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Poll: Have you ever received gratuity money or gift certificates from your clients?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 09:31
SITE STAFF
Nov 7, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever received gratuity money or gift certificates from your clients?".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Coulson. View the poll results »



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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:31
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, never! Nov 7, 2013

This is probably one of those cultural things...

In what regards gratuity money, I’m quite sure none of my customers would ever dream of tipping me for translating their documents (anyway I only accept payments by bank transfer)! And I wouldn't expect them to!

In what regards gift certificates, the bulk of my work these last months has been translating medical devices, needless to say that I would not appreciate this kind of gifts…


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
English to German
+ ...
Once Nov 7, 2013

I got extra pay for a book I had translated.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 19:31
Turkish to English
+ ...
Yes, once Nov 7, 2013

One of the agencies that I work for awards small monthly prizes to translators, and I won one of the prizes once.

(That was a prize in kind, actually, so it does not fit the description in the question.)

[Edited at 2013-11-07 08:53 GMT]


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:31
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Never Nov 7, 2013

However, a nice "Thank you for a job well done!" -- something you hardly hear from customers in this profession -- would be reaaaaaaally welcome!

Changed one word

[Edited at 2013-11-07 10:32 GMT]


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Elda Veiga  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:31
Member (2013)
English to Portuguese
A few times Nov 7, 2013

Probably because they were small jobs, perhaps the client felt the need to round up the amount.

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Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
Member (2012)
German to English
a couple of times Nov 7, 2013

one of my least favourite customers - "need it done by yesterday, only a couple of pages (mm, about 1500 words, easy peasy)" - has twice told me to add 50 Euro to my invoice as a christmas present for my dd!! The first time, it took me a few minutes to get my head around it Not sure why he does it, maybe he appreciates my frank approach
One agency has actually upped the quoted price, saying the topic needed a lot of research so they were paying more to compensate. That was good as it really did take a lot of extra time.
so there are still good guys out there
in turn, I try to do a good deed now and then.


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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 20:31
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Not for translation work Nov 7, 2013

I've just finished some "mystery client" work for which a native speaker of English was needed, and one of the ways that can be paid is by gift certificates.

I wouldn't like to be paid in gift certificates for translation work though. The only exception is when I translated the brochure for a chocolate company - I wouldn't have minded being paid in chocolate!

I once got a reduced rate for a hotel room after proofreading the English version of the hotel's website (run by friends).


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 18:31
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not money or gift certificates... Nov 7, 2013

But I have received an endearing (if slightly weird) piece of glass art and a vase for some of my pro-bono work, and a book or two along the way.

Apart from market-rate payment for my work, I prefer to avoid money, as it either tends to be taxed out of existence, or my accountant sleeps badly... and I am married to him, so he gets to know anyway.

Apart from that, if I am working pro bono, I want my clients to use their scarce funds for their worthy causes. The thanks and small gifts are really heart-warming, and I let people know they are apreciated!


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 01:31
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No thank you! Nov 7, 2013

Catharine Cellier-Smart wrote:

... The only exception is when I translated the brochure for a chocolate company - I wouldn't have minded being paid in chocolate!



I once translated the website for Osaka City Water Works Dept. It gave very in-depth and unappetizing descriptions of how sewage was treated.

Payment in lieu would not have been appreciated.


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:31
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
No... Nov 7, 2013

But I have some lovely clients who let me know they really appreciate the work I do and send very nice thank-you emails. Very much appreciated!
As I work mostly for agencies, I would not expect any gift certificates.


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Catharine Cellier-Smart  Identity Verified
Reunion
Local time: 20:31
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Payment in kind Nov 7, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

Catharine Cellier-Smart wrote:

... The only exception is when I translated the brochure for a chocolate company - I wouldn't have minded being paid in chocolate!



I once translated the website for Osaka City Water Works Dept. It gave very in-depth and unappetizing descriptions of how sewage was treated.

Payment in lieu would not have been appreciated.


In my pre-full-time translation life I used to work at a plastic manufacturing company and one of the 'perks' was that several times a year we were given rolls of dustbin bags. (They also made septic tanks as well). As there were far too many bin bags for me to use all by myself I used to swap some … with a friend who worked at a factory making toilet rolls!


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Vibeke Degn-P  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 18:31
Member (2010)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Often Nov 7, 2013

Yes, I would say often. Every Christmas from my regular customers in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, and on my birthday from customers in Norway. Books, food baskets, wine, kitchen stuff and what is known as "julegratiale", meaning cash to bank account as a way of saying "our company made a profit this year, so here is a little something to say thank you for helping us with that". It's a tradition in Norway around Christmas, and as long as the value of the gift is under a certain amount, we are not required to pay taxes for it. But I have sometimes recieved gifts so valuable, I have had to send it back or report it to my accountant.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not strictly a gift but Nov 7, 2013

a customer once gave us a tour of their submarine

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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Gratuity? Nov 7, 2013

What are we, waiters now?

Allow me to guffaw at the pollster's expense for a moment. Wait, I'm not done.

Now I'm done.

Gifts from clients, yes. Maybe it's an acceptable thing to give gratuity to a professional translator in some countries, but not in the Western Hemisphere.

Correct me if I'm wrong, of course. I can't go around and visit every single country in the Western Hemisphere!

A client once sent me a pecan pie for a 40,000-word translation.
Another client sent me a sweater for a biology analysis software project.
In recent years, a client would send goodies (like a picnic package) for a very important job.

Like Julian, I would like to hear from clients with a “Thank you” expression. But I ain't sittin' waitin' t'appen! Instead, I send thank-you cards with a handwritten note (yes, it's quaint but effective) to express my gratitude for having me as a translator.


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