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Keep it short, make it twice as good. Keep it simple!

No doubt it is a big plus for you to be detail-oriented and responsible. But getting too deep into unnecessary—and, many times, self-created—hassle is a completely different thing.

The world is a complex place. Answers are expected to be increasingly faster. Our professional career demands that we learn to make processes simpler. If you do, you will certainly be making things easier for people on the other end. They will be grateful and you will be saving a considerable amount of time.

This article presents a number of real-life cases to help illustrate the point.


Hi, we need to have this document translated into English.


Okay. I would appreciate it if you could please tell me exactly when you would need it back. I have a major translation project that is pending confirmation from one of my clients, and I have already made arrangements with another two clients to work on the translation of some other documents, which I am still waiting to receive from them. I just wanted to let you know, just in case. Allow me to add that, come the weekend, I will be busy with family matters, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to take on this translation if the deadline is too tight.

Please, keep it simple.
OK, when would you need the translation back? Yes, oh yes! 


We need to have the attached file translated. How long would it take you to do it?


Hello all. I’ve just converted the file and got a word count of 10,000 words. To be honest, it is a lot and I happen to be very busy right now. Besides, the document deals with complex matters, and there are many charts and tables that would need heavy editing. Actually, it would be impossible for me to have the translation ready in less than a week, especially considering that Monday is a holiday and that I will be entertaining people at home. There is a slight chance that I might have the translation completed within a shorter deadline, but I’d rather not give you my word and then back out.

Please, keep it simple.

Hi, I could send you the translation back on Tuesday, first thing in the morning, if that works for you. Yes, oh yes!


Can you please provide us with a quote for the non-certified translation of the attached document?


Hello. For this type of document, I usually rely on the translation fees recommended by the Translators’ Association, as last updated in July 2018, I mean, the fees per word, or per page of a certified translation, which will also vary based on the target language. Please find attached the list of all fees published by the Translators’ Association for all types of documents and all languages. You will readily find out my fee for this kind of assignment on the list. Please note that you should consider an extra cost if you need the translation back over the weekend, and that I’m open to charge my lower fee for translation companies.

Please, keep it simple.
Hello. The cost of the translation of this document is $500. Yes, oh yes!


Given the length of this document, we will need to have several translators work on it. How many words would you be able to translate for next Wednesday? And how much for Friday, in case we manage to push the deadline back a bit?


Yes, I’m available.

Oh, please!
I would be able to translate 2,000 words for Wednesday and 5,000 words by Friday. Yes, oh yes!


Hi, we would like to know if everything is going well with the pending translation job, and the estimated time we may expect to receive the translation.


Hello. I’ve just finished proofreading the translation. It took me ages because several figures are not clear in the scan. There are also references to several organizations and I wasn’t sure whether to translate them or else leave them in the source language, so I finally opted to include both versions for you to choose the one you like best and delete the other. 
The original document had several images that I had to copy and paste in the translation. I hope it’s ok that way. I don’t know whether the overall format looks good. I decided to edit some images using Paint, even though I know I could have also done the same right from Adobe or any other editing software. I don’t know which is the software you usually use to convert and edit PDF files. 
That’s all for now, I guess. I will get back to you if anything else comes up. I will be sending you the translation shortly.

Please, keep it simple.
Hi! Here goes the translation.


Yes, oh yes!


We hope you will find this advice useful and that you will successfully make processes each time simpler.

Got further suggestions? Weigh in below!

The TR Company is a translation firm that serves leading businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations. We help our clients communicate effectively. Over 20 years, we’ve built a firm uniquely equipped to this task.


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