Clients to Fire
Tips for Starting a Translators’ Association advice from Fire Ant & Worker Bee (more columns in Translation Journal http://www.accurapid.com/journal)
Yesterday a major French carmaker asked us to revise a text they'd had translated by an agency in Slovakia. My Slovakian being as rusty as my Slovenian, I turned down the offer.
"But the translation was from French into English, and it's terrible," they replied.
Here's the good part: "Please bill the Slovakians. After all, it's their fault. Oh, and don't bill them too much because they have extremely competitive rates".
We discussed it in-house, and our reply was:
Were we overly aggressive?
Sandwich Bar 2
An exquisite exchange, thanks for sharing.
As a colleague points out, these people are perfect candidates for the Clients To Fire list.
Doing business on their terms hurts not just you, the translation supplier, but the whole profession. If you accept, you become an enabler, which makes you just as guilty as they areonly more so, since you ought to know better. Subsidizing shoddy suppliers in Slovakia (or anywhere) with a cheap rewrite guarantees that these same suppliers will continue to undercut your prices.
Bringing that message home to your clients firmly and professionally (we're assuming you added "for being so stupid" for our benefit) is the way to go. Your letter is a useful reminder that it is not just clients who need educating, but also translation providers.
FA & WB
Fire Ant and
Worker Bee have five decades’ combined experience
in translation. They believe that in addition to producing
consistently strong work, translators benefit commercially
from adopting an entrepreneurial outlook and exchanging
tips and experiences.
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