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Poll: What do you think is the most important factor for clients when choosing a translator/interpreter?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:13
SITE STAFF
Mar 1, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you think is the most important factor for clients when choosing a translator/interpreter?".

This poll was originally submitted by Eszter Bokor. View the poll results »



 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Depends Mar 1, 2017

Here: Price
My market: Quality


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 15:13
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Depends Mar 1, 2017

On knowledge of the subject matter

It's pointless giving a 500-page manual for an industrial robot to someone who hasn't a clue about what they are but quotes a lower rate.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:13
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Price Mar 1, 2017

Well, that goes for agencies. Most of the PMs don't understand what makes for a good translation and they will nitpick a "missing word" that was left out on purpose. My direct clients are different. They are more focused on quality.

 

Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 08:13
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Agree with this awful reality! Mar 1, 2017

Chris S said:
Here: Price
My market: Quality


Yes, I agree with Chris. Unfortunately, this is the real world in which we live!


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:13
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Quality Mar 1, 2017

When selecting a translator I think that the single most important factor for a client should be quality, but most seem only concerned with price.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Mar 1, 2017

Ho hum, another absolutist "the most..." type poll, which I find extremely difficult to answer. In the real world, a cogent response would feature more than one of the options provided. For example, in my experience, recommendation from respected colleagues is an important factor when choosing employees or outsourcers. However, although occasionally money may be no object for a thriving company/client, for most companies the translation/interpreting rate offered will be a prime concern.

 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:13
Member
German to English
+ ...
too often price Mar 1, 2017

It should be quality but it is all too often price

 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 08:13
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
Reliability Mar 1, 2017

I think overall reliability is an important factor.

(Meet the deadlines. Read and comply with the instructions provided. Research well. Solve technical issues as self-sufficiently as possible. Communicate potential problems. Deliver decent work.)



[Edited at 2017-03-01 09:28 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:13
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Mar 1, 2017

Should be quality but actually it is price.

On the other side, we have to say that some clients still prefer to have quality and are willing to pay a reasonable price for it.

In my experience as a PM (a couple of years) I tried to find quality first, and when the budget was low, I preferred to ask for a discount to the translator/proofreader or say NO to the end client.


[Edited at 2017-03-01 10:12 GMT]


 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 08:13
Member (2005)
English to German
I don't know Mar 1, 2017

My clients or prospects generally don't tell me.

Figuring it out is not something I consider fun, but I know that other professionals do it all the time (aka "with what quality can I get away?" "with what price can I get away?" "with how much general impudence can I get away?"), and both "buyer" and "seller" of a product or service make it a sport to optimize it to breaking point.

Maybe the entire translation industry is suffering from this - certain people love this "testing the limits" sport, and they often end up working in agencies, and others hate this activity, and many of them end up as underpaid translators or as duped clients respectively. An industry that attracts both introverts and people with the proverbial "carpet dealer" personality is bound to breed some serious injustice.


 

Khaldun Alqaisi
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 10:13
Member (2013)
English to Arabic
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Depends on the client and the project to buy done Mar 1, 2017

Yes, there is no one quality.

Text can be translated in many ways and is still correct.

Work done in the past does not mean translator can do as bad / good as now.

Price should honor the efforts of the translator. It should be fixed and not subject of bargain.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Depends on the client Mar 1, 2017

If price is the most important, and clients try to set it, then translators should treat them like children coming into the old-fashioned sweetshop and asking "What can I have for two pence?" (Or coming into the candy store and asking "What can I buy for ten cents?")

A client recently offered me a fixed fee for translating the whole of their website, about half of what I would normally charge. I selected some of the pages and offered to translate them for that fee. I told the client that the remaining pages were not relevant outside Denmark anyway, and suggested leaving them untranslated.

I did not get the job, but I made my point.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:13
French to English
Quality Mar 1, 2017

As the question is clearly asking what I think is the most important factor for clients, then I feel morally obliged to answer "quality". Price is obviously a very close second here.

I think (know) that (serious) clients would also reply "quality", but I know they would think "price".

For obvious reasons, both translators and clients have to consider price.

Edit.
Two readings are possible.
1. What do I think is the most important factor for clients = what do I have in mind as being the most important thing in providing a service my clients pay me for?
2. What do I think my clients have uppermost in their mind when choosing a translator?

My answer is a reply to the first version of the question.

[Edited at 2017-03-02 01:25 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:13
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Depends Mar 1, 2017

It depends on the clients. If they want good quality for peanuts, they will choose the one who is willing to work for them, e. g. price is the only thing that matters.

Most serious clients look for top quality and expertise in the translator they will ultimately choose.

Personally, I believe that quality and expertise are what attract serious clients the most, as well as (perhaps) the turnaround time.


 
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