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Poll: Do you accept test translations?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:03
SITE STAFF
Dec 8, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept test translations?".

This poll was originally submitted by Robert Daraban. View the poll results »



 

Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 19:03
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
depends Dec 8, 2017

I accept test translations when they are either paid, or when they are very short and the agency/client is dangling a mighty fine carrot in front of my nose.

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:03
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Dec 8, 2017

I don't mind test translations as long as they are reasonably short and do not come with a deadline.
As a client, I would want to be able to judge the competence of the translators I work with, and as a translator I prefer test translations to providing references, because I recon most of my clients are busy enough without having to provide references for me and others.


 

Arahman84
India
Local time: 22:33
English to Arabic
+ ...
on test translation Dec 8, 2017

I do accept it but it should be paid , further it builds your credibility in the eyes of your client

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:03
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Dec 8, 2017

I'm happy to do a translation test (paid or unpaid), providing we have already agreed on price and payment and there is no deadline set for the test, so I can do it at my own pace. I would rather do a translation test for free than sending diplomas, references and the like and having to fill endless forms. Anyway, that’s how I got some of my best clients (direct clients and translation agencies) and some of my highest-paid assignments.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Kind of Dec 8, 2017

I like to think every translation is a test translation

[halo emoji]

But actually, no. I don't get out of bed for less than my minimum charge, darling.


 

Concepción Martín  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Member (May 2018)
English to Spanish
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


I don't trust anymore. Dec 8, 2017

I think it is reasonable for the client to check whether the translation style is right for him. However, with the experiences I've had in this regard, I have the feeling that with many tests a translation is completed and only needs to be proofread...

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:03
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Yes Dec 8, 2017

Yes, and I find it quite fun.
I do free test translations to up to 300 words, if I think it is worth it.

And actually, the quality of the test and the way it gets evaluated provides me with valuable information about the agency.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:03
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I don't mind Dec 8, 2017

I'm happy to do free tests for most agencies I work with, in that they are good friends (most being former colleagues at the agency I used to work at). At max 200 words I can get it done in a jiffy. The test is often part of the future translation, which is paid for as part of the job, provided the end client chooses the agency. Being reasonably confident that my work is good, I can thus be reasonably confident that I'll get the job. It happens often enough for me not to mind the few times it doesn't.
The test does have to be well within my comfort zone though. No venturing into new waters nowadays, my comfort zone is large enough to keep me in work.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:03
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No - I don't have time Dec 8, 2017

I'm too busy translating.

 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:03
French to English
On occasion, yes. Dec 8, 2017

I have no qualms about a potential client wishing to see if the work I do suits his/her needs. Direct clients usually come through word of mouth and will not ask for a test to be done. Agencies generally ask for a short test or two. Beyond that, to a large degree, every piece of work is a test. Like actors, to a certain extent, we are only as good as our last job. But let me nuance that last remark. We do not have the final word on how the client will use the piece of work we have done. It can be proofread and altered beyond recognition.

I have had the experience of a (French) communication agency client making signficant modifications to the text I'd translated into English that was for a beautifully glossy brochure for a shipyard. The shipyard was a direct client of mine too and a long-standng one. I was their natural choice for the job.
However, the communication agency altered my text in-house by someone who has studied for a degree in English (that they had failed). The final text sent to the shipyard was full of mistakes that only a non-native could have made. A client of the shipyard asked the shipyard "Who does your translations? They're terrible. Don't use them again!" I lost the client due to a comment from one of their clients, a remark that was totally justified but that was simply not about my work. I was furious. I lnever accepted any work from that communication agency again and the shipyard stopping using my services shortly afterwards.



[Edited at 2017-12-08 10:40 GMT]


 

Pieter Beens  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2011)
English to Dutch
I made my point Dec 8, 2017

I made my point at https://www.vertaalt.nu/blog/sense-nonsense-free-test-translations/

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends on who's asking Dec 8, 2017

I've done free test translations as part of a job interview process. It's part of the cost of “doing business.”

If the prospective customer strikes me as worthy of earning my trust (and I offer my trust in return), I have no problem accepting a short translation test for free.

Translation tests are not and should not be part of your resume or project history. These tests are a means to an end: getting a project, a new client, a lucrative project lasting a few months or a year or two.

I don't fully get those who are so rigid they say “I never do free translation tests!” One has to retain some flexibility to compete.


 

Stephanie Mitchel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:03
French to English
If... Dec 8, 2017

... it's short (

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:03
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Dec 8, 2017

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I'm too busy translating.


Same here.


 
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