I came across this compilation over on translatorfun.com by Romina Bona. (She also creates brilliant comics about translators and their joys and struggles, btw, which are also for sale here.)
1. I just had my secretary write a 70-page document, can you quickly proofread it for me?
2. You are a translator, right? What does (insert random word with no context) mean?
3. I took French in high school and was looking for some work on the side, could you help me get into the industry?
4. What! So you translate from home? Is that an actual job?
5. Wait, what? $(fill in the blank) for a job that will literally take a few hours to translate? I’ll use Google Translate instead!
6. There’s no way it can take that long! I needed this yesterday! It’s only 25 pages long, a day is surely more than enough.
7. So, I had my friend look over the document you translated. She speaks French and doesn’t think it’s very good.
8. We need you to translate a super confidential document and can only send it after we agree on a price. How much will you charge?
9. I need you to maintain the formatting in this scanned JPEG file I’m sending you to translate.
10. Can you please give me a quote to translate my website www.(ridiculousnumberofpages).com?
If you’ve been in business for a while, I’m sure you have heard at least a few of these things being said. If you want to read more and get good advice on how to respond, click here.