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4 Things Every Client Should Know (Part 1)

August 25, 2011 5 Comments »

After working as an Account Manager in the translations industry for about 5 years, I can always tell when I am dealing with a customer who knows the business. More often than not, I have to explain in detail what we need to know in order for the project to be a success.

1. Dialect of the Target Language: Our core language pair is English from and into Spanish. What a lot of my clients do not realize is how many dialects of Spanish there actually are. Almost every day, I speak with someone who requests that their documents be translated into Spanish, but when I ask them about a dialect, they have no idea. It then becomes my job to educate the client about these different “flavors” of Spanish. Where will these documents be presented? Who is the target audience? Should I just go with a neutral dialect so my documents will appeal to a broader audience? Every client should ask themselves these questions before beginning a translations project, no matter what the language pair. Dialects vary for every country, and sometimes even in regions of the same country. Documents that are intended for a certain target audience simply would not appeal to many other people who speak the same language, but live in a different country.

2.Turn Around Time: Another important thing that a client will need to know is when they will need to have the translated documents ready to be published, presented, or sent out. I have been involved with so many projects where a client would be so focused on cost that they tend not to mention that the project is a rush. As an Account Manager, I always include the turnaround time in the price quote, but unless I am told that the suggested turnaround time is not within the client’s deadline, that is how many days I will tell the translators they have to complete the project . I remember a certain project when a client approved a fairly large quote, with a turnaround time of 20 business days. We started the project, and less than a week later she calls telling me that they need the documents the next day for a presentation. Moreover, I need to tell her that the 20 business day turnaround time was clearly in the quote she approved. We could have met her deadline if she would have simply let me know it before hand.

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5 Responses to “4 Things Every Client Should Know (Part 1)”

  • Commented on August 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    These are good little tips. I to am an account manager for translation work. But we do many language pairs not just Spanish, the customers are obviously the most challenging aspect of all the projects! = )

  • Commented on September 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    […] del original de Robert […]

  • Commented on September 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    […] my last blog I began explaining about the four most important factors a client should consider before beginning […]

  • Commented on September 19, 2011 at 2:00 am

    […] freelance translator, Part V: Using the web 2.0 From Managing to Monitoring - From Drops to Drips 4 Things Every Client Should Know (Part 1) & (Part 2) Translation Practices in International Advertising How to: Convert an SDLX Termbase […]

  • Vito Zangari
    Commented on March 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the impressive articles on this site. Keep up the great work.