Should I take the test?
Thread poster: Patricia Pita (X)

Patricia Pita (X)
Local time: 09:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mar 12, 2003

Hello all,

My name is Patricia and I\'m new here at Proz. I just moved to the UK and I’m in the process of trying to get clients. I have sent hundreds of CVs, completed the never-ending on-line forms and to be quite honest I haven’t been lucky at all.

I state in my CV that I’m willing to take “short translation tests” and today I received my first. The text is part of a computer game manual and it has 1.100 words divided in three sections: game preview, tech. specs and an entire page of instructions.

Do you think this test is too long or is the company trying to determine the quality of the translation in different areas?

I would appreciate your input on this, since I’m a bit lost.

Thank you


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:43
English to German
+ ...
Search the forums Mar 12, 2003

Hi Patricia,

Leaving aside the (much discussed) issue of whether test translations really make sense, this sounds a bit much.

Search the forums for \"test translation\" - you\'ll find bundles of threads dealing with this issue.

Best regards, Ralf


Nina Snoj
Member (2004)
Spanish to Slovenian
+ ...
I wouldnt do it.... Mar 12, 2003

...unless the project contains 40.000 words or something similar.

I have once heard of agencies that get free translations by using the test method.For example, the file has 5000 w so they look for 5 translators to which they give each one 1000 a test.

Tell them that a reasonable test normaly contains 150-300 words and see what they say.

All the best,



Sonja Tomaskovic (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:43
English to German
+ ...
Too much Mar 12, 2003

Hi Patricia,

I think that 1 100 words are far too much for a test translation.

If I where you I would contact the agency and negotiate something around 300-400 words, or - if they insist on this wordcount - ask them to pay a small fee for it, since the majority of test translations are somewhere around 300-400 words, and there are only a couple of agencies that ask for more.

Kind regards,

Sonja icon_wink.gif


Mike Osman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:43
Member (2013)
English to Somali
+ ...
it sounds a bit much but... Mar 12, 2003

if you have the time to spare to do it then you should just do it.

After all I know a lot of people translate much larger documents for free just to get the experience or for non-profit organisations.

If you don\'t get work out of this company after that, at least you can put this on your resume as a project you have worked on.

Good luck


Patricia Pita (X)
Local time: 09:43
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thank you all Mar 12, 2003

I have called the company and they agree the test is too long (they told me it was a mistake) and reduced it to 300 words.

Nothing like talking eh?

I\'ve been translating for 10 years now and sometimes I think I\'m still a bit naive!

Again, thank you all for your help.


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