Translation Test
Thread poster: Maria Teresa Navarro

Maria Teresa Navarro
Local time: 16:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 9, 2011

I recently offered a quote as an English-Spanish translator, and the agency is asking me to translate part of a bilingual glossary as a test. I thought I was going to be given a full text to translate. Is this normal?

Thanks in advance!


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Juan Manuel Macarlupu Peña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 16:51
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
NO! Aug 10, 2011

That is NOT normal and you should not do it. Besides, How will they be able to tell if your answers are correct or not when words in glossaries have no context?

Remember that whenever you take a test translation (if you want to) it should be a short 200-300 words text that is a whole unit. Glossaries are not, it sounds like everyone who is taking the test will be getting a part of it and the company will have the glossary translated for free, and nobody will get the job.

Good luck!
Regards,

Juan Manuel


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Rebelo Júnior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:51
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Do you know the agency? Aug 10, 2011

Maria,

I partially agree with Juan Manuel, considering that translation tests are normally small texts to be translated into a given target language, but I think you should consider agency reputation (or your own previous experience with this agency, if any), before decide what to do.


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Maria Teresa Navarro
Local time: 16:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You are right! Aug 10, 2011

Thank you guys! That´s what I was thinking. Even if they wanted me to translate /make up a glossary prior to the translation, I would need the context in order to do a proper job, and for that I would have to be paid, right?.

As regards the agency itself, I´ve never worked for them, but according to the Blue Board, it has got a 5 /5 record.

Anyway, I think I am not going to take any chances. Probably they just want me to translate their glossary, or part of it, for free!

Thanks again!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:51
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I would have on objection, but... Aug 11, 2011

Maria Teresa Navarro wrote:
I recently offered a quote as an English-Spanish translator, and the agency is asking me to translate part of a bilingual glossary as a test.


Well, although I would have no objection if the list is short, it is important to remember that the point of a test is to test the translator's ability in translating the actual text, and no client will be able to judge your ability to do that based on your translation of a glossary.

If the client simply wants to see if you know what the appropriate terminology is, then that would be a valid reason for this "test", but I would not translate more than 10-20 terms, for a test.


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SUBRAMANIAN RAMASWAMY  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:21
English to Tamil
+ ...
Mostly not a real test. Aug 11, 2011

I had a similar occasion. I declined to translate a sample . However after seeing these forum posts people are cunning enough to distribute 200- 250 words per translator and get their job done free. They talk about ethics and all but never ever respond thereafter. This idea of 10-20 words sounds good

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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 16:51
French to English
+ ...
ask for a part of the text Aug 13, 2011

You could also ask to be given an excerpt or an entire document related to the glossary as reference material.

If they refuse, I have to say, it doesn't sound, even if this agency has a good record.

How many words did the agency ask you to translate for your "test?"


[Edited at 2011-08-13 08:03 GMT]


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veratek
Brazil
Local time: 16:51
French to English
+ ...
oops Aug 14, 2011

If they refuse, I have to say, it doesn't sound good,

(corrected)


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Maria Teresa Navarro
Local time: 16:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Number of words / Sample Text. Aug 15, 2011

Their glossary contained 80 entries or so (some of them were single words while others were phrases).

So I asked them for a sample text containing some of the words included in the glossary, so that I could translate it for them and they could have my expertise tested.

Anyway, I never got an answer from them!!!

So now I am sure they were just trying to get the job done for free!

Thank you all guys for your comments and support!


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:51
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
You never know Aug 31, 2011

Maria Teresa Navarro wrote:

Their glossary contained 80 entries or so (some of them were single words while others were phrases).

So I asked them for a sample text containing some of the words included in the glossary, so that I could translate it for them and they could have my expertise tested.



If it's a combination of 80 words and phrases, possibly. However, from the agency's POV, perhaps they just don't have the time to "edit" the template and send a test that answers to your questions about the template.

I don't do test translations, but two of my main clients did require a test. They were both really short- one is a translation of a diploma (less than 200 words). I'm with them still and they are great clients. So you never know.


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Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:51
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, do a translation test ... Aug 31, 2011

... and put it on your PROZ profile.

So, if someone asks to do a translation test, simply say to "refer to a test on my profile on site

http://www.proz.something/my_test-profile

(or alike)".

If they accept it, you are done. To answer "why are you referring such test?" simply say that you have a lot of service to do.


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:51
French to English
+ ...
Rule of thumb... Sep 1, 2011

I would say that providing a glossary as a test is unusual unless the actual job is the translation of a glossary (bearing in mind that e.g. sections of localisation files can sometimes look like glossaries).

My rule of thumb is that most test translations should require minimal if any research. If a test requires a lot of research, then it's either too far from my specialisation for me to comfortably take it on, or else it's too atypical of the overall text to be a fair test. (There could well be a 100-word passage that requires 3 hours of research which I'll happily do IF I'm awarded the 20,000 word job, but not as a "test".) And I guess I would apply this same criterion to a test consisting of part of a glossary/localisation file.

[Edited at 2011-09-01 09:15 GMT]


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