Haggling as Usual

Aaah, this is one of my favorites! I get this every other day: “Oooooh, that much. Can’t we do something about the price?” Unfortunately, I like my work and my clients more than to simply say: “Weeeell, no, actually…” but I would love to most of the time.


The little voice that screams in the back of my head on these occasions wants to answer: “Hm, in the supermarket when you get to the checkout counter do you also ask ‘can we do something about the price’?” Or at the hairdresser’s, or on the phone with your lawyer, with your therapist? Or do you haggle with your plumber after your washing machine got fixed. No. Nobody does. A definitive no. I know it.

So why us translators?

I believe that at some point in the history of translation the professionals have focused too much on their work and completely forgotten to promote themselves and their services properly. The value of what we do for our clients. The action of translating is so old and yet so unspecific that nobody really knows what the work is all about. Even some translators don’t know it. Therefore, somehow the image of our profession has degraded to a garage sale, where haggling about every cent is commonplace. And, although I admit that I find it hard to prevent myself, I urge the community to resist and uphold quality instead.

This is serious brainwork we translators do!

Until next time



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