Well, hello there. I’ve been looking out for you.
In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year or so thinking about how to find you. How to convince you I am the best person for your job, how to make myself stand out from others similar to me, how to keep perfecting my skills to stay deserving of your custom, how to guarantee the quality of my work for you, and even how to produce ‘content’ that will appeal to you and draw you in. Phew – that’s actually quite a lot – necessary, yes, and interesting too.
However, let me now be a little more direct and take a different tack. I’m doing my bit. Maybe it’s time some of you started to pull your socks up a bit, you know? Maybe you could stop thinking that you don’t need me, because, well, the way we write things in the end doesn’t matter much. Or stop reckoning you could just get anyone to do it (in fact, whatshisname in accounts speaks English quite well doesn’t he, so could we just get him to translate it?)
Maybe you could think again about cutting those costs you are so keen to cut, because in doing so you will lose out on much more in the long term. I write this today to those of you – and only those – who I wish would come to me with work: those I’d be just right for, get along brilliantly with and want to work with over and again. Yes, you!
Not sure if you are part of this crowd? Let’s think…
Does your work matter to you? Do you think it deserves to be handled by a qualified, experienced professional or will anyone (cheaper or quicker) do? Do you want to know in whose care, exactly, your work will land? Are quality and trust and clarity and a personal touch things that matter to you?
You need someone to translate or to edit or to write for you and you want it done – not just well, but excellently – to match the standards of your own work and the huge amount of care, time and money you’ve put in so far. Your meticulously crafted message, your business dream, that article or novel you’ve wanted to write forever – you wouldn’t let it all fall at the last hurdle, would you? By turning it out as an average translation or dressing it in bland marketing copy or losing it in a blog full of grammatical errors, or by presenting it to others badly through a careless tone in communications?
The places where language can trip us up are endless, and we should never underestimate the power of words when wielded correctly. If you care enough about that message or piece of writing – then you must want it to be in English that commands respect and embodies professionalism.
So you will know your job should not be done in an absolute rush, without the consideration it deserves. You will be prepared to pay for that! And you will realise that when you hire me, you are paying not just for the hour or day or 3 days that I spend researching and producing your text, but for every moment in my experience up to then. For the many years studying foreign languages and writing, post-graduate, professional qualifications, time living abroad immersed in different cultures – reading books there, studying in the language, knowing the people and enjoying their songs and stories – for my lifelong interest and engagement in writing and reading in English, for writing courses I have done, and business courses, and my personal, conscientious service. You will be happy to hand over your job to me, and pleased when I ask minimal, sensible questions to clarify your aims or meaning, because you know I’m being thorough and I care about the work.
You’ll understand what translation, and good writing, is all about and is worth. Or, at least, you’ll be okay learning about that as we go along.
That, I think, is more or less what you will be like. I know you are out there. Well, I hope so.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t really stop trying to find you. But you can always come looking for me too. At least you know where I am now. It would be nice to meet you.