Poll: Do most of your clients consider translation a necessity or a "luxury"?
Persoa que publicou o fío: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:46
PERSOAL DO SITIO
Jun 26

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do most of your clients consider translation a necessity or a "luxury"?".

View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
A necessity Jun 26

If they didn't need to translate their texts, then they probably wouldn't. And the occasional reluctance, tardiness or inability of some clients to pay would seem to reinforce that notion.

[Edited at 2020-06-26 09:18 GMT]


Angie Garbarino
Aline Amorim
Josephine Cassar
Jan Kordac
Linda Miranda
Natalia Ribeiro
 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:46
Membro (2016)
English to German
A necessity Jun 26

Sometimes the product to be sold is the text itself.

Aline Amorim
Teresa Borges
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:46
Membro (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A necessity Jun 26

Most translation are required in order to transmit vital information. However, there are also a few that order a "would-be-nice-to-have" translation.

 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 19:46
Membro (2016)
English to German
How should I know? Jun 26

I have no idea what my clients really think, and I never asked them. So I cannot answer this question. But based on the facts I know, it's hard to imagine that anyone asks for the translation of a marketing training, a Cloud product description, or videogame content simply to revel in the luxurious feeling of being able to afford it.

[Edited at 2020-06-26 12:04 GMT]


Abdul jalil
Mina Chen
Kaisa I
Becca Resnik
Katrin Braams
Larbi Elhabbache
expressisverbis
 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:46
Membro (2006)
French to English
+ ...
"Most of my clients" Jun 26

The question asks "Do most of your clients consider translation a necessity or a 'luxury'"
As most of my clients are translation agencies, I presume that they consider translation a necessity.


Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Larbi Elhabbache
expressisverbis
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:46
Membro (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Necessity Jun 26

In this intermingled world we live today, translation is a necessity. As required by the EU, translation is obligatory for all companies wanting to export to Europe. Besides that, I translate exclusively into Portuguese for the EU Institutions where all documents need to be published in all of the 21 official languages, for some international organizations which have Portuguese as an official language and for a few translation agencies…

Larbi Elhabbache
 

Barbara Cochran, MFA  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
More Of A Luxury, But Also A Need, From Different Perspectives Jun 26

As a literary translator I know that, generally speaking, there is really no need for anyone to have their book translated, but having it done often gratifies an ego need for the original authors.

But some authors believe that they will reach a larger readership (and more sales) if they have their book/their baby translated into English.

One of my American clients had me translate his grandfather's 886-page autobiography, which was written many years ago, but the famil
... See more
As a literary translator I know that, generally speaking, there is really no need for anyone to have their book translated, but having it done often gratifies an ego need for the original authors.

But some authors believe that they will reach a larger readership (and more sales) if they have their book/their baby translated into English.

One of my American clients had me translate his grandfather's 886-page autobiography, which was written many years ago, but the family in question wanted to know more about his life in Italy. So they needed the translation to accomplish that. It was quite costly for them, so from that point of view it was a luxury.

Other than that, for some of my clients, esp. those in academia, a translation might be something that they need to gratify their egos, as in "I should share my knowledge with the world/educate the world". Not necessarily a bad thing if heavy, extreme, or misleading bias is avoided.

[Edited at 2020-06-26 18:03 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-06-26 18:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-06-26 21:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-06-26 21:33 GMT]
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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:46
Membro (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
This question makes no sense commercially Jun 26

Our clients manage translations as a product.
It's not a "necessity" (incorrect word, it should be "need", not "necessity"), and in no way it's a luxury. It's simply a commodity.

[Edited at 2020-06-27 00:27 GMT]


expressisverbis
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:46
German to English
+ ...
It seems an odd question Jun 27

Why would anyone commission a translation, which is not cheap, if it was not needed for something? Can someone give examples of unnecessary luxury translations? I may genuinely be missing something.

expressisverbis
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Raw material: Digital Vorwerk Jun 27

How can a high-class specialist—with honors, references, and proven record of success—agree to work for some 20%, offering freebies? Or how could a gray mass of cheap and disposable sadomasochists individuals—down for anything—offer something really worthy or even exclusive? Half-finished, at best. Why, for some it’s pretty enough.

To me, the recent PE/MT trends show it all for o
... See more
How can a high-class specialist—with honors, references, and proven record of success—agree to work for some 20%, offering freebies? Or how could a gray mass of cheap and disposable sadomasochists individuals—down for anything—offer something really worthy or even exclusive? Half-finished, at best. Why, for some it’s pretty enough.

To me, the recent PE/MT trends show it all for only a very few businesspersons standing out in a crowd can present unique products and turn-key solutions. However, most such professionals (including writers, researchers, and journalists) work in a real field using foreign language skills as a minor.


I still remember a colleague who said that besides 'fuzzy/volume discounts' a big agency applied an internal 'uniqueness' ratio to underpay their poor translators. Little wonder, if the needy agreed to $0.03/word flat, then cutting some 35%-60% seemed ok, bringing down both the quality and its market value.
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Liena Vijupe  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 20:46
Membro (2014)
French to Latvian
+ ...
I don't know Jun 27

I don't know what my clients think, but for "small" languages like mine it's probably something in between. I believe many of them could do just fine without it, but for whatever reasons (statutory, political or business-related) they still require it and I'm more than happy with that.

I agree that "need" would perhaps be more appropriate than "necessity".


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:46
Membro (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other: a requirement Jun 28

My main clients are international organizations, each with its own set of official languages. The translations are a legal requirement. They are almost always a necessity because their secretariats are staffed with people that speak a variety of languages.

Josephine Cassar
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 12:46
English to Russian
+ ...
Hmmm... Jun 28

Most of our commercial clients consider translation an overhead:-) That does not stop them from loving and respecting us but it does not change anything.

 

Edwin den Boer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:46
Membro (2009)
English to Dutch
A necessity, but there are luxuries Jul 5

One luxury project I did was 'TM building': translation a series of commonly used strings in the style of the client, which weren't used in any of their translated products yet. I don't know why they did this, but in theory this could shorten the turnaround time for future rush jobs, while keeping me busy during quieter times. It was not MT building; they don't use machine translation.

In software localization, translation is an essential part of the tech startup strategy to scale u
... See more
One luxury project I did was 'TM building': translation a series of commonly used strings in the style of the client, which weren't used in any of their translated products yet. I don't know why they did this, but in theory this could shorten the turnaround time for future rush jobs, while keeping me busy during quieter times. It was not MT building; they don't use machine translation.

In software localization, translation is an essential part of the tech startup strategy to scale up as quickly as possible and dominate a new market. Forward-looking American companies are now doing good business in Asia, where the economy is relatively healthy.

I think certain hard-bargaining clients could save more money by assessing whether it's necessary to translate every document. Maybe the user guide needs to be translated, but not the sysadmin guide. But in practice, in a large corporation, following the protocol and throwing everything over the wall will be easier than making a manager think.
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