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Normal translation passed as "test translation"
Thread poster: a_juskeviciene

a_juskeviciene  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:18
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Mar 16

Has anyone ever been offered to do free test translation which is clearly a normal translation job? Has it led to any business or not?

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't remember Mar 16

akvilejuskevici wrote:

Has anyone ever been offered to do free test translation which is clearly a normal translation job? Has it led to any business or not?


But I don't think it matters. If they've started off by scamming you, what hope is there of a successful relationship?


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:18
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Don't do a "real" job for free Mar 16

You mean for free?
I have once been offered a real job as a test for a reduced rate but when the agency found no issue they paid the full price. And I have done some work for them afterwards.
But if you mean you got a real job longer then 250 words or so to do for free, then you most likely have to do with scammers or some other type of crooks. Don't expect to earn any money from them.


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a_juskeviciene  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:18
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
probably Mar 16

just now thinking how best to answer. Maybe just simply pretend and ask if it is a test or normal translation task?

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a_juskeviciene  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:18
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
for free Mar 16

Yes it is for free. I do not have problem with that as it is customary in Lithuania to make test translation for free, but just when you see that it is clearly not a test and it contains more than 600 words that is ridiculous...

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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is not difficult to spot Mar 16

Tests have no strict deadlines. Agencies pass tests to you soon after you took contact with them. It is, so to say, a logical consequence of your correspondence with them.

Other agencies will pass you ‘tests’ after a few weeks of months passed since you had contact with them. They will tell you: “ok, now we have a translation test for you. Please let me know if you can complete is by tomorrow 08:00 a.m." Usually, subject matter is not even close to what you told them you are specializing in. This is not a test. Never do it.


[Edited at 2017-03-16 16:13 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:18
Member
French to English
+ ...
Not always the case Mar 16

I have to sat that the opinions expressed by our colleagues above are not always entirely the case.

Some translation agencies ask you to "do a test translation to see if you can work for us" — I personally never do those. of the few I have done, in the early part of my career, I don't think any of them ever led to any work. I truly believe my translations were of an appropriate quality, so I can only assume that the agencies who ask for them have the kind of mentality that is probably not compatible with my way of working; they are also probably "bottom feeders", which may be why they seek the (supposed!) reassurance of test translations — after all, if you plan on paying peanuts, you'd better be careful how you select your monkeys!

However, that said, I have sometimes been asked by agencies with whom I already work to do a test translation for a particular job for a particular customer, so that the end customer themselves can chose from a short-list of translators, according to style, empathy with their subject matter, etc. I do occasionally accede to this kind of request, in which case it is always pretty obvious that the 'test' is an extract from the actual document to be translated, and obviously with a fairly tight deadline.

In your case, I think you should indeed object to doing a much longer text, which clearly appears to you to be a whole translation job. Even if I might be prepared to offer an exceptional, once-off discount in order to try and attract a new customer, as a matter of principle I would NOT do it for free! Any self-respecting agency, even if they wanted to offer a free translation to their customer as a kind of "loss leader" — or rather, perhaps, a "sprat to catch a mackerel" — then they should be prepared to subsidize this themselves and not expect YOU to do so.

[Modifié le 2017-03-16 18:25 GMT]


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:18
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Fishy Mar 16

@Tony: I agree with you (just with one difference: I did a test translation for virtually all clients I've been working for; not that long ago one of them mentioned they need to have a test on file due to some ISO certification, so refusing tests may very well prevent you from working with any new agencies (apart from tiny ones, without certifications).

But I understood the question was rather whether requesting an unusually long translation which obviously is a "real" one as a test is a legitimate practice or whether it's a sign of a scam or at least an dishonest agency. To which I say, it's the latter and don't even bother with "how best to answer".
Btw. have you (akvilejuskevici) tried to google them? Not only the name but also the email address and whatever name the person you communicate with used? Or even a part of the email body? Try especially here: http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm

[Edited at 2017-03-16 20:27 GMT]


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:18
Member (2008)
French to English
Short tests Mar 17

I will very occasionally, when I have a slow period, do a short "test" translation of maximum 200 words. Often nothing comes of it, but occasionally some good and large clients have come from it. As long as it's no more than about 200 words, I really don't care whether it's part of a job or merely a hypothetical test. Of course, they have to have a good reputation (BlueBoard, etc.) to be considered at all.

[Edited at 2017-03-17 01:30 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Reduced rate Mar 17

If you are really interested in one day working with this agency, then offer to do the "test" translation at a reduced rate. Agencies of a good standing will agree to your proposal. If they refuse, well, then just delete the email or mark it as Spam.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Agree terms of business first Mar 17

I occasionally agree to do a short unpaid test and have gained some good clients that way. However I'm firm about getting the client to agree to my terms of business before I do the test. If they won't commit themselves, I decline the test. There's no point labouring over a test only to be told afterwards that the agency won't pay your rate or wants 90 days' credit, and so on.

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a_juskeviciene  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:18
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thank you for your answers Mar 17

it is the first time that it happens to me. I decided to ask them if it is a paid proposal as it is definetely not a test translation. I do not think I will hear from them. But it will be a good lesson. I will know that these things might happen and be aware of it.

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a_juskeviciene  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 02:18
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Katarzyna Slowikova, you were right Mar 17

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

@Tony: I agree with you (just with one difference: I did a test translation for virtually all clients I've been working for; not that long ago one of them mentioned they need to have a test on file due to some ISO certification, so refusing tests may very well prevent you from working with any new agencies (apart from tiny ones, without certifications).

But I understood the question was rather whether requesting an unusually long translation which obviously is a "real" one as a test is a legitimate practice or whether it's a sign of a scam or at least an dishonest agency. To which I say, it's the latter and don't even bother with "how best to answer".
Btw. have you (akvilejuskevici) tried to google them? Not only the name but also the email address and whatever name the person you communicate with used? Or even a part of the email body? Try especially here: http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm

[Edited at 2017-03-16 20:27 GMT]


You are right Katarzyna. The questions was not the test translation itself, but that it is clearly a normal and full translation from the client (they did not even bother to delete dates and logos)


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:18
French to English
Already a bit suspicious Mar 18

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

You mean for free?
I have once been offered a real job as a test for a reduced rate but when the agency found no issue they paid the full price. And I have done some work for them afterwards.
But if you mean you got a real job longer then 250 words or so to do for free, then you most likely have to do with scammers or some other type of crooks. Don't expect to earn any money from them.


This is already a bit suspicious. The agency is being quite cheeky here! If I understand what you have written then :
- the agency asked you to do a test (at a reduced rate), thus paid but poorly;
- when you returned the test problem-free, they decided they would use it, so decided to pay you a full commercial rate.

I am pleased you got some work with this agency afterwards, but they were not very honest with you from the start. I would not feel happy working with an agency that changed conditions this way. Even if the conditions moved in your favour, it is still a very strange way of doing business.


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Mona El-Shazly  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 02:18
Member (2016)
Arabic to English
+ ...
standard test is 250 words Mar 19

If faced this once, it was a power of attorney, I answered 250 words and told the client " If you want the rest, it has to be paid"

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