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“Assuming” Translation Services

June 1, 2011 2 Comments »

My entire life I grew up hearing from both my parents and school teachers “to assume, makes an A** out of U and ME”.  I always felt a jolt of annoyance flash through my body whenever this phrase leaped out of someone’s mouth.  I always thought to make an assumption was simply to not state the obvious which in return, saves time for everybody involved.

Well, the day has finally arrived for me to relinquish my pride and admit I have never been so wrong.

After 4 years of experience working as an Account Manager in the translation industry, I conclude the most common cause of project breakdown lies within the assumptions made by both client and provider before translation ever begins.


Client Assumptions about Provider

  • Works within same time zone
  • Translations are exclusively  done INHOUSE
  • Desktop Publishing services are included without additional turnaround time or costs
  • Translations are processed by human translators
  • Proofreading service is included

Provider Assumptions about Client

  • Client has internal reviewer
  • Translated files are NOT to be printed
  • No project deadlines
  • Partial deliveries NOT required
  • Unlimited project budget
  • Target language dialect is always “Neutral”

The result of both parties not simply taking the extra time to clarify ALL project guidelines prior to starting EACH separate project often ends with loss of time, revenue and future business.  Even worse, if both parties are at fault and/or cannot come to an agreement to resolve any particular issue, the conflict could end in the court-of-law.

In conclusion, no matter how big or small the project scope or how great the previous business relationship is, both parties MUST be on the same page without a single assumption in order for any project to succeed.

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2 Responses to ““Assuming” Translation Services”

  • Commented on June 10, 2011 at 7:46 am

    […] (Traducción del original de Brian K.) […]

  • Juan
    Commented on June 27, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Assuming no deadline and an unlimited budget? It would be a costly mistake to assume that in any line of business.