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The executive director who doesn’t understand the difference between translation and transcription

Hello dear Fiverr forum, I just wanted to share with you this recent story with a buyer that really annoyed me. Maybe this kind of story happened to you too, it’s always nice to be able to release pressure by talking about it.

So I had this request from a buyer last Tuesday to transcript a French audio to a French text. It was a panel discussion that was supposed to take place on Friday. So I was like “no problem, here is my quote, if you give it to me on Friday night I can deliver on Tuesday”. 90 minutes audio, $90 Gig.

Then on Friday she tells me the client actually wants the transcription of the French audio into English text. So I said “it’s basically no problem, I only have to make the transcription first and then I can make you an offer for the translation of the French text into English”. I also told her my rates would be $0,02 or $0,03 per word depending on the subject. She said ok.

I got the audio only on Monday but still managed to deliver the transcription on Tuesday evening (the audio was so bad quality I couldn’t use the help of any software so I had tu use the good old method - and it was 100 minutes, not 90, but well, doesn’t matter, I do my thing). Right after delivering the transcription I make an offer for the translation. The subject was quite easy, so I chose $0,02 per word and made a reduction of almost 1000 words because of the many repetitions (like “ok”, “yes”, “alright”).

On Wednesday she messages me and says “but I told you I wanted the English TRANSCRIPTION” (note that she always talked about transcription, but my dear lady, transposing a text from one language to another is called a translation), so I calmly explained to her what I already explained on Friday which was, summarized: transcription first, then translation (there were 11 people on this panel, there was no way I could make a translation without using a transcription as a work basis). She said ok, accepted my gig ($320, 7 days delivery, which is in my opinion, a quite fair quote for almost 17.000 words).

On Thursday morning she messages me again, asking me when I would finally deliver the transcription (that’s a translation…), because I said it would be done on Tuesday, and she wasn’t very happy about the fact that I charged her 2 times for the same thing (of course it’s the same thing if you’re not able to differentiate between translation and transcription), and also I was much more expensive than the original price I said, which was, again, only for the transcription.

I started to lose my temper, especially considering the fact that I make translations that are quite cheap in comparison to some other translators on Fiverr. She also told me to check my message again, as I didn’t communicate clearly the prices and delivery time. So first of all: I told her right away the translation would be $0,02 or 0,03 per word, and she accepted the Gig where I indicated a 7 days delivery. I couldn’t do much more. So I re-read everything and told her I was clear in my communication, wrote quite a long message to explain all that.

Then she responded “ok” and asked me something but without a questionmark, and since I was already so angry at all of this, I didn’t get it was a question and thought SHE was going to get back to me tand tell me if we continue to work together. So I messaged her 2 hours later asking her basically “ok so what now?”. And she got mad and said I have to cancel the order. No way, I had already done half of the translation, so there was no way I was going to cancel if, and I called her disrespectful for the work of freelancers like me. Like $320 for 50 pages isn’t that much, and I checked the prices on Fiverr, they went up to $700, so calm down when you call me expensive and also don’t treat me as your slave. Translations can’t be done in 2 minutes - only google translate does.

So is rushed and delivered it yesterday afternoon, that was quite an intense session. She accepted the order but of course I got no feedback, which is probably better than a bad review.

And do you know what’s the worst about it? I thought “someone so stubborn who doesn’t understand the difference between transcription and translation or at least read correctly what I explained to her concerning gigs and delivery time can’t be so high positioned in a business”. Well I googled her and she’s the executive director of her business. So either she tried to scam be by trying to make me feel guilty, or she’s really that s**** and in this case I wish good luck to the business she’s running.


She probably knew that a $90 is not the result of multiplying the word count by $0.02 (I know you did not have the script, and you told her that they are separate things, but trust me, some people think they will outsmart the seller and trick them)

I’d mention it clearly -before the order begins- that in addition to the $90, a separate gig is to be purchased to translate it to English.

Better luck next time.


Thanks for your advice, I think indeed next time I’ll write it even more clearly than what I did (which was already clear enough in my opinion but well…)

I’m sure that she knew the difference and just wanted some free stuff (after making a mistake with the initial task).
You never know what happens in their head.
I love my Fiverr customers, but lately, it looks like someone forgot to close the doors of a mental house because the number of irrelevant orders and strange messages is growing day by day.
The most recent one is a guy, who purchased my transcription gig to… write him a RAP song in English (of course for $5 :smile:). He even sent me a backing track and a text in Russian.


I’m so, so sorry. How stressful, especially with this kind of money.

This is why I don’t do big, expensive orders here. These types of ignorant people are so common. You didn’t deserve this and I’m sorry you went through this.

Unfortunately the film production world has a lot of really ignorant, inconsiderate people.


In all honesty, it is the other way around for me -at least-.
Expensive orders are THE BEST in everything (best buyers, best kind of work -not boring-, best money -duh :upside_down_face:-)
While with most cheaper orders, usually the buyers demand more (not all of them, of course.)


Why did she say “the client”? Is she reselling your work?

The fact that she’s an executive director doesn’t mean anything when it comes to knowing the difference between a transcription and translation, not to mention that some buyers use one word and mean something different. Could also be a language barrier.


Because she used me to do the work she was supposed to do I guess

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English was her mother language so she should have known. And I explained her that transcriptions are made in one language, when you switch language it’s called a translation. I couldn’t do more :sweat_smile:


Next time refuse to work with somebody like this. You were too forgiving and too generous! :heart:

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Yes that’s what I was thinking! But it was so surreal I didn’t know anymore if i was right or wrong :sweat_smile:

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I totally get that. Sometimes buyers go so far off the deep end you start questioning what is real :joy:

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