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False sample translations - limit yourself to short ones
Thread poster: DrSantos
DrSantos
Local time: 23:21
Russian to Portuguese
+ ...
Aug 12, 2001

Some time, when I was young in this business, I was a victim of Pseudo agencies asking for translations of \"Samples\". These \"samples\" were 1)a full package insert for a drug; 2)a full chapter of a contract. Both related to European Portuguese. Both were very URGENT. So, in good faith I spent hours rushing a translation, never to hear from the \"agencies\" again. I, then, realize that I have been victim of a con trick - the prospective \"clients\" were translators parasites who used people to do free work for them.

MY GUIDELINES now are:

1) Only translate short texts,

2) NOT to translate URGENT long texts.



Short than organise a black list of parasites (not practical and may be unfair), I suggest that the above suggestions be published from time to time to warn other professionals.

Dr Osmar Santos


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xxxAA1
German to English
Aug 12, 2001

You raise a very good point.



Never accept sample translations exceeding approx. 200 words! And always check the text to see whether it might be used in a fraudulent manner (i.e., without you getting paid for it).



On the whole, I believe that you should refuse to do sample translations once you have been in business for x years (or if you have a degree in translation and if you are accredited as a translator - clearly, at that point, you will have taken more than enough translation exams; there would be no need for more!).



You may, however, provide the agency with samples of previous translations done by you or references.


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Celia Gutiérrez de Rozas
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 18, 2001

I have not exactly been cheated with some samples to translate. However, my first professional experience was with a company I got to know through a good friend. They asked me to translate a web page and I was asking for 8 pesetas per word (0.048 euros). They agreed, but some minutes later this man called me back to ask if I was giving him an invoice. I said no, so he told me that he could not pay more than 7 pesetas then. I was still happy as it was my first \"official\" translation, so I did not complain... I still wonder why... Anyway, have you ever got difficulties to start without being able to pay taxes due to the few translations you are doing per month?

Thanks =)



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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:21
Partial member (2003)
Spanish to English
difficulties to pay taxes Oct 13, 2001

Yes, it can be difficult to find the money for VAT, especially at the beginning, and you haven\'t been paid. However, in Spain you can ask to delay your VAT payment and even suggest how you\'re going to pay your debt, i.e. in installments or as a lump sum at a later date. Interest (not much) is charged.

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Frank Hesse  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 09:21
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
sample translation scam Dec 4, 2001

I feel that this has happened to me recently. I was required to translate a fairly large amount quickly, which I did. After sending this to the agency (Universe Translations in Houston, USA)I recieved rather evasive replies. Has anyone had negative experiences with this agency, or was mine a real case of \"not being good enough\"?

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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:21
French to English
Tests Jan 14, 2002

Quote:


On 2001-08-12 15:52, AA1 wrote:

You raise a very good point.



Never accept sample translations exceeding approx. 200 words! And always check the text to see whether it might be used in a fraudulent manner (i.e., without you getting paid for it).



On the whole, I believe that you should refuse to do sample translations once you have been in business for x years (or if you have a degree in translation and if you are accredited as a translator - clearly, at that point, you will have taken more than enough translation exams; there would be no need for more!).



You may, however, provide the agency with samples of previous translations done by you or references.





I totally agree with this. I used to do translation tests when I first started, only to receive a message along the lines of \"you passed the test and we\'ve entered you into our database. We\'ll contact you when a project matches your profile...\" and never heard from them again.



I will only do a test if it is for a specific project. Otherwise, I offer to send samples. Why take time away from paid work to do an unpaid test that may or may not result in work?



Regards,



Erika



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Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not even short ones Jan 15, 2002

I do not even accept doing short tests of less than 200 words. If the test is too short, it will not reveal how good or bad one can be. So what\'s the point in doing it?



Besides, there\'s always the possibility that an agency has divided a translation in ten short passages and sent it out to ten different translators to get the job done for free.



I have never heard of anyone who has got a translation job thanks to a test. Never!



Regards,



BSD



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Pompeo Lattanzi
Italy
Local time: 23:21
English to Italian
+ ...
What about exceedingly LONG samples? Nov 7, 2013

Bertha S. Deffenbaugh wrote:

I do not even accept doing short tests of less than 200 words.

I have never heard of anyone who has got a translation job thanks to a test. Never!


I answered a search by a company looking for revisers of MT patents. Low rate, but if it is simply reading and fixing it here and there, I said to myself...
I declared myself available for a short (2-300 words) test. They came back asking for a test consisting in the revision of a whole patent (20-30 PAGES!). I simply refused, since I am a professional, like a lawyer: who would dare asking a solicitor to act in a Court saying: "If you pass this test, I shall pay you as from next time?".
Now I am wondering whether I should record a Blue Board entry, although I probably will not: I do not think they formally broke any law, and if somebody is foolish enough to fall for it, it's his problem.
Yet, I still feel uncertain and uneasy: did I do the right thing? What would you have done?

[Edited at 2013-11-07 16:00 GMT]


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markge  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:21
Member (2012)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Sample Translation "Fails" Jul 3, 2015

I have never passed a sample translation test, because I'm assuming that the Chinese companies that require them are fakes, and cheats. It's a real problem with Asian translation agencies! They are just out there to cheat you and cut down on their costs, in this case, obtaining translations done for free, while cheating everyone who actually does any real work. The only thing I can think of to deter such corruption and scamming is to be an accredited translator. It's not that easy though, as I had looked into the ATA Membership and accreditation process and it seems too complicated and not to mention, costly.

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