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A stellar job opportunity November 17, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation Sites.

I just received the following job inquiry and couldn’t resist sharing it with you all.

Looking for an interpreter/Translator that can translate from english to any foreign language or vis-visa.I have a project at hand that demands some vital language learnings. This book has been written to help parent know thier duties and obligation to kids from age of 2 to 12 years. I will like to know your area of specialization? and also what language suit your knowledge.As this book will be publish and distributed around the world.The book contain 25 pages,words counts is 9,000 thousand to 11 thousands..written in english.I will like to know the cost to translate this to your specialization for my usage.I will need your contact information.Once your payment is okay by me,I will update you with the copy of the book through fax or mailing it to you.You can also contact me through my email.If i am unable to pick my call, you can email me back,I will like to have an agreement with you before sending you copy of the book. Note that there will be no editing as regards translating it…I will await your cost to do this with your name and address so that i can send your payment to seal our agreement after which i will send you copy to proceed with your job.I hope you will be able to finish this within 1 month? to aviod mistake.The book is title (WHAT TEENAGERS NEED FROM THIER PARENT). I will await your response asap. Thanks.

Wow, I’m going to jump right at the chance to translate this guy’s no doubt stellarly written English into “any foreign language and vis-visa”… NOT! A book that contains just 25 pages and 9-11,000 words? Sounds like a brochure to me… I love the fact that he is asking what my field of specialization is despite the fact that he states the book is “to help parent know thier [sic] duties and obligation to kids.” Sorry, I don’t specialize in child rearing. I’ll resist my rant about modern day parenting and simply delete this dude’s e-mail. If you received it I suggest you do the same.

Funny how this inquiry differed dramatically with another inquiry I received this morning. It was only one line, but I have no doubt it is on the up and up and I responded with a proper quote:

Dear Jill

Can you please send me a quote on translating the attached document from German into English.

Kind Regards

What a difference proper English and attaching the actual document makes. He’s also going to have to pay upfront for the translation, but I have no doubt that I will actually be paid for the latter job.


1. Alvaro Morales - November 17, 2008

Hi Jill,

Congratulations for your great blog, which I follow since a few weeks.

Hey, do not be too picky with this guy! 😉 Once I got a similar request from an agency in Saudi Arabia the last year. To be honest, that kind of language makes you -at least- distrust the sender, but they got to be very friendly (and generous in payment).

Undoubtfully this is not as valuable as one of our supporting regular customers, but who knows? He could deserve an opportunity.

After all, he’s asking for what he really need: a good translation into English, which he -obviously- can’t provide!

Thanks for making more amusing our translator lifes 🙂

2. jillsommer - November 17, 2008

@Alvaro – you’re kidding me, right? Read the e-mail again. He is looking for someone to translate from English into the foreign language. His English is abysmal — even if I did translate into German, which I don’t, I wouldn’t want to translate his English. This just screams scam to me. There are too many people out there who are desperate enough for work that they might answer something like this and then be out a couple hundred dollars – if not a couple thousand dollars.

You’ve heard of the Prince of Ghana check scam, right? He needed an interpreter for his wife in whatever city the person lived in. He sent a check in advance for the translation and then the job would fall through and he would request the money back. The check was a forgery, and the person was out the money they sent plus any possible overdraft and bank fees.

Thanks for the kind feedback about the blog though. I appreciate that so many people are enjoying it. I truly enjoy writing it.

3. Susanne Aldridge III - November 17, 2008

Maybe someone should tell him/her, that kids between 2 and 12 are not teenagers. Maybe he/she just wrote down everything his/her parents did wrong 🙂

4. Judy Jenner - November 17, 2008

I did not receive this one, but I am becoming better friends with my “delete” button. The temptation to reply is there, but I usually just proceed with deleting. 🙂 And some of them I share on blogs for giggles, so thanks for sharing this one.

5. Corinne McKay - November 17, 2008

Amazing, they must be looking for *a number* of high-quality translators because I received this too! I think we should add “inquiries looking for translators from/into any language” as one of our red flags for newbies!

6. Judy Jenner - November 17, 2008

I spoke too soon, I just received it this afternoon as well. Yikes! Delete!

7. CDD - March 4, 2009

I got this today. I knew it had to be a scam, so I googled it, and sure enough… found your post….

8. Jason - March 6, 2009

I got an e-mail from this same guy a week ago (same EXACT e-mail). Now he’s offering to pay me $2,500 upfront. Somehow he keeps ignoring my request for a sample of the document. What do you guys think? What if he’s just a person with a lot of money and not much experience on how to deal with translators? Any thoughts? I know about ALL these scams where they send you a check and then ask for some money back, but maybe I can ask the bank how much I should wait to be safe. I don’t know…

9. jillsommer - March 6, 2009

Hi Jason, go with what your gut is telling you. Ignoring your request for a sample should be a pretty obvious red flag. I honestly don’t think he’s ignorant. I think he’s a scam artist. I find it hard to believe he has had trouble finding someone to translate the text between November and March. But hey, I could be wrong.

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