I am a translator who specializes in translating from from English to Croatian and Slovenian. One day I received this message:
Client: Hello, I am in a rush to have my website translated to both Slovenian and Croatian. The site has about 20.000 words; how much you charge for that? Please give me a quote without writing too much.
Me: Hello! I charge between $0.05 to $0.08 per word translated. That would be $1000 for one translation, and $1800 for both languages.
Client: I said you need to quote just your price. And why would I hire you if you haven’t told me how much experience you have?
Me: (trying to be as nice as possible) Ok, let’s make this clear. I have years of experience, and as you can see, a 100% positive feedback from previous clients. As for the price, I told you all about it as conciselyas I could.
Client: Gosh you just don’t understand me? Do you understand English at all? TELL ME YOUR PRICE FOR THIS TRANSLATION IN BOTH LANGUAGES.
At this point, I started to wonder if the client was drunk, but tried to remain as polite as possible.
Me: I am so sorry, but you are so confusing. I said that the final price for this project would be $1800 for both translations.
Client: And why didn’t you tell me that at the beginning? The price sounds fair to me.
Me: I am glad that we agree on that. When is the due date for this project?
Client: The deadline is tomorrow.
Me: Tomorrow? You think that is possible to translate 20.000 words in 2 languages in one day? That is just impossible.
Client: Don’t be difficult. I need it by tomorrow at 5 PM.
Me: You know what? I’m going to pass on this one.
The client didn’t respond, except that he wrote me again a week later.
Client: Hello, are you available for that translation we talked about?
Me: Oh sorry, I thought the due date was last week? Did that change?
Client: I was just testing you. You passed! I want to work with you, but on one condition. Your price is way too high for me. Can you do it for $200?
Me: (laughing) Are you for real? $200? Would you accept that pay for that much work?
Client: I know I won’t do it for $200 but that’s me and I want you to do it for $200. If not, I will find someone cheap who will do it and you will lose your money.
Me: Feel free to search for somebody else, because I will not work on that project for $200. I am just warning you, that there are many people willing to work for low price, but in the end, quality matches price. If that happens to you, please don’t ask me to fix their mess.
Client: You wasted my time, goodbye.
A month later:
Client: Hello again. I am so sorry that I need to speak with you again, but I have no other options. It happened exactly like you said it would. I handed this project to a guy from Vietnam and my website was “Google translated. Can you please fix it? I will pay as much as you want.
Me: I think I’m going to have to take a hard pass. You’ve been exceptionally rude to me and I’m not interested in working with you. Sorry.
Client: Why you! How dare you! This is ridiculous, I’ve never met someone so unprofessional! Take this job or I will sue you and make your life a living hell!
Me: Feel free to sue me if you think you have a shot. Have a great day.
He never spoke with me again. And guess what? He never sued me either.