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Newcomers: translation tests and (potential) scams
Thread poster: Rita Pang

Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:43
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Jan 28, 2014

They're at it again!

I know it's been said and told before, but seeing that a lot of newcomers are now actively reading this forum I figured I'll warn you all.

I was recently contacted by a PM at this UK-based company who has an assignment for a leading IT company (this turned out to be THE leading company in anything IT- think the most popular search engine available these days, these guys own it). Anyhow, it's for an SEO campaign with this end client and I was contacted for a EN>traditional Chinese project.

Everything seemed fine and dandy and I gave them a reasonable rate and trust me, this was NOT something like USD $0.15 per word- it's a pretty average rate as after reading their Blueboard rating I figured I will keep things "average" as I didn't think I'll get much out of them anyway.

I was then offered a translation test - fair enough. What is unfair is that the translation test has 4+ sections and one of the sections had a word count of more than 2,000 words.

Needless to say, I turned back to the company and said "heck no". Before the actual test, things seemed fine to me.

I am writing here as I want to warn everyone that in case you have received an email these past two weeks about something very similar- be very careful that they might use your hard work and make money on their own.

The purpose of this post is to warn the newcomers the following:

- only work on translation tests if the word count is "reasonable". Some may argue what "reasonable" entails. For me, anything up to 300 words/characters are reasonable.

- a truly reputable company will PAY you for translation tests if they think you are worthwhile. In that case, you might expect a longer translation test.

- do not be fooled by all the fancy admin word play - "deadlines", "48 hours", etc. Think: are you willing to commit to the test? If something smells fishy, say no.

- do not randomly sign documents unless you are fully aware of all legal implications. Watch out for words like "indemnify" - know what it means.

- consider using the option of protecting your work by making a file "read only" when sending it back.

As for other regularly seen scams in the translation community- all newcomers should check out the "scam" forum here at Proz and learn to protect yourself.


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J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 23:43
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
好贴 Feb 3, 2014

Rita Pang wrote:

The purpose of this post is to warn the newcomers the following:

- only work on translation tests if the word count is "reasonable". Some may argue what "reasonable" entails. For me, anything up to 300 words/characters are reasonable.

- a truly reputable company will PAY you for translation tests if they think you are worthwhile. In that case, you might expect a longer translation test.

- do not be fooled by all the fancy admin word play - "deadlines", "48 hours", etc. Think: are you willing to commit to the test? If something smells fishy, say no.

- do not randomly sign documents unless you are fully aware of all legal implications. Watch out for words like "indemnify" - know what it means.

- consider using the option of protecting your work by making a file "read only" when sending it back.

As for other regularly seen scams in the translation community- all newcomers should check out the "scam" forum here at Proz and learn to protect yourself.



这么好的贴,怎么没人顶?


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:43
English to Chinese
+ ...
onboard Feb 3, 2014

I just got a request mentioning 500 words test to be "on board".

I was addressed by name, but, could it still be mass emailing?

When it comes to the test, I will certainly ask for a paid test or it can’t be over 200 words.

But I am under the impression that it won’t come to the test.

Communication often came to an abrupt end when I asked for my best or bare minimum of 0.10$.



[Edited at 2014-02-04 00:49 GMT]


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Ying Wang  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2013)
English to Chinese
+ ...
传说中的优质客户 Feb 3, 2014

前段时间,我也收到过连说明带测试内容加起来长达11页的免费测试稿,拒掉,没商量。

另外有一家客户,测试稿长达两三千字,但是这家客户主动提出支付试译费。我当时就意识到,这就是传说中的优质客户了。事实果然如此!所以,刚入门的新朋友们要有耐心,是你的就是你的。


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James_xia  Identity Verified
China
Member
English to Chinese
+ ...
多一分留意总是好的 Feb 4, 2014

最近不时有类似的新'客户'找上门来,基本不需要理睬。谢谢Rita在新年伊始,给广大急于开拓市场的新人提出的中肯建议~

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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
也很难讲的 Feb 4, 2014

我曾经做过3000字的免费测试。结果这个客户这些年来给我六位数美元的项目了。

有时直接客户不太懂行,他们不知道免费测试一般只限于300字。所以,在收到这样的REQUEST时,你需要分析这到底是什么类型的客户。如果你通过它的措辞感到它是老油条,千万别做。如果你感觉它说得话跟这个行业内通常的说话方式不一样,甚至有很多漏洞,这通常不是骗子就是一流的客户。


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
有时他说是测试 Feb 4, 2014

Ying Wang wrote:

前段时间,我也收到过连说明带测试内容加起来长达11页的免费测试稿,拒掉,没商量。

另外有一家客户,测试稿长达两三千字,但是这家客户主动提出支付试译费。我当时就意识到,这就是传说中的优质客户了。事实果然如此!所以,刚入门的新朋友们要有耐心,是你的就是你的。


其实是想让你认真做。论坛里就有这样一位,说是带稿费的测试,其实是想让我帮他临时应急。一般来说,这种所谓“测试”的稿件,无需找人校对,直接提交给他的客户就可以了。

有些人是干油了在这个行业。

也有的测试,是终端客户要求翻译公司测试的,所以他不是在测试你,而是他正在被人测试。告诉你这是测试稿件,是让你做好一点。


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J.H. Wang
China
Local time: 23:43
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
如果翻译一本书,接受3000字的免费测试还是有合理性的 Feb 4, 2014

jyuan_us wrote:

我曾经做过3000字的免费测试。结果这个客户这些年来给我六位数美元的项目了。




一般情况而言,3000字的测试还是太多了点。


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:43
English to Chinese
+ ...
果然不出所料 Feb 4, 2014

I was offered 0.02$, year round, never ending jobs.
It's been a very long time since I got an email of this nature addressed by name. So this may explain why I got a little over the top.

My response:

I have already got regular clients who are willing to pay me 0.10$, so I am
not looking for less than that rate.
It's never reasonable to ditch higher rate for lower rate jobs unless I am
crazy.

So, Good luck!


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wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:43
Chinese to English
+ ...
Hmm ... Feb 4, 2014

Alan Wang wrote:

I was offered 0.02$, year round, never ending jobs.
It's been a very long time since I got an email of this nature addressed by name. So this may explain why I got a little over the top.

My response:

I have already got regular clients who are willing to pay me 0.10$, so I am
not looking for less than that rate.
It's never reasonable to ditch higher rate for lower rate jobs unless I am
crazy.

So, Good luck!


Alan,

It's none of my business, but still a word of advice. That is not how to write a business letter. Although you're not happy with the offer, you still have to decline professionally.


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Alan Wang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:43
English to Chinese
+ ...
You certainly have a point. Feb 4, 2014

The outsourcer immediately replied that "but if I pay you more than the client rate, I will be crazy".

What's going on, considering the project mentioned belongs to one of the biggest IT giants.

wherestip wrote:

Alan Wang wrote:

I was offered 0.02$, year round, never ending jobs.
It's been a very long time since I got an email of this nature addressed by name. So this may explain why I got a little over the top.

My response:

I have already got regular clients who are willing to pay me 0.10$, so I am
not looking for less than that rate.
It's never reasonable to ditch higher rate for lower rate jobs unless I am
crazy.

So, Good luck!


Alan,

It's none of my business, but still a word of advice. That is not how to write a business letter. Although you're not happy with the offer, you still have to decline professionally.


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Ying Wang  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2013)
English to Chinese
+ ...
倒有这种可能 Feb 4, 2014

jyuan_us wrote:

Ying Wang wrote:

前段时间,我也收到过连说明带测试内容加起来长达11页的免费测试稿,拒掉,没商量。

另外有一家客户,测试稿长达两三千字,但是这家客户主动提出支付试译费。我当时就意识到,这就是传说中的优质客户了。事实果然如此!所以,刚入门的新朋友们要有耐心,是你的就是你的。


其实是想让你认真做。论坛里就有这样一位,说是带稿费的测试,其实是想让我帮他临时应急。一般来说,这种所谓“测试”的稿件,无需找人校对,直接提交给他的客户就可以了。

有些人是干油了在这个行业。

也有的测试,是终端客户要求翻译公司测试的,所以他不是在测试你,而是他正在被人测试。告诉你这是测试稿件,是让你做好一点。


不过我说的这家,项目多、付钱快、程序简单,当属优质客户。可以看得出来,他家的测试稿是标准稿,是被翻译过很多次的。他们提出付费试译,的确是出于合作的诚意。我一点不敢怠慢,虽然,稿子内容我并不在行。我把网上查来的相关资料,包括youtube 上的视频资料都找来看了。最后,PM把译审的意见发回来,说我的译文“impressive”。接着说:你开价吧!多爽快!结果我还是战战兢兢,不敢开高价......

[Edited at 2014-02-04 15:55 GMT]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:43
Chinese to English
+ ...
I'd say that's burning one's bridges for no good reason Feb 4, 2014

Alan Wang wrote:

The outsourcer immediately replied that "but if I pay you more than the client rate, I will be crazy".

What's going on, considering the project mentioned belongs to one of the biggest IT giants.



That's called "tit for tat".

If you really intended to end the conversation with this outsourcer, all you had to do was let them know that the rate is way too low and you're not interested, but thank them for contacting you anyway.

But if not, it certainly wasn't the right way to start a dialog to negotiate.


[Edited at 2014-02-04 22:53 GMT]


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:43
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
2000-3000 字付费试译? Feb 5, 2014

Ying Wang wrote:
他家的测试稿是标准稿,是被翻译过很多次的。他们提出付费试译,的确是出于合作的诚意。

[Edited at 2014-02-04 15:55 GMT]


如果他们认为需要试译2000-3000 字才能看出一个译者的水平,我能想象的只有下列情况:

1)老板是个MBA,而不是LINGUISTS;
2)下边的PM 或VENDOR MANAGER对老板有气,存心捣乱;
3)来钱容易的翻译公司
4)接政府部门的单子的公司。


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:43
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
TOPIC STARTER
很對 Feb 5, 2014

jyuan_us wrote:

Ying Wang wrote:
他家的测试稿是标准稿,是被翻译过很多次的。他们提出付费试译,的确是出于合作的诚意。

[Edited at 2014-02-04 15:55 GMT]


如果他们认为需要试译2000-3000 字才能看出一个译者的水平,我能想象的只有下列情况:

1)老板是个MBA,而不是LINGUISTS;
2)下边的PM 或VENDOR MANAGER对老板有气,存心捣乱;
3)来钱容易的翻译公司
4)接政府部门的单子的公司。


Jyuan 說的很對。

我那故事還有下文呢。我自己推掉上述那個試譯的原因是因為上網找了一下,發現有個俄語翻譯說做了一模一樣的稿子,同一樣的終端客戶,然後石沉大海。我後來跟那個PM說,我們翻譯的時間和心血是很寶貴的,煩請另覓高明,然後請考慮付錢給覓到的其他高明人士,順便把找到的俄語翻譯(不留名的)評論發過去,說你看一下吧。那個PM 馬上回覆,說,你看到的都是誤會,內部問題,我可以付錢給你,付50美金好了。

可能我性子比較沖,這個誤會說法叫人難以信服,而且50大元叫我翻譯2000多字,不划算。


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