test translation: when are they TOO long?
Thread poster: Carine Dubois

Carine Dubois
Local time: 10:27
Spanish to French
+ ...
Oct 27, 2006

hi,
I was asked by a client to do a 30 word-translation test, the total volume of the translation job being 120 words.
Is this normal? Can we negotiate the length with the client?
I'd like to know some experiences you have in this field,please!

Thanks!

[Edited at 2006-10-27 20:04]

[Edited at 2006-10-27 20:05]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to German
+ ...
Submit as a test what you consider appropriate Oct 27, 2006

Hi Carine,

I was asked by a client to do a 30 word-translation test, the total volume of the translation job being 120 words.
Is this normal? Can we negotiate the length with the client?

Well, you run your own business, so it's up to you to decide what you think is fair, given the circumstances. Why don't you pick one or two relevant phrases, provide them and explain that in your opinion, 30 words is too much, given the short overall job.

(Personally, I consider a test for a 120-word job to be useless - I would simply assign the job and see what happens...)

Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why mess with it? Oct 27, 2006

120 words? Why mess with it anyway? The tiny amount of money you would make on it is not even worth it, plus you always run the risk of not getting paid at all.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Alexandre Coutu
Canada
Local time: 03:27
English to French
When you don't want to do it. Oct 27, 2006

Tests are too long when you don't feel like doing them.

Personally, I avoid them at all costs. On one occasion, a huge agency asked me to write a test and I declined - my experience speaks for itself. And I still got the contract.

On the Internet, companies you have never heard of asking for test translations always make me suspicious. But of course, how else would they choose...

I agree with Ralf.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:27
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
What's more efficient? Oct 27, 2006

You may also want to ask yourself what is more efficient: Simply going ahead and translating those 30 words (2 or 3 sentences?) or entering into a lenghty discussion with the client explaining why you think a 30 word test translation is too long? The latter will certainly waste much more of your precious time.

Apart from that, I agree with what Ralf said - it seems a bit over the top to ask for a test translation for such a tiny job. But if they think they need one... they could hardly cut the test down to five words, could they?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:27
German to English
+ ...
Existing "client"? Oct 27, 2006

Were an agency to ask me for a test with a view to adding me to their database I might consider it, should I wish to establish a business relationship with them.

Were an agency that I had not worked with to ask me for a test (with a view to an immediate [and urgent?] assignment) I would be very careful.

In this case, it seems that your test might have been one of four freebies?

Were a prospective direct client to ask me for a test, then I would give it serious thought and do as many words as I thought would make a convincing impression. Most certainly a lot more than the total volume of this job.

Good luck, and don't worry about saying "Thanks but thanks".

Chris




[Edited at 2006-10-27 22:23]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
French to English
+ ...
Just do it Oct 27, 2006

If you are new you want to prove yourself, do it. When I first started, I did many tests, some of them brought me work some of them did not. 30 words is 3 or 4 sentences long, 5-10 minutes at the most?
If you do Quality work, believe me there will come a time where you will have so much work you won't know where to start. For now just bite the bullet and do the test, you never know. Good luck.
Mireille
(whose fingers are chaffed from typing):)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Manuel Aburto M
Nicaragua
Local time: 02:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
You experience speaks for itself Oct 29, 2006

[quote]Alexandre Coutu wrote:

Tests are too long when you don't feel like doing them.

Personally, I avoid them at all costs. On one occasion, a huge agency asked me to write a test and I declined - my experience speaks for itself. And I still got the contract.

I agree with Alexandre. I remember that a couple of years ago a company asked me to do several tests in order to be added tho this agency rooster.

In the end, I did some reports that the agency was to submit to itsheadquarter.

My point, sometimes agencies take advange of you, so you should learn to tell the difference between these kind of situations.



Manuel


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I would... Oct 30, 2006

CarineMouton wrote:
I was asked by a client to do a 30 word-translation test, the total volume of the translation job being 120 words.


Even if I suspected that the client is trying to get a job done piecemeal, I would still do it. 30 words? Sheesh...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Carine Dubois
Local time: 10:27
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
maybe yes, maybe no! Oct 30, 2006

thank you for all your answers. I guess I was looking for a "magical" answer to be sure I was doing the right thing by accepting or not accepting the translation test.
But this is one of the points we actually have to decide on our own, as this profession is not regulated.

So I will see, depending on my interest in the translation job...and on my mood at this moment!

Thanks again
Carine


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:27
English to German
+ ...
Right conclusion, wrong reason... Oct 30, 2006

Hi Carine,

But this is one of the points we actually have to decide on our own,

Right...

as this profession is not regulated.

...no: because you run an independent business.
You are your own boss, and that involves taking decisions.

So I will see, depending on my interest in the translation job...and on my mood at this moment!

Also known as a 'business decision'.



Best regards,
Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Carine Dubois
Local time: 10:27
Spanish to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'll keep it in mind Oct 30, 2006

You're right, I guess, but sometimes, it's hard to make that kind of decision.
Thanks !


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Mireille K  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:27
French to English
+ ...
Hello Manuel Oct 30, 2006

Manuel Aburto wrote:


I agree with Alexandre. I remember that a couple of years ago a company asked me to do several tests in order to be added tho this agency rooster.

In the end, I did some reports that the agency was to submit to itsheadquarter.

My point, sometimes agencies take advange of you, so you should learn to tell the difference between these kind of situations.



Manuel


So how many "roosters" does the agency have now?:))


Direct link Reply with quote
 

MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 11:27
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
30-120 words? Nov 2, 2006

Well, if the client was really cautious and quality-demanding, how they can judge about your quality from several sentences?

As for test translations, I set the following rules for myself:

1) test translations shall never be "a rush" (the only exception when you agree with the person to have a certain convenient date of delivery just for time planning)

2) a "usual" test translation is around 1-1.5 page (max some 2 pages). if it is over 2 pages ("we have an urgent test translation of 8 pages for tomorrow morning"), just do not even bother replying to such a request.

3) reputable agencies (esp. ISO-certified) sometimes really need these test translations (they have their own quality assurance procedures for new vendors). that is normal. but please check the www of the agency first, esp. for the ISO word.

4) serious agencies offer the test translation done upon your usual rate (as it would be for a real translation). so here the dilemma "to do or not to do the test" is automatically solved. if people are so cautious for quality, they will see no problem paying for 2 pages (as poor quality translation can cost them a lot), even if the result is negative.

5) add the last point as Ralf said - "a business decision" of your own, and making a decision will not be that painful.

Just drop a sentence in your reply "OK, I will do that test translation upon my usual rates" and see what happens next. If people want a free translation as a test translation, they will not bother you any longer

Hope it helps.

Regards,
Marius

P.S. There was a cool advice on the Russian proz forum (just have to dig out the link) - say "OK, I will do that test translation, but I'd also ask you to make a test transfer (who knows, maybe the accountant is not professional and will not have suffucient skills to make the transfer)"







[Edited at 2006-11-02 00:06]

[Edited at 2006-11-02 00:09]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

test translation: when are they TOO long?

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search