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1600 words test
Thread poster: A.Đapo

A.Đapo  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:56
Partial member (2007)
English to Serbo-Croat
+ ...
Jul 28, 2006

hello
I would like to hear your opinion on the following:
The other day, an agency with BB 5, posted a job here.
In thier post they said they wanted translators to do a 1600 words test free of charge.
I though that it was a mistake in the number so I replied to the post.
I have received the answer in which they asked me to do a 1600 words test free of charge by Monday.
I thanked them and everything but said that I could not do a test with more that 300-400 words free of charge.
what is confusing is that this agency has 5 on BB.
Have a nice weekend
Amra


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
1600 wordt 'test' Jul 28, 2006

Dear Amra.

1600 words is a job not a test and should be invoiced accordingly.

Having said that I do have to say that I once accepted a 1200 wds test and that this client turned out to be a long-term, prompty-paying customer. It is a judgement call. If you do not feel right about it, do not do it.

However, in general I accept only a test of a max of 300 wds.

Have a great weekend.
Lucinda


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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:56
French to English
+ ...
Seems Excessive Jul 28, 2006

A test of this length seems rather excessive. I could maybe understand a test like this being needed if the project itself was exceptionally long and a particular style was higly desired (e.g. a novel), but in such a case the client should narrow the field down to just a few candidates, and perhaps consider some compensation for such a lengthy test.

[Edited at 2006-07-28 15:57]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:56
English to German
+ ...
Personal decision Jul 28, 2006

Hi Amra,
This morning I was contacted by a member regarding the same
issue; she suggested that moderators pick up this case.

I fully agree with Lucinda:
It is a judgement call. If you do not feel right about it, do not do it.


Exactly - personally, I wouldn't do it, but that's a decision everyone has to take for themselves.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Mark Xiang
Local time: 18:56
English to Chinese
+ ...
Word Volume for Test Translation should not exceed 500. Jul 28, 2006

With a 1600-word test, you should get paid. I would not do it free of charge.

BTW, you could not expect much from an agency with such a proposal.

Mark


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 12:56
German
+ ...
Me, too. Jul 28, 2006

Here's my "me, too" posting. I totally agree with all of the above.

Surely they could pay you something to compensate you for the work involved...?

Maybe you could offer to deduct the fee for the test translation from the invoice for the main translation if you are eventually granted the job?

Regards,
Benjamin


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
What other plans have you got? Jul 28, 2006

I also agree with what has been said so far. It's quite a large chunk of work for a test translation.

But I wouldn't categorically say "no", just because it's so much. Why not have a look at the file and the subject matter? If it is something which sounds interesting and looks like a pleasant job to do, then why not invest a few hours and maybe get a new client and an interesting project out of it?

If you've got nothing better planned, it might be worth it. And if you are keen to get this one as a new client, then go for it.

But I wouldn't bend over backwards to fit in this test translation - if you have other project work to do (or were planning to spend the weekend at the beach or whatever) then you have to see yourself how to set your priorities.

What I wouldn't do, however, is trying to get paid at least a little - if they want it for free, they want it for free and from their perspective that is fair enough. Not worth putting them off by starting to haggle over a few quid.

Well, that's at least what I think...

Have a great weekend,
Thomas

[Edited at 2006-07-28 16:58]


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
I wouldn't do it Jul 28, 2006

I think 1600 words is way too much for an unpaid test. My limit is 300 words or so, and I am always suspicious of tests with a deadline, especially if it's a short one (and in your case, over a weekend). I would turn it down, too.

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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Should this affect Blue Board rating? Jul 28, 2006

It does look rather like an abuse of the system and I would have thought that the agency concerned should be contacted by a Moderator. How can one know that the 1,600 words was not an actual job?

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Daniel Ehret  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 12:56
French to Hungarian
+ ...
Maybe for x% of your usual rate? Jul 28, 2006

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by an agency with such a "proposal". I politely asked them to choose a 300 words section of the text, which I would gladly do. They replied that the end-client doesn't want the text to be cut, so I just forgot about it.
3 days later, they came back to me and asked me if I would do this test translation for about half my usual rate. I did it, got paid within a week, but never heard from them anymore...


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Let's not exaggerate... Jul 28, 2006

Barbara Finch wrote:
It does look rather like an abuse of the system and I would have thought that the agency concerned should be contacted by a Moderator. How can one know that the 1,600 words was not an actual job?


Well, they actually posted it as a free of charge test translation, so I don't think they have done anything wrong here.

Amra wrote:
In thier post they said they wanted translators to do a 1600 words test free of charge.


To be quite frank, I don't quite understand what the problem is. I don't think anybody was actually made to work for free. The agency simply asked if anyone was interested in undertaking a test translation free of charge to give the agency a chance to evaluate the translations and choose the most suitable translator. They might well have had their reasons to choose such a long piece of text - maybe it was for a particularly demanding and/or big project. Who knows? (We don't, because we chose not to do it - fair enough.)


[Edited at 2006-07-28 22:03]


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Maybe an idea? Jul 28, 2006

As I felt I had to contribute something constructive as well for a change: What about the following suggestion? Do you think that would work?

Why not translate just part of the text (say, your usual 300 words which you consider reasonable as a free test translation)?

Send it to the client - though, not without explaining why you didn't do the whole piece of text (they surely understand, that paid project work has to take priority over unpaid work). Ask them to have a look at it in case they haven't found the perfect translation amongst their full test translations.

If they like what they see, I'm sure they would consider you even though you haven't done the whole translation. At least that's what they should do if they've got any sense.


[Edited at 2006-07-28 19:04]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 05:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Tricksters! Jul 28, 2006

This comes from a test fan:-) There's gotta be a limit.

Free test of 1600 words of a continuous text flow with the deadline is ridiculous, I bet my cat's tail it IS an actual job.

My conditions to do it for free: I (or my most trusted colleagues) know the client for at least 5 years, the client won a project to re-translate Encyclopedia Britannica or the entire Shell technical library, half of the editors are Nobel-prize winners and I am invited to an open house event where a few fellow translators are already working at their desks:-)

As far as "no harm done" I'm not so sure 'bout this. A mug's game is a mug's game even though supposedly noone forces a kid or a dummy to play it:-).

Irene

[Edited at 2006-07-28 20:03]


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Vauwe
Local time: 12:56
English to German
+ ...
Fair deal Jul 28, 2006

I think Thomas' last suggestion is a fair deal and professional approach without talking to fast about money and unfair practices.
You invest in a free 300 words test in order to win a new client. That's all you loose if the agency conceals that it is an actual job that it wants for free.
When I used to work in an agency and we sent out test translations they were about three pages long split up into different categories. That were standardised texts, so no commercial interest was involved on our side, it was just to test the qualification of the translators. If a translator, however, said he/she wouldn't do the marketing part because he/she was specialised in IT, that was no problem at all. We didn't expect an allrounder who translated all three pages for free.
Another suggestion would be to send the agency a text sample of the same subject you have already translated for another client, if any. But don't forget to hide/delete all references or information on the former client or end client.

Good luck


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 05:56
English to Russian
+ ...
Gotta share this:-) Jul 28, 2006

One of the colleagues in the Russian forum made a brilliant suggestion:

I do a test tanslation if you do a test money transfer. Why bother if you don't know how...

There is a play of words involved - in this context the same Russian word is used for both 'translate' and 'transfer'.

Cheers,
Irene

[Edited at 2006-07-28 19:59]


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