Scored vs. unscored test translations
Thread poster: Jeff Keller

Jeff Keller  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:58
Chinese to English
May 23, 2009

I have done many test translations for agencies and direct clients, and have recently noticed that some agencies are giving scores instead of a simple acceptable/unacceptable result. What is strange to me is that in every case in which I've received a score, the feedback contains bizarre "correct translations" and careless revisions that are easily recognized as the work of a non-native speaker and easily refuted. I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered this, and where in the world do they get these test reviewers?


John Rawlins  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Who knows? May 23, 2009

Who knows where some agencies find their reviewers. Remember - if an agency can't appoint a competent reviewer, then the ideal result for you is a rejection.


Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:58
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
The test translation is also you testing them May 23, 2009

Clearly these strange revisions indicate that the agency in question doesn't choose good reviewers. Unless you really like the idea of continually arguing with them about such things, you're better off without them. It makes sense to stop the relationship after a short test than during a long project.


Local time: 17:58
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

John is right May 23, 2009

I once received a so-called corrected test. In this text, there was a statement that ran along the lines of "You can either do this or that, but not both." The reviewer marking my test wrote: "In English it's neither...nor!!!!" with all the exclamation marks. OK, have a nice day.icon_wink.gif



José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Would you work for an agency that disapproved you? May 23, 2009

Supposedly, you stand by your guns, you trust your work to be good.

If that agency doesn't like your work but, nevertheless, decides to assign you some work, you'll be going for a never-ending haggle over what you consider correct and they think it's wrong.

I understand that it's hard for an agency to get a dependable, unbiased, third-party opinion on someone's translation skill, when they don't know squat about the language involved, and both - evaluator and evaluatee - are trying hard to sell their wares.

When asked to assess someone's translation, I'm extremely honest and objective about what I see, providing specific examples as needed.

I was lucky to get teamed up by an agency with another translator in my pair, so that we rank each other as 'equals'. For over two years we've been swapping roles as translator/proofreader, and our team output is excellent.

Nevertheless, one translation of ours was once seen there by an interpreter who works from a different variant of our target language, and s/he said that it was awful machine translation!


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Scored vs. unscored test translations

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