Dear fellow sworn translators and interpreters.
Most of you have probably been in this situation before: a customer, a private person, wants to get married to someone from another country, so they need a ton of documents translated and certified for the civil registry. If one of the two has been married before, add to the usual birth certificate, visas or what have you the divorce decree, which can be pretty lengthy. Since the documents are supposed to look like the originals as much as possible, there is usually also a fair amount of formatting involved, which should be invoiced, too. All this together can add up pretty quickly to a fairly large sum, to which is then also added sales tax, and the customer is often surprised, to say the least.
If you, like I am, are also a sworn interpreter, you know you’ll most likely also be the one interpreting at the registration for marriage and at the wedding.
So here is my dilemma: I know what my work is worth and I am not going to sell myself cheap (no peanuts for me, thank you)! However, I still feel terrible having to invoice large amounts, especially when I know that the customer is not on the wealthy side and already has a lot of expenses as is. I know, too, that this is not my problem and that the customer should just have to bite the bullet, if he/she really wants to get married (kind of like a last check to see if it is all worth it?), and pay for the service(s) rendered. But I still feel bad about it, although I know I am not overcharging or taking advantage of the customer.
So here are my questions to you:
Do you give discounts if you are also asked to interpret? If so, how much?
Do you give discounts for xyz? I’d like to know for what and how much.
How do you deal with this bad feeling, even though you know what you charge is a fair price?
Looking forward to your comments!