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A company requiring three different samples
Thread poster: Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat
Canada
Local time: 02:40
English to French
Mar 17, 2008

Hello all,

I just have a few concerns about a company. I replied a job offer on Proz a few days ago, by providing a cover letter and a résumé. The company followed up with an email last night (Sunday).

They are asking me to translate three different samples (Finance/Economics/General, Legal, and Technical). They call it the freelance qualification test. I gave them my rates in my reply to the job offer, but they are requesting them again. Then, they ask me to create a translation memory with Trados and send it along with the test.

I visited the Blueboard, but they have no entry there. They have a website.

I have not replied yet.

Would someone mind explaining if it is common practice? If not, what should I do?

Thank you very much for your time!


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 10:40
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
tests tests tests Mar 17, 2008

I usually ignore such companies. If they want a sample from me they have to pay for it. You can be sure that its most probable you wont get any work from them after they get those samples.

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Cendrine Marrouat
Canada
Local time: 02:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Let me clarify... Mar 17, 2008

They sent me a Word document with their email. Inside, there are three short samples to translate. What worries me the most is that they want me to create a translation memory...

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:40
English to Dutch
+ ...
Too much to wonder about Mar 17, 2008

The test translation is up to you; some of us do them, others don't. I've been asked once to provide three different test translations for the same company. But just that.

I don't see why they would ask your rates again if you haven't even passed their test yet. After all, they've already decided to take the trouble of preparing a test for you, so obviously they have decided your rates are acceptable.

The part I really don't understand is why they would want you to create a TM with Trados. Perhaps they want to make sure you really work with Trados. Or it could be that they're taking the test from a project they may want you to work on in a team and make sure TM's can be exchanged. Even so, I think it's a bit too much to wonder about. This combination of requests is not common practice, IMHO.

What does their website look like? What is your general impression of this company? Did you feel comfortable with the communication so far?
These are important factors if you don't have a lot of hard facts to judge them by....


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Veronica Coquard
France
Local time: 09:40
Member (2007)
French to English
Why are you worried? Mar 17, 2008

Cendrine Marrouat wrote:

They sent me a Word document with their email. Inside, there are three short samples to translate. What worries me the most is that they want me to create a translation memory...


They want to see whether you are competent enough in whatever CAT tool you've claimed to use (Wordfast, Trados...) to create a translation memory, because when and if they send you work, they will ask for a copy of the TM to add to their database. Nothing strange about that.

If you are not using a CAT tool, you can easily get started for no charge with Wordfast. You will learn to make a TM in no time.

I wouldn't be put off by their request, especially if the texts are short. Personally I haven't done a lot of tests, but every one I have done has paid off. At least it gives you a chance to show that you are competent.


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Cendrine Marrouat
Canada
Local time: 02:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
About their Website Mar 17, 2008

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have done a dozen of tests, and I never ever received news from the companies afterwards. At first, I believed that it was because they didn't think I was good enough. But, all the companies I worked with (without taking any test) have been happy so far. So, tests are a touchy subject with me.

Pardon my ignorance, but what does IMHO mean?

I actually have a bad feeling about them. This company is based in a European country. When I emailed them, I was supposed to get in touch with the CEO. That's the email address they had given on Proz. The person who replied is the project and HR assistant for the Asian branch (on behalf of the CEO).

I don't know if this means anything, but I just wanted to give more information on the website.

Thanks again!


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:40
English to Dutch
+ ...
IMHO Mar 17, 2008

IMHO = in my humble opinion


If you're not comfortable with their communication, and it is unclear who you're supposed to be communicating with, I think I'd decide not to work for them altogether.

Again, there may be simple reasons, but sometimes you just have to follow your intuition.

I did receive work from companies I've done test translations for, so perhaps I've been lucky...

If you do think you'd like to work for them, I would advise you to take one (small) project at a time. See how they work, wait until you've been paid, then evaluate before you take the next project from them. If something goes wrong, the damage will be limited.

Good luck!


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Cendrine Marrouat
Canada
Local time: 02:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
I never said I used a CAT tool Mar 17, 2008

verslanglais wrote:

They want to see whether you are competent enough in whatever CAT tool you've claimed to use (Wordfast, Trados...) to create a translation memory, because when and if they send you work, they will ask for a copy of the TM to add to their database. Nothing strange about that.



I never claimed I used a CAT tool. Did I write that somewhere?
But they want to add it to their database for what purpose?


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 09:40
English to German
+ ...
I think I know those three tests... Mar 18, 2008

Lately I also have recd. something like that in computer games and animation industry. Three different stories and dialogues. They were adament in getting all three, to classify in which type of games I best fit in. It seems computer games and animation industry by far represents the largest growing sector supporting translation sector. Brandis

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:40
English to German
+ ...
Why is this bad? Mar 18, 2008

Cendrine Marrouat wrote:

I actually have a bad feeling about them. This company is based in a European country. When I emailed them, I was supposed to get in touch with the CEO. That's the email address they had given on Proz. The person who replied is the project and HR assistant for the Asian branch (on behalf of the CEO).



They replied to your email on Sunday? Well, then it was Monday in Asia (date line). This actually looks very professional. The email simply got forwarded to their Asia-office. A lot of very large agencies have weekend service, for the translators as well as for their clients.

Imagine how handy this would come if you are in the middle of a translation, there's an emergency and you need to reach your client. During a weekend.

It doesn't automatically mean that you are falling victim to a letterbox company.


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:40
English to Spanish
Sample on profile Mar 18, 2008

Go with your first feeling/impression.
It sounds questionable.
Take the time to put a sample translation in your Proz profile.
Good luck,
Arturo


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Cendrine Marrouat
Canada
Local time: 02:40
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 18, 2008

Thank you all for your replies and advice. I think I'll go with my gut feelings. Usually, I am right. But other translators may also have sound advice to give me. I am not the type of person to make a decision without thinking about it first.

The sample in my profile is something I have been thinking about for a long time. But I doubt it will be useful, since a lot of companies do not even browse through profiles. Proof is, they always ask me about my rates when the rates are included on my profile, as well my website.

Have a great day!


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