Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Please provide a translation sample

A new restaurant opened in the neighbourhood - so do we rush to get a free sample of their food before going there for a meal? Unless they are advertising an unusual specialty, I do not think any restaurant would give way food.

Why then would a translator provide "a sample translation" of a client's job in the hope of getting the whole job? That is what happened to me today when a new prospective supplier asked me to translate a small sample of a job I was asked to quote on, so that their Montreal people can give their ok. The dark side of this can sometimes be that a dishonest client who will parcel out the text to be translated, sending out the various pieces to be translated for free to various freelancer bidding for the job, and pronto, reassemble the translated bits to obtain a completely (??) translated text.

It would be useful in these circumstances to have access to previous company French communications and to a copy of their corporate terminology. Then the only area that could be criticized would be style - which can be adjusted to suit the customer.

A graphic designer friend of mine follows the same rule when people ask for a sample design - makes sense, doesn't it?

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