A colleague calls you and asks if you have the time to co-translate a lengthy text or collaborate on an interpreting assignment. This is a great sign – it shows that you are trusted.

A colleague is just like any other client: like with anyone else, you must agree on the terms and keep your promises. In addition, you should keep in mind that your colleague doesn’t have any more time or resources than you do. Therefore, the service you’re providing must be as seamless as possible. Don’t expect your colleague to double check the terms for you or to proofread your translation unless you’ve specifically agreed on it. In addition, you should always return files in the same format as you have received them. All in all, don’t leave anything to your colleague that you yourself wouldn’t want to fix in a subcontractor’s work.

Sometimes a colleague will refer their client to you because they don’t have the time to take the commission and don’t want to mediate the entire process. In these cases, be worthy of their trust. Don’t hijack the client, but make it clear to them from the beginning that you’re accepting the commission as a favor to your colleague. You should also ask your colleague how they usually proceed with their clients. This way, your and your colleague’s practices are consistent from the client’s point of view.