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Poll: Do you generally accept to do free translations tests?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:57
SITE STAFF
Mar 23, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you generally accept to do free translations tests?".

This poll was originally submitted by Johanna von der Vring. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
Sometimes Mar 23, 2011

I'm happy to do short (> 200 words) free translation tests, providing we have already agreed on pricing and terms and there is no deadline set for the translation, so I can do it in my own time.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Mar 23, 2011

Been stung before. Usually too busy.

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
Paid tests Mar 23, 2011

A company I work for pays for tests, which I think is fair, unlike one woman who wanted me to do over five hundred words of complicated legal text for free with a deadline ...

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:57
German to English
+ ...
As long as Mar 23, 2011

I have enough to do otherwise, I would put "job subject to free test translation" very low on my work priorities.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:57
Member (2008)
English to Italian
it depends Mar 23, 2011

sometimes it is part of the selection process, but no more than 200 words.
Anyway I do not like free tests which have a deadline "to see if I can work under pressure".
Yes I can work under pressure, when I get paid.
On my computer I have a wide range of free tests that I have never sent, simply because I was busy with some paid work


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:57
English to French
+ ...
No but I used to Mar 23, 2011

I tend to avoid them - I've got qualifications i.e. translation qualifications and years of experience - if I can't be taken on my word then how can I trust the client to pay? After all I did not get my translation degree by doing nothing. I know what I can and cannot do - so unless I'm not busy - I tend to avoid them. Sometimes I do them for fun but I tend not to trust a client who does not trust me, and in my experience, they are the less desirable clients.

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Brannigan
Italy
Local time: 23:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes Mar 23, 2011

I will do up to 300 words but as Gianluca rightly points out, paid work takes precedence. I understand why clients want a sample. I would too.

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Markus Perndl
Austria
Local time: 23:57
Italian to German
+ ...
No! Mar 23, 2011

Normally I don't do free test translations

1) because I think that my university degree and several references are more convincing than the translation of a minuscule text,

2) because I've never met any other service provider (doctors, lawyers, hairdresser, mechanists, ...) who would accept to do a free test of his work, and

3) because with a potential new client I'm also taking a risk, as I don't know if he will pay me punctually (or if he will pay me at all). And I've never heard about a "test payment" of a client.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:57
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Mar 23, 2011

After having done a free test translation of nearly 500 words - I was in my beginner's stage then! - and never heard from that lady again except when others here on ProZ asked questions on the same subject my alleged test translation was treating, I try to avoid them.

Depending on the circumstances and, yes, the outsourcer's reputation, I might agree to a test translation of less or equalling 200 words.

Like Patricia pointed out: I have qualifications, documented incl. Letters of Recommendation, so a potential client should be satisfied with this or perhaps offer to pay a flat rate for any test translation that he or she might need to be convinced of my qualification.

That's my 2 cents.


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Mike (de Oliveira) Brady  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
Happy too do them Mar 23, 2011

I am very happy to do a short test.

In some ways Proz.com job postings that include a short text to translate are better, I think. I can see the subject and complexity of the text and the project manager has a basis for making a selection other than price (and possibly CV if this is requested). A short test can give a good indication of whether a translator will do a good job.

I will also do tests to be added to someone's database if they are not too long.

I did have the annoying experience recently of being asked to do a free test of what looked like part of a longer document. There was a short deadline, which struck me as very odd as this was supposedly to be added to the database - what's the rush if an agency is genuinely looking for good translators? It is good that Proz.com alerts warn members of the site to be alert to this.

I also work for agencies that pay for sample translations when they are bidding for new clients.


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Livia D'Ettorre  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:57
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
It depends Mar 23, 2011

I usually accept short tests, when I am not too busy with paid jobs and I can do them in my own time. However, I have to say that I am becoming increasingly skeptical about them, because so far I only got one client after passing a test (And he did paid me for the test). All the others that said I had passed their test just disappeared.

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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:57
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
yes Mar 23, 2011

I don't mind doing a short test of under 300 words, unless I am too busy. Occasionally they will pay a nominal fee, 20 dollars. I also do editing tests. If i'm too busy but want to take the test, I ask if I can do it at a more convenient time. Usually they're ok with it, they all understand that paid work is a priority!

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sure, why not? Mar 23, 2011

If I'm interested in the job or company why not? Lots of businesses give free samples; I've even visited doctors who don't charge for a first time consultation.

I think in a fairly unregulated industry like ours (and yes, sorry all you purists, this IS an industry) there's good reason to accept doing short tests.

I agree the limit should be about 200-300 words and no deadline imposed. A comment like, "We need this test back urgently", would be a red flag for me.


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Adnan Özdemir  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 00:57
Member (2007)
German to Turkish
+ ...
No, but -rarely Mar 23, 2011

Principally, I do not accept free test translations. But, if the cuscomer offers ''big buffalo'' then I accept it -rarely tambien-. Not more than 200 words!




Saludos desde Anatolia
Anadolu'dan selamlar

[Edited at 2011-03-23 11:41 GMT]


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