Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
How to handle a translation test scam
Thread poster: fifilalou

fifilalou  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Japanese
+ ...
Jun 5, 2008

I have recently done a test for manga and short novel translation (Japanese into English), I was given 3 different files, 1 manga and two short stories (extracts), the total word count was about 2,000. Then no news whatsoever since I submitted it a week ago (not even acknowledgment of receipt of my translation when I submitted). I'm beginning to suspect that it was a scam; I read the forum on Proz about these scams and now feel quite convinced. Does anyone have a good idea as to what I could do about it? I'm sure they would ignore it if I made an inquiry about it., so I am more or less wondering how I could possibly make them exposed as blacklisted. Thank you.



[Edited at 2008-06-05 22:01]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
You did a 2,000 word test? Jun 5, 2008

You did a 2,000 word test? You will never do it again, that's the upside.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vladimir Karoli  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 02:06
Member (2007)
English to Slovak
+ ...
Do not accept such a long test translation Jun 5, 2008

Hi there fifilalou,

sorry to hear about your bad experience. I recommend you to not accept unpaid test translations exceeding approx. 300 words. It must be enough for a client to tell whether he wants to assign the translation to you. If a potential client asks for a longer test translation, demand payment and a PO.

Some clients, especially in case of big projects, require even 2,000 word test translation just to be sure they'll find the right man. However, any reputable agency will understand a translator is not in a position to dedicate all of his day to a single unpaid test translation. If they really mean it, they will offer you payment.

Regards,

Vladimir


Direct link Reply with quote
 

fifilalou  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 5, 2008

Thank you, fellow translators, for your honest feedback. I guess I should take it as a precious lesson to see my naïvite and so should never make the same mistake again.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Stephanie Sirot  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:06
English to French
+ ...
2 000 words, way too long Jun 6, 2008

It is a very long test. I think you did the whole job for free.

Do not do tests that are over 300 words.

No translators should do unpaid tests.

Stephanie.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Allesklar  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
BlueBoard Jun 6, 2008

You could post your experience on the BlueBoard to warn other colleagues and maybe even have the agency banned from posting jobs here.

When posting on the BB you will be asked whether you have "worked" for this outsourcer, which IMO you have

Also, if it is possible to track down the end-client, you could inform them that the copyright for the translation still belongs to you, in case they want to publish it. If there is no clue in the actual text, the file properties of the source might provide a hint.





[Edited at 2008-06-06 06:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:06
English to German
+ ...
No Blue Board entries on the basis of tests Jun 6, 2008

Hi fifilalou,
On a general note, I do not consider test translations to be useful for either party, and I agree that 2k words is way too long.

However...
Then no news whatsoever since I submitted it a week ago (not even acknowledgment of receipt of my translation when I submitted). I'm beginning to suspect that it was a scam; I read the forum on Proz about these scams and now feel quite convinced.

...is the lack of feedback the only indication you have that something is not quite right? What makes you feel convinced?

If this test was originated via a job posted on ProZ.com, contact one of the Jobs moderators; we'll look into this.


As regards the Blue Board, please note the relevant site rule: a test translation is not sufficient to post an entry.

Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Allesklar  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 11:36
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
test vs. work Jun 6, 2008

I disagree with Ralf in this particular case.

If an outsourcer obtains a translation by disguising it as a test and then uses it like a regular job, i.e. he passes it on to a client and charges money for it or uses it for any other purpose than assessing the translator's ability, then I think it is reasonable to argue that the translator has performed "work" for this outsourcer.

I see of course the point of preventing disgruntled translators from denouncing agencies who found their test translations wanting, but that is a different story.



[Edited at 2008-06-06 06:37]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
French to English
+ ...
not so long Jun 6, 2008

Generally speaking, I agree that a test translation should be around 300 words for commercial translation through an agency, but this is a novel and manga, which is a whole different ball game, as far as I'm concerned.
Important question: was this test for a translation agency or a publishing house?
I do a lot of literary translation, and it is perfectly normal and in fact necessary for the sample translations sent to publishing houses to be longer in order for the editor to get a good feel for your style. There is *no way* I would give a novel translation to someone based on a 300-word sample.
It is also quite normal for publishing houses to take some time (several weeks is not unheard of) to assess the various samples they receive before contacting the translator they wish to work with.
That said, I think confirming receipt of your sample would have been the professional thing to do, and I would definitely touch base with them again just to make sure they did in fact receive it.
I do believe there have been threads in the past on the differences in sample translation practices for commercial and literary translation.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

fifilalou  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your useful feedbacks Jun 6, 2008

Thank you, everyone, I find some of your suggestions really useful! Particularly, I bow to French Foodie who seems to bring the whole matter more in a right perspective. Though the test was given by an agency, not a publisher, besides they said (before the test) there was someone assigned to score the submitted test(s) so it's not like they had to send the them back to the Japanese client (a manga publisher) for reviewing. After all, I think the primary factor that has made me suspicious is the fact that they didn't even respond a word when I submitted the test, while there had been email exchanges during the week I was working on it, making it seem as if they vanished the moment they received what they wanted. And I admit that it was also unprofessional on my part not to try to confirm their receipt in the first place, which I definitely should have done. So that's what I will do now- see if they will even respond to that... And thanks to your tips I know now what I will do in case it turns out to be indeed a scam.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:06
French to English
+ ...
confirming receipt Jun 6, 2008

fifilalou wrote:

And I admit that it was also unprofessional on my part not to try to confirm their receipt in the first place, which I definitely should have done. So that's what I will do now- see if they will even respond to that...


Hi again Fifilalou,
Thanks for pointing out that this is an agency and not a publishing house - puts a bit of a different slant on it.
When I said confirming receipt would have been the professional thing to do, I was not referring to you, but the agency of course. Sorry if that wasn't made clear.
However, I really do think that you need to get in touch with them and confirm whether or not they received it (strange things can happen with email at the most inopportune times! Perhaps they did not receive it and are wondering what the heck is wrong with that translator!!).
Once you hear back from them (1 no we did not receive it, please send again, 2 yes we did receive it thank you it is now going through the scoring process, 3 no response), then you can decide on your course of action.

Sometime a quick telephone call to confirm receipt can save a lot of time and stress.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Were you going to be appointed for life? Jun 8, 2008

Otherwise I don't see why 2.000 words. As an example, the tests for ATA certification have some 300 words each...

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:06
French to English
Translators' "urban myth" Jun 8, 2008

Tom in London wrote:
If my suspicions are correct, this agency was probably able to get most or all the translation done for free by emailing separate parts of it to individual translators.
Has anyone else come across this ?


This seems to be a scenario that is often mentioned, because the theoretical possibility undoubtedly exists, and yet, AFAIK, no-one has ever actually seen it done with their own eyes. That does not mean it doesn't happen, but might indicate that the practice isn't exactly rife.

Wiser heads than me have pointed out on this very website that the administrative and linguistic skills needed to create a semi-decent translation out of such a patchwork are indeed considerable, so much so that it could actually be counter-productive.

There again, of course, I guess the key term there is "semi-decent".
If you just concatenated all the tests together and shoved it along to the end customer, I guess the effort is minimal.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

fifilalou  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:06
English to Japanese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Abuse of quality Jun 8, 2008

Right...I have no idea how much or little time and effort they would put in making adjustment to make the whole file presentable before they actually deliver it to the end customer, but no matter how cheap they charge them, they will still make profit since they did not pay at all to their vendors (translators)! Low quality, low cost (to the end customer), some people go for it!

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 »

How to handle a translation test scam

Advanced search


Translation news





LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



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