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When to say ‘’no’’ rather than Accept Translation Jobs?

In a shaky economy, it is tempting for translators to agree to taking any job that comes along. This would be a mistake, though, as badly executed assignments for which a translator is poorly prepared or qualified can be devastating for client and translator alike.

When it comes to making money, every person wants to engage just about any tactics just to be able to earn a living. On the other hand, every job profession possesses strict qualifications and skills that are vital in order to meet the necessary requirements in performing a specific job.

Just like with any other profession, translators and interpreters should be a qualified and skilful linguists to be able to perform their task effectively. However, nowadays, due to the increasing growth of the translation industry, many linguists want to enter this profession, both professional and non-qualified translators.

Linguists who are not qualified and not knowledgeable in a specific translation field cannot possibly create an accurate translation document. Hence, a translator or interpreter that does not have sufficient knowledge in the legal field should not accept the task of translating a legal document; otherwise the result could be embarrassing, and may actually cause more serious damage.

It is true that, as the volume of work in the translation industry is growing, many translators today are taking the risk of accepting translation jobs that are not really in line with their knowledge and field of interest. In addition, many clients as well are not taking important precautions in selecting the most professional and credible translator for their language document. As a result, their end translation product is of poor quality and thus not effective.

The increasing significant numbers of translators and interpreters collaborating in the translation industry simply doesn’t mean that it is easy to find the most reliable and knowledgeable linguist for your language document. It could also be a hint for the clients to be careful in selecting the right translator for their document.

Some translators will attract clients by offering very low pricing for their translation services. It is important to remember that you will - usually - get what you paid for. So, when utilizing translation services, it is essential to think twice whether the translation agency or linguist is capable of performing the tasks you are about to assign them. Although cheaply priced translation services could sometimes be beneficial, however, in the long-term, utilizing cheap translation services has a strong negative effect on your reputation and may prevent you from obtaining success.

Whether the translation services are paid by the word or paid by the hour at very cheap rates, clients should always remain clear-headed about the fact that very cheap translation services are not always beneficial; there are indeed some negative possibilities.

In addition, avoiding language translation mistakes is not only a choice or decision of the client in choosing the most professional language translation, but translators and interpreters should also be honest to themselves and to their clients in saying ‘’no’’ whenever the translation project is not related to their translation field of interest and knowledge. In that way, misinterpretation and embarrassment are easily avoided.

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Charlene Lacandazo works for Rosetta Translation, a leading international provider of translation services. She currently lives in Shanghai, China.

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