Poll: Do you generally agree to perform test translations that are more than 250 words long?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 15:59
SITE STAFF
Oct 9, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you generally agree to perform test translations that are more than 250 words long?".

View the poll results »



 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 9, 2015

Not any more. Nowadays, potential clients tend to contact me rather than the other way round, so the ball is in my court so to speak.

 

Mike Sadler  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'll do a test translation of any length... Oct 9, 2015

...so long as the potential client pays me for it. If they are not prepared to pay, then I won't do one, no matter how short.

 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:59
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Generally, no Oct 9, 2015

I'm too busy.

If an offer came along which I was really interested in, then I'd consider it, but generally speaking ... no


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:59
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other! Oct 9, 2015

I no longer do them as a rule! Most of my potential clients come by word of mouth and I get plenty of new clients without taking tests (free or paid). However I might be prepared to do up to xxx words on the odd occasion, if I was really interested in the job...

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Oct 9, 2015

Mike Sadler wrote:
I'll do a test translation of any length so long as the potential client pays me for it. If they are not prepared to pay, then I won't do one, no matter how short.


I can't remember the last time I did a test translation but I'm 100% behind this approach.

If I were starting out now then I suppose I'd do tests for free, but only short ones.

I've assessed plenty of test translations in my time, and you can generally find out all you need to know in the first 30 words, and definitely in the first 100.

[Edited at 2015-10-09 08:53 GMT]


 

ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:59
Member
German to English
+ ...
300 Oct 9, 2015

I find most agencies ask for around 300. I do them occasionally if the perspective client looks legitimate. I have one to do right now, when I get round to iticon_smile.gif

 

Eckhard Boehle  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:59
English to German
+ ...
Other Oct 9, 2015

Just like Mike Sadler - if the test translations are paid, I have no problem to do them. When I am low in orders I am of course prepared to do something to end this condition.
But actually I have been working and working since months now and have rejected quite a number of job offers...
So there's no need for me to do test translations for unknown outsourcers.

But I have to admit that I actually did a paid (!!) test translation for the wonderful outsourcer that is now sending me one order for patent translations after the other.icon_smile.gif


 

Markus Perndl
Austria
Local time: 00:59
Italian to German
+ ...
No! Oct 9, 2015

neilmac wrote:

Not any more. Nowadays, potential clients tend to contact me rather than the other way round, so the ball is in my court so to speak.


That doesn't prevent some potential clients from demanding a free test translation! Yesterday I was contacted by an agency asking me if I was interested in a collaboration. As I agreed, they sent me a text of 300 words to translate free of charge. Isn't this adacious??? I replied that I also would demand a test payment, because I also don't know if the agency would be a good business partner. They sent me a link to their positive Blue Board entries to prove their reliability, but curiously they didn't accept a link to my (also positive) WWA entries... double standards?

By the way: does anybody know a doctor who is offering free test treatments? Or a lawyer offering free test lawsuits? Or any other service provider who is submissively working for free?

Another aspect that clients who are demanding free test translations should consider, is that only translators with poor work load can afford to work for free, but not the good ones.


 

564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:59
Danish to English
+ ...
Now, where is that Like button? Oct 9, 2015

Mike Sadler wrote:
I'll do a test translation of any length...
...so long as the potential client pays me for it. If they are not prepared to pay, then I won't do one, no matter how short.


My thoughts exactly...


 

tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:29
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
rarely Oct 9, 2015

It depends upon client, if he/she is old client then obviously I have to do. Otherwise, I never take more than 200 words test translation.

 

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:59
Partial member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
If paid. Oct 9, 2015

I was once offered a project from a world famous smartphone & tablet company
that has very keen enthusiasts. If you are crazy enough you would happy to translate the whole project for free but the test was 1000 words length though relatively very easy to complete.


I thought a lot about it for along time, and concluded that "Oracle of Omaha" has once said about IT - "Even if they look like good companies, do not invest in what you do not know well."


Do those who ask 1000 words free translation would be good to translators in other ways...?
I was not sure, so I decided not to go there this time.

I still think that could have been a good offer in short term, considering workload and time compared to the number of words, I do not stop you from collaborating with them,

but the fact that they thought 1000word translation may always come free initially was not a good sign for me. (You might want recognition...)


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
no way Oct 9, 2015

Although my portfolio is ready long before, yet mostly I work with direct clients, so I couldn't care less about 'tests', let alone 'free' (for who?).

> if he/she is old client
Come again? If one has got OLD clients he's been quite a time--a couple of years--familiar with in biz, they (even if represent agencies) should already know his best worth. Indeed, sometimes they may want a translator to work in a field out of his expertise, so they provide a sample--not a free test! It's much simpler for interpreters though)


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:59
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
150 Oct 10, 2015

Is not the limit of words I'll accept for a translation test. It's the number of times this question has been in this forum.

[Edited at 2015-10-10 07:12 GMT]


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:59
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Sometimes Oct 10, 2015

if there is a good reason for it. E.g., it is made up of short bits to test various fields or subsets of a field - I only do this if I am really interested, for clients proposing work in my areas of specialisation (at acceptable prices and terms, of course). Or they may test several language pairs - I do accept this, even though I believe that translating is about 1) understanding the source, 2) mastering the target language, and 3) knowing how to translate. Therefore, once I have passed tests, e.g., CZ/FR and EN/CZ, it is not really necessary to test my ability to translate EN/FR, as I have demostrated my ability to understand English, to write in French and to translate. But it is easier to do a bit of test than to explain this to a client.

 


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