Mox is a young but well educated translator. Two PhDs, six languages...
and he hardly earns the minimum wage.
And this is why Mox hardly earns the minimum wage.Regards,Calvo
This happened to me once! I spent hours thinking what should I do. At the end I informed the client and I did not charge them. It was a lot of money (~3000 €), but they didn't even thank me.
I've been on both sides of this situation. When it comes to large clients especially, we (the translators) need to remember that if the client is ordering the job (whether or not they realise it's a repeat), they've already got it budgeted and are willing and ready to pay the invoice. Not only will they rarely thank you for being "ethical", they will often laugh at you for throwing away perfectly good money.
I'm sorry to hear that Anonynous! It is a terrible dilemma.Whenever I had to face such a situation, the volumes where small and I usually decide according to how nice the client is to me :)But a 3000 eur translation is a different story!
I'd charge a smaller fee, but not the minimal. That's my advice :)Kind regards!
I must be really silly, sillier than Mox... this has happened to me several times and not only did I tell the customer and not charge anything but I also sent the translated document again!:-(
To me, karma is more important than money. So, there are two possible scenarios:A - The client is from an evil industry, mistreats its workers, is very inconsiderate with me, etc.; i.e., has bad karma.B - The client is a small company, it's a lot of money and I know it's a big investment for them, has been nice to me, etc; i.e., enjoys good karma.Depending where on the karma scale the client is and I am, I might charge zero or my top rate.
If the document is exactly identical, I don't see what is to be gained in the long run by charging again. In my experience clients value honesty. They are not going to give you anything worth doing if they spot you are trying to make a fast buck. What's more, it may be that they have made a mistake as to which document they want translating, in which case they will be grateful for you flagging up the issue and sure to spot your chicanery once their own mistake comes to light.If the document is similar but in any way different, that's another story.
Besides, why is Mox charging his minimum fee? If he's admitting that he's already done the job once before, what is he charging for? If he's not admitting that, the client will wonder why he is suddenly spontaneously offering bargain-basement prices. That sounds like a bad precedent to me.
All my thoughts are here :) I completely agree with you, Eutychus. I was twice in this situation (with great POs) and my client was impressed and thankful for my integrity, and they value me for that, among other reasons, of course; that´s professionalism (not for everyone).
Totally agree with both of you, Alejandra and Eutychus! Honesty is the best policy.
Well Mox, I'm impressed you can remember what you translated several years ago. I also like Anon's "karma" approach to billing : )
I am so with Calvo-Devil here. I would charge full amount, but carefully proof the document before delivery. Now I am older, and smarter than a year ago, so the customer gets added value for their money, and should be happy about it.If you make a costly mistake (e.g. omit a PO in your invoice), nobody will correct it. Why should you bother?I would make an exception for two or three *special* customers, the rest would enjoy the added value.
Vadim said: "If you make a costly mistake (e.g. omit a PO in your invoice), nobody will correct it." That all depends who you choose to work with. It's happened to me more than once. Only today an agency corrected a total on my invoice where I had inverted two figures in the wordcount - and the correction was in my favour.
Mox shouldn't worry so much. I'm not even sure that this is a question of ethics. All he has to do is make a decision that keeps everyone happy.
It happened to me something similar: Somebody wanted me to translate a legal document which could be easily found online already translated. In that case I had to say that because it was a published translation and not even my own translation. But if it happened to me that a client asks to translate a document which I already translated, I don't know how I would react. I guess it would depend on many things: 1) Sum of money 2) My current financial situation 3) How nice the client is to me or how important.
mm, it is an interesting debate. I was recently asked to translate another document for a project I had worked on before and confirmed without seeing the document, only to find large sections of it were identical to the previous documents. However, as I wasn't being paid huge amounts to start with and still had to do some editing and checking, I felt justified in taking the money agreed on. I think if it were completely identical I might have said something but you'd still have to go through and check it was which can be time consuming in and of itself.
Like I said earlier, "similar" is not the same as "identical". If agencies start mumbling to me about repetition rates, I tell them (only partly in jest) that I charge *more* for repetitions because in a document with 99% reps, the 1% is crucial and may easily (and disastrously) be missed. A translator can be an invaluable proofreader when a document is based on, but not identical to, a previous one. Many's the time that I've pointed out a client is mistakenly still referring to the previous recipient of their powerpoint presentation instead of the intended one.All this is very different from getting the *identical* document twice. Although of course this begs the question of how Mox knew it was exactly the same...
I once had two different resellers ordering a user manual for the same product within a month or so. Talking about easy money :)
It happens more often than people think. But given that I always destroy the original and the translation once I have been paid as part of the confidentiality agreement (specially because I have often translated confidential and even classified documents), for me it's just another job - I have to perform it from scratch, and therefore I charge the full price.Tough luck, Mr. Customer, you should have been more careful with your documents, I have no obligation to keep them (and sometimes it's even illegal to do so!).
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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