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Using the Forum to compare translation tests
Thread poster: CLS Lexi-tech

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Jan 12, 2002

I launched this idea in the Italian Forum and it was well received, with some caveats. I repeat it here in English to see what other colleagues think.



The idea occurred in response to the ScriptTranslation job offer in which they were sending different sections of 200 words to every bidder who replied to their advertisement as a way to get the text translated for free.

As you know, when somebody posts a job on our site, they can include the test translation in the offer; the text is therefore visible to everyone and there is no chance of scamming the prospective translators. Every bidder sees the same text.

This should be mandatory, with a fixed limit of 200 words, for any agency or person who wants to advertise a job on Proz.com.

There are still some honest and professional agencies who send tests privately. In this case, the translators have no way of knowing that they are working on the same test.

What I propose, as an interim measure, is that the bidders use the Forum to tell the other bidders how long the test is and the beginning and closing words of the passage to be translated as a test.

One Italian colleague rightly argued that this could be seen as a breach of contract or privacy agreements between translator and agency. I contend that at that point there is no such agreement between the translator and the agency, because no contract has been signed or accepted. Also, in the internet context, the possibilities of scamming the translator grow exponentially and I see this as a way to protect ourselves.

The agency or advertiser should be very happy that translators use the means available to them to find out that they are honest: they will get excellent agency ratings and their name will be associated with honesty, transparency and fair dealings with translators.

I think that everybody gains from this exercise.

Let me know what you think and let\'s keep talking about ways to improve the job areas.



ciao



paola l m

co-mod en-it



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-01-12 14:24 ]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:28
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Searchlight on test translation hoaxes -YES Jan 12, 2002

Brilliant idea, Paola! - if you accept to do test translations, which I personally mostly refrain from.

The more intelligent agencies do not use them.


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Mats. Jan 12, 2002

I know that you disagree on tests, but it seems that lately many clients are asking for them here on Proz. We should at least make it mandatory to have them published at the bottom of the job offer for everyone to see and to keep them under 200 words.



ciao

happy new year

paola l m



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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 13:28
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
It should be a must ! Jan 12, 2002

Yes, it\'s really a great idea, Paola. It should be a must for everybody posting jobs on ProZ.



And what to do when we get job offers from other sources?



My experience: I usually insert into my application letter the following: \"I can provide you with some samples of my translation. If you insist on making a test translation I can do it but in order to avoid well known tricks of \'translation-slaves\' seekers, you should forward me a text of at least 1,000 words out of which I will translate an extract of 200 words of my choice.\"



It\'s difficult for tricksters to exploit us if we translate extracts of our own choice.



Good luck,

Nikita



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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:28
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
Good idea Jan 13, 2002

but what about agencies who don\'t have the source text yet?

E.g.:

client X asks agency Y if they can accept job Z: manual..., +/- 120 pages, topic:..., source text will be available next week...; please provide rates etc now as this will be a rush job


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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 06:28
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
These agencies would not ask for a test.... Jan 13, 2002

I guess I did not explain myself clearly. If an agency wants a test translation, than the text must be displayed at the bottom of the offer on Proz.com, as is done often already. They cannot send the test separately and privately to the bidders (well of course they can, but then bidders beware!)

In the mean time, I suggest that Prozers who receive privately a test, may indicate in the Forum the length of the test, opening and closing words, so as to make sure that everybody is doing the same test.

As simple as this.

ciao

paola l m



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John Kinory
Local time: 11:28
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Excellent idea, Paola Jan 13, 2002

I very rarely agree to do free tests. I have to be 99% certain that the client is reputable, and that there is a realistic chance of obtaining a large job as a result. Mostly, I offer a reduced rate or decline the job altogether. Lawyers and architects don\'t do free tests, AFAIK. But if tests are involved and there is any sort of bidding, then yes - they should be public (the tests: i strongly object to open bidding ).
[addsig]


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