Wednesday, November 17, 2010

14 Welcome to the real world

Click image to enlarge

Based on an idea by Mykhailo Voloshko. Mykhailo is both a translator and an engineer (just as the author of this blog!). His language pairs are English <> Russian & English <> Ukranian. Do not forget to check his website, which features a compilation of translation humor and books for teaching English to children.

Thanks to Justin Bearden for revising the English of this strip! Justin is a Russian and German into English translator based in Texas. He specializes in CAT tools and translation with an affinity for project management. Also, a self-described sporadic blogger, Justin writes two blogs, one in English and one in Russian.


  1. ... mmm ok if you see it from the side of the one that has to 'give' discount or credit,... but then be cohrent to your strip: when you go to the cinema don't buy the discount card with 10 entrances but buy 10 single tickets and pay more, when you go to a holiday trip don't enter the museum with your group of turists but buy the full ticket price, at the supermarket don't buy '2 for 1' offers but buy two single packs, and anyway don't go to big stores where they can offer better prices because they buy more pieces but enter only in small local shops in your town and pay twice more.

  2. ...mmm, Peter, you just gave me an idea, I will make "translation discount cards", you pay NOW for 100.000 words and then you send me your documents in the future when you have them (if you have them) until you reach this limit, is that a deal?

  3. Peter, I can see your point and I agree with it. In fact, I do offer volume and repetitions discounts when those volume and repetitions imply less work per word, which is quite often in my fields of specialty.

    On the other hand, this strip also tries to reflect the fact that it is the service provider who usually sets the terms and conditions. The key is the last cartoon, which remembers that we may choose whom to work with. I am sure that some colleagues have daydreamed about doing that to a client :)

  4. Noema: ... sure that is the point of prepayment. Since in the real world payment in advance IS rare, then if I do then you give me good discount. If I know I will go to the cinema 10 times (have so much work) I am happy to pay now all BUT I pretend discount !

    Alejandro: yes I see and I have met translators with lot of clients and they did choose with who to work. Of course if you are a beginner you have to take some unjustice and this is everywhere and not only in the translations field.

  5. All the same, a 60-day term for payment of an invoice is an absolute joke.

  6. Excellent - love it! :)

    Reminds me of something someone once said about needing two fillings and asking the dentist for a discount for fuzzy matches.

  7. Peter, the sad thing is the discount with the "promise" of volumen. Just as Mox experiences, reality is the problem. But nevermind! I see you're being sympathetic ;-)

    By the way, a friend just sent me this video after I forwarded her Mox's experience, I think you all will understand it too.

  8. Can I buy one tire, and get a discount on the other three for exact match?

  9. I love it and it is so close to real life.

    To Peter. So the barman can get his drinks with discounts for volume and he probably won't pay his supplier until the end of the month or 60 days later, but then he can't get discounts if you are going to spend the whole night drinking? :)

    The truth of this strip is that Mox is a services supplier who get stupid payments (amounts and also the delay he actually receive them) and he is asked constantly for volume discounts. But he finds himself that, when he is "on the other side" (the client's side), he cannot do similarly.

  10. Genial, Alejandro, como la vida misma ;-)

  11. Simply hilarious man!
    Still cracking up after reading it for the third time...

  12. Como siempre: excelente.

    This is one of our favorite topics, and during our workshops, we show a very well-made video to illustrate precisely this point -- and we show Mox cartoons, too! Here is the link to "The client-vendor relationship in the real world); it is fab (every translator and every client should have it:)

  13. Haha, alejandron, that's a good one!

    Next kind I get that kind of crap from agencies, I'll send them a link to this particular cartoon!
    Kind regards,


  14. Unfortunately, this is so very true! Some clients are good of course but many would not want to be treated the way they treat translators. In my experience, those who pay late always pay late and those who are good always are.


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.