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Rules Of Thumb

The May issue of Intercom, the magazine of the Society for Technical Communications (STC), has an article by Louis M. Cardillo of MultiTech Communications, Inc. with the title “Technical Translation: Craft, Not Commodity.” It echoes some of the points of Chris Durban’s brochure “Getting It Right” and should help freelance translators who find themselves under pressure to reduce prices because of CAT tools or high-volume jobs. Here the article’s conclusion, aimed at translation buyers:

Purchasing translation services is not an easy task, even when you’re familiar with the languages involved. Because of the range and the complexity of translation services and the diversity of buyer needs, no simple formula exists for selecting and managing providers.

Two rules of thumb, however, offer the best general guidance for buyers:

• Treat your translation provider as a partner in your international communication strategy.
• Recognize that you’re purchasing a specialized, highly complex service – not a commodity.

Adopting these rules of thumb will go a long way toward helping you obtain the best product for your translation dollar.

I bet this will persuade my clients….


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