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Why Ghosting a Translator Is Rude... But Also Not Smart



During the last weeks, I’ve been approached by a few potential clients, supposedly interested in my profile and willing to collaborate.


Once I had given them more information, including my rates, no one came back to me.


I had been ghosted. Just like thousands of other fellow translators.


đŸ‘»


I already hear some people say that recruiters are too busy to respond to everyone, etc. Well, typing “Hi Laura, thanks for your reply but I’m afraid your rates are too high [as I’m pretty sure rates were the issue]” takes 20 seconds tops, hitting Send included.


Ghosting a translator, and actually anyone on this planet, is plain RUDE. But it’s also not SMART.


Why? Because there may be room for discussion.


Obviously, I am not talking about dividing our rates by two and accepting insulting remuneration, not AT ALL, but—


▶ If your project is interesting

▶ If your company is appealing

▶ If your proposal is reliable and possibly leading to ongoing work


A translator might be able to reconsider things a bit.


Once again, I am certainly not advocating for drastically cutting down our rates (on the contrary), but for flexibility in specific circumstances, i.e., when the potential client is worth it.


Instead of thinking, “My goodness, this translator is far too expensive” and moving on to someone else, you might want to slow down a bit. You contacted this person because you saw potential, so is it really that smart to completely discard them only for financial reasons?


Let me tell you something: a translator offering extremely low rates is a bigger, way bigger red flag than a translator offering high rates [by your standards, that is].


đŸš©


During the weekend, I received a CV from a linguist (it seems I’ve become a translation agency without knowing it 🙃). Not only was this person offering multiple language directions (nothing more suspicious), but also charging less than EUR 0.03 per source word. Yep, EUR 0.03. You read well.


Offering EUR 0.03 per source word is NOT normal. It rather makes you look desperate for work. And that’s a very bad sign. No self-respecting and serious translator will (and should) accept such rates.


❌


So, next time, don’t only focus on money. Focus also on expertise, responsiveness, recommendations. Don’t ignore a linguist too fast. Or, if you really want to, at least act like a polite and decent person and explain to them why they are not a good fit.

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