12 Easy Ways To Make Your Translator Fall In Love With You
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This blog post is a spiritual successor to my 10 Simple Rules Every Translator Should Live By which pretty much went viral (well, at least by translation industry standards) with hundreds of awesome people sharing it in their social networks and leaving their comments on Twitter, Facebook, Medium, LinkedIn and other social networks. Even the amazing folks from the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters shared it on their Facebook page for which I’m truly grateful. I think it’s absolutely amazing and proves one simple thing: we all have same problems and it doesn’t really matter where you live and what languages you work with.
As you probably already have guessed this post is intended for our customers (current or future) and it covers problems we face on a daily basis. It’s a bit over the top for comic effect (because this is how I roll) but I’m sure a lot of you guys will be able to relate to these problems. Feel free to share this with your clients if you want to make our industry a little bit better. Thank you.
P.S.: And to all my clients reading this – you guys rock no matter what! I hope this post will make you chuckle and help you improve our relationship and take it to the next level. You know me, I’m all about two-way communication 😉
Karen Sandness · April 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm
I would add, “Make sure that the document you give the translator is the final version approved by all the higher-ups. Few things are more irritating than working half way through a translation and then being told, ‘The company president made a few changes (which include removing paragraphs, adding paragraphs of horribly written prose, and/or making grammatical changes that are not translatable into English anyway).'”
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm
I feel you Karen! This happens way too often! Thanks for sharing!
Federica · April 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm
Very, very good Dmitry, thanks, I have just shared it on LinkedIn!
And I have just experienced Number 9; client asks Friday at 4.30 would I translate 5,000 words of legal document for Monday.
Client says he’ll find someone else who’ll do it.
I wonder what the quality of the translation will be….;)
Have a great weekend Dmitry (I will, as now I am free!).
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Hehe! Thanks Federica! Learning how to say no is very important as well as educating our clients on what’s a feasible deadline should look like. Sometimes clients don’t realize that translation is a time consuming task. You obviously didn’t right your document overnight. You’ve spent some time and put a lot of effort, right? Then why would you think you can translate it overnight? If you want something done properly, plan in advance and you’ll have the best results. Simple as that! Enjoy your weekend Federica!
Delfina · April 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm
Excellent post, thanks! Sitting on the on fence as to whether I should share it with certain clientsssss, hm… Very witty and creative! Cheers!
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 11, 2015 at 7:25 pm
Don’t be afraid to tell your clients how you feel Delfina. Good clients appreciate honesty and open communication. Glad you like it! Which one is your favorite?
Delfina · April 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm
Karen’s suggestion should be a must for clients as well! Their last-minute updates can drive editors, not just translators, literally crazy!!
Delfina · April 11, 2015 at 10:38 pm
Thank you, Dimitry. My favourite is the one about the niece, or whoever some clients will turn to AFTER they have hired your services in order to give that “bilingual” person in their company the chance to lay their hands on an already translated document and see whether the file may need any “improvements” which they can “obviously” and willingly make. I don’t think it’s right to have the client come back to the translator with requests to implement changes or assess edits made by someone who altered the final product I have been hired to provide and actually provided as such, especially when the client’s approver or reviewer is not a professional linguist, just someone who happens to believe they know the language well enough to suggest edits here, and there, and, oh, why not there, and there again… That’s infuriating if you ask me, and I do respond as politely as I can, raising this issue with my agency clients when this happens, and helping my PMs explain this to their clients in turn. Sometimes, I get to reap the rewards of a thorough explanation; but on certain occasions, the client stubbornly chooses to be right, and will pay by the hour to have their own preferential edits implemented.
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm
I feel your pain Delfina! Just the other day I had who decided to make changes to my translations because they have some problems with the terminology I used. My problems is: the decided to change the terms that have been already APPROVED by them and INCLUDED in the glossary.
Delfina · April 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm
Exactly the same case! The customer of my client (agency) sent back feedback asking for us to report on whether the changes were or not preferential, etc. The vast majority of changes implied going against the three glossaries which the client had submitted for different Spanish markets (I translate/edit from English into Spanish and vice versa). I have been working as an editor in this account for almost two years, and this is the first time the client’s approver suggests we make changes to terminology which has strictly followed their own reference materials. However, this may be for the better in the long run, because it raises the issue that some of their glossaries are inconsistent or offer a wide range of equivalents to the same term, sometimes even when the context does not vary that much. So I guess one headache may save another ten headaches, and hopefully, we may kill two birds with one stone if they get to see this with me. I’ll keep you posted! Fingers crossed! Thanks again for your feedback!
Hardy Pike · April 14, 2015 at 9:20 pm
It would appear #10 (the one about proofreading) needs… proofreading :evilgrin:
Dmitry Kornyukhov · April 14, 2015 at 9:23 pm
Is that so? 🙂