Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Translation tests and best clients
Thread poster: Pro-Trans

Pro-Trans
France
Local time: 20:52
English to French
+ ...
Aug 20, 2007

Hi !
I have applied to a few translation agencies lately and almost all of them have required translation test.
I really don’t like doing these free tests as I have already done lots of them. I have passed most of them but I have noticed one thing: my best clients are never the ones I did tests for.
I receive too many tests to do at the moment and I start being sick of it as I don’t have the time to do free translations.
So, I really wonder about the need of doing free translation tests if the agency requiring a test will only send me work once every 6 months… whereas my most regular clients never asked for tests!

What do you think about this?
Are your best clients the ones you did tests for at the beginning? Or have your best clients never asked for a test?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sybille  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:52
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
The same as you experienced Aug 20, 2007

Best clients start right up with giving you a job. The ones who asked for test translations do not send you jobs or, as you say, very rarely.

Sybille


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:52
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
I do test translations Aug 20, 2007

I do test translations when potential clients require that.

One of my best clients required several tests (one for each of my language pairs and also QA tests because I offer QA too). They also gave me extensive feedback on my tests.

Of course, I have also done numerous tests for agencies that never assigned a project to me even though I passed their tests. Sometimes, I've had a feeling that they didn't even read my translation. On the other hand, if an agency takes the trouble to prepare and assess a translation test (which is time-consuming and not for free), one could expect that they are seriously interested in the new collaboration.

I believe sample texts of up to 300 words are okay. If the text is suitable, it will show your skills on this volume. If the text is not suitable, a larger word count wouldn't be of much help.

[Edited at 2007-08-20 12:14]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 21:52
English to Russian
Indeed Aug 20, 2007

My best client (just one) said, that free test is not required and sent small paid job (some 4k), it was thoughly checked and they gave me extensive feedback. I belive I passed.
But all others required free test.
C'est la vie

[Edited at 2007-08-20 12:16]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paula Delgado  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I don't do test translations Aug 20, 2007

I did in the beginning but now I have agencies contacting me for tests and I simply say that I don't have time, which is in fact true.

I have enough clients and I never had to do any test for them. And regarding those tests I did some years ago, I got messages saying that I passed in the tests but then I never got any job.

Forget about tests, only do it if they are payed. That's my policy now.

Regards,
Paula

[Edited at 2007-08-20 23:13]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Claire Titchmarsh  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
Italian to English
+ ...
You said it yourself.... Aug 20, 2007

your most regular clients never ask for tests. Agencies who have the time to test a whole bunch of translators are unlikely to have a lot of immediate work.

I occasionally outsource jobs and although I asked for tests a couple of times in the past, they weren't really any help at all because the only thing I want to know is whether the translator can perform under the pressure of a real deadline.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
If they reply, hook them! Aug 20, 2007

Pro-Trans wrote:
I have applied to a few translation agencies lately and almost all of them have required translation test.


Most of the agencies that I contact, don't even get back to me. So when an agency does reply and require a short translation test, I'm happy to comply. This is not desperation -- it is simply a case of nurturing your mailsend response.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
English to French
+ ...
To test or not to test... Aug 20, 2007

In my (relatively small) group of "best clients", it's a half-half situation: for some of them, I did a test, for others, I didn't.

There's even an agency for wich I did a test back in 2005, but only gave me feedback a year later! And guess what? They are now in the "best clients" category: professional, payment on time and regular work.

I have declined tests on a couple of occasions, offering samples instead. The agencies, in turn, declined my samples... oh well!

In the end, I think you need to make that decision based on your own specific situation. Do you have time to do the tests? Do you feel they are worth it? If so, I'd say go for it, you never know...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 13:52
English to Russian
+ ...
I did, big ones Aug 20, 2007

For all 4 of them. Never needed a 5th one in the last 8 years:-).

Just watch who asks for those tests and what is there to fight for. Don't do tests requested in every email you get.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 21:52
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Look for content Aug 20, 2007

IreneN wrote:
Just watch who asks for those tests and what is there to fight for. Don't do tests requested in every email you get.


I agree with Irene - if you do decide to do a test then do it if its worth fighting for. My best clients are those with no tests while my favorite client came with a test, so its never black and white.

In general I tend to ignore those who offer me to do tests because most of them never come back with normal work offers or make up excuses why they cant accept me (like due to one comma or other ridiculous things like that).

Stella


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
A mix Aug 20, 2007

Some of my best clients required tests, but a few did not.

I only agree to free tests if 1) I'm having a slow day, 2) I've already established that my rates are acceptable to the client, and 3) if the test is no longer than 200 words. Anything longer has to be paid for.

Actually, I've done slightly longer tests for literary translations, which makes sense I think.

[Edited at 2007-08-20 17:27]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
French to English
Also a mix Aug 20, 2007

Just to add to the crowd of those saying - some have become good clients, some I've never heard of again.

So don't necessarily be discouraged...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:52
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
tests, best clients Aug 20, 2007

Before doing a test, I research the agency to see if they have the kind of work I'm interested in doing and what they usually pay. In other words, I only do tests for potential "best clients."



Direct link Reply with quote
 

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 21:52
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
almost like a rule Aug 20, 2007

It was well noticed - all those clients who really want a job to be done, they simply order a job. And no worries - they have their own quality assurance system (if you are their new vendor). Those who want to test the translator BEFORE giving jobs, well, they could possibly not have their own quality control system. So, a question - what sense does the test translation make then? And also one more question - why a test translation shall be done for free? Imagine a free-lancer who wants to get established sending numerous proposals to agencies and getting dozens of free tests to do. 1 page, 2 pages, and it adds up into a turnaround of the whole working day or week to give a proof of one's skills. So, why, dear people, you speak with a person about cooperation - a person whom you do not trust and a person who has to prove that you can really trust him/her (free of charge)? Also - if you, dear people, are SO cautious and serious about quality, why cannot you pay those dozen of euros, dollars, pounds to the test maker to make him/her feel more comfortable and motivated to do the test upon his/her usual rates? Serious, so serious serious and serious about quality, such a smart, huge and reputable agency, but want people to work for free??? Why? Who invented the rule that the test translation shall be done for free?



[Edited at 2007-08-20 23:02]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
This may vary by language pair Aug 21, 2007

I suspect that tests are requested more often in the more common language pairs and less often in the obscure ones.

For instance, I don't think anyone has ever asked me to do a Catalan-English test.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Translation tests and best clients

Advanced search







PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



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