With the conference market down due to #COVID, I could give more focus to my career as a #sworn translator. Sworn (certified) translators in Poland work in courts but also at the property and corporate transactions. Nowadays, in the era of COVID, the majority of their work is document translation. If you’re wondering about a potential added value of a sworn translation, read my short article and share your view. You may also have some suggestions that will help me and other sworn translators.

A case study on added value and working with an expert

I have just received a glowing 5-star review from a client because I saved her a substantial amount of money ON SWORN TRANSLATION of her documents. I translated a lot LESS than initially expected and she paid 60% of the initial price.

Why was I acting against my best interest and shooting myself in the foot, financially, in the process? Well, as we both, the client and I, ended up happy and content, here’s the case.

I followed MY RULES

No. 1. Get as much information from the client as I can to be able to help

The case: The client was a Pole who lived and worked in Ireland. She was planning to take out a loan from a bank in Poland. She wanted to finance a property transaction and needed to have her documents including credit history, employment contracts, payslips, payment records, account statements translated from English into Polish. Her credit broker insisted on a quick turnover of the documents.

What I did: had a long conversation with the client.  I OCRed a ton of scans she emailed me for translation. I prepared a quote reflecting both the workload and the tight delivery schedule.

No. 2. Find out what it is the client needs.

The needs: What the client needed was to have her financial standing with her credit history assessed so she could get her bank loan.

What I did: She let me contact her loan broker and I found out from him that the timeframe was not as tight as she imagined and discussed what the bank asked for with me.

No. 3. Use my expertise and consult my network

The approach: I have been doing legal and property translation for YEARS. Working with lawyers, banks, and property agencies, I have built a network of consultants I can fall back on and pile with questions, when in need. We analyzed the process and they indicated potential redundancies. As I suspected, nearly 50% of the content was redundant: a 20-page employment contract was cut down to 3 pages.  It presented only the items of interest to the loan officer. I translated sections on the type and term of the contract, salary, bonus packages, etc.

No. 4. Offer optional solutions

The response: I went back to the client with two options:

1) rush-translate the full set of documents or

2) translate just some carefully selected documents/parts of documents. There was a plan B, too i.e. a just-in-case, emergency extra translation, if needed.

No. 5. My time is money. I hate wasting it

The rationale: I am here to help.  You may be thinking that I gave up a great opportunity. I could have a week’s worth of documents to work on. BUT the point is – WOULD I BE GENUINELY HELPING MY CLIENT? Was it in our mutual interest to do all this work, of which nearly 50% were redundant?

I am a translator but I DELIVER A SOLUTION. In this case, give the client enough so she could complete the process to her satisfaction with cost-effectiveness and transparency.????I did that by offering an inherent element of my translation service: my expertise.

It all ended well.  My client’s documents were accepted by the bank. She saved 300 € on translation cost. I could swiftly move on to another interesting and well-paid translation job which I would have otherwise refused.

Oh, and have I forgotten to mention? Both she AND her broker referred me to their friends and clients?