Translation and Dealing with a Recession - Part 2
It’s really important that translators acknowledge their own worth when it comes to their translation experience and knowledge.
Other Strange Discount Requests
Then, of course, there are the translation clients who believe they shouldn’t be expected to pay for numbers, because, in their opinion, they don’t need to be translated. A very simple way to resolve this issue is to suggest to the client that the translation job will be delivered to them – minus the numbers – and that the client should insert these numbers themselves. This should resolve the situation pretty quick! An amusing story is of the client who, while trying to save money, decided that the translator should deduct all the occurrences of the word ‘the’ throughout the translation. That should make for a very interesting translation!
Yes, translators do come across some weird and wonderful clients! Perhaps you’ve experienced a client who, again, trying to save money, has requested a ‘quick and dirty’ translation. One wonders what that actually means! One also wonders what they expect when it comes to quality, because surely they don’t expect accurate, high-quality work with a quick and dirty translation?
Clients Requesting Additional Services for Free!
It’s really important that translators acknowledge their own worth when it comes to their translation experience and knowledge, because there are clients out there that will try anything to get you to reduce your price. Of course, at the same time they expect top-quality work, and often they expect to receive it yesterday! Be very wary of clients who use a translator’s inexperience to get more for their money by asking the translator to provide free services; services that should be charged for, like requesting a rush job without a rush surcharge, extra formatting, DTP, a translator-compiled glossary, and so on.
So, what can a translator do when clients approach them with unreasonable demands for either a discount, or extra unpaid work? Well, it seems that you have three options –
- Accept the client’s demands, without discussion;
- Be very clear with the client about your terms of service, and refuse to make any concessions;
- Negotiate with the client.
Translators: Know your Worth!
When it comes to negotiating with a translation client, the success of any negotiation will depend entirely on the strength of the translator’s position in relation to the client. Let’s say you’re the only legal translator into the Inuit language. In this situation, your chances of getting the translation job on your terms are much stronger than if you had to compete with many other translation colleagues, particularly when you know that there are many translators out there who are willing to work for almost nothing. Your relationship with a translation client will generally determine your negotiating power, even in common language combinations. And, that’s why it’s imperative that you always provide all your translation clients with customer service that’s second-to-none: if they’re used to receiving great service from you they won’t even consider looking elsewhere for their translation, even if the country is in a recession!
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