Test translation is actually free labour
Thread poster: Jianwu Liu

Jianwu Liu  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:26
Member (2012)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jul 5, 2012

I recently met a translation agency that asked me to do a translation test before offering me a big project. When I got the test documents, I was surprised since the total number of words of the documents is more than 1000. After I sent they the translation, I have never got their feedback. Now I think it's just the company wanted to have free work.
Did anyone have this kind of experience? How to avoid of being exploited?


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 06:26
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Recent work flow Jul 5, 2012

I usually receive request for such free translation.
I both ignore and do small test if I have free time.
It is time to evolve into better situation for translators [if compared with lawyers, doctors etc.]

Soonthon Lupkitaro


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Too many words Jul 5, 2012

Hi Jianwu Liu,

I'm sorry to hear about you having wasted your time like this.

You're right, what you did for them was a free translation. And you were most probably only one of an X-number of translators sought by this agency to get free translations.

The Golden Rule is, although free test translations are common practice, they must never exceed more than 250 to 300 words.

When I started in this business I was sent also a free test translation of about 850 words. I replied that I'd be willing to do 200 words. Every word in excess of these 200 words will have to be paid. I wasn't surprised to never hear from that agency again.

Write it off as learning experience.icon_frown.gif

Regards,
Thayenga


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:26
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Simple! Jul 5, 2012

Jianwu Liu wrote:
When I got the test documents, I was surprised since the total number of words of the documents is more than 1000. After I sent they the translation, I have never got their feedback. Now I think it's just the company wanted to have free work.
Did anyone have this kind of experience? How to avoid of being exploited?

The trick is actually very simple indeed: never do tests that will require more than one hour of work or so. Other alternatives are to charge for the tests, or to have a set of sample texts for any prospects to look at in order to verify your quality.

Translating a thousand words (which probably took you some 4-5 hours of your time) was plain excessive. A good test does not need to be longer than 200 words.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Tahira Rafiq asked to delete the post.

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:26
English to Czech
+ ...
No global rules necessary Jul 6, 2012

I don't think that we're in need to establish some general or global rules for test translations. The following advice by the other ProZians works perfectly:

I both ignore and do small test if I have free time.

The Golden Rule is, although free test translations are common practice, they must never exceed more than 250 to 300 words.

The trick is actually very simple indeed: never do tests that will require more than one hour of work or so. Other alternatives are to charge for the tests, or to have a set of sample texts for any prospects to look at in order to verify your quality.


[Upraveno: 2012-07-06 05:49 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:26
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
No need for regulation Jul 6, 2012

tahira rafiq wrote:
Sorry to hear that outsourcers waste the time of translators in this way. Actually there should be rules and regulations for this problem. Number of words for test translations(200-250) must be fixed.

I do not agree. We do not need regulations on our profession: we simply have to be mature enough to say no to unreasonable business proposals.


 


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Test translation is actually free labour

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