Tuesday, April 3, 2012

12 The joy of working for individuals

Joy of working for individuals
Click image to enlarge

Based on an idea by Heike Kurtz. Heike is an English and French to German translator specialized in business and international trade.


  1. #3 reminds me of a usual conversation I have:

    Stranger: "so, in which languages do you work?"
    Me: "Well... English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese" (with a face of false modesty)
    Stranger: "Meh. Do you know Sanskrit? Ohh, such a beautiful language. Can you translate Sanskrit?!?"
    Me: "... nope." (thinking 'hey, I'm fluent in SIX languages! you can barely speak ONE)
    Stranger: "ooh, that's too bad. BRB"
    Me: Forever alone.

  2. There's another classic I forgot to mention: "I have a complicated homework assignment in a foreign language I am supposed to learn by myself - could you please help me with that?"

  3. I was able to anticipate that I'd meet a lot of people like no. 1 when I became a translator. What I wasn't expecting were the number twos and my favourite: the people who want me to translate a text "but only the most important bits of it" and then assume both summarizing AND translating the text would be easier (read: cheaper) than just translating it.

    PS. I hated summarizing texts already in high school and haven't learned to love it to date. That makes me so much more eager to take on the job...

  4. #1 and #3 and the amazing... "I have to read this huge book in English in less than a week, If only it was in Spanish! Why don't you translate it for me [and for free]?"

  5. I have had them all

  6. worse clients are family! I have experienced all three cases, and all of them were relatives...

  7. I had a neighbour (hardly knew him) who knocked on my door one evening with a 20 page contract. He was quite taken aback when I quoted him the price. He really thought I'd do it for him for free.

  8. To add to Taru's comment about summarising "just translate the important bits". How do they expect me to know which bits are important?

  9. ...by using your Translator Sense, ofc!
    It's like the Spider Sense, but more special :)

  10. Individual 3 is my family.
    Just sayin'...


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