Do you ever get annoyed with your clients’ manners? I often do, for example when they don’t acknowledge, far less thank me for, a translation I’ve delivered by email. If I were to walk into the client’s office and hand over the translation in paper format, I’m sure they’d say “Thanks”. So what happens to their […]

Small-business owners and freelancers talk, and worry, a lot about pricing: how to charge a decent rate without frightening potential clients away. Price is certainly  important, but it’s not the only factor motivating clients. I had confirmation of this recently from a new client. An Italian company had contacted me  for an urgent translation of documents […]

GIGO stands for “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. According to Wikipedia, the term was coined by George Fuechsel, an IBM technician/instructor in New York (but see also Michael Quinion’s version, at World Wide Words). Interestingly (well, it’s interesting if you’re a translator), Wikipedia’s definition of GIGO used to include the following: Non-computer-related use of the term The term […]

“An object-lesson in how not to contract out a public service”. That’s how the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, described the centralised system for supplying interpreters to the justice system. (See also my previous post on Ministry of Justice language services). Headlines have included: “Court interpreter farce halts murder trial” […]

Interpreters in the UK have been up in arms over the Ministry of Justice’s 2011 language services framework agreement with a company formerly called Applied Language Solutions (ALS). The service in question was court interpreting. The National Audit Office has now published the results of its investigation into the contracting out of language services in […]

Do you ever find that a certain word or phrase keeps cropping up in your work? In your source material, I mean, not your end-product. For me right now it’s “credibility” (or credibilità, to be precise). That’s because I do a lot of translation and editing for Italian government organisations and Italy is focused on […]

Radio Scotland news recently featured a hotel booking mix-up. A group of French tourists turned up at the Jura Hotel, on the Isle of Jura (off the west coast of Scotland), saying that they’d booked rooms there. The hotel owner had no record of a booking, and the hotel was full. When he checked their […]

Earl Bush served for many years as press secretary for Richard J. Daley, a controversial mayor of Chicago who was a forerunner to another Bush, George W., in his mangling of the English language. Examples are: “Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all — the policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman […]

In my last post, I gave some tips on “How to Be a Good Translator”. Good translators (editors, web designers, accountants, insert profession of your choice) tend to be even better when they’re working with good clients. The tips listed below (from my website article How to Be a Good Client) were written with translation […]

I got a pleasant surprise a couple of weeks ago when I logged on to Twitter and found that several translators had been tweeting and retweeting the link to the “How to Be a Good Translator” page on my website. If you haven’t seen them, here are the tips from that page — I hope […]