Transatlantic Turkey Day: Just Another Thursday

While one half of our business -- the American side -- will come to a virtual standstill during the next few days because of the Thanksgiving holiday, all the cooking and houseguests that are involved, and all the sleeping in front of the fireplace that needs to be done, for our Austrian side (Dagmar in Vienna), it's business as usual. When you live in the U.S., where even fast food outlets are closed on Thanksgiving, it's sometimes hard to believe that nothing special is happening in Europe and elsewhere.

This is, of course, good for our clients who need to get something done and don't have time to wait for Judy to come out of the kitchen. However, while we are happy to help, we are always amazed at some folks' lack of planning. We got a frantic call on Tuesday evening PST from an agency we have never heard of (which isn't saying much, as we have only done one project with one agency in six years), desperately looking for a complex legal German->English translation due in less than 24 hours. This leads us to believe that their client is also European and doesn't care that Thanksgiving in the U.S. is, well, pretty holy. We felt bad for the desperate agency, and took a look at the document, which was far too involved and complicated to get done on short notice. We graciously declined, and perhaps what we could all learn is to communicate ahead of time with our foreign customers and clients letting them know about the upcoming American holiday and what that means for business: it stops. Now, if one of our regular customers calls with an urgent request, Dagy in Vienna will handle it. After all, she's not eating turkey or watching football. It's just another Thursday in Vienna.

Enjoy the holiday!


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The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

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