Twenty years ago I got rid of all contracts with translation agencies except for two. Beginners used to compile databases of translation companies and use those to generate personalized mail-merge letters offering to work for very little. When IBM and Microsoft released DOS 3.3, the Proprinter 2 and QuietWriter 3, translation shifted from Europe to America, and “very little” was pretty good. Over time, Europeans learned code pages and bought Windows and the market flattened with the entry of pauper labor.
The recessions that followed the Biden/Reagan Crash of 1987 and the Bush Jr Asset-Forfeiture Crash of 2008 wrecked the profitability of most middlemen. Yet translators are mostly stuck in a time machine, relying on pestering spam instead of personalized mailmerges. Every day I get propositions like:
Salutation: Dear “Hey You”
Attachment: some dreary CV in Word, which is a vehicle for macro viruses
Qualifications: no test passed, no language degree from a real university and no knowledge of math, physics or chemistry
All of these go straight to the trash. Once in a blue moon someone will address me by name, but instead of a link to their website or blog, they attach a dreary PDF. The truth is that anyone with enough language skills and entrepreneurship to be worth asking for help already has his of her own website and writes his or her own bids and NDAs. Translators who want to be taken seriously by law offices, engineering, geology, mining or oil companies, or doctors, manufacturers or what-have-you need websites with taking bilingual CVs, not spam with attachments.
I have boilerplate bids I have used for 20 years, and for a fee make these available to colleagues who will do me proud. Same goes for NDAs. For more on this see A Beginner’s Guide to Handling WIYRdos.(link) Don’t send me “Hey You” spam with Word attachments and no proof of ATA certification or a website. Instead, make your own website and/or blog–and make it attractive.
Mine have served me well for 20 years and freed me from ever again signing lengthy, one-sided “agreements” that never commit to actually paying me–much less doing it on time. Be an entrepreneur, live by your wits and build up clientele by offering satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Pretty soon beginners will be sending you spam with Word attachments begging to be exploited.
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)
Tagged: deception, misdirection, dissembling, verifiability, responsibility, parasitism, initiation of force, treachery, surprise, liability, legalese, dishonesty, exploitation, dependence, independence, competence, voluntary trade, freedom, bidding, self-reliance, laissez-faire, WIYRdos,