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Tips for Novice Translators Working Directly with Direct-Clients

by Guest Blogger | November 17th, 2020



Micaela Ziv






This is the key quality your clients want from you: deliver WHAT you promised, WHEN you promised it.

  • Always give yourself enough time to translate and thoroughly check your work. Do not agree to unrealistic deadlines.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications from the client – it can actually make you appear more professional.


Avoid the pitfalls that cause friction with clients so that you can focus on the quality of your translation work.

  • Clearly state the scope of work in your price quote.

  • Get approval of the price quote in writing.

  • Check regularly to see who has not paid you yet, and make sure your first reminder is very polite.

  • Don’t work again for a client who gave you a hassle about paying.


Take responsibility for your mistakes without arguing.

  • Once a price quote is given, never ask for more money because you miscalculated – just say: ‘This time I miscalculated the cost in your favor. I am not changing my original quote, but I want you to know that for any future work my rate will be higher’. Clients appreciate this.

  • If you miss an agreed upon delivery date, offer a discount.


Good translators can get better with time and must see themselves as lifelong learners.

  • Start with content areas you are familiar with and are confident about.

  • Look for professional development courses / workshops in areas of content you can expand into (either because you are interested in them or because they are lucrative).

  • Learning to work with appropriate tools such as Translation Memory software.

  • Look for courses/workshops on business development and self-marketing using digital and face-to-face tools.

  • Get to know other ITA members working in relevant fields and seek collaborations.