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Poll: Mostly, you would like your clients to understand...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:14
SITE STAFF
Jun 13, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Mostly, you would like your clients to understand...".

This poll was originally submitted by Aline Canino. View the poll results »



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Justin Peterson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:14
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
All of the above Jun 13, 2016

Good poll.

Only flaw: an "all of the above" option.

Is it just me, or has the concept of "working hours" disappeared?

People call whenever it is convenient for them, and assume you're reading email on the weekend.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
None of the above Jun 13, 2016

The customers I have now are no trouble at all really, but in general I think agencies could usefully understand that no amount of "proofreading" will rescue a cheap and nasty translation.

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Dittebd
Denmark
Local time: 04:14
Member (2013)
German to Danish
+ ...
I wish they would realise.. Jun 13, 2016

That if you are only prepared to pay peanuts, the job will inevitably be done by a monkey.

And like Chris rightly states, the solution is not to get a professionel translator to salvage the mess afterwards.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 03:14
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

1. You can't translate what you can't read: All my clients understand that I can't translate what I can't read and if after accepting an assignment I discover that there is any kind of hitch they have always been very helpful.
2. You have a private life: As I was the sole breadwinner for my family and had to work hard to support my children, my private life had to suffer but it was my choice, it had nothing to do with my clients.
3. You are not superman: I suppose my clients know that I’m not a superwoman, but I can’t help feeling occasionally that I’m one…

P.S. I’d like all my clients to understand that all payment should be according to my terms (within 30 days net by bank transfer).


[Edited at 2016-06-13 10:16 GMT]


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Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 21:14
German to English
+ ...
The only thing that comes up occasionally .. Jun 13, 2016

... from that list is "I can't translate what I can't read." It's a relatively new phenomenon coinciding with the prevalence of smartphones with cameras. A client will quickly snap a picture of a document and click "send", apparently without checking what it looks like. I now give instructions to new clients that I prefer a document to be scanned with a scanner, or at least to check that it can be easily read. Well, 20 years ago we had smudgy faxes, when the client's fax machine slipped as the paper was pushed through.

I can't relate to anything else on the list.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:14
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

Lots of things. But it is annoying when they (I'm thinking of one agency in particular here) keep asking for estimates for texts I haven't seen yet, even when I've reminded them several times that I NEED TO SEE THE FILE FIRST.

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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:14
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

None of the above troubles me, it's rather too long payment terms and too individualized invoicing requirements from many clients (agencies)

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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:14
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

My main concern, being a sworn translator, is that some agencies don't realise that they can't tell me what to put as a translation ("our customer doesn't like 'investigado/inculpado' but 'imputado'"). That means that they belittle our job and the fact that I have to certify my translation. They pay, but they can't word my text.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:14
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other Jun 13, 2016

That we are professionals who need to paid on time or even quicker!

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Michel Virasolvy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:14
Member (2012)
English to French
All of the above II Jun 13, 2016

I join Justin about the "all of the above" part. More often than not, some clients just don't even understand that translators are just human beings, they have working hours to take care of their own life, bills to pay, and professional translation doesn't grant them the right to skip the proofreading step altogether or assign texts about a completely different area of knowledge to one and only translator. OK I'm specialized in subtitling videos, just don't spam me with legal documentation, I'll just ask a colleague with much more experience on the topic to contact you to discuss about their fees.

The real main difficulty at the moment is having them understand that "freelance" means you're a company of your own, and thus despite being companies/agencies of many people, they're clients nonetheless, they're at least to abide by my General Terms of Sale, including payment delays and working hours.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:14
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Several things Jun 13, 2016

1. Translation is a skilled profession, not a hobby.

2. I have my working languages. Though I speak a few others, I don't translate them reliably, so I don't do in professionally. I can't translate from a language I don't understand.

3. Likewise, I cover an unusually wide and varied range of subject areas, however NOT ALL of them.

4. If the source text doesn't make sense - or is not readable - in its original language, I can't add what is missing while translating.

5. A translator is neither running a printing press nor a plastic injection machine. Increasing the volume tenfold should not cause a reduction in unit cost.

6. Most banks - at least all that I know of - do not offer translation services. Why should I - as a professional translator - be expected to offer financial services, and get paid for my work many weeks or months later?

7. Both book/magazine publishers and video producers/distributors pulverize the cost of translating into another language among thousands or millions of copies/readers/spectators. If you saw something you liked in a language you don't understand, if it's big enough, the cost of having it translated for you alone may surpass the total cost of taking a course to actually learn that language.

8. DTP is a profession, like translation. If a translator does DTP as well, it is NOT included in the cost of plain text translation.

9. Demanding absolutely any specific CAT tool for no particular reason, just because an advertisement says it delivers better, faster, and cheaper translation is as wise as demanding translators who smoke a particular brand of cigarettes because one of its ads says that smarter people prefer it.

10. If the idea of demanding native speakers of the target language - regardless of their competence/qualification in translation and in the subject matter at hand - held any water, nobody would board a plane with a human at the helm. We'd demand a bird instead.


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Ahmad Hosseinzadeh  Identity Verified
Iran
Local time: 06:44
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

I should not lower my rates when the inflation rate is not decreasing in my country!

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Ekaterina Chashnikova  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:14
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

I am either lucky with my clients (I like most of them indeed) or do not ponder on those issues.

The first thing that comes to mind though is that some translation agencies send an excessive amount of reference materials (including irrelevant ones) for small jobs.


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:14
Romanian to English
+ ...
Other Jun 13, 2016

I can handle all those problems (by not accepting illegible documents, not necessarily replying outside my working hours, being superwoman if needs must), but I am annoyed beyond measure when a client expects me to do their admin work, e.g. sending separate invoices for every single lil job just because it makes their accounting easier - and mine more cumbersome.

[Edited at 2016-06-13 12:30 GMT]


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