Mox is a young but well educated translator. Two PhDs, six languages...
and he hardly earns the minimum wage.
So funny and so true.My last approach to this problem is rewriting the questions as statemens: "I will interpret X as Y. Please reply if you do not agree". It works like a charm.
That's exactly my approach for some years now. "We have assumed this. Please, confirm."
Yup, I have used this trick and it works. It allows me not to have to take responsibility for someone else's stupidity. But in some cases, it is not enough. For instance, I painstakingly laid out a bunch of socuments for weeks on end with such remarks, and once the project was closed, the client complained that they didn't like some of mynterm choices, which were highlighted several times in my notes for him. Turns out they didn't think it was necessary to actually read my comments. For this particular client, next time, I will have them sign that I am not responsible if they don't read the comments. How ridiculous is that? Still, it is sometimes necessary.
I've said it before, and I've gotta say it again: Mox is outstanding therapy for the freelance translator. We spend so much time alone, dealing with so many surreal situations, surrounded by people who just don't "get it". It is so nice to visit this comic strip and know: "we are not alone". It doesn't make the idiot clients any smarter, but it does help you take their idiocy with a little smile. ¡Muchísimas gracias, Alejandro!
So, so true!
Mox, you help me be a better project manager :)
Hi Alejandro,Could you add Google +1 to your social media buttons? I'd like to share links to Mox through Google+Thanks, Emma
Hi Emma,Done! I hope it works well. Thanks for the suggestion.
Isabel... and you find that works?? Please send me your client list :D
First off, the immediate qualification that comes to mind is in Spanish: "¡Impagable!" (a local idiom, signifying that no money can adequately pay for this, or, into one buzzword, "Awesome!").I have done with pulling my hair out and wondering whether jumping out of a third floor will be painful, so I have lately opted to go about it as Isabel and Ilario suggest. Funniest (not ha-ha funny!) of all is when clients have left out a word or words that would absolutely clarify the meaning, and you find the correct text by googling after having despaired and struggled with the translation for half an hour and almost given up...I find that David has said it all. A shared load is half as heavy, and Mox does everything to lighten it further!Happy New Year to all.
That reminds me of a job for which I had to translate an extensive software interface in a csv file, without any context. There were a couple of function names that were fairly obscure. When I asked the customer the meaning of these names, I got the answer: "It is a function". I was not able to get any further explanation.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the pain I have to live through every once in a while. Except that, in my case, you would sometimes have to add half a dozen more squares to the story, because it doesn't stop there. Sad, but totally true! I have once asked an agency client of mine to translate my questions for their client. Yes, you read that right! The end client's contact person thought he was so smart, he kept changing the terms I was using to totally wrong terms, kept complaining about me being an amateur - but couldn't read and understand a mere yes-or-no question for his life!I thought I was a victim to very bad luck, but I now see that I am not alone. Might sound bizarre, but I feel better now!
I love the "no feedback at all" approach. The one where my translator's note containing comments regarding a lack of acknowledgement by the end client of a copyrighted definition (in a footnote in the translated Word document) was simply uploaded in its entirety to the engineering firm's website. My covering e-mail did advise the so-called PM that the Word document contained this footnote. Apparently, three-line e-mails are too tiresome to read.
Eutychus, I feel I must complete my previous statement:My last approach to this problem is rewriting the questions as statemens: "I will interpret X as Y. Please reply if you do not agree". It works like a charm... when compared with old days when I used to ask like Mox. Obtaining clarifications from clients is always troublesome, at least for me :)
Dear Spammers, your comments will be deleted and marked as spam.Dear colleagues, I will not be able to reply to your questions. It was too much time consuming.
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