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WARNING: no translation test should be longer than 200-300 words.
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 09:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Nov 28, 2001

Ask yourself what agency or outsourcer has the time or the manpower to correct more!

It was brought to my attention that a recent EN>IT posting was asking for a long test translation.

Just be aware that as translators we should not do translations for free and that real test translation are no longer than one page. I am talking from experience, having done once a 2000 words test which was never paid (they had originally asked me for 5000 words!!!)



cheers to all



paola l m



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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 09:05
German to English
+ ...
200 words is the absolute maximum! Nov 28, 2001

Right on, Paolo - 200 words is the absolute maximum.



And never accept a test under time pressure, either: a client telling you that they require the test back by a certain date and a certain hour might be an indication that your \"test\" is not really a test, but an actual assignment (one that they are trying to get you to do for free, because they are even too cheap to pay a minimum fee).


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Isabel Peralta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:05
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
agree Nov 28, 2001

once an agency asked me to translate around 2000 words from different texts within a time limit. I remember I wondered then if they could get a translation of a full book by asking a number of people to translate some pages....I thought I was being paranoid, but then I spoke to a friend who did the same test, and my suspicions grew stronger...the problem is, how do you check that you are not being used? Sometimes, especially if you have not much experience, and you are really in need for a job, you would do stupid things, indeed.



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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:05
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I think a sample translation should not exeed 100 words. Nov 28, 2001

I think a sample translation should not exeed 100 words. Also, I think if it is a full letter, a memo or or a notice that is full and complete, somebody is trying to get a free translation. I myself feel guilty of this, because even though many times I have had the feeling that they wanted a free translation, I still did it. But what do you do? One always hopes that the asker(s) is/are honest people.

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jccantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Why do sample translations at all? Nov 28, 2001

I have not done one in years. Instead, when approached by an agency with a test that they will NOT pay for, I offer to send them a page or two from my files, with the original text of course, that they may then assess at their leisure.

If they balk, I let them walk.

You are professionals (at least I hope so), and should be paid for ANY work that you do in your profession.


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 15:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
Start somewhere in the middle - don't let them fool you Nov 28, 2001

I answered more or less the same to another remark on this forum: if you get a large text, pick a 200-word extract somewhere in the middle of the text and send it back just before the deadline they gave you. If you\'re dealing with a \'serious\' agency/client, they\'ll respect the fact that you did not translate the entire text. If, on the other hand, they were trying to fool you into a free translation job, well... tit for tat! They\'ll miss the deadline for their client and they\'re the ones who will be fooled.

I always work that way and most of those clients told me afterwards that they didn\'t have any idea about how long a \'normal\' sample translation should be.

Sift the wheat from the chaff, but do it in a professional way...


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
French to English
Deadlines for tests - sometimes a reasonable request Nov 28, 2001

Whatever the length of a test, and I would agree that 200-300 is ample, I see nothing wrong with a client imposing a deadline. Supposing it is a genuine contact, this potential client is trying to decide whether or not he wants to work with you. Not only does he want to know whether you can do the type of work he needs to his satisfaction, he may want to see whether you can stick to deadlines.



Let me qualify this. A deadline for the 250-worder may be 10 days away, but a deadline is a deadline.


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:05
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
No translation test should be done! Nov 28, 2001

That\'s my principle.



It\'s not intelligent, it\'s too often a hoax!



Do not do it!



Mats


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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:05
Italian to English
+ ...
I don't mind supplying a sample... Nov 28, 2001

but it should be my sample, which would be relevant to the subject matter. In other words, it would be either from a past job I\'d done, or a sample that I\'d actually taken the time to do some research on and translate. I don\'t think I could honestly say I specialize in something if I can\'t back it up with at least a little proof, be it practical or theoretical experience that I\'d taken it upon myself to do.



R.

==


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Derek Smith  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
Italian to English
+ ...
Don't do 'em Nov 29, 2001

Right on Mats.

If they want to see your work, send\'em a sample.

Try asking your mechanic for a free trial oil change; next time you go to a restaurant ask \'em for a bowl of soup before you sit down; take a taxi and insist on riding a coupla blocks for free to test the guy\'s driving skills...

Better still, next time they ask you for a free test, why not ask\'em for a trial payment?

No way, brothers and sisters, no way

Total Reverence



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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:05
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I agree with you Mats Nov 29, 2001

And if they really want a sample translation, the translator should provide his/her choice of the sample translation.
[addsig]


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Dave Simons
Local time: 15:05
French to English
Charge for the test Nov 29, 2001

That\'s what I do.



\"Dear Sir, thank you for sending me a test; my rate is x.xx euros per word for this type of translation.\"



It\'s surprising how many yes.



As for accompanying a bid with a test translation on Proz: sorry, no way.



Dave



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franliaci  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Monica and Matt - I agree Nov 29, 2001

Yes, you are, at a certain extent, right. A test could be a way to deceive. And MONICA, I totally agree with you. We can provide a sample of what we can do. I always ask myself whenever a sample translation is required: \"Are they really testing me? Is this absolutely necesary?\". You know, we are professionals and don\'t need to be tested. They need us? Let them find us. That\'s all.
[addsig]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
French to English
Being paid for tests Nov 30, 2001

Having acquired a certain amount of experience in my chosen specialisation and obtaining most of my work through word of mouth, every now and again, I decide that I would to work on a particular project and so contact the people concerned directly, making reference to relevant existing or (recent) past clients.



Whilst the client being sollicited will know (know of) the clients referred to, he may not know me so I have to prove my worth. Some, but not all, ask me to do a test and this is always paid for. If the test is to make any sense for the potential client, then he might as well ask me to do a real job, albeit a short one, and then he can use it. You usually find that a short and very pertinent text is supplied.



Something to bear in mind, and not a minor detail either... Just as a job interview is also for the would-be employee, the test serves a very useful purpose for the translator too. In your short initial dealings with this client, ask yourself whether you want to work with them! Like a job interview, a test is a two-way process.



I have never yet come across an agency which accepts the idea of paying a translator for a test, not here in France anyway. I\'m probably out of touch though as it\'s really more than three years since I worked with agencies on a regular basis.





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Dave Simons
Local time: 15:05
French to English
Paying for tests. Dec 5, 2001

Nikki, I think there are two (maybe more) different kinds of test ethos...

When I went freelance (not that long ago), I contacted a host of agencies and a few of them sent me tests which I duly (maybe stupidly) completed. Other agencies contacted me spontaneously -- and the same thing happened. None of these agencies offered to pay me; neither did I ask any of them to pay me. And the total work I\'ve received from those agencies has probably amounted to no more than 2000 words in 5 months - far less than what I translated in the tests!

These agencies all had one thing in common: they were simply looking for names to fill up their databases.

Now, since I began, I\'ve had other agencies as well as non-agency clients contact me with specific work or types of work in mind. Most of these haven\'t asked for tests, but when they have, I have given them my rate for completing the test (which I offer to deduct from the price of the completed job if the test is a direct extract from that job). In each single case, they have accepted my fee without question.



So I say give it a try. The worst that can happen is that the client says no. Then if you really do want that client, you can always capitulate and do the test. (\"Dear sir, I have taken a further look at my calendar and it seems I have a slightly reduced workload for the next day or so, therefore on this one occasion I can offer to do you a short test at no charge.\")





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