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subtitling test ...failed
Thread poster: elle_bi

elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:11
English to Italian
+ ...
Apr 27, 2006

Hello all,

I'm a newbie in translating subtitles, I am collaborating with a couple of agencies so far, and I recently got a mail sent to me via Proz by a well-known company, which asked me if I was interested in taking a test for them. I did: the test included 10 mins. of a movie, 10 idiomatic expressions to explain and to give examples of and two passages from a technical text and from a book.
Yesterday, I received the agency's feedback, telling me the test was positive but below their standards according to the assessor's remarks, which I was provided with. The remarks were as follows: a capitalized word which shouldn't have been capitalized and two idiomatic expressions not understood (nothing about the translation of the 10 mins. nor of the passages). Actually, I had explained and given examples for both expressions, so that I replied accordingly and copied the phrases. The contact person confirmed that the assessor might have been "overvigilant" about them, and that's it. Now, what I'm asking is: is one capitalization too many enough to disqualify you as a translator for subtitling? Hope you'll cheer me up! Thanks!!


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's up to the client Apr 27, 2006

A capitalization probably wouldn't, but misunderstood meanings certainly would.

My suggestion would be to try again with a different client, or with this same client in a few months.

--
Dyran


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elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:11
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... Apr 27, 2006

for your suggestion, Dyran. I do have the intention to try with this same client in the future, that's one of the reasons I've asked for advice here.
Of course, you're right about misunderstood meanings, but in this case there wasn't any apparently (the two idioms mentioned are even the same in my language, so no misunderstading there), that's why I am so perplexed about the feedback.

Thanks again and all the best!


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Silvia Montufo Urquízar  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:11
French to Spanish
+ ...
Another possibility Apr 27, 2006

Ciao,

I'm sorry to hear you failed the test. The reasons why don't sound too solid, although I really don't know how big the problem with the idioms is. I'm thinking maybe they just liked someone else better or someone else is being hired for whatever reason, but they need to tell you something in order to turn you down. They are not going to say: Hey, your test was very good, but we liked someone else even better. It's easier to tell you that your test had some flaws...

I think it's great you're planning on trying again, 'cause that proves you are emotionally intelligent and I'm sure you'll end up getting that or something just as good.

Best regards,

Silvia


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Trevor Butcher
Local time: 14:11
English
Um, how many other people? Apr 27, 2006

Hi,

There may be two other problems:

They might have a lot of applicants and they simply have a selection of people they think do a better job than you, even if it is only a slightly better job. Imagine having 20 CVs on your desk and you had to choose one of them - you would have to sort them somehow to make your choice.

Secondly, and the hardest to accept, is that what you perceive as being OK may have someone else tearing their hair out.

Of course, it may be something else too, its a big world full of different people. If subtitling is what you want to do then keep working on your skills and keep applying. I used to have to write about 80 applications to get one engineering job in the early years after graduating, and I learnt to keep working on my presentation skills until I got the break - or just got lucky with someone desperate to employ anyone

Trevor


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elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:11
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OK! Apr 28, 2006

Thanks Silvia and Trevor for your support and suggestions! I'm usually quite objective, that's why I posted this, I too think that some of the reasons might have been what you've pointed out.

Silvia, one of the two "disputed" idioms was "to play by ear", and my explanation and example were quite "normal", I should say. As to the other idiom, they said I shouldn't have limited the explanation to the main meaning of the idiom, which was "to jump the gun"...

I'm happy you've said what you think to help me understand if I was being partial and what the right attitude is in such cases!

Cheers!


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kelmancy
Egypt
Local time: 15:11
Member (2012)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Idioms! Apr 28, 2006

Hi,
I'm so sorry you failed, I don't think capitalization would be such a big problem, as Silvia and Trevor said, may be they had too many applicants but from my experience, in this case they just say "you failed" they usually don't explain the reason in this case, I think giving another meaning is the main problem, I don't know how you translated these 2 idioms: play by ear means to play music without a note and jump the the gun means starting before he should.
Idioms might be the main criteria for some companies as most movies will contain slang
Anyway, Good Luck in the future and keep important sites in your favourites like Idiomconnection.
Khaled


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xxxcmwilliams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:11
French to English
+ ...
Idioms Apr 28, 2006

I wonder if the idiom was "play it by ear" rather than just "play by ear". "Play it by ear" means to improvise or to act spontaneously.
Just a thought.


[Edited at 2006-04-28 20:02]


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elle_bi  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:11
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
idioms Apr 30, 2006

Hi again,

the idiom was "play it by ear", in the sense of playing a piece of music without reading the score, and after my query they said it actually was ok. As to "jump the gun", I did write that it means "to start before a signal", and my example was "he jumped the gun and started the text earlier than us". They said I had limited my explanation to the main meaning of the idiom only, which I found a poor excuse (proven by the fact that Khaled gave the same meaning), and that was it. I know idioms are critical, and I helped me with two dictionary of idioms and Internet.

Thank you all!!

Laura


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Corza
Mexico
Local time: 07:11
English to Spanish
I wouldn't insist with this client May 1, 2006

This agency doesn´t look honest. I wouldn't insist with them. You took a test that meant one or two days' work, and after all your efforts all that you got were nonsensical comments... That's not fair. If they received many good tests, they should have told you so, instead of looking for irrelevant mistakes. Is it really worthwhile working for these people?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2006-05-01 15:18]


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