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Acceptible sample size
Thread poster: Evgenia mussuri

Evgenia mussuri
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Oct 22, 2006

Dear colleagues, I just wanted to find out what you think the acceptable size of sample translation should be.
I keep getting projects where potential clients ask to translate one or even two pages. Sounds fishy to me, but may be I am wrong?
The biggest sample I was asked to do was 25 percent of the original text.
Any ideas? how do you tell something legit from fraudulent?

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Ahmed Dahman  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
250-300 Oct 22, 2006

Dear friend,
I think any sample should be of 250 words and shouldn't exceed 300 words.
One day I was asked to translate 4500 words as a sample..! I'm pretty sure that this is the biggest sample on Earth and maybe in Heavens too)
It just made me laugh all the day

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Kind regards
Ahmed Dahman

[Edited at 2006-10-22 02:58]

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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
100-150 words Oct 22, 2006


Well, as a principle I never do more than 150 words free sample... I was recently asked to do a 2000 word sample but I charged them at my normal rate.


Ritu Bhanot

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biankonera  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:02
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
sample size Oct 22, 2006

should not exceed some 300 words as was said before.

While 1 - 2 pages.. I mean, sometimes it makes me wonder do those agencies who send out such "sample translations / test translations" really think a freelancer has nothing better to do than to spend time on them?

One solution was mentioned before - just charge them your normal rate.;)

The other solution - aka what I did a little while ago when I was sent a "test translation" of ~1500 words - just forget it. Seriously, those agencies who are serious about working with you will either simply give you a small initial PAID job or they will send you a sample of a reasonable size.

Enjoy the weekend! and keep smiling!!:)


[Edited at 2006-10-22 09:15]

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Fan Gao
Local time: 04:02
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
You are a commodity Oct 22, 2006

We only do free tests unless it's a job we really want, otherwise we charge. Our limit for free tests is 250 Chinese characters which would work out to be around 180/190 English words.

You have to remember that there are thousands of agencies out there all competing with other agencies to secure a contract with big companies. The competition for them is so fierce that they really need to win contracts in order to stay in the business. They need you and the quality you provide a lot more than you need them.

Why shouldn't they pay? You are the one with the ability and the expertise they need to make money. You are a commodity and you have value. Why give it away for free?

Good luck and best wishes,

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Evgenia mussuri
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Thanks for your Oct 22, 2006

ideas, I guess there are some desperate / inexperienced freelancers out there who would do free translations hoping to get a bigger gig. Thank you all for your comments! have a good day!

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