Thursday, January 28, 2010

2 How to make customers unhappy

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Based on an idea by Phil Goddard. Phil is a French, German, Italian, Dutch and Spanish to English, freelance translator. He specializes in creative translation for the arts, media, advertising and marketing industries. Do not forget to check his website at


  1. Yhe other day I had it the other way around... the client was very happy about the looks of my translation "with all the nice pictures (what... pictures... I didn't do anything with them did I?)". Not a word about the quality of the translation.
    Alma, translator PL-NL

  2. Ah, yes, formatting is an important thing. It seems trivial, but most times direct customers want a finished, complete product that they can ship off to print by the thousands or put on their websites (scary). The best bet is to clarify formatting expectations ahead of time. For instance, when we get a document in say, InDesign, we always specify in the price quote that the translation will NOT be in InDesign, as we don't use graphics tools. We generally say that all formatting will be retained to the greatest extent possible and go to great lengths to achieve that. If the customer wants Helvetica Font 24 bold, that's what we will do. Maybe Mina can be trained to check in correct formatting? She'd be nice and slow and deliberate, we think...:)


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