Standard test?
Thread poster: Tasshaa Springord

Tasshaa Springord
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:20
English to Amharic
+ ...
Nov 14, 2009

Hi everyone,

I was given a couple of pages full of technical terms by an agency to translate as part of their standard test. Although they said thei translator in my pair wanted to take time off, I did not see my language listed in their website either. This added to my already brewing suspicion I did not want to go ahead with it.

My question is this. Have you ever been given a bunch of technical terms as a test? As far as I know, they should assess my grammar, consistency etc which can only be done with texts with proper sentences.

I am suspicious that they are using me to do the job and get paid for it. They are registered on Proz though.



Anna Haxen  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:20
Member (2005)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Nov 14, 2009

Hi Shita,

I was once given a test that was a list of medical instrument terms without any context at all. It would have taken hours of research to complete. In the end I submitted it with lots of terms missing saying that I couldn't translate them with no context. They chose another translator, as expected, which suited me just fine.


madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:20
Swedish to English
+ ...
Anyone ... Nov 15, 2009

Shita wrote:
They are registered on Proz though.

Can register at Proz for free. Therefore, registration says nothing about a company or if it even actually exists.


Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:20
Member (2008)
French to English
I think this is an unusual test Nov 15, 2009

I have never been asked to do anything like this, and I can sympathize with your belief that its is unreasonably difficult and time-consuming for an unremunerated test, in addition to not being a fair assessment of your ability. In general, any time registering with a company is more time-consuming than usual, whether due to a difficult test or just a long-winded registration procedure, I really want to see a perfect 5 average on the Blueboard with lots of entries before I invest the time. If you are not sure of this company, politely decline the test and refer them to the sample translation on your ProZ page. If you don't have a sample up, now might be a good time to pick one.


Tasshaa Springord
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:20
English to Amharic
+ ...
Thanks Nov 15, 2009

Thanks everyone for your reply and advice.

My only concern was that they were fraud and trying to use me for free. Now I know it is not unusual to test on technical terms. However, along with having an average of 3.5 a very childish kind of update on their profile saying that they are preparing gifts for translators says cheap trick to me.I will follow my intuition and decline.


Local time: 05:20
French to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Nov 15, 2009

I did a small test like this about three years ago for a company which should have been a direct client. Some months later I understood that this was a part of a huuuuge but real job of only technical terms. They already worked with another translator, and I suppose that I should have to be a backup but that I was filtered out because of my price proposal. This was fine to me (I don't need more work but I need more *interesting* work).

[Modifié le 2009-11-16 01:24 GMT]


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:20
Member (2007)
+ ...
I've done a list of terms Nov 15, 2009

I once had to give translations for technical terms and I did my best, giving the translation that I thought would probably be the most appropriate.

Apparently, the tester wanted other terms, which I could have proposed but didn't.

As far as I could see, it was a no-win situation, unless I'd taken hours to give multiple translations for each, along with the circumstances in which I'd use each one.


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