In the translation industry, there are some unexpected possibilities we sometimes encounter. And the best solution to have this well handled is to prepare 'shield' on the adverse situation. The key is honesty. Yes, we have to be honest in every single deed and time.
Recently, we were working on hundreds of documents from Indonesian to English and the documents were not in the form we could count the words directly nor could we convert the documents into the readable and countable-word format. The only thing we could do was waiting for the translation result and charged the client after the translation process, without telling client how much we would charge them in prior.
It is a bit hard and misleading and this can be tricky and challenging situation when client may reject our proposed invoice after the task is complete. This is one of the challenging situations. In addition, we need to explain more when client is not Indonesian native speaker. We are sure they will never note what we have in our language.
These simple tips can be used by the potential Indonesian translation service buyers and providers when dealing with the same matter.
Tips for the Indonesian translation service buyers
If you intend to have your document translated, try to make your own estimation on the documents you need for translation. You can count word count in the uncountable-word format by scanning it. You may read the documents carefully with focus on how many words may appear in one document and make another same estimation. Let us say, you have ten documents for translation. Check if they have same layout and format and if their length is the same to another. Say pages 2 and 3 have approximately same length, then we can assume that the word count will be equally the same. You can do this until the last page.
After you estimate the word count on the documents to be translated, then propose the reasonable rate to you and to the translation service provider. Say that you estimate the documents to have 1000 source words to translate, then tell the provider the word count you have on the document. If it is reasonable enough, they would accept your proposal. The proposal should be based on your estimation and the best calculation you have with focus on your budget and provider cost estimation. This may be challenging, but why not try?
Ask the provider if they would accept the proposed word count on the document you need for translation. To have win-win solution, also let the provider have their own estimation on the document you need for translation. Just send the document for sample and ask the provider to make their own estimation on the document. This will give them idea on what to do next. Oftentimes, they will provide you with the delivery time. You can close the deal if the proposed cost is agreed.
Tips for the Indonesian translation service providers
Client will have their own word count estimation and you are also allowed to make your own estimation. However, if you think that the word count proposed by client is fair and reasonable enough, you can close the deal. If it is not, try to propose your word count estimation. Good client will always respect correction.
When we are assigned a per-target-word-cost based translation project, chance to earn more by deceiving the translation is more. As professional, you are not allowed to do this. This practice will ruin your own business. So, try to be concise in your translation while everything is making sense. To avoid this, translate as usual. Do the best practice of translation without adding unnecessary words to create more words to invoice. Your client will not know this, but smart client will make comparison between two; source and target words. If your client knows the translation is much longer than the source, they will probably ask for clarification or they will not ask for clarification and will never get back to you anymore for more orders. Then, this is where honesty shows its power.
The deceiving practice of per-target-word based translation project can be one of the followings:
This one sentence below can be translated into many versions, depending on the taste. However, as professional, we are supposed to translate as natural as possible, with no unnecessary addition here and there.
Agar berhasil, saya memulai proyek yang sangat besar itu dengan menggunakan tenaga profesional di bidangnya.
Long version: In order to be successful in the project, I start the project that is very big by taking up the professional workers with their relevant expertise.
While this sentence can be more concise and natural and correct. Say,
To succeed, I start that very big project by hiring professionals with relevant expertise.
You can compare how long each translation shows up. Version 1 is much longer than version 2 while ensuring that you save client's time and cost is where you have to stand for.
This will be abnormal practice for some service providers, but believe in us that client wants to be treated the way we want to be treated. We are sure that we won't lose any penny for anything we do not enjoy. Suppose that you make an initial deal with client that your proposed word count is 1000 words and your client agrees with this. During the translation process and translation finalization, you find that your translation reaches no more than 1000 words. It is your right to charge based on the initial deal and this will not deviate the agreement, but in nature as provider, you are also responsible for your client's business. Try to be flexible. Try to adjust your charge. Your business will never be out of service due to this adjustment. Tell client that you would adjust the invoice from the initial deal as the actual word count is less than the proposed word count. This is one of the winning ways to earn more projects from the same client. Remember, translation is not only about quality, but it is also about our behaviour.
Deal more and earn more with honesty!
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