11 ways to translate your way into your clients’ hearts

Good customer relations are not a one-way street. We translators can do plenty to oil the wheels.

How translators can facilitate the translation process.

Getting a quote

1) Confirm that you received the query and will send out a quote soon.
2) Start preparing the quote without delay.
3) Be honest and refer job offers outside of your specialty areas to more suitable colleagues.

During the translation

4) Write down questions/unclear segments and mark them in the translation.
5) Collect your questions and avoid sending out a separate email for every single thing that crosses your mind.
6) Double-check your translation to ensure that nothing is missing or incorrectly translated.
7) Proofread your translation. No one wants annoying typos or missing punctuation.
8) Keep your customer in the loop. If you can tell that there will be a delay let your client know.
9) Stick to the deadline (or see no. 8).

After having sent the translation

10) Send your invoice (either along with the translation or as soon as possible).
11) Be available and open for questions, remarks or even  complaints. Always be polite.

Then lean back and bask in the glow of a job well done.


There are 4 comments on this post

  1. Nicole Rodrigues (@tradutoraBR)

    While most of these tips could be considered “obvious” by some, the truth is that, while working as PM, I have noticed that not many translator master them.

    As a translator, I have been working more and more in polishing my social and correspondence skills and I have noticed the results of this effort almost immediately, as my relationship with my clients got a lo better.

    So, thank you, Else, for reminding us that there is, after all, a path to get into our clients’ heart.

    Kind regards,


    1. Else Gellinek

      Hi Nicole,
      thanks for commenting. You’re absolutely right – Captain Obvious co-authored this post.

      During my time at an agency, the freelancers who would reliably provide good translations on time while reacting promptly to any questions we had were a very rare breed indeed. I was always surprised that many freelancers happily ignore what I consider standard good business practice.

      On a happier note, it helps us polite and punctual translators stand out from the crowd.

      Best, Else


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