by Aggelos Zikos
(just a few hours to “official” holiday period…)
As far as I know, we -professional translators- have all been confronted with hard-to-deal-with customers. At least once, we all have had to explain why translation as a hobby, i.e. when aimed at personal entertainment and/ or information, is far different from professional translation, ready to be published and put under the ever-lasting scrutiny of the public eye.
Who hasn’t, I wonder, strived to clarify to a customer that quality is one thing and speed is another, far less reliable as a measure of success in translating anything that is meant to be read and most probably evaluated. How much more when the translated text is bound to remain in public view for infinity. On the other hand, the balance among the two gets even more disturbed, shaky and ready to give rise to complaints or confusion on the customer’s part.
The following image is -to my perception- the most explicit visualisation of the relationship between Quality-Speed-Price of a translation. Ideally, I would suggest that you use it to your advantage, in order to make your case in face of disturbed customers. Additionally, you could better leverage this visualisation along with… maybe some illustrations, cartoon sketches or such, all together hung around your office so as to be seen by potential customers; somehwere in your waiting room, if you have one, the customer would face his boredom in the waiting line (which supposes that your office is busy, which I definitely wish for!) by having a look around. Thus, she or he could be inoculated with visual stimuli that hopefully evoke thoughts that hopefully lead to realisations.
Have a look then, isn’t it beautiful how simply and graphically this uncompromising relationship between the various aspects of translation is presented?
In my next post, I shall get back to you with the illustrations I brought up earlier and specific suggestions that roam around the web.
Until then, stay happy and kicking!