KudoZ, jobs and translation tests
Thread poster: Deschant

Local time: 03:42
May 13, 2007

It is not the first time that I've experienced the following scheme at ProZ:

1) Outsourcer posts job asking for quotes.

2) Outsourcer sends a translation test to the people who applied (or sometimes even posts the translation test with the job).

3) People post KudoZ questions related to the translation test without marking them as such.

I must reckon that this behaviour annoys me a little. I'm NOT opposed by principle to asking questions from translation tests (I have answered to a number of them) but can't they just be honest and select the "translation test or homework" option?

Moreover, isn't that counterproductive in itself? If the outsourcer has posted a job in ProZ, chances are that he visits KudoZ as well, and he would be able to know which translators aren't able to complete his translation test (let alone the job) without the help of colleagues - and I'm not talking about particularly complicated terms, some of the questions I've seen to this regard are very simple ones. Moreover, other colleagues doing the same translation test could use the same term which was proposed to the asker - so the outsourcer would receive a number of translations which resemble suspiciously.

Do you think we should contact a KudoZ moderator when we see that?

[Editado a las 2007-05-13 17:37]


Monika Jakacka Márquez  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Member (2006)
Polish to Spanish
+ ...

my point of view May 13, 2007

emoreda wrote:

Do you think we should contact a KudoZ moderator when we see that?

In my opinion - YES.

I'm a KudoZ moderator and I consider that a KudoZ question taken from a homework or a translation test should be marked as such. This is also what the KudoZ rules say

("2.9 Labeling of certain types of questions is required. Term questions that are either derived from a translation test, or which contain content that may be perceived as offensive by others, should be marked using the checkboxes provided in the posting form. ")

Best regards,



Heidi C  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
True May 14, 2007

Funny, it just happened to me...

I did a translation sample in a job posted here, and just yesterday someone changed the phrase a little bit and asked for help without stating it was from a test.

Thought about commenting that it was part of a test and should have been noted so, but then decided I have better things to do with my time and energy.


Ruth Luna  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
good to know! May 14, 2007

Hi everyone,

I am new to this community, and in the whole month that I've been hereicon_wink.gif it never occured to me that fellow translators would do this kind of cheating.

Whenever I saw KudoZ questions labeled as Test/homework question, I naively assumed this was a student willing to improve her/his performance.

Thank you for pointing this out, I will certainly pay attention from now on.




Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sigh... May 14, 2007

Hi Eva,

People do this at their own risk.

I used to serve an agency as a consultant on new translators. I would be sent the test translation texts, so you can imagine what went through my head every time a sentence or phrase from one of those texts appeared.

It also depends on the question. Sometimes I saw them on monolingual combinations indicating that they had already been worked on and that an attempt at a fine-tuning was being made. I tended to appreciate this.

However, as I said, people do this at their own risk. Just think, what IF your corrector was on KudoZ, or even a KudoZ moderator?



Local time: 03:42
Reply May 14, 2007

Ruth Luna wrote:
Whenever I saw KudoZ questions labeled as Test/homework question, I naively assumed this was a student willing to improve her/his performance.

Well, it is assumed that Test/homework may denote:
-A student working on an assignment for college/university
-A professional translator working on a translation test sent to him by an agency to evaluate his skills

Both of them are perfectly legitimate (in my view), but only as long as the question is labelled as "test/homework".

Moreover, I don't want to get paranoid and see colleagues cheating everywhere, but when you have received the same text within the last few days, the term and the context are exactly the same... well.

@Parrot - that was exactly my point. I don't think I would even post a question regarding a job which has been posted in KudoZ before, a simple logical deduction would tell me that the outsourcer/evaluator may see it, or that other colleagues taking the same test may see it as well (maybe I'm being too competitive here).

[Editado a las 2007-05-14 08:33]


megane_wang  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's EVEN worse than that May 14, 2007

emoreda wrote:

3) People post KudoZ questions related to the translation test without marking them as such.

Do you think we should contact a KudoZ moderator when we see that?

Hello emoreda,

I've seen quite a few but the real point is that they don't apparently ask for that while they are doing the test, but after the assignment has been given to them. Sometimes the words "you know so well" appear followed by a series of others related to the subject.

This makes me crazy, since I understand that:

1. They asked for a job they could not do

2. They did not do the test right. In fact, in at least one of the cases I have spotted, that translator HAD NOT UNDERSTOOD what the text said.

3. Don't tell me why, they got the job. Most probably just because they quoted it SO cheap.

4. Other people who actually deserved getting that job are requested to help "buona fide"...

I don't hesitate to help anyone, but sometimes I have seen real abuses of the system (people who promised to do a "translation for Mexico" and then asked for a long list of terms "please for Mexico" without even providing a translation attempt, people who asked for whole paragraphs a of a technical translation phrase by phrase...).

After all, though, I groan a while for myself and simply skip those questions; I know that time puts everyone where they deserve. It takes time, but it happens.

Best luck !!

Ruth @ MW


megane_wang  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Once I had the temptation of answering ... May 14, 2007

megane_wang wrote:
After all, though, I groan a while for myself and simply skip those questions...

Or not? Once I had the temptation of answering ...


I would have written it in Spanish, and it would have looked quite heavier, I swearicon_razz.gif

Ruth @ MW

[Edited at 2007-05-14 13:59]


Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 19:42
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Funny, I think this is a recurring thing... May 14, 2007

.....'cause I've seen a lot of projects designed for Mexico / US-residing Spanish speakers (whose Spanish is closest to that of Mexico or Latin America) and the following KudoZ questions. But even worse...I've seen people re-outsource jobs on ProZ (that is, they bid for a job and then they outsource it at a lower rate in order to make a profit.....for not doing anything)!

But here's the real kicker. I don't know if you remember this one, but there was a job in which the outsourcer asked both for Mexican Spanish AND knowledge of technical terminology regarding ships. I didn't apply because I sure as hell didn't know anything about ships, but the post got dozens of replies anyway. The result? We get all these ship-related questions on KudoZ (I skipped all of them once I noticed) the next few days. Coincidence? Given that we get those extremely rarely and suddenly we were getting a bunch of them from different people, I don't think so!

And I actually agree with emoreda wholeheartedly. One thing is asking for one term in a job that you applied for. Another one is asking four from the 40-word sample test. Or even one, for that matter. A sample test is designed to evaluate your skills against other translators, and going on KudoZ might not be quite cheating, but it's certainly bending ethics as far as they go before they break.


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