Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Getting back results of test
Thread poster: Arnaud HERVE

Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:44
English to French
+ ...
Jan 12, 2009

Hi all,

as you know, when you do a test for an agency, there is always a little doubt that you're in fact translating for free.

One of the solutions to get rid of this doubt is to have the proofread text sent back to the translator, so s/he can make sure there are traces of genuine evaluation.

It's also, imho, a general good practice, so the translator can improve. And it doesn't cost a cent to sent back those tests. At least if it was a test.

Today I face the situation of having failed a test. Ok. I accept it. But I would like to know where I failed, I think it's a positive attitude. I want to improve.

This time the agency refuses to hand out the corrected test. The excuse is that there is not enough time: "I test about 20-30 people a day so you can imagine how time consuming it would be to go through each translator/editor/QC with their exams. I hope you understand.

I think it's plausible... and I still have a little doubt.

Beyond irrational doubts, do I not have some sort of property or right of consultation over my own test?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:44
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No, you do not really have a claim to the "results" of the test Jan 13, 2009

A test is free advertising material that you provide to the agency asking for it.

However, the better solution is to upload to your profile at least one sample of your work (or maybe several, in the different fields and/or language pairs in which you specialise), and then refer all future agencies asking for a test to the sample(s) of your work. At least that way you can be sure that no-one is earning money from samples of work that you provide.

For any evaluation of your work, if you are not fully confident about it, you look for a mentor. If you are fully confident, and know that what you provided was up to standard, yoiu may assume that it is simply an excuse on the part of the agency for not subsequently providing you with work.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:44
French to English
Assuming it's genuine.. Jan 13, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:
It's also, imho, a general good practice, so the translator can improve. And it doesn't cost a cent to sent back those tests. At least if it was a test.


... it is quite possibly a test that includes some deliberate and specific traps or issues.
They may not, in the first instance, review it thoroughly, they may simply look straight at the traps and see if you fell in. If you did, you fail.

Anything else would cost them money, in that time is money.

The fact they don't want to send anything back leads me to 2 possibilities:
a) they are anxious not to get into a debate
b) there is nothing worthwhile to return, as outlined above - it was just a "pass/fail" test, you failed.

You hear lots of different approaches - including just being ignored. At least they wrote back. I'm not really sure we have any "rights" when it comes to tests....


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Deborah Hoffman  Identity Verified

Local time: 20:44
Russian to English
+ ...
unfortunately you can't be sure... Jan 13, 2009

the person who reviewed your test even knew what s/he was doing. You may in fact be more qualified than the reviewer, but there is no way to know.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Next time Jan 13, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:

Beyond irrational doubts, do I not have some sort of property or right of consultation over my own test?


No, you don't.

Next time, if you decide to do a test, arrange beforehand (i) that you will get the corrected version back before doing it, whether you pass or fail (of course, they may not follow through on their undertaking to provide the corrected test, but it's better than nothing) and (ii) agree rates for future work. No point in doing a test, simply to be told later that you've passed but are too expensive.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 21:44
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some testers are not so creative Jan 13, 2009

I did the same test twice... from two totally different agencies! Some 4-5 paragraphs on different subject areas. At least I felt sure it was not giving out free translation work. To my amazement, most of that material in that test can be found asked and answered among the Kudoz here, sometimes with a wrong answer having been chosen by the asker!

As Charlie Bavington pointed out, they seed traps in the original, and then simply count how many the applicant fell into. One of these paragraphs there had a random quantity of multiple spaces after each period. As in my first attempt I left them as they were, I failed.

In my second chance, I fixed those extra spaces, and passed. This agency was kind enough to give me feedback, providing the proofread test. There I noticed that my appraiser was "worse than me" in technical translation, as s/he changed a rather specific word that was absolutely correct, but known only to specialists in that area.

OTW translation is a matter of trust. The outsourcer will have to trust the translator to do an acceptable job. The translator has to trust the outsourcer to pay as agreed. As a friend once said about trust, "It's like playing Gin Rummy over the phone."

My guess is that most testers don't give feedback to keep out of endless arguments about why something there was right, though deemed wrong by the appraiser.

Outsourcers who rely on such tests really deserve what they get, including candidates who hire a Cyrano-translator to do the test for them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Boyan Brezinsky  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:44
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
It would be faster to simply give back the results Jan 13, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:

Hi all,

as you know, when you do a test for an agency, there is always a little doubt that you're in fact translating for free.
.........
This time the agency refuses to hand out the corrected test. The excuse is that there is not enough time: "I test about 20-30 people a day so you can imagine how time consuming it would be to go through each translator/editor/QC with their exams. I hope you understand.

I think it's plausible... and I still have a little doubt.

Beyond irrational doubts, do I not have some sort of property or right of consultation over my own test?
I don't understand such an attitude. The time the reviewer lost in writing that sentence about not having time would be better used to simply attach the reviewed text to the e-mail and write instead "here are your results, but I can't comment further on them, because I test about 20-30 people a day and I don't have time for further discussions".
Or maybe the reviewer simply didn't supply detailed review results, but instead just gave a 'yes/no' with no written down grounds. Which may be the way this agency works, but still doesn't sound that professional.
Actually, what Jose said above makes a lot of sense - it can be time consuming to argue which translation is right. But again, in my opinion it would be better to say "our policy is to not discuss the reviewer remarks, so please don't bother".

[Edited at 2009-01-13 14:52 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ángel Domínguez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:44
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then there are some companies that just don't reply Jan 13, 2009

... there's a worse option: a company not even bothering to report back with a YES/NO message. This recently happened to me... a Spanish company specializing in videogame translation wanted me to do a test for them. E-mail communication was incredibly smooth and fast during that day: we exchanged no less than 5 or 6 e-mail in a matter of 2 hours agreeing a time for the test and a time limit. All very formal, and of course I had to stick to those specifications.

That night I did the test and sent it. I got no reply so I emailed them again the following day, to be told that they had received the files and would go through them as soon as possible. 2 months and 4 unanswered emails later, still no reply.

*sigh*

Ángel.




[Edited at 2009-01-13 15:27 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Milos Prudek  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:44
English to Czech
+ ...
Use Blue Board to name and shame them Jan 13, 2009


received the files and would go through them as soon as possible. 2 months and 4 unanswered emails later, still no reply.
*sigh*


Do not sigh. Call them insisting on an email reply that includes evaluation why you failed the test, telling them that failure to deliver an evaluation of your performance and listing of your mistakes will result in a negative Blue Board entry.

Then if they fail to respond, post the negative Blue Board entry.

I personally do not perform free tests at all. All tests must be paid. If I were to change my mind and do a free test, I would describe the above condition to the agency before accepting the test.

These mass-market free test solicitations are unfair. Imagine you would ask 200 bricklayers to build a sample wall for you. Imagine you do not promise any of them a job. But if the wall looks fine, you may give them a job in the future. How many bricklayers would accept this?

If you are hiring a bricklayer for a permanent job it is a different story. Free test would be justified in such case. So a free test with no justification for refusal is only fair for in-house translation position, in my view.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:44
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
The Blue Board may not be used to coerce Jan 13, 2009

"The Blue Board may not be used to coerce. Using the Blue Board, or threatening to use the Blue Board, in such a way as to pressure an outsourcer or service provider into taking some action, is strictly prohibited."
http://www.proz.com/siterules/blue_board_bb_blueboard/9#9


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:44
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
And that is going to help you how? Jan 13, 2009

Milos Prudek wrote:

Do not sigh. Call them insisting on an email reply that includes evaluation why you failed the test, telling them that failure to deliver an evaluation of your performance and listing of your mistakes will result in a negative Blue Board entry.



A part that such behavior is forbidden by the rules for the Blue Board, I fail to understand how it would help you: pissing off your prospects doesn't sound like a promising marketing strategy.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:44
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Take your test translation and.... Jan 13, 2009

Arnaud HERVE wrote:
... do I not have some sort of property or right of consultation over my own test?



It's your translation, and it's unpaid, so if you think the test is useful advertising for you in some way, and you are confident that you did a good job, post it as a sample on your profile. You have received no remuneration, so the rights to the translation remain with you. And I'd love to see some agency try to make a case out of something like this

In fact, the more people who do this, the better. Why? I object to unpaid tests for many reasons which I have discussed in the past and won't go into again. If people start to take these unpaid snippets and post them with translations, if they are in fact real tests and not just free translations, this will throw a bit of a wrench into the operations of those agencies which ask large numbers of translators to do a "standard" text, as these samples will be found readily enough by an Internet search.

Of course, I would never suggest doing so for paid tests!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
I like this idea Jan 14, 2009


It's your translation, and it's unpaid, so if you think the test is useful advertising for you in some way, and you are confident that you did a good job, post it as a sample on your profile. You have received no remuneration, so the rights to the translation remain with you. And I'd love to see some agency try to make a case out of something like this


Though maybe only for tests that don't bring you work - either failed tests, which you KNOW are done right, or tests never heard from again. I wouldn't know where to draw the line though. One test I did was first rejected and then some time later suddenly accepted after I had already forgotten the whole thing, another was accepted two months after I had done it and had again already forgotten it...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:44
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sad Jan 14, 2009

I find it a bit sad that I'm not allowed to see my mistakes though. I was not asking for a long argument, just for the reviewed document. The argument could have been refused after handing out the document.

If it's an objective mistake, then it's something I just need to see once and I won't repeat it. So I'm soooo bad I don't even to deserve to see my mistakes? I'm not sure I'm that bad.

Or even if I was so bad I didn't deserve to stay in translation, why not hand me the paper? Lack of confidence in the reviewing process?

If you think about it, not pointing out the mistakes precisely, objectively, provokes a shift in the accusation, from the external document to you personally. It's not "you made a mistake" any longer, but "you make mistakes".

It's not a forgotten space anymore, but it's something daaark, mysteeeerious, that makes you accuuused, and the agency supeeeerior.

It's like you have an apprentice in a restaurant, and you need to tell him not to cook the croissants so fast. But instead you have that old chef who makes the kitchen his psychological territory, and who says "Boy, you will never be able to make good croissants, because there's something deep and mysterious inside you that makes you unfit for this position". But you feel like slapping him in the face and tell him "Just f... give me the cooking time for the croissants, I'm WORKING here, I've got clients to serve NOW. Quit your air of grandeur and just simply give me the cooking time!".

Seriously... So I've made a mistake and I'm not allowed to see it, I'm like sort of condemned to repeat it with future clients, come on if you think about that's soooo sad...

You come to imagine a world, for all professions on the planet, where mistakes would no longer be explained precisely, but instead bosses and colleagues and clients would remain aloof and mysterious.

So for example the new postman would not be told by the neighbours where that tiny street actually is, but people would remain silent around him like saying "Oh you are not fit for this job boy".

Gee... Everyone has the right to improve, everyone has the right to learn. In real work situations, that is. With serious people.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
I get your point Jan 14, 2009

It's like in a job interview (I don't mean translation jobs here) - one job I didn't get, because they needed someone with excellent skills of Swedish. My Swedish is ok, but it's not that good. No problem, I couldn't handle the job anyway if it included so much Swedish. But when you don't get hired, because you're not the right person... they don't like you... is there something wrong with me, there has to be something... if I didn't do anything wrong, it must be that I am just a bad person... yes, this can wake up your paranoid side.

If it's a simple mistake in the test, you can correct it and move on. If you never know what it was, you take it personally - you think they are saying it's just an overall bad translation, because you are a bad translator.

But... unpaid little tests are not a matter of life and death. Should they be on the top of anyone's list anyway? As for failing, you can never know what is going on behind the scenes, anything from incompetent reviewers to the agency going silently bankrupt.

I keep in mind what someone I know said in a job interview which didn't go so well: "If you don't take me, thank you for guiding me on to better jobs elsewhere."

[Edited at 2009-01-14 11:34 GMT]


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 »

Getting back results of test

Advanced search


Translation news





TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



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