Poll: Have you ever been tipped for your services?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:03
Sep 25, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been tipped for your services?".

View the poll results »


Teresa Borges
Local time: 14:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other! (I have been offered, I haven't accepted it!) Sep 25, 2015

I worked as sworn translator from 1985 till 2000 and by then it wasn’t unusual to be offered a box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers and even tips from people who were in difficult situations and felt that I had helped them… I must say that it’s not easy to refuse a tip without offending the tipper, but with some degree of diplomacy I have always been able to!

[Edited at 2015-09-25 08:47 GMT]


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:03
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Occasionally Sep 25, 2015

I am not really sure what counts as a tip, but I think I have been occasionally.

I used to have a very old school regular client, now long-retired, who paid by cheque and always rounded up any odd amounts.

Again, not very often, but over the years I have also been sent various items, related to the products I have done translations for, such as bottles of wine, olive oil, organic honey, tea, books, essential oils and general gifts/items around Christmas time (but that seems to be a fading fashion now).
However, I am not sure if those really count as tips or rather gifts/promotional items.

[Edited at 2015-09-25 09:18 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-09-25 10:43 GMT]


564354352 (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
Danish to English
+ ...
Yes, but not for my translation work Sep 25, 2015

I have worked in the hotel and conference industry, where tipping is much more common than in the world of translation, so yes, I have been tipped for my services...


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Sep 25, 2015

Not as a translator, as I work B2B only, but tips were my main source of income in my pole-dancing days.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:03
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No, but Sep 25, 2015

I've been thanked face to face a few times or by e-mail, twice recently, in fact.

It's nice to get a nice pat on the back occasionally. Mind you, if they really like you that much they'll raise the rate.
Oh, right. A customer recently volunteered to raise my rate by 30%. icon_biggrin.gif Must remember to see these people again on my next visit to Tokyo.

Sorry, mate. I'm having trouble imagining you in a G-string. So, what's it like dancing with Poles? Must be very Slovak.

[Edited at 2015-09-26 06:42 GMT]


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, Sep 25, 2015

Well, one translation agency offered me USD 100 as an end-of-year/Christmas bonus last year.

[Edited at 2015-09-25 11:41 GMT]


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Nope Sep 25, 2015

Never as a translator.
I had a student who brought me champagne every Christmas. He was a delightful man, pity he never learned a word of English.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
No waitresses or taxicab drivers here Sep 25, 2015

The question is very poorly phrased. Professionals —translators, dentists, engineers, architects, lawyers, plumbers, etc.— don't get tipped. Hairdressers, waiters, waitresses, cabbies (taxicab drivers) are normally tipped, depending on the local culture.

Better option: Have you ever been given a gift or bonus for your services?

In that case, yes, yes I have. A biology software company once sent me a sweater. Another client sent me a pecan pie (pecans are like walnuts here in America). A regular client for whom I work as part of a team in an annual project always sends me a box of chocolate chip cookies (I'm sure the other team members receive a similar box as a thank-you gift).

On another occasion, a regular client sent me a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Since I'm no US government employee, I can accept such modest gifts without repercussions. Of course, I once daydreamed about having a Saudi prince (or any prince from a Gulf state) for a client who would lavish me with expensive gifts.



TranslateThis  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
Best client ever Sep 25, 2015

Mario Chavez wrote:

Of course, I once daydreamed about having a Saudi prince (or any prince from a Gulf state) for a client who would lavish me with expensive gifts.



I haven't received any tips for my translation work and I think it would be rather strange, but one of my clients goes above and beyond to pay MUCH better rates than anyone else (1.5 and sometimes even 3 times my regular rate).

She's not a prince, just a very nice person who rewards hard-working, reliable translators whenever possible.

The downside is that I find it very hard to turn down any work she sends me, even if I don't really want the job. I've turned down a few jobs only to find out that the translator disappeared without a trace or delivered shoddy work. Each time the mess was mine to clean up.

[Edited at 2015-09-26 03:14 GMT]


Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
Italian to English
+ ...
very rarely Sep 25, 2015

In the dim and distant past I did an interpreting job at a slaughterhouse and came home with a whole beef fillet.
Another job, at a toy factory, produced a toy telephone for my son, then aged 5 or 6.
Nothing much has appeared since then, despite doing scores of translations about food, wine, goodies of all kinds.... the Prosecco people promised some bottles, but nothing has materialised yet.
One agency used to send Christmas gifts, tea-towels with Santa and the like, but she went bust and never paid my last invoice, alas....


TB CommuniCAT  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:03
Member (2014)
English to French
Yes Sep 25, 2015

I worked on a large project for one of my clients and in return they sent me a nice jacketicon_smile.gif


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:03
Member (2007)
+ ...
Clients have paid a bit extra on occasions Sep 25, 2015

I'm not sure I'd call them tips but they've been when the client reckons I've 'gone the extra mile' or I've had to wait a long time for payment (I've been caught in the middle of sanctions etc a couple of time through no fault of my clients).I'd really rather receive the exact amount and a nice "Thanks" but returning the money would be problematic too. My problem is knowing how to account for the extra. It's very small though.


Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:03
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Several extras, but no tips. Sep 26, 2015

In several occasions, I have received extras for exceptional jobs, early delivery, warning clients about severe errors in originals or doing thinkgs not expected from a translator.

But I only received tips when I worked for four months as a driver for foreign participants of the BIRD meeting in Brazil. Other than these, I wouldn't call them "tips".

... and I don't think the asker refers to gifts here. I believe the question is about money.

[Edited at 2015-09-26 14:07 GMT]


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

Poll: Have you ever been tipped for your services?

Advanced search

BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »

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