Translation and interpretation is a market all about “people”. Technology is important. Skills and quality are crucial as well. However, in many cases, they will be defeated easily by words from others’ mouths. Clients won’t choose you because agents say blablabla, and agents claim they hear those things from someone else. It’s a story, rumor and gossip you’ll never find the origin, although the industry and the group of people is way smaller than outsiders assume.

A guy recently drops me an email to talk about “trust”, asking me to think about how to gain trust from peers and agents. Many interpreters are suspicious and mistrustful to others. They are worried if they cooperate with wrong people, it will jeopardize their own business. That makes sense, as they are just caring about their career. If they have a chart to grade other interpreters, it always starts from minus 10. They won’t trust anyone until their points reach plus 5 or more.

The problem is, why should I gain trust from you if I don’t trust you?

This is the daily drama of this industry. To trust or not to trust. Everyone is drawing their “trust/comfort zone” and staying inside forever. It’s like frogs living in a pond. When the pond is drying up, frogs blame drought or others taking away their “property”, but never looking for new resources. Will it grow in a healthy way? I place my doubt.

On the other hand, my life is growing and progressing in its own pace. I get involved in projects, gain job offers, acquire translation/interpretation opportunities, and a wide variety of events and activities happening in my life. I am building up by trust-based social network, so when this guy is asking me to think about trust, I wonder…

Are we talking about the same kind of trust?

While other people can trust me, you can’t. While I am swimming happily in other ponds, you are saying “let me trust you, so I can give you the entrance ticket to my bond.” While I am trusted, recognized and appreciated by others, you still think I am not trustworthy.

Is that my trust crisis or yours?


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