clients and I don't ask money for it. I assume it is a "commercial present". They are happy to get the missing translation rapidly and "the present" is not much for me. Next time they receive a job that match they think about me.
If someone you don't know ask you something for free or nuts that's not fair. And sometimes a simple word costs you a lot of time. For example, do you think the translator who was aked to translate just these 5 words "because I'm worth it" was paid 2,50 € or nothing ? Well... I would say... possible


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:05
Japanese to English
Tattoos? Feb 22, 2008

Bin Tiede wrote:
one or two words needed to be translated into Chinese.


Just curious - were these 1~2 word translation requests going to be for tattoos?
There seem to be a lot of KudoZ questions asked in Asian languages requesting certain characters for tattoos (eg. valor, courage, blabla...)


[Edited at 2008-02-22 00:58]


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Tsogt Gombosuren  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:05
Member (2004)
English to Mongolian
+ ...
I always charge my minimum rate and get an advance payment. Feb 22, 2008

KathyT wrote:

Bin Tiede wrote:
one or two words needed to be translated into Chinese.


Just curious - were these 1~2 word translation requests going to be for tattoos?
There seem to be a lot of KudoZ questions asked in Asian languages requesting certain characters for tattoos (eg. valor, courage, blabla...)


[Edited at 2008-02-22 00:58]


I receive such requests for translation of one or two words mostly for tattoo.
In such case, I always charge my minimum rate and get an advance payment.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Tattoos Feb 22, 2008

I often wonder about those tattoos with Chinese characters. It sure would serve them right if instead of what they asked for, you gave them something like "kick me" or "I'm stupid" or maybe even something a lot worse.

They would sure wonder why all those Chinese would be laughing at them (or perhaps kicking them)!


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KathyT  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 21:05
Japanese to English
Errr yes, that actually happens! Feb 22, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:
I often wonder about those tattoos with Chinese characters. It sure would serve them right if instead of what they asked for, you gave them something like "kick me" or "I'm stupid" or maybe even something a lot worse.


The Japanese-related KudoZ forums seem to get these tattoo requests for Kanji transliterations from time to time, and without naming names, some of the regular KudoZ participants have certainly made some errr, "interesting" suggestions, to say the least. (Still Google-able) Usually, though, these requests are made by "Non-ProZ.com" askers, so no one (that I know of) has ever come back with a photo of the resulting tattoo.
Here's another great site for tattoos gone wrong. The all-time favorite definitely has to be "crazy diarrhea."
.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 07:05
TOPIC STARTER
As long as the client does not ask for an invoice, Feb 22, 2008

[quote]KathyT wrote:
Just curious - were these 1~2 word translation requests going to be for tattoos?
There seem to be a lot of KudoZ questions asked in Asian languages requesting certain characters for tattoos (eg. valor, courage, blabla...)



I would accept very small assignments. Otherwise they have to pay my time for invoicing, bookkeeping, and my tax of course.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
Italian to English
+ ...
José's idea is excellent! Feb 22, 2008

It sounds like the ideal solution to me.

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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Dutch to English
+ ...
My minimum is higher too Feb 22, 2008

Parrot wrote:

My minimum is higher. And if they give you advertising copy...


I regularly do little translations for a higher minimum rate. It does not seem to be a problem. On the other hand, if they genuinely forgot a few words, I'll do them for free for regular customers.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Way to go! Feb 22, 2008

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Tell such people you usually do the small things at no charge for your clients, and you consider a "client" anyone who generates you at least EUR 25 in monthly income. If they pay you EUR 25, they'll be your "clients" for this month.

Of course, if they send you 500 words in 1-word installments, at the end of the month you should invoice them, and take the EUR 25 as an advance payment on that.


NICE ONE!!!


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ivo abdman
Indonesia
Local time: 17:05
English to Indonesian
+ ...
ask them to ask in kudoz Feb 22, 2008

give income for translators, rather then free
rate : 4 (for selected answer) and browniz for shopping


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You're under no obligation, but... Feb 22, 2008

Bin Tiede wrote:
Now I just stop answering such inquiries, wondering if it is morally correct to do so.


You are a professional and you may charge anything you want for any service you render (unless there are specific laws against it in your country). You are under no obligation to provide a free service or to ask a rate that the client is likely to accept.

However, the internet is a great place to get free stuff, and by taking just one minute out of your busy schedule to scribble a short, helpful answer to such a query, you are contributing to the greater zen.

I always answer such one paragraph queries free of charge, and I'm always thankful when I ask a question from some other professional out there and get a free, helpful answer in return.


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