Huge Fun on Bidding
Thread poster: HymnLau

Local time: 04:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
Mar 23, 2004

I just get a Email responsing to one bid I have made.

"I received around 70 bids so far and most of them are qualified"...."we start first with 1500 words for example and we give to our clients"....."The project will amount to 20,000 words"....

So far, did u find anything funny ?

70 bidders X 1500 words trial per bidder = 105,000 words >>>>>>>> the whole project volume!!!!!!

Okie, what must be clarified is that I am NOT going to complaint anything including in this Email, I ONLY to share something funny with all Prozers...


chance (X)
French to Chinese
+ ...
Thank you HymnLau for sharing Mar 23, 2004

It is worth sharing this kind of funny message. I think it is a message for 100 recipients.


ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
Another way of calculation Mar 23, 2004

I appreciate HymnLau for bringing the story to everyone's attention! I don't know anything in particular about that company. I am just talking in general. I think we should build a “hall of shame” for those who practice cheating.

I don't remember when was the last time I saw the number of bidding for a single language pair project exceeded 10 on Kudoz. Therefore, why should we believe the numbers 70 and 20,000 in the first place? I guess the total number of the project might be 1,500 only.

Last year, a translation agency Vocalxxx asked me to take a free test. The project manager told me that my resume was impressive and all my references are “more than wonderful”, so she decided to give me something “very difficult” since their test texts were “too easy” for me. What she regarded as “very difficult” was actually an entire 16-section MSDS. Nevertheless, I said “Ok” because I was thinking MSDS was just a piece of cake to me. Finally, I found that I was fooled, but I do believe that the MSDS I translated for that agency has been in good use. Since then, I never take a translation test unless it is paid even if it's only 200 words. Translation agencies with good reputations do pay for such tests.

By the way, in most cases, the “testing system” doesn't work well. Quite often, those so-called evaluators are your competitors and will not provide a fair evaluation but the managers of the agencies would never be aware of it because they don't understand the language. Some evaluators are incompetent translators. Some may be good translators, but they are not familiar with a specific subject matter. Some agencies even ask test-taker A to evaluate B, and ask B to evaluate C because they don't have an in-house translator in that pair and don't want to pay for that evaluator either. In other words, they want a test which is completely FREE! Do you expect any of the A, B or C would "pass" the test? Anyway, I will not work for that type of agencies because I don't think they would survive very long.


Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Wrongful D.E.A.T.H. Mar 24, 2004

I have my fair share with free sample translations too. I did one for an Australian agency and personally I was quite pleased with my work. But apparently the evaluator over their side does not seem to agree with me. The comment I had was "..English is not secure". For Pete's sake, can someone explain to be what that comment was supposed to mean???? "Secure" English???? *roll eyes* If the evaluator cannot even give a proper English comment, I seriously doubt if my work was in good hands. I asked the agency for specific examples but they didn't reply to that. I even requested to send in my previous work so they could do another round of evaluation but instead they sent me another test!!!! Well, guess how the story ended????

To be honest, I started to feel bad and even doubted my own work after that incident. I talked to a few colleagues about it and they encouraged me to ignore that test.

Call it a "wrongful death" if I may.... *shake head*

[Edited at 2004-03-24 06:50]


Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:01
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
There is nothing wrong for us to be skeptical about this practice. Mar 24, 2004

Hello, Everyone!

Great discussion!

This is about sample translation again! I do not have any good thing to say about it. We had a serious discussion on this topic about two years ago. I do not remember anyone in that discussion supported such practice. There might be some successful stories out there, but I have not heard one. What I want to say here is that there is nothing wrong for you to be skeptical about this practice and learn all the skills needed to protect yourself.

I quit doing sample translation long time ago. Last year, an old client of mine asked me to provide a sample translation to his prospect client. I looked at the source text file and did the word count, there were total 3,000 words! I laughed and said to my client that you really did not have to listen though the entire aria before you could tell if you got a good opera singer. I did not do it, and I knew he was mad at me for not helping. I learned later that my simple-minded American client found another sucker and got the sample translation done and delivered, but his “prospect client” never came back for that pending translation job.

Nowadays, whenever people ask me for a sample translation, I send them politely to the Portfolio in my Profile at It is a wonderful and effective showcase of translation skills and capabilities. I encourage those who have not yet set up your Portfolio, please do it as soon as you can.


[Edited at 2004-03-24 08:26]


McKinley (X)
Local time: 04:01
Chinese to English
I'd have to disagree with one point.... Oct 24, 2004

Yueyin Sun wrote:

Anyway, I will not work for that type of agencies because I don't think they would survive very long.

Sorry I have to disagree with this part of your post. I have worked for several agencies who do exactly this, on a regular basis, and one of them is in fact one of the oldest and largest translation agencies in Taiwan.

Therefore, in fact, agencies who do this kind of thing DO survive...

I think it's a disgusting and underhanded practice, but the fact that it happens all the time should not be underestimated, and the fact that many established agencies use this trick to stay in business for many years should not be overlooked.

Translators beware: "test translations" are often used as a way to cheat you out of your work. Insist on being paid for all test translations, even if the test is only 300 words - the agency can afford it.

If not, they are either using your test as a way to lure customers (after which they'll find a cheaper non-native/non-professional translator to perform the work), or the "test translation" is actually the whole project, and they're just stealing your work.


stonejohn  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
There also exists good... Oct 27, 2004

Once one of my clients(had cooperation ever before) asked me to take a trial translation about 3000 words, honestly speaking, I had hesitated, but then I have no project on hand, so I finished it.
I had no hope on this...
However, to my surprise, he did give me a project about 5,0000 words after 10 days and paid promptly.
So, what I want to say is, there also exists bonafide among the majority of our agencies. And I hope to see more and more those good examples.

Thank you all.


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