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Need clarification regarding a test and a company
Thread poster: cendrine marrouat
cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Aug 31, 2004

Hello!
A few months ago, I got contacted by a company. I accepted to do a test for them (1 page, normal). After a few emails, the person answers that even though my translation was quite good; I made some major mistakes. And the person gives one example. There's nothing wrong in that, and I don't disagree at all!
The problem is that a friend of mine had had a look at it, and had said that everything seemed fine.
I was puzzled, and I wanted to have a copy of the correction. I asked for that, and the person said that it was not very interesting, money-wise, to give a printed copy of the test to each of the people they didn't accept.
I can understand in a way, but at the same time, how am I supposed to improve if I don't know where my errors are?
Do you think it's proper answer from a company, or is there something hidden here?
I am expecting answers so that I can write them again to see what's going on. Maybe it's a sign I shouldn't work with them...


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satish krishna itikela  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:46
Member (2011)
English to Telugu
+ ...
"Show ur translation to any translation expert near to you" Sep 1, 2004

Hello,

You first show your test copy to any translation expert near by, and ask him whether it is wrong or right, based on his report you approach the company, stating that you have shown it to the expert translator and send his comments about the test copy, ask their comments.Based on their reply you decide whether to go further with the company or not.


Warm regards,
Satish.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Hello cendrine Sep 1, 2004

I think that you cannot consider a test as a paid job.

I mean that if you translate a paid job and they tell you that the mistakes are critical and you're not going to be paid, you'd be right to ask for the correction. And it should be a detailed one.
But for a test, you don't know how they correct. They might have their trusted proofreader who hasn't got to justify when he eliminates somebody. Or who has so many tests that he takes off those who have only one major mistake. I don't think that they owe you more explanations. They are not suppose to teach you how to improve neither. You can ask that to a colleague who accepts to mentor you or an agency for whom you work on a regular basis.
I suppose that it's true that "it was not very interesting, money-wise, to give a printed copy of the test to each of the people they didn't accept". That said, the corrections that I have received have never been "printed". They sent to me the new version (corrected) and I could compare the previous document, sent by me, to the new one. It doesn't really give extra work to them unless they do not correct all the mistakes, and that's a possibility. Anyway, nothing compels them to give you that final version.
Your last sentence puzzles me a bit. In spite of the mistakes that they say they found, they want to work with you?
I don't know, if I were an agency, either I want to work with the translator and I tell him that he made some mistakes but we think you can improve, and then we correct the mistakes or we think that the mistakes are too big and we don't give explanations and say, "no, thanks".

Talking about the mistakes but keeping their will to work with you sounds strange and could be a trick to lower rates.

I agree that showing your translation could help you to improve, but don't use it to argue against the agency, what for?


This is just the way I see it. Good luck.

Claudia


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:16
French to English
Tests Sep 1, 2004

Hi,
I read a lot of tests for a couple of agencies (F/E only), and if there are any mistakes at all, I reject the translator.

If you want to work for an agency, the test should be perfect.

In my view, if a translator can't translate a test document without any mistakes, and they usually have plenty of time to work on their translation, what will they do in the rush of normal work?

I also never send corrections. The translation text used is an old one and we don't need a translation of it.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

Mary


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you Mary. Sep 1, 2004

Thank you Mary for sharing that with us. I think it makes sense the way it is done ie no mistakes and no feedback.

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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree with you, but... Sep 1, 2004

Mary Lalevée wrote:

If you want to work for an agency, the test should be perfect.

In my view, if a translator can't translate a test document without any mistakes, and they usually have plenty of time to work on their translation, what will they do in the rush of normal work?

I also never send corrections. The translation text used is an old one and we don't need a translation of it.

Hope this clarifies things for you!

Mary


I agree with you, here, and I have to admit that I also would do the same. But in my case, it's the first time I get rejected by a company with all the tests I ever did.
Yet, I don't agree when you say that it has to be perfect! Perfection is one word I would use carefully! Because perfection doesn't exist, we can only get close to it. And what a translator would consider as very good, an other one would say that it's not that bad. It all depends on the policy and the technique of the company.
In any case, I wasn't asking for the correction per-say, I just wanted to get the text translated by the first one who did it. It's human to want to see where one's mistakes are and want to improve. Otherwise I wouldn't be a translator.
What's more, one mistake is not the end of the world, as long as it doesn't change the meaning of a text. Some texts are sometimes too difficult. If we give oursemves no chance, we'll never make it.


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Need clarification regarding a test and a company Sep 1, 2004

Claudia Iglesias wrote:

Your last sentence puzzles me a bit. In spite of the mistakes that they say they found, they want to work with you?
I don\'t know, if I were an agency, either I want to work with the translator and I tell him that he made some mistakes but we think you can improve, and then we correct the mistakes or we think that the mistakes are too big and we don\'t give explanations and say, \"no, thanks\".

Talking about the mistakes but keeping their will to work with you sounds strange and could be a trick to lower rates.

I agree that showing your translation could help you to improve, but don\'t use it to argue against the agency, what for?


This is just the way I see it. Good luck.

Claudia


Yes, I also think that it was a trick after all, an excuse to say: \"If we can make her believe that it\'s not too good, she will accept to lower her rates\".
I hope you understan French. Here is the part that can be of interest to you.

\"Dans l’ensemble, votre traduction était assez bonne, mais contient des erreurs majeures. Par exemple : (here she gives me one example that my friend had corrected and found good)

Votre candidature ne sera donc pas retenue cette fois-ci, mais étant donné que les erreurs majeures semblaient des fautes d\'inattention (peut-être avez-vous traduire ce texte trop rapidement), nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous à nouveau dans quelques mois.\"


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Krystrad
Local time: 13:16
English to French
je pense que l'envoi d'un corrigé est nécessaire Sep 1, 2004

Hello à tous,
Pour ma part, je pense qu'en cas de refus, soit l'agence énonce clairement les points sur lesquels elle n'est pas d'accord soit elle envoie un corrigé type à tout le monde. C'est une question de respect du traducteur et du travail qu'il a effectué. On sait que les tests ne sont pas payés, on les fait quand même, alors on mérite au moins de savoir avec précision ce qui allait et ce qui n'allait pas. Pour ma part, les agences m'ont toujours fourni un corrigé ou expliqué mes fautes. Allez, va Cendrine, keep cool


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
not the agency's concern... Sep 1, 2004

cendrine marrouat wrote:
I can understand in a way, but at the same time, how am I supposed to improve if I don't know where my errors are?



Tests are a tool for agencies to recruit qualified translators, they are in no obligation to provide feedback and usually will not. This is standard practice and does in no way reflect poorly on the agency. As they put it, it would not be practical/feasible for them to address every applicant individually.

I agree with Claudia a good way to improve your skills is by collaborating with a more experienced translator, who can give you feedback on your work.

Best luck,

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 15:16
English to Russian
Yeah... Sep 1, 2004

krysblue wrote: C'est une question de respect du traducteur

Having worked in-house most of my career and having enjoyed sincere respect all the time, while doing far less stressful assignments, I find it very difficult to get rid of, an impression, or to get used to the fact, that even the best agencies tend to treat freelancers, **to put it mildly**, like beggars, crowding their doorstep. Check the Blue Board entries, for instance. An extremely nice agency is the one "which pays" or "pays in time". Hence, an extremely good translator should be the one "who did translate". Or am I missing something?


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Can you be more specific? Sep 1, 2004

Aleksandr Okunev wrote:

Hence, an extremely good translator should be the one "who did translate". Or am I missing something?


I have to admit I am tired! Could you explain your last sentence? Thanks a lot.


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:16
French to English
+ ...
Which language Sep 1, 2004

Which language was the translation into? If it was your second language, might you have made some errors you're not aware of? I agree with Claudia, it's not up to agencies to provide everyone they test with feedback - they assume that you are offering your services as a professional translator, and expect a professional translation, i.e., no errors. It might seem harsh to you, but...it's a business, not a school.

Paula


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Gabriela Abraham  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:16
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Somewhat confusing... Sep 1, 2004

I have been in your situation before, it is tough to be rejected, specially if you worked really hard on the test and thought it was perfect (or close to perfection). But after a while I understood that my test was obviously not the only one which was rejected and it is not the agency's responsibility to give feedback to every translator they are not interested in working with. It would be a waste of time.
In your case it seems a little weird, because they are not willing to give you any feedback but they still want you to work for them... I would reconsider working for such an agency.


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 15:16
English to Russian
Well, you should take breaks off translating. Sep 2, 2004

cendrine marrouat wrote: I have to admit I am tired! Could you explain your last sentence? Thanks a lot.

You are welcome, Cendrine.

I do not think that *every* test should be commented upon, but if you opened your mouth and said something about 'major mistakes' you should, as local mobsters say, "stand for your jabber", i.e. comment. I do not really believe it will become common some day.

If I conduct a tender in any business, even in this country, which if *very* far from being civilized, I declare the terms, collect the bids and then I *have* to comment on each and every bid, clarifying why the winning bid has one, and, to an extent, why the other bids haven't.

I guess I'm a bit new to freelanciing to make global conclusions, but it's a forum, isn't it?


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