How to be a good client (1)

I’m currently translating a speech for a government speech-writer who’s a delight to work with. Here’s why.

First, he gave us advance warning (of about 10 days) that he’d be working on a speech to be delivered in mid-April. He asked if we could be on stand-by over the Easter period to translate it. So we were able to plan ahead – no last-minute urgency over the holiday weekend.

On Wednesday 31 March he sent us part 1 of the text, letting us know when parts 2 and 3 would be ready and ending his message with “thank you, as always”.

On Friday he sent us a revised draft (all changes and additions duly marked), with an apology for any inconvenience caused by the re-write. We delivered the translation on Friday evening. Today (Monday 5 April) a message arrived thanking us for “the excellent job” we’d done and saying that he’ll be doing some re-writing of the original and will get back to us tomorrow with probably the final version.

Three words sum up what makes this client such a delight to work with: courtesy, communication, and consideration. In return, he gets our full cooperation and the knowledge that we’re on his side – we want our work to reflect well on him and on his minister, so we’re happy to put in that extra effort. It’s worth it, for the added job satisfaction.

By Marian Dougan

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