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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 27, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 20, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.
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What to do when a translator disappears September 19, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Random musings.

I’ve been sitting on this post for about three and a half years. I initially was going to write it when one of my colleagues disappeared while working on a portion of a project I was working on. One of the documents was too technical, so I had asked my client to send that file to her. I delivered my files on time. My client and I then went 24 hours waiting for her to respond somehow. She did not respond to e-mails or phone calls. In the end she finally delivered, but really, really late. I have never heard from my client again. This colleague is no longer translating full-time and is in a position that hopefully makes her much happier.

However, this happened again with another colleague today. I woke up this morning to an email from one of my clients begging to me to step up to the plate and deliver the remaining 10 pages of a 27 page PDF of a quote on construction parts. I had initially turned it down two weeks ago because it is not my field at all, and gave her the name of a colleague who works in that field. So this colleague not only had had a fairly long lead time to do the translation, she also then renegotiated the Friday deadline to Monday morning and sent 15 of the 27 pages on Monday afternoon. That helps no one. She was not also responding to the client at all.

So my client ended up contacting me in a panic to see if I could help her deliver the rest asap. I wasn’t happy, but I accepted the rest of the job to placate my client. I worked on it for about an hour and a half and was then told my colleague had finally delivered the translation. I was also told to bill for my work and then told to increase my word rate and the rush rate once she received my invoice. At least this time my client is happy with me and will hopefully keep working with me, so that’s a plus.

That said, I will never be recommending this colleague again. This is the second time she flaked out on one of my clients when I recommended her. There will not be a third time. I kept an open mind after the first time, because she had a pretty good excuse of a death in the family. This time it was supposedly a medical issue. I felt badly for her; however, in light of the other factors I don’t accept the excuse. Each time she had what could be considered a credible excuse, but that is the thing – if there is a pattern you will never be trusted again by the people you burn. At what point do you just admit you screwed up? If she had said last week that she was having trouble making the deadline my client could have found someone else to do it instead of making excuses to her end client.

I know agencies unfortunately deal with this kind of behavior all the time, because it will sometimes come up in casual conversation. I simply don’t understand how anyone who calls themselves a professional translator can work like that. When I had an attack of appendicitis a few years ago I let my clients know to reallocate the translation from my Emergency Room bed. I would never dream of simply dropping out of contact for a day or two. If I ever do, you can be sure that I am unconscious or dead. Those are the only two acceptable excuses.

I would really love to start a dialog here in the comments. Whether you are a project manager or a freelancer, have you ever been bit by a flaky translator? How did you handle it? Have you worked with them again? How did you end up placating the end client? No names or identifying information please. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Win a Freelance Translator Business Starter Kit September 18, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Marketing ideas, Translation.
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Translators are invited to participate in the contest and win a Freelance Translator Business Starter Kit.

The moderators of the “Successful Freelance Translators” Facebook group have launched a special contest to commemorate “International Translation Day” on September 30th.

“I have come a long way through the hard times to create my online presence as a freelance translator. I started my translation career about 17 years ago. At that time dial-up Internet was unique. And accessing the Internet was more than an everyday task. It was an accomplishment. The screeching sound of dial-up was just music to my young computer geek’s ears”, says Hanna, one of the moderators of the group.

To help other translators avoid all the hardships on the freelancing road, they announced a contest. The task is just to write a short essay: “What benefits will customers get from using your translation services”. The 1st winner will get a “Freelance Translator Business Starter Kit” which is worth USD 1000, and includes:

• relevant keyword research and analysis within your language pairs and specialization;
• a SEO-friendly and catchy domain name;
• a Premium WordPress theme setup and Customization;
• a guidance on the website content creation.

This Starter Kit will be the solid foundation on your freelance translator career road.

There are also other prizes which will help young translators to stay afloat these days. The 2nd place will receive a guide “Do You Want To Get More Translation Jobs From Direct Clients?”. The 3rd place will get professionally and uniquely designed headers for the Facebook business page and Twitter account.

Check the details at Win A Freelance Translator Business Starter Kit (organized by H. Sles, professional freelance Russian translator).

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 13, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.

What say you? September 6, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday September 6, 2017

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff.