Would you take this (largeish) test?
Thread poster: Renate Schipper

Renate Schipper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
May 24, 2016

A recruiter from a big translation agency contacted me, looking for proofreaders for a long-term freelance position to review translations for a high-profile IT client. Workload 5-10 hours per week during an initial assessment period with the potential to rise to more hours per week. (all of which paid by the hour)

He also mentioned a test: 400 words for translation, 200 words for review, and 100 words of subtitling.
I sent him my hourly rates and asked if that test would be remunerated. In a new email he said they could accept "the rates", rather than "your rates", which I found a bit generic and dodgy. This was my first surprise, because I know that this agency used to pay low rates and I have no reason to believe this has changed.

He hadn't answered my question about paying for the test, so I thanked him for accepting my rates and said I would be willing to do part of it for free, but would need to charge them if they required the whole thing. He said doing it partially was no option but that they would pay me €50 if I were to pass their test - another surprise!

This agency isn’t exactly know for paying a fair price and that test piece is pretty big, but it seems an interesting opportunity. Do you think this is fishy, or...? What are your thoughts?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 20:58
English to Croatian
+ ...
It is tailored to "seem" like an interesting opportunity and you are caught. May 24, 2016

This is how it seems to me. I wouldn't do that test but to each their own.

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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends on your situation May 24, 2016

Renate, just ask yourself whether you feel generous with your time, whether you are confident you'll pass the test if it's assessed reasonably, and whether the client does indeed seem reasonable. With these three points in mind, you should be able to make a final decision easily.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 02:58
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
LQA test for IT jobs May 24, 2016

Renate Schipper wrote:

A recruiter from a big translation agency contacted me, looking for proofreaders for a long-term freelance position to review translations for a high-profile IT client. Workload 5-10 hours per week during an initial assessment period with the potential to rise to more hours per week. (all of which paid by the hour)


One Indian eminent translation agency told me to do LQA test for big incoming projects on IT. I need to do on-line test for review, translation and editing that take around 12 hours. I did it partially and said goodbye.
[The agency should be better to honor linguists!!]

Soonthon L.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seconded May 25, 2016

Anton Konashenok wrote:
Renate, just ask yourself whether you feel generous with your time, whether you are confident you'll pass the test if it's assessed reasonably, and whether the client does indeed seem reasonable. With these three points in mind, you should be able to make a final decision easily.

It all depends on the situation. I have done longer free tests in the past when I felt that the conditions and the potential for interesting, long-term work was high.

400 words is a bit long, but not disproportionate if it gives you access to a long-term cooperation. However, 400 free words would be outrageous if it gave you access to a low-pay, low-volume customer.


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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Maybe I know which agency May 25, 2016

and they also accepted my rates, but most jobs they ever offered me were at lower rates. I hardly ever work for them any more - only when I have nothing else to do and the job seems interesting. Do you really want to commit yourself for a large project to such an agency?
As to the extent of the test, yes, it's a bit on the larger side - but is it all in one language pair and in one field? Because if not, that can be a valid reason - I once did about 15 pages of tests for an agency, as they wanted to test several fields and most language pairs (I wouldn't do that again, but maybe we aren't in the same situation - I now have enough work and would not consider a job of the type that was offered to you).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Evaluate the risks and benefits May 25, 2016

You clearly aren't going into this expecting a wonderful job for life; you aren't naïve. So I think it's up to you to decide whether the potential benefits are worth the time, given that you may be wasting that time. Their promised $50 probably won't arrive immediately but will be added to the first invoiced job, making it all worthwhile, if there is ever an invoiced job. If there isn't one, either because they disappear or because the jobs offered are not acceptable to you, then you'll have worked for nothing. Are you willing to risk that or not? As you've seen, many of us have changed over time, depending on how much we need the work. It also depends on what you'd be doing with the time otherwise. Obviously you'd be daft to turn down paid jobs to spend time on this.

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Renate Schipper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll go with my gut feeling: probably not worth it May 25, 2016

Thanks for all your contributions, much appreciated! Because I do know this agency from when I collaborated with another translator and have a hard time believing they'll actually pay my rates, and that that high-profile IT client is an existing client of theirs, I think it's probably not worth my time and energy to take their test.
I'm pretty confident I can pass it, but have no guarantee whatsoever that they'll assess it fairly or that they won't come up with an excuse so they won't have to pay me the 50 EUR. Plus there's the commitment of at least 10 hours a week to take into account (I've brought that up too, asking if they'd be flexible about it but the reply was a bit vague). All in all I already spent way too much time considering it and emailing back and forth! Thanks again


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:58
French to English
+ ...
Dodgy, low rates, not known for being fair, fishy... May 28, 2016

... why would you want to work for such an agency? There are plenty of other good customers out there.

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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 02:58
English to Indonesian
+ ...
I'm pretty sure... May 28, 2016

... the end client is an advertising company in Mountain View. It boasts the second highest market capitalisation in the world. The jobs are incredibly demanding. If I wasn't a hater, I'd go for it anyway, because of the sheer volume.

Cheers,

Hans


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