Sample Translation - Glossary
Thread poster: Sebastián M

Sebastián M
Local time: 17:12
English to Spanish
Aug 13, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I was recently contacted by an agency located in India and I was asked to do a translation test. This company has a professional-looking website and the person in charge has no bad reviews on the Internet. However, the nature of the translation test was suspicious. It consisted of translating a 250-word technical vocabulary to be completed as soon as possible. Do you think that this person tried to take advantage of me?


[Edited at 2011-08-13 22:08 GMT]

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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Aug 14, 2011

They are asking you to do hours of free work. For a normal test, translating 250 very words might take between an hour or two, depending on a lot of things. Here you would have to check each term -- let's say taking a bare minimum of two minutes per term -- taking 500 minutes total, over a full day of unpaid work.

Then they will give your glossary to a local native speaker who will use it to do the translation for a fraction of its value.

The other heads up is that they want it done ASAP. Tests are usually not required by outsourcers in a hurry, but rather as a way to decide whether to put you in their data base. It is my experience that outsources in a hurry do their best to vet you quickly and get you going on their job. In your case, their client is waiting for this translation, and their clock is ticking.

In my opinion, you are very wise to wonder about this one.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:12
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not a scam Aug 14, 2011

boro wrote:
I was recently contacted by an agency ... and I was asked to do a translation test. However, the ... translation test ... consisted of translating a 250-word technical vocabulary to be completed as soon as possible.

250 words for a test is reasonable, if it is paragraph text. It is not reasonable for a glossary, because a glossary takes much longer to translate (even if you know all the words in it without having to look up anything in any reference material).

The translation test should be the same or similar material as you would translate for the client (or failing that, it should always be paragraph text). Will the other work you do for them also be glossary translation work?

There are no indicators that this is a scam, but I do think the agency is being unreasonable (even if they're not trying to be unreasonable).

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