Unexpensive Translation?

As seen this morning on the Las Vegas edition of Craigs List under writing/editing/translations, this is another sad example of what the lack of barriers to entry has done to our profession. There are several things that are quite disturbing about this ad. First and foremost is the point that being bilingual does not make you a translator. Being bilingual is the minimum qualification; the lowest common denominator. Clearly, this person is not bilingual. There's a dictionary to look up terms, but no self-respecting translator needs one to look up "inexpensive".

Also, competing on price and offering the lowest possible rate is not a winning strategy for this person or anyone in our profession. Yes, translations can be expensive, because they are a professional service. Most good lawyers and doctors don't compete on price, and neither do qualified translators. We are also quite disturbed by the poster's insinuation that others overcharge for their services.

The good news is that, as professional translators, it is not difficult to differentiate ourselves from the folks who are posing as translators.

Of course, if you pay peanuts...

las vegas craigslist > write/edit/trans

Unexpensive Translations (English & Spanish)

Reply to: XYZ (removed to protect poster's privacy)
Date: 2008-11-16, 9:46PM PST

I am a bilingual Spanish and English speaker, I can do English- Spanish and Spanish- English Translations. I can send you work samples.

Reasonable rates! I know translation can be extremely expensive, I am not trying to take advantage, that's why I don't overcharge for my services.

If you are interested please email details on the material you need translated, so I can give you an accurate quote.


Abigail on November 17, 2008 at 12:37 PM said...

That's right, because all of us professional translators are just "taking advantage". (Eyeroll)

Thomas Gruber on December 4, 2008 at 8:07 AM said...

Ich habe das gerade im Netz gefunden und es passt so gut:

Es gibt eine Geschichte, die erzählt, dass Picasso mal in einem Cafe von einer forschen Dame angesprochen wurde, er möchte für sie eine Skizze auf einer Serviette zeichnen. Den Preis könne er selber nennen. -
12.000 $ sagte er und überreichte die soeben gefertigte Skizze. - Das ist aber teuer, meinte die Dame. Sie haben doch kaum zwei Minuten gebraucht. - Nicht zwei Minuten, gnädige Frau, 50 Jahre.

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