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sample translation of more than 1000 words
Thread poster: PRAKASH SHARMA

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:22
Italian to English
Do as the Grange Hill kids sang, and... Nov 9, 2009

... Just Say No. 1000 words is too much. I was under the impression that 300 words are generally considered the maximum number.

 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:22
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Set limits Nov 10, 2009

I will tell agencies that ask for long test translations that:

1) I will do a maximum of 300 words for free

2) Since its unpaid work, even that will have to wait until I have time. Of course, if I have nothing to do today, that means now. But sometimes it never gets done, because I'm not free

3) I tell them that for over 300 words I will charge my regular rate, but that if they certify its not going to be resold they can take it as a credit towards a late
... See more
I will tell agencies that ask for long test translations that:

1) I will do a maximum of 300 words for free

2) Since its unpaid work, even that will have to wait until I have time. Of course, if I have nothing to do today, that means now. But sometimes it never gets done, because I'm not free

3) I tell them that for over 300 words I will charge my regular rate, but that if they certify its not going to be resold they can take it as a credit towards a later Invoice. I've never had anyone take me up on it though.

Sometimes agencies will respond and say to just do the first 300 words.

The other side is that if an agency needs more than 300 words to evaluate a translator, then that raises the question of the agency's competence. A properly trained and experienced examiner can pretty accurately assess a translator within 100-200 words. Some of the toughest exminations for certification are only a few hundred words long.

I would like to say I don't do tests, but some of my best clients have come via the test route, so I can't say they are useless.
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Brandis (X)
Local time: 00:22
English to German
+ ...
It is not usual in the practise.. Nov 10, 2009

PRAKAASH wrote:

Dear friends,
I have recently found a job wherein sample text for translation has more than 1000 words. This is the first time, I have seen any such sample. Is it something common in your language pairs? I have quoted for same as I am free, yet thinking, if it would be good enough translate 2000 words for 'free' as professionally, I do translations in both languages that the job poster has mentioned.
Please share your views.
One more small issue, I am not able to select 'Business Matters' as the desired Forum, the displayed message says that either it is restricted or it doesn't exist. I am a paid member of proz.com, so it it is restriction, I don't feel it as justified to deny me access to any forum. I request moderators to please look into the matter and respond me to my email address.
Thanks to all of you in advance!
PRAKAASH
Hi! Consider the amount of time you would need to do that size sampling. Usually around 200 - 220 is the usual practise. Anything beyond this makes the translation valuable and should be charged. Brandis


 

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:22
German to Spanish
+ ...
Sample translation of more than 1000 words" Nov 10, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

200 wisely chosen words are more than enough to establish the professionalism and attention to detail of a translator. After a good result, if you add responsiveness and qualifications you get a good translator.

A 1,000-word test is not necessary at all. Don't accept such long tests unless they are paid like any other job. The fact that an agency asks for 1,000 words is either A) the agency is not able to prepare and evaluate a good test, or B) the agency wants 1,000 words translated for free!


I agree with Tomás. Do not waste your time! As I said in another post a few minutes before:

Each one must take the decisions that considers opportune for his business. But, with more than 30 years in this sector, I can explain you which has been my own experience so far : I never received an interesting work form agencies who had requested me for an unpaid test.

Serious companies send you a slightly extensive, but full paid translation to do. If they think you are what they are looking for, they will call you back. If not, they will forget you. Our time (time is money...) is the only real thing we own. Therefore, I think that there does not exist any valid motive for giving it to the others for free, unless we take consciously such decision.


 

Ivana Bojcic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Member (2011)
German to Croatian
+ ...
500 words Feb 8, 2016

...I just got asked from one agency to do a test translation for 500 words. For free.
They didn't want to accept my offer of 200 words for the test translation, although I don't do test translations anymore at all.
This industry is getting more and more disappointing.

Sorry for my bad English.

[Edited at 2016-02-21 17:06 GMT]


 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:22
English to German
It works both ways Feb 8, 2016

I agree that 1000 words for free is too much.

However, the agency is not only assessing the translator, the translator is also assessing the agency.

I want to work with agencies that communicate in a friendly and respectful manner, that are indeed interested and knowledgeable about translation and not just in it for the money, and asking for impossible deadlines etc. Good agencies will know that translating 1000 words takes quite some time and will therefore not ask fo
... See more
I agree that 1000 words for free is too much.

However, the agency is not only assessing the translator, the translator is also assessing the agency.

I want to work with agencies that communicate in a friendly and respectful manner, that are indeed interested and knowledgeable about translation and not just in it for the money, and asking for impossible deadlines etc. Good agencies will know that translating 1000 words takes quite some time and will therefore not ask for such lengthy and time consuming tests as they probably know that good translators will not do that because they are busy on paid translations ... and while they are busy with insisting on and assessing their lengthy tests, their competitors are snapping up the good translators ...

Just my thoughts



[Edited at 2016-02-08 11:35 GMT]
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Ivana Bojcic  Identity Verified
Croatia
Member (2011)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Parallel Universe? Feb 19, 2016

I just received an email from one German agency. They want me to do the test translation within several fields of expertise, which is more than 2000 words in total.

They don't want to accept any compromise. They just want LOTS of translation tests to be done, so they can assess the best candidate.

What do you think about this? Is this normal?

[Edited at 2016-02-19 16:18 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Blatant abuse Feb 19, 2016

Ivana Bojcic wrote:

I just received an email from (DELETED ON REQUEST). They want me to do the test translation within several fields of expertise, which is more than 2000 words in total.

They don't want to accept any compromise. They just want LOTS of translation tests to be done, so they can assess the best candidate.

What do you think about this? Is this normal?


This is like going to a car dealership that is offering a test drive, and tell them that you'll be taking such a car on a week's vacation by the (distant) beach with your family, so you can really test it thoroughly before buying. Of course, you'll require fuel vouchers, as well as a toll-free phone number to call (free!) roadside service in case you have any trouble.

Tell them that you'll take such an extensive test only if you get paid your (not their, if any) full rate. It's up to you, if you wish, to offer a discount equivalent to - part or whole - what they pay you for the test, using up to 50% of what you get paid in your first 2-3 assignments with them. Test payment should be 50% up front; the remainder 50% COD - so you'll share the risk - BEFORE you start actually working for them.

This should either put them on the track to reality, or make them seek another patsy to provide them with the free labor they are trying to get.

[Edited at 2016-02-19 20:26 GMT]


Justine Yen
 

Seamus Moran
Ireland
Local time: 23:22
German to English
+ ...
Similar request Jan 17, 2017

I had a similar request after much to-ing and fro-ing with an agency. I flatly said no (they were also being stingy in terms of payment for Trados fuzzy matches) and said that I usually do not do translation tests that exceed 200-300 words and, where possible, they should be paid.

 
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