Poll: I prefer to communicate with my clients:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 18:13
SITE STAFF
Dec 21, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "I prefer to communicate with my clients:".

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:13
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
By e-mail! Dec 21, 2016

I want everything in writing. One of my best clients has never, ever called me on the phone--maybe it's a rule they have, which is fine with me. Some agencies have wanted to talk to me on the phone, but I discourage that for several reasons: (1) mainly, there's no record of what was agreed on; (2) instructions and agreements can be misinterpreted if they're not written down; (3) they can be forgotten; (4) it takes more time than necessary; and finally, I'm a hard of hearing, which can make communication difficult, especially if the speaker is using a cellphone.

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Other Dec 21, 2016

I replied email but tbh I'd rather not communicate with them at all

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
By email Dec 21, 2016

Most of my clients contact me by email (that's by far what I prefer), except for a Portuguese client who always calls to say... that she has sent me an email (I told her once or twice that she needn’t phone as my email is always open but she insists!).

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
e-mail Dec 21, 2016

Same as last time this came up.
And written old-school, with a hyphen, otherwise it looks like the French for enamelled ... émaillé


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:13
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
email Dec 21, 2016

I once had a regular client who sent me two or three small jobs every week. He was a speaker at a translators' conference I attended in London, so I made myself known to him and he invited me to visit his agency. I went there, and after that I never had any work or any other communication from that agency. My emails went unanswered. So I have avoided face-to-face meetings ever since.
And I don't like phone calls for all the reasons someone else gave above, including being hard of hearing. Phone calls are particularly difficult if the caller has a strong foreign accent or wants to converse with me in my target language, Russian.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:13
French to English
It depends on the topic Dec 21, 2016

I take "topic" here to mean 'reason for the need to communicate', and not 'subject matter of the translation'.

E-mail for the following for the simple reasons that it provides a written trace:
- terms and conditions
- sending/receiving the work (including questions about the work during initial translation, questions/answers at the proofreading stage)

Telephone/Skype for the following:
- discussing details of the work, during transation and/or at the proofreading stage

Once the main bulk of the work has been done, it may be necessary to have a conversation to exchange about how the text has been understood and about particular choices made. Some people shy away from this. It is not necessary each and every time, but when it is necessary, it becomes one of the key stages. It allows the piece to be fine-tuned once the initial translation and the proofread have been done. Not only does it improve the quality of the final text, it contributes to the learning process (translator proofreader/client), to understanding nuances according to context and also how a particular client works.

After nearly 23 years in the business, no means of communication can be excluded. I note of course the problems some may have with regards to hearing. However, most of the day-to-day business is dealt with via e-mail with the odd phone call to check availability, something people generally need to know right away.

[Edited at 2016-12-21 10:05 GMT]


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:13
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Email Dec 21, 2016

Like most people, I voted for 'email'. However, I wonder whether the response might be rather different if we asked customers 'How do you prefer to communicate with your translators?'

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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 03:13
Member (2005)
English to German
E-mail Dec 21, 2016

Customers only phone me when they want to haggle or otherwise talk me into something unfavourable. I'm way too polite in spoken communication (yes, really) to ever be successful at this kind of thing, so I avoid it.

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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:13
Member (2012)
French to English
Email Dec 21, 2016

I don't like people popping up on Skype or phone calls out of the blue. I like to have a bit of time to think about my response (aka make up an excuse for not accepting a job).

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 11:13
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
e-mail Dec 21, 2016

Not a case of 'preference' but 'necessity' - always leave a paper trail. You don't want to get into one of those 'he said, she said' kind of arguments later on down the road.

Anonymous is having a field day recently.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:13
Member (2008)
English to Italian
email Dec 21, 2016

everything must be written
just one of my clients calls me just if I dot reply to an email within 1 hour


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:13
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
e-mail Dec 21, 2016

No doubt about this one, I guess.
I have needed evidence of previous negotiations, deliveries, etc. several times. E-mail is the solution.

[Edited at 2016-12-21 14:34 GMT]


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:13
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
e-mail Dec 21, 2016

But I prefer short e-mails without all that crap of repetitive guidelines. Phone is just needed in very urgent issues, because it's too invasive.

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