Innovative test translation: privacy agreement.
Thread poster: David Lettieri

David Lettieri  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Japanese to English
Feb 1, 2010

I was recently contacted through ProZ by a small agency asking me if I'd like to do some work for them.

They asked me to do a trial translation, and immediately a red flag went up, having read on these boards about some companies that can use them in very unethical ways. I gave a tentative yes, thinking to look over the test translation before I turn them down.

I look at the test translation, it's about 2 paragraphs, heavy language, but what gets my attention only hits when I'm about halfway through the first paragraph. I'm translating my own confidentiality agreement!

What better way to make sure a translator actually reads that agreement than to have them translate it? Plus it actually is a decent test of ability.

I thought that this was an interesting idea. What are your thoughts?


 

William Pawlowsky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:05
Ukrainian to English
+ ...
Clearly innovative Feb 1, 2010

David,

I think that this is quite a different approach. It would be nice to hear how things work out with these people. Nice to hear there are some who are thinking out of the box.

William
aka Vasyl


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:05
English to German
+ ...
A question: What kind of test translation did you expect? Feb 1, 2010

How to apply lip stick?

David, you absolutely specialize in law, that's apparently what they are looking for. Did you check if they have their own web page with legal text up and running? Maybe that's what they need you for.

Taking tests without payment is at the translator's own risk. However, lately I am a bit appalled by all those voices that make outsourcers sound like the mafia, only out to rip off poor, starving freelancers and making millions by concocting entire books by cobbling all those test translations together.

icon_smile.gif


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:05
English to German
+ ...
One more thing Feb 1, 2010

I have translated websites and press releases for competitors as well. I actually felt flattered and the payment was high-end. They didn't ask for tests, though.

In a nutshell: You are translating some standard legal text, not your death sentence.

icon_smile.gif


Typo...

[Edited at 2010-02-01 12:13 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Our very own conspiracy theory Feb 1, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Taking tests without payment is at the translator's own risk. However, lately I am a bit appalled by all those voices that make outsourcers sound like the mafia, only out to rip off poor, starving freelancers and making millions by concocting entire books by cobbling all those test translations together.

Indeed our society is addicted to urban legends. That is the urban legend of our industry I reckon.icon_smile.gif


 

David Lettieri  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
An answer: something less interesting Feb 1, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

I have translated websites and press releases for competitors as well. I actually felt flattered and the payment was high-end. They didn't ask for tests, though.

In a nutshell: You are translating some standard legal text, not your death sentence.

icon_smile.gif


Typo...

[Edited at 2010-02-01 12:13 GMT]


I know I'm not signing my death sentence, I just thought it was funny to have me translate other documentation that would be sent to me anyway. If it were something that would be directed at someone else or a client, then it would have been "okay, a test, whoopee" but since it was something that I was going to sign anyway it was, "Hah, that's pretty cool."

The company that asked for the test is very small, so I'm a little hesitant, however the nature of the test has me intrigued, and if nothing else warranted a brief bit of thought and "huh, cool" thus they're worth the risk.

While I think the idea of companies cobbling these tests together is a bit far fetched, there is some credence to the idea of them using them as cheap shortcuts.


 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:05
English to Polish
+ ...
good idea Feb 1, 2010

Btw, the restaurant I had dinner at last night boasts a bilingual menu. The Polish text contains a note stating that orders are taken until 21.00, while in the English version the hour is 21.30.

I wonder if the translator would've been so careless if told to translate their own rate!


 

C.M. Rawal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 22:35
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It could be restaurant's own mistake Feb 1, 2010

Hello Krzysztof,

You may ask the restaurant owner when you visit the restaurant next time, and most probably he/she might tell you that they had forgotten to change the timings in the other language.

I have seen such things happen even in big organizations. I recently happened to visit the bilingual website of an important organization known to me, and I was surprised to find that the name of one of the top executives of the organization was different in the two languages because while updating their website they made the change only in their primary language and just forgot to carry out the change in the other language.

So, I think that we should not try to blame the translator for any mistakes or howlers which might have been committed by some other person, including the proof-reader, printer, painter, etc.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:05
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Perhaps it is an easy way for them to assess you? Feb 1, 2010

If it is a small company, they may have simply sent you their own NDA because they already have it in English. Since it is an internal document, it is not available publicly. When they get your translation, they can compare with their own (perhaps double, triple checked, "approved-by-attorneys") version.
I am not saying it is the right way of evaluating a test, but for a small company this may be a method they resort to.
Katalin

[Edited at 2010-02-01 16:17 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:05
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Perhaps all the Polish-speaking wait staff leave at 21.00... Feb 1, 2010

so only English orders can be taken after that. icon_wink.gif

 

Mario Gonzalez  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:05
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Who checks your translation test? Feb 2, 2010

If it is a company that does not understand my target language, why do they believe their checker?, when their comments came back there were several mistakes on the evaluation so my question is, if they trust their checker so much, why doesn't he do the translation?
I will not be doing any more tests.


 

Daniel Erlich  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:05
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
So what is the alternative? Feb 2, 2010

Truly creative what they did, David... I too am impressed.icon_smile.gif

Not to stir the pond, but, well, I'd really enjoy being in a position where I could simply "say no to tests". But what does a fledgling translator do to show clients he has all the competence he claims?
Make a sample translation and hand it out? Does that really have that much impact with clients?

...I'm still feeling lucky for having landed a good outsourcer contact...

[Edited at 2010-02-02 07:49 GMT]


 


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