Show me yours and I’ll show you mine!

My customers fall into one of two categories – they’re either ‘clients’ or ‘partners’. Or from their perspective, I’m either a ‘contractor’ or a ‘partner’. Mere semantics? No …

Bottom line – it’s far more cost-effective and efficient for my customers when we’re ‘partners’.

Let’s say Customer A (a client) and Customer B (a partner) both send me exactly the same content to translate. (Highly improbable, I know, but hypothetically speaking. Bear with me!)

Linguistically, I’ll provide the same deliverable (English-language content). But my ‘partner’ will be saving time and money compared to my ‘client’. Huh?

The client

Customer A is a ‘client’ who views me as a ‘contractor’. It shields its content creation process and workflow from me. I’m merely a ‘translator’ to them – kept at arm’s length …

‘Here are some words. Translate them!’

Often, but not always, this goes hand in hand with an underlying assumption that as a ‘translator’ I couldn’t possibly have any technical understanding of the associated back-end processes or workflows … content management systems, WordPress, Squarespace, Adobe InDesign, Framemaker, etc., etc. After all, I’m just the ‘word person’.

The partner

Customer B and I are ‘partners’. We’ve invested some time together looking at their English-language content creation process. Where and how can we streamline workflows? Where and how I can provide added value? Quite often, we can cut the turnaround time from finished Dutch content to finished English content significantly. This is where my partner saves time and money again and again on each piece of content that needs translating.

The challenge
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It’s challenging. It involves educating customers. Often, as I start to broach the subject, I get a ‘Just translate the friggin’ text, will you?’-kinda reaction …

Translation was already an after-thought, it probably wasn’t properly budgeted for, and the deadline was yesterday. They haven’t got time to find out how they could be getting the same translation more quickly and cost-effectively! And they often have virtually zero understanding of the translation process itself, but to be honest that’s something they don’t necessarily need to know about. That’s my area of expertise.

The classics

Alarm bells generally start ringing and red flags start waving when a client sends me:

  • a PDF file
  • an MS Word document with content cut and pasted from a live website
  • just the URL to the website

Nine times out of ten, there’s a more cost-effective and efficient approach …

➤ Why is the client sending a PDF? Because their designer created the document in Adobe InDesign (or something similar), which no one has except the designer (and me). That’s why everyone else is passing the document around as a PDF file. Give me the Adobe InDesign *.indd file (and a few other bits and pieces) and I’ll slash your turnaround times.

➤ Why an MS Word document? Because they aren’t aware of the content translation options available within most commonly available content management systems (CMS). But 10 out of 10 for effort – copying and pasting the ‘visible’ content. Pssst! There’s a whole lot more ‘invisible’ content under the website’s bonnet (or ‘hood’ for the US English speakers among you) that’s missing when they take this approach. Give me editorial access to your CMS and I’ll streamline your translation process.

➤ Why just a URL? Because they really haven’t got a clue how to get their website translated and there’s too much to cut and paste into a Word document. In which case, we really need to talk!

Show me yours and I’ll show you mine

Show me your content creation process and I’ll show you my approach to saving you time and money. But let’s just do coffee first and take things one step at a time before becoming ‘partners’!


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