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An odd request for a translation sample
Thread poster: Jason Roberts
Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
Feb 18, 2004

Hi,

I just recieved a request for a translation sample from a document. I'll bet others here have as well, and I thought that before I (potentially) waste my time on it I would post a question here.

The issues is that the sample is from what seems to me to be an odd place in the document (pages 5 and 6), pages which wouldn't really give an indication of translation ability because it is essentially just a table of contents.

Has anyone here also been asked to do pages 5 and 6, or is this an example of an agency trying to get some free translation work done?

Also, the rate is low (always a very bad sign), but the deadline is way out there.


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Bart B. Van Bockstaele  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:18
Dutch
+ ...
samples Feb 18, 2004

I am always happy to do samples. On the condition they are paid for.

Free samples are, in my opinion, a no-no. When I go to a new hairdresser, dentist, brain surgeon, restaurant, plumber... he/she doesn't do it for free either. And for good reason.

I think your suspicions are correct, it smells. Of course, it sounds attractive. A low rate but an eternity to finish the translation is a dream that can help fill the gaps. But it does not sound right. And two pages? Wow.

I would say: go for a walk, watch tv, catch up on some sleep or study a bit. All of those will very probably turn out to be more beneficial.



[Edited at 2004-02-18 18:55]


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:18
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Assessment Feb 18, 2004

A table of contents is indeed a strange sample translation. If you've been quoted a low rate and a long delivery time, I would make sure that the delay for payments isn't even longer. If the company that contacted you is on the BlueBoard, it will give you some idea of how trustworthy they are.
I wish I had followed my gut instincts before accepting some of the projects I've done, but I learned from every single one of them. Sometimes you have to take a risk, but make it a calculated one.


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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the input Feb 18, 2004

I guess the fact that I have to ask this at all kind of answers my own question, doesn't it? Fortunately I haven't ever gotten burned, but I am sure my day will come. I am going to pass on this one.

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Jason Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Time better spent Feb 18, 2004

Bart B. Van Bockstaele wrote:

I would say: go for a walk, watch tv, catch up on some sleep or study a bit. All of those will very probably turn out to be more beneficial.

[Edited at 2004-02-18 18:55]


Good ideas!

I decided that instead I will volunteer in my son's Kindergarten class tomorrow, and have made arrangements accordingly. I have taught them numbers, the alphabet, and a bunch of other stuff in Dutch. Tomorrow we will be moving on to 'Duimelot' rhymes! This is surely time much better spent!


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Robert Kleemaier  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:18
Member (2004)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Great decision, Jason... Feb 19, 2004

[quote]Jason Roberts wrote:

I decided that instead I will volunteer in my son's Kindergarten class tomorrow, and have made arrangements accordingly.[quote]

Time spent with your son will be more valuable in the long term... and depending on his age, he might remind you in the future about the day you took off to be with him.


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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 11:18
English to German
+ ...
Good reasons Feb 20, 2004

Bart B. Van Bockstaele wrote:

Free samples are, in my opinion, a no-no. When I go to a new hairdresser, dentist, brain surgeon, restaurant, plumber... he/she doesn't do it for free either. And for good reason.

[Edited at 2004-02-18 18:55]


Moet ik onthouden!


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Beatrice CT
Netherlands
Local time: 11:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
throwing out the baby with the bath water? May 8, 2004

I recently provided two A4 samples for a local company who indicated the need for a second agency to supplement the large volume of translations handled by their regular agency. They have since become my favourite customer for translations as well as in-company language training.
My advice is: use your judgment, which in my case was easy as I had visited the company in person.


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