Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Suspicious translation test
Thread poster: Austra Muizniece

Austra Muizniece  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 00:26
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Nov 2, 2004

Hi everyone!

This far ProZ website has been very useful for getting tips on business issues. I am in kind of a weird situation right now and would be very grateful for any advice.

Some time ago I registered on a translation agency's website as a freelancer. Approximately a week ago I was contacted by the project manager and offered a translation. Of course, I had to do a test translation. I checked Blueboard and other payment practice lists, no ratings provided for this company. So I decided to go with the flow and give it a try anyway. I did a very thorough translation with a lot of background research. I received the response and evaluation the very next day which seemed to be a bit surprising as most translation agencies don't have a wide circle of translators able to proofread translations to Latvian - it's not quite the most popular language around. The response was very positive - not only had I passed the test - it had been great (fantastic, splendid, etc)and the project manager also said they'd given me the first place among the translators in my language pair. He said that he'd contact me as soon as the client would ask for a translation to Latvian. I can't say I was too surprised when the next day I was told that the client has asked for the translation of the document that I'd handed in as a test translation. How convenient! Now I am trying to figure out if I should contact this company again. Do you think that's a waste of time or am I overly suspicious?Thanks in advance for any advice...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:26
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Not sure if I understand what's happened... Nov 2, 2004

The client has sent you the same text twice - first as a test and second as a job from customer? Is that what happened? If so, perhaps it was just a mistake and they attached the wrong file? Have you asked them?

(puzzled) Magda


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:26
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
taken for a ride Nov 2, 2004

I'm sorry to say it looks like you were taken for a ride. Your test translation was the actual job, for which they now should pay you.

This is the big danger with test translations that so many people have warned about in previous postings. In the future, don't do a test translation that is longer than 1 page. Or present the job you just did as your "sample translation".

I wouldn't work for this agency again.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxsonja29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Stay away...! Nov 2, 2004

What are the chances that the client asks for the translation of the VERY SAME text that you have worked on as a test translation?

Last week I was contacted by an agency who wanted me to do a test translation within the next 2 hours! I did not bother of course, I did not even reply to their email to say what I thought of them and their "test" translation. The following day I received a second email thanking me for the translation (!!!), but, sorry, my work did not meet their standards!!! They had not even bothered to check who had fallen for their scam and who had not...

In as vast and variegated a field as translation, you are bound to encounter scammers. Do not be discouraged by them, just keep trying and, sooner or later, good reputable clients will come your way.

My very best wishes for all good things to you!

Sonja


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gayle Wallimann  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:26
Member (2001)
French to English
+ ...
Test translation entire document or partial? Nov 2, 2004

austra muizniece wrote:
the client has asked for the translation of the document that I'd handed in as a test translation

Hi Austra,
I was just wondering if the document you did as a test was the entire translation asked for, or part of the document. I have taken tests for regular clients that are actually part of translations that are going to be asked for, and several translators do the same test that is handed to the client for his final decision. Was the test long? Perhaps it was just a short text anyway, but if the agency is asking you to translate it, then you will surely be paid for it, even though you did it as a test in the first place.
Why are you worried about the situation? I'm not sure that I understand why you are concerned about it.
regards,
Gayle


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Volume Nov 2, 2004

How big was the test? If it was more than 200-300 words, then you probably already know the answer. To me it sounds like a clear con and I would keep away from this agency in the future. Pity you cannot post review on BB, as you have not actually received an assignment.
However, if they admit they have sold your translation to their client, you should demand to be paid. They are not supposed to sell test translations and if they do, you should receive the royalties. Tell them it is a good opportunity to test their agency, seeing as they have already tested you.

Cheers,
Burrell


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ashar  Identity Verified
Pakistan
Local time: 02:26
English to Urdu
+ ...
Translation tests- You never know! Play like a gamble. Nov 2, 2004

I have had experience of test translations numerous times. I don't remember even how much tests I have taken. Some were small and others highly complex and spanning over many pages. But the conclusion I draw is that you never know about the clients or agencies.

It's right to be prudent and meticulous while going through tests but I think even ratings don't help. Luckily, I have had good experience as far the payments are concerned. Lucky, in the sense that I never consulted any Blue Board ratings and similar stuff and many times accepted projects with closed eyes. Only one client ditched me but the payment concerned was very small and I usually don't waste time for things which are unreachable.

Dear, if you have begun to tread on this path, play it like a gamble.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:26
German to English
+ ...
Send them the translation again... Nov 2, 2004

Gayle Wallimann wrote:
I'm not sure that I understand why you are concerned about it.


This is almost exactly what I thought when I read this. If the client wants you to translate something you've already (at least partly) translated, then "you're lovin' it" - you've already got the job done AND you'll get paid for a translation test: something I have never done and would probably refuse to do, unless I knew in advance that it could turn into a huge deal.

Why not send them examples of work that you have been paid for and where the client was satisfied? EDITED: BUT DO NOT VIOLATE ANY NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS AND RESPECT YOUR CLIENTS (and anyone for that matter) BY ACQUIRING THEIR APPROVAL BEFORE YOU DISCLOSE ANYTHING!!!!!

I think that satisfied customers and finished results are just as good as a sample translation.

If it is really like the others seem to think - the agency has sold your test to a client as a translation, and you somehow got wind of it - then I would definitely demand payment for it.

[Edited at 2004-11-02 21:29]

[Edited at 2004-11-02 21:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 00:26
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Be careful not to breach a NDA Nov 2, 2004

Dear Derek,
your suggestion is OK, we also do not perform any test translations- the only exceptions are potentially very big projects for clients we know well.

Only, if you send as an example some previously done translation, you have to be careful- many clients even their freezer manual files reckon as confidential and will not be very satisfied if you'd start to send them out as your translation samples...

Uldis


Derek Gill wrote:
Why not send them examples of work that you have been paid for and where the client was satisfied? I think that satisfied customers and finished results are just as good as a sample translation.


[Edited at 2004-11-02 20:55]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:26
German to English
+ ...
Yes... Nov 2, 2004

Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

Dear Derek,
your suggestion is OK, we also do not perform any test translations- the only exceptions are potentially very big projects for clients we know well.

Only, if you send as an example some previously done translation, you have to be careful- many clients even their freezer manual files reckon as confidential and will not be very satisfied if you'd start to send them out as your translation samples...

Uldis


Derek Gill wrote:
Why not send them examples of work that you have been paid for and where the client was satisfied? I think that satisfied customers and finished results are just as good as a sample translation.


[Edited at 2004-11-02 20:55]


...you are absolutely right of course!

ONLY SEND SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK OR MENTION THE NAMES OF CLIENTS YOU HAVE WORKED FOR, IF - AND ONLY IF - THE RESPECTIVE CLIENT HAS GIVEN YOU PREVIOUS APPROVAL TO DO SO (in writing is best).

I had (mistakenly) presupposed that this goes without saying - I guess I am so accustomed to keeping everything confidential, that I forgot to mention it. Many clients are more than happy to oblige (especially if they are satisfied with your work). If the client is reluctant, you can also offer to remove or change any names, addresses, dates, etc. "to protect the innocent".

[Edited at 2004-11-02 21:25]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
E.LA
Spanish to German
+ ...
bill Nov 2, 2004

I would send a bill to the agency. Be curious. Writing a bill doesn't take so much time, and you can see how they react and then take your final decision.
In any case, looking at the other answers, I also did a lot of test translations in the last time, sometimes I offer it, and it is never more than three quart of a page!
But it was to direct clients, not to agencies.
Once I was asked for a test translation and they said clearly that they do not use this text! It was also a matter of three years ago, so I did it with good feeling.
My advice: Send a bill and in relation to the next test-translation - only a short part and write at the top that it is not allowed to use it for commercial purpose or if they use it for commercial purpose that they have to pay it.
Sometimes this kind of "comments" help to get respect.
Good Luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Austra Muizniece  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 00:26
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
explanation Nov 3, 2004

I was simply informed that "coincidentally' my test had turned out to be the actual translation, not asked if I can resend it again or anything like that. So my concern is that slight chance that what they are saying is true. I do know how small the chance is, but you never know...

I was thinking about sending an invoice, but in the case I should have informed the agency beforehand that I charge for test, don't you think?

As to BB, they are listed, but haven't received any ratings so far.

Derek Gill wrote:

Gayle Wallimann wrote:
I'm not sure that I understand why you are concerned about it.


This is almost exactly what I thought when I read this. If the client wants you to translate something you've already (at least partly) translated, then "you're lovin' it" - you've already got the job done AND you'll get paid for a translation test: something I have never done and would probably refuse to do, unless I knew in advance that it could turn into a huge deal.

Why not send them examples of work that you have been paid for and where the client was satisfied? EDITED: BUT DO NOT VIOLATE ANY NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS AND RESPECT YOUR CLIENTS (and anyone for that matter) BY ACQUIRING THEIR APPROVAL BEFORE YOU DISCLOSE ANYTHING!!!!!

I think that satisfied customers and finished results are just as good as a sample translation.

If it is really like the others seem to think - the agency has sold your test to a client as a translation, and you somehow got wind of it - then I would definitely demand payment for it.

[Edited at 2004-11-02 21:29]

[Edited at 2004-11-02 21:33]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
send your invoice Nov 3, 2004

austra muizniece wrote:
I was simply informed that "coincidentally' my test had turned out to be the actual translation, not asked if I can resend it again or anything like that. So my concern is that slight chance that what they are saying is true. I do know how small the chance is, but you never know...

I was thinking about sending an invoice, but in the case I should have informed the agency beforehand that I charge for test, don't you think?

As to BB, they are listed, but haven't received any ratings so far.


It is in fact a very weird situation.
You didn't say how long was the "test" yet. It would be helpful to know.
Did the agency tell you that it was a test for a potential job? This would also be helpful.

Anyway, I find the fact that they are telling you that the same test translation has been ordered by the client, VERY strange.
If they wanted a free translation, WHY would they tell you that it was now ordered by the client?? (it would be too innocent on their part).
If the end client asked them for a test and THEY were taken for a ride (now *I* am being innocent ), well, that's their problem to sort out.

It could well be a subtle way of telling you that you could invoice it as it turned out to be a job (but not telling you directly so that if you doubt - as you are now - they might get away with a free translation).

So I think that you should simply tell them that you're sending your invoice on account that you've been informed (by them) that the document has been ordered as a job by the client and standard terms of business do not allow for anything to be published or comercialised if it's product of an unpaid test (even if you didn't tell them - in my book this is standard practice).

Hope you can sort it out soon!
Regards,
Grace.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Austra Muizniece  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 00:26
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Length was acceptable Nov 3, 2004

... definitely below 250 words. And the translation was for a potentional client.

Graciela Carlyle
austra muizniece wrote:
I was simply informed that "coincidentally' my test had turned out to be the actual translation, not asked if I can resend it again or anything like that. So my concern is that slight chance that what they are saying is true. I do know how small the chance is, but you never know...

I was thinking about sending an invoice, but in the case I should have informed the agency beforehand that I charge for test, don't you think?

As to BB, they are listed, but haven't received any ratings so far.


It is in fact a very weird situation.



You didn't say how long was the "test" yet. It would be helpful to know.
Did the agency tell you that it was a test for a potential job? This would also be helpful.

Anyway, I find the fact that they are telling you that the same test translation has been ordered by the client, VERY strange.
If they wanted a free translation, WHY would they tell you that it was now ordered by the client?? (it would be too innocent on their part).
If the end client asked them for a test and THEY were taken for a ride (now *I* am being innocent ), well, that's their problem to sort out.

It could well be a subtle way of telling you that you could invoice it as it turned out to be a job (but not telling you directly so that if you doubt - as you are now - they might get away with a free translation).

So I think that you should simply tell them that you're sending your invoice on account that you've been informed (by them) that the document has been ordered as a job by the client and standard terms of business do not allow for anything to be published or comercialised if it's product of an unpaid test (even if you didn't tell them - in my book this is standard practice).

Hope you can sort it out soon!
Regards,
Grace.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
anyway Nov 3, 2004

austra muizniece wrote:
... definitely below 250 words. And the translation was for a potentional client.


Fine, in the worst case you weren't working on it for a week!
But anyway a minimum fee would apply and I would still invoice them.


Grace.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Suspicious translation test

Advanced search


Translation news





SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
PerfectIt consistency checker
Faster Checking, Greater Accuracy

PerfectIt helps deliver error-free documents. It improves consistency, ensures quality and helps to enforce style guides. It’s a powerful tool for pro users, and comes with the assurance of a 30-day money back guarantee.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs