Job post, request for CV, long test request
Thread poster: Nikki Scott-Despaigne

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
French to English
May 4, 2015

Hello,

Do be careful when replying to job posts.

I replied to a job post this morning and sent details, my CV and reference to my profile on ProZ. The job poster asked if I would complete a test. I replied that I would. The text was more than 600 words long, an extract of a sequence of articles from a legal text. I had no doubts about my ability to translate the test text. However, I was wary of the request to return the test "ASAP today". The job post was for an urgent job.

I replied that the test was longer than I would expect for a test, that it was not in a usual format (no heading, no refernce, no context etc). What had been a rapid exchange by mail then slowed. Specific questions about rates for jobs that might be offered as a result of the test were not answered. Indeed they were ignored in the (final?) reply which simply said that there was no problem, I did not have to do the test.

Conclusion? I never received any reply to my question about rates. I was dispensed from doing the test. The poster dispensed themselves from any further reply.

Hypothesis? That 10 "ASAP" "test" translations suffice to complete a 6,000 word job, free of charge.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Zero rated for lack of originality.


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:02
French to English
+ ...
I saw that too May 4, 2015

I thought it strange that a legal/financial text would be given as a test when the subject field given in the job posting was "miscellaneous."

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Needless to say... May 4, 2015

... that I did not even start the test, much less spend time translating it "ASAP".

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:02
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You are not alone. May 4, 2015

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Hello,

Do be careful when replying to job posts.

I replied to a job post this morning and sent details, my CV and reference to my profile on ProZ. The job poster asked if I would complete a test. I replied that I would. The text was more than 600 words long, an extract of a sequence of articles from a legal text. I had no doubts about my ability to translate the test text. However, I was wary of the request to return the test "ASAP today". The job post was for an urgent job.

I replied that the test was longer than I would expect for a test, that it was not in a usual format (no heading, no refernce, no context etc). What had been a rapid exchange by mail then slowed. Specific questions about rates for jobs that might be offered as a result of the test were not answered. Indeed they were ignored in the (final?) reply which simply said that there was no problem, I did not have to do the test.

Conclusion? I never received any reply to my question about rates. I was dispensed from doing the test. The poster dispensed themselves from any further reply.

Hypothesis? That 10 "ASAP" "test" translations suffice to complete a 6,000 word job, free of charge.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Zero rated for lack of originality.



I did three tests in the past and all that I got was silence...There have been several discussions about doing or not doing tests. Today, I would not do it, unless I have means to certify client exists and is at leas honest and test has no more than 300 source words. I was wondering is Proz does not have a way to filter these type of 'professionals'. Do they have BB? Where are they from?



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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
BB problem? May 4, 2015

This particular source is BB rated 5/5 by more than 130 individuals. More than 10 people have scored them 5/5 over the past 12 months.

I have been translating professionally since 1994. I have been on ProZ since 2003. I have seen great improvements on ProZ over those 12 years. The BB system is not bad, but far from infallible. Common sense and intuition are the best guarantees out, but there is always an element of having to trust the person you are considering doing business with.

More than 20 years' experience tends to hone certain skills and whilst I can see the reason for wishing to "test"an unknown factor, the potential source overlooks that potential translators also "test" thier potential source. More than 300 words is my "alarm bell" limit. Serious sources never request a test to be returned "ASAP today". What a giveaway! Particularly when the "job" was for a 24 hour turnaround. It was signposted scam!



[Edited at 2015-05-04 15:49 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not enough information May 4, 2015

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
This particular source is BB rated 5/5 by more than 130 individuals. More than 10 people have scored them 5/5 over the past 12 months.

The figures alone mean nothing. One must read all comments carefully and see how many of those 5's belong to people who did ONE single job and ran to the Blueboard to express how ecstatic they are with a customer they hardly know... Personally I only take into account comments from people who state that they have done numerous jobs over several years for the customer.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Blueboard score as an indicator of professional conduct May 4, 2015

Yes, like any figures, they need close scrutiny and careful thought before deciding what they mean. I was kind of testing the system a little. Whilst a good rating from someone who has worked several times for an outsourcer may be a better guide than lots of one-offs, it is also possible for one or two to repeat posts and be playing the system too. I only work with direct clients who come to me through word of mouth.
What I retain is that from an apparently solid rating, I appear to have landed on someone who does not have the sort of professional conduct I expect. Wrongly perhaps, that means I will shy away from the Blueboard. If the top scorers are not good, how can one trust beneath? And if they are to be considered reliable, which they may be, then the Blueboard scoring system is bizarre.
No hasty conclusions, but I won't be using it.

[Edited at 2015-05-04 22:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-05-04 22:21 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Free test translations May 5, 2015

If a job poster receives a bid from a new translator who has just started her/his freelancing career, a test translation seems appropriate, provided it's not longer than 250 - 300 words. However, translators with a record of how ever many completed projects and several years of experience shouldn't be asked to provide any test translations at all, let alone free ones.

What would an agency say if they were asked to provide a free 600 words test translation to a new client for him or her to determine whether the agency delivers on-time, top-quality translations? Perhaps with the promise of many large projects to follow. IMO no agency would provide their clients with free translations, large or small. So I'm wondering what makes them believe that translators would? Why should a different business conduct/procedure apply to translators while all other professionals don't even consider to offer anything for free?

Regarding an agency's BB entries: I've come across some BB records with what I call "you give me a good entry and I'll give you one, too" type of entries. This doesn't apply to all those great agencies and outsourcers here on ProZ.com. Still, a BB entry should only be used as a reference and not as something carved in "truthful" stone. For example, there is one agency that has several BB records. Whenever someone gives them a rating of 1 or 2, it only takes a couple of days and these negative entries are "buried" under half a dozen 5 ratings.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 20:02
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
The sad thing May 5, 2015

When the time and effort spent to communicate with a dozen different translators and consolidating the work is taken into account, the actual savings compared to playing square are probably minimal.

What would an agency say if they were asked to provide a free 600 words test translation to a new client for him or her to determine whether the agency delivers on-time, top-quality translations? Perhaps with the promise of many large projects to follow. IMO no agency would provide their clients with free translations, large or small.

Is this assertion supported by real evidence, or is it mere conjecture?


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:02
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
In my experience May 5, 2015

I was soon put off by agencies for a whole host of reasons, but did however work with one or two reasonable and honest set-ups. A small test is not unreasonable. A carefully chosen piece of text enables you to make the decision whether a person has the necessary skills. Common sense dictates you don't give a 100 000 word document to a translator for whom you have no references! My clients have always come to me by word of mouth. Also, I have seen a number of translators doing work they do not have the skill to undetake to a professional standard, even after more than 10 years in the business.

I had naively hoped that the BB might serve ints intended purpose but am disappointed. I was Co-Mod at the time it was being set up. We knew it was not a panacea but it was supposed to help a little. I have only "tested" it on a few occasions and I am disappointed by the usefulness of the rating.

[Edited at 2015-05-05 19:16 GMT]


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