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WARNING about free translation tests
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 14:20
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Dec 7, 2001

In view of the recent postings about possible scams, I invite all proz.com members to read the enlightening postings in this forum under previous WARNING.

Some experienced translators feel that no test should be done, that a translator should simply send samples of his or her previous translations (Derek Smith make the comparison with walking into a restaurant and asking for a free soup sample, before deciding whether to eat there)

Other translators feel that no sample sould exceed 100-200 words (with 300 being the absolute maximum).

Please do not do free translations. Just think: who has the time, energy and manpower to grade LONG sample translations and send a reply to all the applicants?

And I am speaking from experience, here. I was burned, and now I stay away from anything resembling fire.



cheers to all



paola l m

co-mod EN>IT



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SWEDISH-TRANSLATION.com - your Swedish translation partner
Local time: 20:20
Swedish to English
+ ...
Why not? Dec 7, 2001

I think you can do a first free translation consisting of not more than 200 words to agencies. I personally don\'t give away any references and that\'s why I decided to let them test me with a test translation not exceeding 200 words.



To start translating for an agency is not like any other job, where you can give away references to confirm your skills. The agency/client doesn\'t know anything about you and your abilities.
[addsig]


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
English to German
+ ...
Free samples? Dec 7, 2001

I absolutely agree with Paola. Actually, when approaching new potential clients I always attach samples of former work. It is no more than reasonable for:



1. it costs no extra time

2. they are polished for they are the result of former jobs completed and paid for (of course, not disclosing any client info as names, figures and even any indication of a year or data and the industry or business area),



3. I am not enforced to do something in advance for free.



Should I do a sample exceeding, let\'s say, 100 words, anyway, the potential client should, at least to some extent, reward me for that even if he refuses in the end to give the whole job to me. It just should not be for absolutely free. At least, no one of us can be that bad that his work (and time spent) is not worth anything at all. Otherwise we would not work in this field.



Salem

Steffen


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:20
Member (2004)
English to Italian
yes and no... Dec 7, 2001

I don\'t see anything wrong with translation tests, if the do not exceed 300 words max (300 is already a bit too much for me). My attitude is: if I apply for a job or contacted a agency and I\'m sent a translation test in return, I tend to do it because I approached the agency. If I\'m sent a test out of the blue, I do it if I have time, otherwise I decline the test, explaining why, and attach my CV.



Giovanni


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 14:20
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dec 7, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-12-07 06:52, guarnieri wrote:

I don\'t see anything wrong with translation tests, if the do not exceed 300 words max (300 is already a bit too much for me). My attitude is: if I apply for a job or contacted a agency and I\'m sent a translation test in return, I tend to do it because I approached the agency. If I\'m sent a test out of the blue, I do it if I have time, otherwise I decline the test, explaining why, and attach my CV.



Giovanni





Good point, Giovanni. Thank you.

paola



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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 00:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
what does Proz. com say Dec 7, 2001

I think you should contact Proz.com informing of this situation.



But Proz.com may argue that it has nothing to do with it since it is only a bulletin board or just a listing and cannot be held resposible.



If such is the case, it should try to discourage the sample translation requirement, or not permit anybody to post jobs - even without proper details.



If it is not responsible, how will it be able to charge 1$ from January for every job posted on the site?


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Frank Hesse  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:20
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
thanks everyone! Dec 7, 2001

Thanks to all of you for your input. I really appreciate it. Some good points were made.Ta!

Frank


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:20
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
charge for them Dec 7, 2001

I have to say I\'ve been lucky: I\'ve done short tests (100 words). In two cases I did longer tests for which I was told I was being paid because they were for a customer. Both turned out to be important customers who have given me regular work.

If you\'re starting as a translator, doing tests -- short! -- is a way of showing people you know what you\'re doing. Once you make a reputation for yourself, chances are you won\'t need to do any more.

One agency sends me their test translations to look at for an opinion. In every case, they were parts of books that I was either working on or had had to turn down -- not a scam at all. And they were generally no more than 200 words. With this specific customer, we\'re talking about books of several hundred pages. I can understand an agency saying \"Oh well\" on a page, but a sample before handing out an entire book to do is reasonable.

In any event, there ARE some honest people out there.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-07 16:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-12-07 16:17 ]


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AApple
Local time: 02:20
English to Thai
+ ...
say no to test file does not mean you won't get the job Dec 7, 2001

I agree that they are some honest people out there! Last week I was contact out of the blue by a company expressing an interest in my profile I posted on this site. They just wanted to see if I am interested in doing some work for them in the future and asked me to do 300 words test file. I said yes to the job and \"no\" to the test file. I told them that I don\'t do test file but offered them my own sample file. After that I thought I would never hear from them again. This week they contacted me and as it turned out I have got a few jobs from them already. So, if you feel you don\'t want to do a test file, just say no politely.

Cherrs to all,

Apple


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 20:20
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Do not do sample translations! Dec 7, 2001

I totally agree with Paola

and:



1. Samples are non-representative for the translator. Intelligent agencies let you do a small \'normal\' job, thus getting the truth.



2. Sampletranslations invite dum agencies and the crooks, the latter operating with getting a whole translation for free.



Best wished



Mats Wiman

deu>sve mod


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