Non paid tests before getting the job
Thread poster: Maria Toresani

Maria Toresani
Argentina
Local time: 00:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 18

Hi,
I wanted to know how you feel about doing non paid tests previously to getting a job. Because I've done a few in the past weeks and the clients give me very little time to do it and then take a lot of time to tell me if I did get the job, some of them never reply back!!
I was wondering if this happens often or if it's something that happened to me because I accepted to do previous free tests? I also feel like I am doing free work and not even getting an honest, fast answer.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Maria Sep 18

Maria Toresani wrote:
I wanted to know how you feel about doing non-paid tests [before] getting a job.


Some translators refuse to do it, but others consider it a normal risk of doing business.


Maria Toresani
 

Christian Nielsen-Palacios  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:44
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I ask them to FIRST check the 13 samples available in my ProZ profile. Sep 18

Is that too much to ask?

Lynn Fang
Josephine Cassar
Sheila Wilson
Angie Garbarino
yam2u
Robert Rietvelt
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Maria Sep 18

As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a free test, though I understand that sometimes it might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence (in literature or journalism, for instance). I'll be happy to do a short unpaid translation test under several conditions:

1. I’m really interested in working with that client,
2. We have already agreed on price and payment,
3. The test is 300/400 wor
... See more
As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a free test, though I understand that sometimes it might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence (in literature or journalism, for instance). I'll be happy to do a short unpaid translation test under several conditions:

1. I’m really interested in working with that client,
2. We have already agreed on price and payment,
3. The test is 300/400 words maximum,
4. There is no deadline set for the test, so I can do it at my own pace.

I'd rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. Anyway, that’s how I got some of my best clients (direct clients and translation agencies) and some of my highest-paid assignments, but you need to do your homework first…
Collapse


Maria Toresani
Jorge Payan
Lynn Fang
Josephine Cassar
Thayenga
Sheila Wilson
Christel Zipfel
 

Maria Toresani
Argentina
Local time: 00:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Teresa Sep 18

Thank you for your answer.
I find it very useful as this is just my second year on the translation business and really needed your perspective!


 

Robert Such  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:44
Member (Jun 2020)
French to English
+ ...
@ Maria Sep 18

Just wondering, did you send a follow-up email (or two) to the ones who didn’t reply after you sent them your translation?

I did one earlier this week. Still waiting for an answer...


 

Maria Toresani
Argentina
Local time: 00:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@robert Sep 19

Robert Such wrote:

Just wondering, did you send a follow-up email (or two) to the ones who didn’t reply after you sent them your translation?

I did one earlier this week. Still waiting for an answer...


Yes I did! But one told me I have to wait for a few more days (and it’s been more than two weeks already since after sending the test) and others didn’t answer at all.


 

zanzuli
Argentina
German to Spanish
+ ...
Standard Procedure Sep 19

It is very common nowadays, specially if you are a beginner. Turn-around time to receive a reply was 1 year, maybe more, if ever, when I started in 2010. It can lead to very productive commercial relations, but it requires a lot of patience.
About the "free work" issue, it is very rare, so I wouldn't worry about that.
Right now, I would dare to say it is almost impossible to start a translation career without completing dozens of translations tests.
Good luck!


 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:44
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
And Sep 19

Teresa Borges wrote:

As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a free test, though I understand that sometimes it might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence (in literature or journalism, for instance). I'll be happy to do a short unpaid translation test under several conditions:

1. I’m really interested in working with that client,
2. We have already agreed on price and payment,
3. The test is 300/400 words maximum,
4. There is no deadline set for the test, so I can do it at my own pace.

I'd rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. Anyway, that’s how I got some of my best clients (direct clients and translation agencies) and some of my highest-paid assignments, but you need to do your homework first…

I agree with all that Tereza wrote but would like to add that I ask the agency if it will be sending me feedback. Unless I am assured I will receive feedback, I will not do the test as that might show the test will be used as free work/freebie. I've had tests which led to very fruitful working relationships and others which then either fizzled out or which led to nothing at all.


Didi18
 

Souleymane Ba  Identity Verified
Senegal
Local time: 03:44
Member (2019)
English to Fulah
+ ...
Non paid test Sep 19

Most of them are scammers.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:44
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Maria Sep 19

Maria Toresani wrote:
I find it very useful as this is just my second year on the translation business and really needed your perspective!


Aah, well in that case (you're in your second year only), my advice is to keep on doing these free test translations. It doesn't hurt, and it can help you in the long run. Sometimes the client will give you feedback, and sometimes not. Always ask for feedback, but don't be upset if you don't get any. If at all possible, get the PM to agree to a rate *before* you do the test translation (but... don't be surprised if the rate gets lowered later... it may truly be out of the PM's hands). Some translators have a hard limit and refuse to do any words above that limit, but I suggest that you be flexible. A reasonable size for a free test translation is anything that takes you about 30-60 minutes to accomplish (particularly since you're going to be extra careful and put in extra effort with a test translation).


Kevin Fulton
 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 06:44
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
As long as they're evaluated impartially Sep 20

I personally have no problem with free tests. But, unfortunately those tests are almost always evaluated by the agency's other translators working in that language pair and some of these translators may prove to be (rather conveniently) 'incompetent' proofreaders/reviewers or they simply do not want to see 'competition' for the jobs from that agency, and the PMs always take their word it even when you demand an independent third party review.

 

yam2u  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
Condition #3 Sep 20

Teresa Borges wrote:

As I’ve been translating full-time since 1985 I always find amusing when I’m asked for a free test, though I understand that sometimes it might be useful to see how a translator treats this or that particular sentence (in literature or journalism, for instance). I'll be happy to do a short unpaid translation test under several conditions:

1. I’m really interested in working with that client,
2. We have already agreed on price and payment,
3. The test is 300/400 words maximum,
4. There is no deadline set for the test, so I can do it at my own pace.

I'd rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. Anyway, that’s how I got some of my best clients (direct clients and translation agencies) and some of my highest-paid assignments, but you need to do your homework first…


I agree with your excellent response on all points, except that my acceptable maximum word for free test has to be =/< 250 words, my minimum charge wordcount. To me, requests with >250 words is already suspect [of someone trying to cop a free translation] as no one needs more than that just to assess the capability and suitability of a translator.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Non paid tests before getting the job

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2021
One central location to store and manage multilingual terminology.

By providing access to all those involved in applying terminology (such as engineers, marketers, translators, and terminologists), our terminology management solution ensures consistent and high-quality content from source through to translation.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search