Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: A translation test free of charge should not exceed:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 02:44
SITE STAFF
Feb 17, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "A translation test free of charge should not exceed:".

This poll was originally submitted by Daniela Ciafardoni

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mathieu Jacquet  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:44
English to French
Published test Feb 17, 2008

I was once asked to do a test, which proved positive. The test was about the life of a successful man, around 2 full pages.

I found the translation on the Internet, a very poor one, kind of automatically trasnslated, on the personal website of the above mentioned successful man.

Two months later, I am asked by the same company to qualify a translator. The test is exactly the same as the one I took, only one page though. To my sheer surprise, I find MY translation test published on the Internet, in replacement of the old bad one.

I am not for charging tests, but when a company uses it for sales purpose, that's a bit gross...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends Feb 17, 2008

I voted 400 - more than enough for a client to gauge your suitability for the project - and 600 is just pushing it a bit. Although I don't think there is one right answer to this - I think it depends on how much potential work you can expect to gain from it. I'm often bemused by agencies who send you tests relating to fields that you haven't stated expertise or knowledge in. Why??!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

bububu  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:44
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
All of them should be charged Feb 17, 2008

For example, when you eat at a restaurant at a very first time, you don't say: "OK. I am just trying your dishes, so bring me samples of this and that, and you know I am not going to pay." No, you pay for these dishes (full sizes, by the way) whether you like them or not. In case of restaurants, you have read reviews and ask people who, as you know, have the similar taste, and it does not give you a guarantee that you will like it too (a chief has a bad day, a stove broke down, and so on). Same with doctors, stores, and etc. Why does it have to be different for translators?

[Edited at 2008-02-17 19:47]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:44
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Of course all tests should be charged Feb 17, 2008

The agency (or any other client, for that matter) who sends the test is supposed to be making a small business investment (taking a small business risk) in order to find the right person for a particular project or otherwise ascertain the overall standard of work of a particular translator. All business investments naturally cost money.

If the client does not wish to send a special test piece, the alternative is to send a very small real project, or even a page (or half a page) from a real project, which then may or may not be usable for the money. This would be necessary in any case before starting to work with a new translator on a larger scale.

The client should, in addition, be prepared to pay a minimum fee, if the sample is below a certain size, to an established translator who is a known factor. I would not, however, consider that appropriate in the case of a new translator on the market, who is an unknown factor when researched.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hmm... Feb 17, 2008

"Of course all tests should be charged"

Not entirely sure I agree with that. I personally see a translation test as being equivalent to an interview. I don't know of many who would ask a company to reimburse them for their time spent at the interview...

Whilst it would indeed be lovely if we were paid for tests, I think that if you are confident enough in your ability then surely the prospect of long-term collaboration with a reputable client is payment enough?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Lisa Nottmeyer
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Spanish to German
+ ...
about 400 words Feb 17, 2008

I think the idea that a translation test might be like an interview to give a first impression is a good point and taking a test with about 400 words is OK, in my opinion.
Although if it was paid, even better ...




What really annoys me most about tests is that there are companies that take them and there´s no "thank you for your time" nor a feedback about it ... and of course finding your test-translation published somewhere .. well !!!

Lisa


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:44
English to French
+ ...
All tests should be charged Feb 17, 2008

To make it easier for an agency, you can tell them to pay your test, and if they ever send work your way, they can deduct the price of the test from your first payment (except if your test is published, of course). Everybody is happy! It is not up to us to pay their human resources fees...

I agree that translators should not be taken for a ***cough - ride - cough*** a test drive, I meant to say. You don't ask an attorney to spend the day in court free just to see how good he is - and if you did, I seriously doubt they would not laugh their heads off. We are not selling products so we are not going to give away samples - leave that to shampoo makers.

Doing tests takes time - my time is worth money.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member
English to French
400 Feb 17, 2008

I am prepared to invest one hour of my time on an FOC test for a prospective customer if I deem it likely to lead to some tangible business. And I am very picky. There are so many levels of quality, even regardless of the price they are prepared to pay, that I perfectly understand their motives.

I spend far more time a week browsing Proz.com.

However, if I am not too sure about the outcome of my time investment, I rather direct them to past samples in their field.

My latest contact through Proz.com that led to some business asked me for a past translated press release in a specific field. I thought that was a good way to assess whatever they wanted. I selected one and found it on the internet, so I just sent my original target file and the link.
Minimal effort from me for the same result for them.

Philippe


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:44
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
That is precisely the problem: no prospects of collaboration Feb 17, 2008

Lisa Roberts wrote:

"Whilst it would indeed be lovely if we were paid for tests, I think that if you are confident enough in your ability then surely the prospect of long-term collaboration with a reputable client is payment enough?


Dear Lisa,

As has been mentioned on this site many times, in many different threads, the precise problem that exists is that the prospects of a long-term collaboration are very slim. While it does happen occasionally, there are numerous agencies who are simply trying to collect translators for their database at the time, and therefore, even if you do the test extremely well, there is no work to follow.


Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:44
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation test Feb 18, 2008

Other than the few sentences that are sometimes required to quote on a job here, I have NEVER done an unpaid translation test in over 14 years!

Direct link Reply with quote
 
lillkakan
Local time: 11:44
English to Swedish
Time = money Feb 18, 2008

I used to do free sample translations 150-300 words long but now that I have a steady workflow I simply don't have time to spend on unpaid work. Especially since learning by experience that the agencies with the most extensive application/test procedures often turn out to be those which offer the least feedback and definitely no work. So, I'm wary of doing free tests these days. I prefer giving references and doing a small but PAID job for the client. That way they get the whole "me experience" - complete project management, translation skill, timeliness etc.

The problem with providing new clients with old samples, in my case at least, is that most of my translations are privileged one way or another - I can't just hand them out to just anyone because they fall under various NDA/Confidentiality contracts. Otherwise I agree that could be a good alternative.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It depends: Is the customer being paid for the test? Feb 18, 2008

I agree with a colleague above who says that a test is equivalent to a personal interview. We save a lot of money by not having to travel to the customer's premises, so charging for every test is not quite correct in my opinion.

Now, there are two types of test:
1. A test you do for an agency, as part of their appointment of new translators. Those should be under 200 words and be free of charge.

2. A test to do into your language as part of an agency appointment by the final customer. If the customer is paying for the test, we should be paid too. If the customer wants a multi-language test for free, we should cooperate with our customer (the agency) and offer the test for free, for the sake of all stakeholders.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Why work for free? Feb 18, 2008

Hi folks,

I have never understood the reason why we should work for free. After all, nobody would ever dare to ask other service-producing business people (attorney, tax consultant etc.) to do something just "for free". If the prospective client is really professional, he/she will understand that we are investing time and effort into a job. Meeting half way could be to charge a slightly lower rate for a test translation, but only if the amount of the text doesn't exceed 400 words.

In general though, how can any outsourcer really know who has done the test translation? And will every future job be within the same field as the test translation?

BTW, I do like the comparison with the restaurant

Regards
Erik

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Erik Hansson ( SFÖ )
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
www.hansson.de
info@hansson.de
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 11:44
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Depends Feb 18, 2008

I take a pragmatic view to this.
If I think it likely that this will be a good future client, I don't mind doing a 400 wd translation test - for free or otherwise.
Sometimes I have been wrong, though. One company sent me three or four different tests (all short and not suitable for commercial use, as they stopped in mid-sentence more or less..) and never sent me any work afterwards, although I was told my translations were "approved".


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

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

Poll: A translation test free of charge should not exceed:

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »



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