I had this interesting epiphany when trying to explain to one of my clients why I charge the same rates for my English and Hindi content writing services. I write quite well in Hindi. When I was in school, my Hindi teacher used to show off my writing to other teachers.
Language is just a tool, what matters is, what I’m writing, and how I’m writing it.
These days I’m trying to get work for writing content in Hindi. There is a huge market for Hindi content writing.
The only problem is, clients looking for a Hindi content writer have a very negative point of view for writers offering services in their own language – they think that since the writer is writing in Hindi, he or she shouldn’t charge much.
At the same time, though reluctantly, they see the logic behind paying a higher fee to someone who writes in English.
To an extent this is understandable because it is difficult to get people who can write well in English. Everybody seems to know English in India and in fact, people often compare India with China where very few people know the English language. Nonetheless, writing, writing well, writing professionally, is an entirely different ballgame, and this is where the problem begins.
Hence, even if they don’t want to pay, considering how well I write, they have no choice but to pay.
But with Hindi the attitude is different. In India we have this colonial mentality that makes us consider Hindi an inferior language compared to English. When they want to make an “important” point, or when they want to sound “professional”, or even when they want to be taken seriously by the other party, people start speaking in English.
Consequently, even if it makes tremendous sense to hire a professional content writer who can write in Hindi, somehow they cannot bring themselves to paying the same rate that they would, reluctantly, pay a writer who writes in English.
If I psychoanalyze, maybe they don’t want to shatter their own belief that they have nurtured since childhood: English is far superior than Hindi. If they pay the same rate, they bring Hindi at par with English, which, they don’t want to do. Anyway, I’m simply intellectualizing a cultural issue here.
So, I was explaining to a client who wants to publish a technology blog in Hindi. For the life of him, he couldn’t understand why I was charging the same rate? Why wasn’t I charging a lot less for writing in Hindi?
I told him it doesn’t matter in which language I write. I may be writing in Maithili, or Bhojpuri, or Bengali, or Haryanvi, writing is just a tool. I’m not charging for the tool. I’m charging for what I create, what I manifest, with that tool.
He suddenly understood.
It is such a simple thing. I wonder why it didn’t come to my mind before.