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Spanish translations: What is going on with all the bargaining??

7/18/2013 by Susana Schultz

It seems that these days some inexperienced Spanish translations buyers are handling buying translations like they would buying a car, or even worse. It is all about who gives them the lowest price and sometimes those prices are so ridiculously low that I wonder what kind of quality they are really getting.

It seems that they don’t even bring the subject of quality to the negotiation table. It doesn’t matter to them; all they care about is how can they get this bothersome thing off their desks at the lowest price possible. It seems as if Spanish translations are really a bother to them. Like Spanish translations don’t matter. Like their Spanish-speaking employees don’t matter to them. Do they really care about these individuals? I tend to think that they don’t.

This reminds me of one time when I was going to a meeting with a new prospect. It was a national food chain. On the way to the meeting, my sales manager and I were running very early, so we decided to stop and get some coffee. We stopped at one of the prospect’s restaurants. My sales manager, always on the lookout for things, picked up a Spanish translation of their employment application. As I looked at it, I saw tons of mistakes, tons of them. It was one of the worse translations I have ever seen in my life. One of their employees was walking around cleaning the dining room and I asked her in Spanish if she spoke Spanish. She did. Then I asked her to look at the application and to give me her first impression. She said, “This is full of mistakes.” I asked, “What does this mean to you.” She said, “That they don’t respect me.” I will never forget that. By the way, this prospect became one of our best accounts and wanted to know where we stopped for coffee so they could reassure that employee that they really respected it her. Nice!!

When someone is buying translations as an afterthought and the buying decision is only geared by dollars and cents, why are they even translating the materials when the message they are sending their employees is that they don’t respect them?

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