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Thread poster: PRAKAASH
sample translation of more than 1000 words

PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:13
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Oct 31, 2009

Dear friends,
I have recently found a job wherein sample text for translation has more than 1000 words. This is the first time, I have seen any such sample. Is it something common in your language pairs? I have quoted for same as I am free, yet thinking, if it would be good enough translate 2000 words for 'free' as professionally, I do translations in both languages that the job poster has mentioned.
Please share your views.
One more small issue, I am not able to select 'Business Matters' as the desired Forum, the displayed message says that either it is restricted or it doesn't exist. I am a paid member of proz.com, so it it is restriction, I don't feel it as justified to deny me access to any forum. I request moderators to please look into the matter and respond me to my email address.
Thanks to all of you in advance!
PRAKAASH


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:43
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
1000 words is way too much Oct 31, 2009

Hi Prakaash,

IMO, 1000 words is far too much for a sample text, don't you think? I don't know how much you charge per source word, but say, if you charge 0.05 USD per source word in your working pair, you're already giving away more than 50 USD for free! And I assume 5 cents per word in India would be an adequate rate.

From my experience, doing sample translations are a waste of time. They don't lead you to anywhere. Just forget about this job offer, unless they're paying you for this sample translation.


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Marita La Palm
United States
Local time: 17:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
The Business of Translation (NYU-SCPS) Oct 31, 2009

I was watching the videos from NYU-SCPS' conference on the Business of Translation. Those speakers suggested only translating 200-300 words of sample translation.

http://www.scps.nyu.edu/areas-of-study/foreign-languages/continuing-education/multimedia.html

[Edited at 2009-10-31 05:31 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:43
Turkish to English
+ ...
Too long Oct 31, 2009

I once ran a small agency. In those days I asked any translators who applied to work with me to do a small test. In my experience, a lengthy paragraph from a specialist text in an area which the translator claims to have expertise specifically selected because it contains certain challenges for a translator is adequate. I would say that 1000 characters not 1000 words is enough.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:43
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not normal Oct 31, 2009


PRAKAASH wrote:
I have recently found a job wherein sample text for translation has more than 1000 words.


I recently translated an 800 word sample. The sample was quite enjoyable. I don't normally do that, though -- 300 words is a good maximum.


One more small issue... I request moderators to please...


Submit a support ticket or post this as a separate issue if you want it resolved quickly.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:43
French to German
+ ...
Not only a matter of volume... Oct 31, 2009

While I certainly agree with Yasutomo and Samuel, I have another criterium for accepting a test translation, this being the certitude that I compete on equal grounds with colleagues also submitting samples. For this purpose, the text to translate must be the same for all and be public (as this is the case in some job postings here on ProZ.com).

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
200 words are enough to filter translators Oct 31, 2009

200 wisely chosen words are more than enough to establish the professionalism and attention to detail of a translator. After a good result, if you add responsiveness and qualifications you get a good translator.

A 1,000-word test is not necessary at all. Don't accept such long tests unless they are paid like any other job. The fact that an agency asks for 1,000 words is either A) the agency is not able to prepare and evaluate a good test, or B) the agency wants 1,000 words translated for free!


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Monika Elisabeth Sieger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:43
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Not any more than 500 words! Oct 31, 2009

I was happy to translate once a report for the German Patent Court which was longer (about 1000 words) but I wanted to show my abilities and the character of the text itself made it a necessity to be of a longer nature.
Normally I do not accept anything more than 500 words. The normal range in legal translations (as it was in my case) is between 300-500 words. But as I said before, it depends on the subject as well!

[Edited at 2009-10-31 15:20 GMT]


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Sidra
Brazil
Local time: 19:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Too much Oct 31, 2009

I usually do not translate nothing above 400-450 words as sample.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:43
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Compare to a test drive Nov 1, 2009

Most auto dealerships offer a test drive, especially with new models. The normal way is the prospect - with a salesperson - taking that car for a 15-30 minute drive. Note that the fuel and all other expenses are covered by the dealership.

Now imagine you tell them "I'm taking your (unattended) car for a test drive next Friday. I'll take my family to the mountains (the beach, another place, etc) for the weekend. IF we like it, I'll buy it on Monday, upon my return. Please have it ready for the road, including a full tank, plus some fuel coupons or vouchers too."

That's similar to a 1,000 words translation test.

I recently did a 600-word translation test for an agency, but they insisted in paying me my full rate, and paid very promptly, so it was a mutual test.


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George Hopkins
Local time: 23:43
Swedish to English
There's no free lunch Nov 2, 2009

Don't do translations free of charge.
I suggest that the prospective customer sends me text for translation, I translate part of it and return it for approval.
If the customer is satisfied I complete the job and charge him accordingly.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:43
French to English
As a matter of interest Nov 2, 2009


José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Most auto dealerships offer a test drive, especially with new models. The normal way is the prospect - with a salesperson - taking that car for a 15-30 minute drive. Note that the fuel and all other expenses are covered by the dealership.

Now imagine you tell them "I'm taking your (unattended) car for a test drive next Friday. I'll take my family to the mountains (the beach, another place, etc) for the weekend. IF we like it, I'll buy it on Monday, upon my return. Please have it ready for the road, including a full tank, plus some fuel coupons or vouchers too."


While I do not disagree with your opinion on 1,000 word tests, you might be interested to know that some car makers (Renault for one, to my certain knowledge) do indeed sometimes offer the chance to test drive cars for an entire weekend, unattended, here in the jolly old UK. It's not standard practice, and it's usually part of a concerted sales drive, but it does happen.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:43
English to Croatian
+ ...
Allegory Nov 2, 2009


José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Now imagine you tell them "I'm taking your (unattended) car for a test drive next Friday. I'll take my family to the mountains (the beach, another place, etc) for the weekend. IF we like it, I'll buy it on Monday, upon my return. Please have it ready for the road, including a full tank, plus some fuel coupons or vouchers too."

That's similar to a 1,000 words translation test.



Nice allegory, but I would change this:

" If we like it, we will come back by the end of the month, and buy 3 cars "

The 3 cars being the symbol of the upcoming high-volume projects promises that always go with such tests, but never happen, after you had passed the test and they had put you in their data base.

And of course, the customer will have a nice free trip up to the mountains, but will never return to buy any car part, let alone 3 whole cars.

[Edited at 2009-11-03 10:53 GMT]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 22:43
Member (2003)
German to English
It's a matter of judgment Nov 3, 2009

In most cases the answer should be "no". I don't even believe in 200 word unpaid tests. However, in very specific circumstances, it may be worthwhile to play the game and possibly do an even larger translation without charge. We (my partner and I) have done this exactly twice in nearly ten years for high-value direct clients with a strong guarantee of good volume at nice rates if we made the cut. Once it didn't work out; the other time the gamble paid off very well, and I won one of my favorite manufacturers as a direct client. The working relationship is superb, and I'm glad I made a carefully considered exception to my rule. But if your average agency asks for such a thing, I would usually consider that a huge waste of time. The pitch is usually the same, and it's simply not to be taken seriously.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:43
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Reliability of tests Nov 3, 2009


Kevin Lossner wrote:
I don't even believe in 200 word unpaid tests.


I don't either, Kevin... especially after one translator tried to hire me to proofread his translation test before submitting. It seemed to be part of a major technical translation project, and his output was sooo bad that I was scared at the idea of this agency hiring me after his gig to 'fix' it... I mean after the end-client rejected it as totally unacceptable.


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