Dear agency – a letter to a prospective client

Dear Agency,
I would love to work with you. I really would, but – there is always a but, isn’t it? – we should set something straight.

  • I did not apply to work for you – I offered my services to your company, months ago by the way. I stated my rates, my specialisations and my language pairs. Oh, I also told you my name.
    So why do you always address me as „Dear linguist, Dear , Hi or Hello“? It would show so much more respect for my work if you would bother to give me the feeling that you picked especially me for the project. If you take a look at the 5 pages I had to fill out, you will see that 0,035 GBP per word is not my rate.  So why do you „offer“ me that said rate, non-negotiable, with a ridiculous deadline. Please – again – this is not very respectful. If you want to receive a top-notch translation you have to realise that it is going to cost you money. Quality does not come cheap.
  • And if you are still perusing those pages: I don’t do legal stuff – I can’t. And I won’t. I
  • I am a professional translator. To become one, I had to study a lot and I am still studying to become an even better translator. MOOCs, Webinars, Conferences, specialised literature etc. . It is a constant learning process. So why do you treat me and my fellow translators with so little respect for our knowledge and competence? Would you dare going to a lawyer and tell him the rate for his services? Or a plumber? Would you dare telling them that they will receive only part of their rate because there are repititions in their text? No, you would not. So please do not try this with a professional translator.
  • You contacted me, so you need someone to get a job done for you. Is it too much of an effort for you to be polite, asking instead of ordering me to do something? No? Fine.
  • You promised your client a translation of his texts, websites and so on. We are the ones to make it happen, helping you to make you fulfill your promise, so please bear that in mind.

Wouldn’t it be better to communicate on eye-level? Two professional entities with a common goal: perfect solutions for your clients.

What do you think, dear agency, is it possible?



PS: This letter is addressed to those agencies with a lack of respect towards there translators. I had the pleasure to work with the other category of agencies: with nice, friendly PMs; helpful when there are problems; paying decent rates. These are the agencies that deserve our respect. There is a lot of agency-„bashing“ going on in the translation community and I think it is not fair to measure all of them with the same yard-stick. So, thank you nice agencies out there. 🙂

Autor: Manu

Ich bin staatlich geprüfte Übersetzerin in der Sprache Englisch sowie Fremdsprachenkorrespondentin Englisch und Spanisch. Als Fachübersetzerin arbeite ich für Unternehmen und Institutionen unterschiedlicher Größenordnungen weltweit.

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