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700 word test - what do you think about it?
Thread poster: Nick Golensky

Nick Golensky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:08
English to Russian
+ ...
Mar 11, 2011

Recently I have met 2 agencies, which suggested me doing 700 word test 'to check my proficiency'. After I refused and told some ideas what I think about them one of them suggested that if I hadn't been that aggressive they would have offered me some payment for this task, but nothing of such kind had been said to me before I explained myself. The other just wrote that they dismissed my application after my answer. Well, no comments.

Well, you might understand my attitude towards such free of charge tasks, and what are your opinions? I personally would need about 3 hours to complete such tasks, which will cost me 60 EUR (20 EUR per hour + email communication + research on the net + multiple proofreading + some possible consultation with pros). What do you think about such 'small presents' for our 'great agencies'?

I know that this was discussed millions of times, but I just can't help wondering regarding such disrespectful attitudes towards translators.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:08
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tests Mar 11, 2011

Each company is free to establish its own quality-assurance procedures. However, the requirement to complete a unpaid test may not result in the acquisition of the most-qualified translators as they would already be too busy to bother doing unpaid work and the persons completing the unpaid test are (for whatever reason) not busy.



[Edited at 2011-03-11 18:37 GMT]


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Nick Golensky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:08
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
besides, Mar 11, 2011

an idea of payment for a test proves that they wanted me to translate an ongoing project - an 'ideal chance' to check one's skills, don't you find?

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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:08
French to German
+ ...
Reduced rate Mar 11, 2011

Nick Golensky wrote:

an idea of payment for a test proves that they wanted me to translate an ongoing project - an 'ideal chance' to check one's skills, don't you find?


Simply tell them off-hand -and I really mean with your first reply- that you can offer a reduced rate for tests, but that you are not willing to work for free (skip that part, but make it clear).


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:08
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Another approach Mar 11, 2011

Offer them to do the test for your regular fees with the understanding that you would deduct it (or half of it, whatever you see fit) from the first real job they send you.
Katalin


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:08
French to German
+ ...
As long as it is not for free! Mar 11, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Offer them to do the test for your regular fees with the understanding that you would deduct it (or half of it, whatever you see fit) from the first real job they send you.
Katalin


This is actually another possibility to draw a line in the sand.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:08
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Horse pulp Mar 11, 2011

Nick Golensky wrote:

I know that this was discussed millions of times, but I just can't help wondering regarding such disrespectful attitudes towards translators.


Yes, this horse has been beaten to pulp...

I treat tests as an investment - relatively small effort which can bring in new clients. It is much cheaper and more effective than other forms of marketing.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:08
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then... Mar 11, 2011

Nick Golensky wrote:
Recently I have met 2 agencies, which suggested me doing 700 word test 'to check my proficiency'. After I refused and told some ideas what I think about them one of them suggested that if I hadn't been that aggressive they would have offered me some payment for this task, but nothing of such kind had been said to me before I explained myself. The other just wrote that they dismissed my application after my answer. Well, no comments.

My comment is: well, "hasta la vista, baby" to these agencies. If they can't see that 700 words is too long a test, it is just because they are not professional enough. And, may I add that trying to hurt you with clumsy comments speaks lots about how they would treat you in the long run... So it's actually great that they don't want to hire you. It will save you trouble and you will be a happier person.

As for your question, free translation tests are reasonable in our industry, the same way you would not pay to test drive a car you could be buying. Proving that your service is a good one can help you get good customers. However, a good customer will get to know you quite well with 250-300 [carefully chosen] words.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Rudeness costs you clients Mar 11, 2011

Nick Golensky wrote:
After I refused and told some ideas what I think about them one of them suggested that if I hadn't been that aggressive they would have offered me some payment for this task, but nothing of such kind had been said to me before I explained myself.


If you jump to conclusions about clients (or jobs) and are then rude to them based on those assumptions, then you deserve to have lost the client. In fact, if you are rude to a potential client, no matter what, then you deserve to lose the client.

Well, you might understand my attitude towards such free of charge tasks, and what are your opinions?


The fact that you have a strong opinion (or an attitude) towards such tasks doesn't mean you should act with such an attitude towards clients, who are often simply human beings.


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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
French to English
+ ...
Too many Mar 11, 2011

Perhaps you could have offered to do a maximum of a smaller number of words, but 700 is at least twice as long as seems appropriate.

[Edited at 2011-03-11 22:20 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 17:08
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Disrespectful attitudes towards translators Mar 12, 2011

Many translation agencies today employ the QMS=quality management system and require translators to do big test jobs. It is us the translators who establish not to do free big test jobs. We should be honored since we are intellectual workers.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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isarcat
Local time: 06:08
Portuguese to English
+ ...
700 is absurd Mar 12, 2011

Rachel Fell wrote:

Perhaps you could have offered to do a maximum of a smaller number of words, but 700 is at least twice as long as seems appropriate.

[Edited at 2011-03-11 22:20 GMT]


Totally agree. Honestly, who was being rude here? Do you want these people as a client? Having said that, I would have nicely told them the test was too long and nicely offered to do 250. If they said no, then sayonara and have a nicely good day.

isa r


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Ashutosh Mitra  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 15:38
Member (2011)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Sample or the job itself for bonded labours Mar 12, 2011

Very well done!

A clap always comes with two hands being put together. This is something which both the Agency and Freelancer has to understand.

But because of competition(?) among translators, many a times agencies take things for granted. This is wrong practice. One must always remember that if the due respect is not delivered to the Translators then in the long run the agencies will also be suffering..
Because the Translation work is very different in nature as it is a HUMAN work and not done by machines which don't posses Brain and Heart.

So I support fully to what you did to these two...because if they have the choice of translators, then translators too have choices....

God bless the Industry...


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:08
French to German
+ ...
And don't forget to recycle... Mar 12, 2011

the unanswered tests as (profile) samples!

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Nick Golensky  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:08
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
what I have already understood is that Mar 12, 2011

even 100 word test (carefully chosen) speaks a lot about your practical skills, which I am not against of doing. But it will anyway never check your efficiency at tough deadlines/large volumes. And a test maybe be done just by another person, like I can ask or hire a pro for this biz to do it for me just to receive a huge job from a client (like many agencies do, in fact).

Well, there are so many other ways to check one's qualification, like references, sample translations, translations on the net, certifications, accreditations, memberships... ProZ.com itself offers a huge number of such options for decent employers. I wonder why don't they bother to use them? Or are only the translators who work in the industry and do their best?

Gladly, nobody says 700 word tests are awesome, I am fond of them, give me more.

[Редактировалось 2011-03-12 10:20 GMT]


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