This morning, I translated a brief article about a manufacturer of robotized metal cutting/grinding stations. Apparently, one of its strengths is that all its systems are tailor-made based on customer needs. Their customization method is pretty simple, yet very interesting. They have developed a standard layout for all their systems, which they change through custom components and programs according to the specific requirements.
I guess the same can be said for a translation service like the one I offer to my clients.
As I’m a freelancer working alone, my “process” is always the same: I read, I research, I translate, I edit, and I deliver (more on this here).
However, this slightly changes for every client, based on their specific needs and even personalities. For example, I have a few direct clients with whom I’ve developed a personal relationship, so the assignment/delivery stages will also include some small talk about our lives and families. On the other hand, I’ve had a client whose messages were very formal and impersonal, and I’d always try to respect his will to keep a distance. I have an agency client requiring the creation of text-specific glossaries. My e-mails to another agency client are often filled with screenshots to clarify some details about the videos that I get to transcribe/translate. In some cases, I’ll need to research a lot before delving into the translation process, whereas in other cases I won’t because I perfectly know the topic. The use of specific software and/or file formats is also a form of customization.
So, in a way, I can say that my translation services are highly flexible, tailor-based, and perfectly customized to every client’s needs. And, as in the case of that robot manufacturer, I think this is one of my strengths, too.