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Test translations used as part of a job
Thread poster: shstephaniepark

shstephaniepark
South Korea
English to Korean
+ ...
Mar 24, 2007

I passed a translation test for new job as usual.

(I understand company want to test you in order to give job to right person. Sometimes, I enjoying testing myself.)

Two days later, the company e-mailed me saying I won the contract and sent me the text to be translated.

Surprise! The text contained the same test sentences I translated. Some parts were already translated. I think these parts were sent to other translators as test like my case.

The client asked me to translate the part which was not translated and to proofreading the rest.

I requested to pay me for the test sentences that I translated because he kept my translation in the text.

He refused to pay it. According to him, the test is something like enterance fee that permitted me to get the job.

In fact, he divided the text into several parts and distributed them to translator candidates for testing. He got two thirds of the text translated for free.

How should I call it? Business or cheat?Crazy world...






[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-03-24 18:50]


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Constance Mannshardt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:01
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Refuse! Mar 24, 2007

Just say no. Refuse the job and hope the "next candidate" is refusing, too.
Regards, Constance


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:01
English to German
+ ...
Illegal Mar 24, 2007

The client could argue that your work was a kind of an entrance fee and you may decide to live with this or not, but he cannot use the work of the other translators who did not "pass" the test, unless they signed some kind of contract beforehand that allowed the client to do so (which in Germany I think would still not hold in court).

I would stay far away from this "client", since he obviously is cheating, and I would warn other translators about this as well. Next you will send your translation in and the client will let you know that due to bad quality they had to have it retranslated or corrected by yet another translator/editor. And who knows, in the end they will ask you to pay more than you earn.

We all heard these kinds of stories often enough, haven't we?

And by the way, translation tests do not have to be usual. Fair agencies look at your reputation and give you a small paid job to get an impression of how you work. If they test you, they have to pay for the text, if it becomes part of your work for them, since a test is never done as a business present, but only to show your expertise. If they wish to use it for their business, they of course have to pay for it.

Please check if there is a way you can enter this company in the Blue Board with an explanation of their business practices. As far as I see it, you are working for them now, so you should be entitled to make a Blue Board entry.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 02:01
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
What about a Blue Board entry? Mar 24, 2007

How should I call it? Business or cheat?Crazy world...


It is a toxic waste and needs to be disposed of. Even if you go by Brecht's "erst kommt das Fressen, dann die Moral", you evidently would not have much to feed on if you accept, while losing on the moral side.

I get mentally violent thinking about it all...


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Nicole Johnson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:01
Italian to English
+ ...
You're Not the Only One! Mar 25, 2007

Vito Smolej wrote:

I get mentally violent thinking about it all...


So do I, Vito!

This situation is simply ridiculous. These types of outsourcers should be banned from posting any more "jobs" on Proz.com (and anywhere else they may be lurking).

As Claudia mentioned, try to post this somewhere to warn other translators about these unfair business practices.

You could also contact the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce in the state where this organisation has its place of "business"--and make sure to cc the outsourcer on any communications you send!

Good luck.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:01
English to French
+ ...
Contract for tests Mar 25, 2007

I think that in such cases, it could be useful to have a contract made for test translations. It could be a much simpler contract than for jobs - after all, you don't get paid for the test. It would contain something along the lines of "the rights to the content of the test translation belong solely to the translator (that is, they can't be used without your express consent) and the client can purchase the same if s/he wishes to do so".

If you had such a contract or agreement, then it would be illegal for the client to use your translation, including in the text he wants you to translate. In other words, he would have to pay you also for the portion you translated as a test.

As for accepting not to translate the parts of your text that were translated as tests by other translators, I agree with the above posts. This is illegal, that is, stolen work or plagiarism. I would either way refuse to work with such clients, not even because they are trying to put your and other service providers' money back into their pockets, but already just because of their shady way of doing business. If they pull this on you now, what will they pull on you next?


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belitrix
Local time: 02:01
German to Italian
+ ...
I think that test translations are illegitimate Mar 25, 2007

I never accept test translations, because I think that if anyone is not satisfied by the translation I provided he/she has the possibility to deny the payment for the order on the legal way.

For us the so called "Test translations" are a work done for nothing. No translator at all should consider to provide such services as this is a fraud.

[Bearbeitet am 2007-03-25 18:41]

[Bearbeitet am 2007-03-25 18:46]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Strictly speaking, he must pay Mar 25, 2007

Sunghee Park wrote:
I requested to pay me for the test sentences that I translated because he kept my translation in the text. ... He refused to pay it. According to him, the test is something like enterance fee that permitted me to get the job. ... In fact, he divided the text into several parts and distributed them to translator candidates for testing. He got two thirds of the text translated for free.


Although you suspect that he got the translated sentences from "testing" other translators, you can't prove it, so don't act on it.

However, he does not own copyright of your test translation and he can't use it for anything other than testing you, without paying you for it.

On the other hand... say you refuse to work for him, and threaten him if he should use your translation, for breach of copyright... how realistically do you expect to discover whether he had used your translation at all? Do you know where or for whom the translation will be used? Will it be worth your while to keep an eye on it to see if it gets used? How practical is it for you to play hardball?

By the way... he can't use the test translations from other translators without paying them either. So if you're really thinking about hitting him with a copyright breach thing, how do you reckon your chances are of tracking down some of the other translators to combine efforts?


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