Discounts for Large Volumes? Not Necessarily.

From the client’s point of view, asking for a reduced rate on the basis of a large volume of work (several weeks’ worth) may seem like a fair request. But for the translator, quantity is not everything.

An agency once contacted me for a three-week project with a small budget. My answer could be summed up in two letters. The project manager insisted: “But it’s quantity! Three weeks is a lot of work!”. Again, my reply was simple: Continue reading

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What Are Your Priorities?

We all know the saying “penny-wise, pound-foolish”. Yet, due to a common misunderstanding of the work of translation – typically and erroneously seen as a commodity, many clients will fall into the trap of looking for a bargain while forgetting about the importance of quality.

If you Continue reading

The Downward Spiral

Translation agencies never cease to amaze me. A couple of weeks ago, an agency I have never worked for emailed a list of professionals (including myself) saying that they work extensively with machine translation and are therefore recruiting post-editors. To try and convince translators to drop their standards and self-esteem and accept such work, they list the following “benefits”: Continue reading

Where Do You Shop?

There will always be those who prioritise price and those who prioritise quality, recession or not, and whatever the industry. To accommodate all shoppers, the full range of providers is available: from Lidl to Waitrose, from Fiat to Porsche and from George at ASDA to Dior. Translation is no exception: you get what you pay for.

When I used to work in sales (selling web hosting solutions), the sales manager would always tell us, with a defiant tone of voice and a stern look on his face, “We do not sell on price, here! We pay some muppets to Continue reading