Sometimes, or more specifically when I am about to run out of money, I work as a translator (for English and German). Although I’d much rather translate spy novels, as a lawyer I am of course most qualified for legal translations. In fact, some of the contracts or litigation paperwork I translate are so complicated that I don’t know how a non-lawyer could seriously attempt to understand, let alone translate them.
But some clients are only interested in the price. I use freelance websites like People per Hour or oDesk to bid for jobs and I sometimes see that a client awards a translation of a 20-page contract to somebody who bid 25 $. Well, that ain’t gonna get you no quality work. I wonder how many of these translations quietly get thrown away, only to be re-assigned to a real translator. But then, I do occasionally come across websites with poorly or erroneously translated terms and conditions and I can already hear the lawsuits coming to town.
But these are just legal consequences. Nobody is going to die. Now however I saw that clients are even trying to save translators’ fees for potentially dangerous projects:
Seriously, if you have just bought or built a nuclear power plant, do you want to rely on a translator whom you don’t want to pay more than 100 $ for translating the safety manual? Or is this actually a job offer by Al Qaeda plotting their next attack?