Article: Test Translations—an Update
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 04:19
Jun 26, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "Test Translations—an Update".

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
English to German
+ ...
I do not agree with point 1. Feb 4, 2006

The translation agencies receive a lot of applications from translators of all kinds and capabilities. The only way to test the translator is by a test translation. If it is OK, the translator is entered into the (huge) database. This does not automatically create jobs for him/her. On the other hand, if the translation is not good, which mostly is the case because a lot of people think that knowledge of a language and the possession of a dictionary makes them a translator (I know, I am testing such applications on behalf of a translation agency), then they are told so and rejected. Translation agencies who do not ask for test translations prove that they do not really know what a translation is. They think it is a commodity and are definitely in the wrong business.

So if you apply to a translation agency for jobs, do not reject a test translation. It is the first step to entering into consideration, at least.

Rolf Kern

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:19
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
2 cents, 2 points Apr 26, 2006

I have 2 points to make regarding this post.

1. The article itself is a shameless self-marketing plug containing no valuable information. It should be removed from the Article Knowledgebase.
2. In response to Mr. Kern's points: If one has been in the translation business for 10+ years, should one still be subjected to unpaid test translations, which can range from 200 to 800 words? Shouldn't agencies pay attention to whom they are trying to hire, i.e. differentiate between established translators and novices?


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:19
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Test translations ARE useless indeed Oct 13, 2009

I came to this conclusion after two events:

1. A fellow translator tried to hire me to proofread his/her test for an agency. S/he was visibly inadequate for that (technical) job. Fortunately, I was too busy to help him at the time, so no lame excuse was needed for my denial.

2. An agency sent me a rather ellaborate test, and was kind enough to provide me with their evaluator's feedback. That evaluator showed insufficient command of the vocabulary used in one of the texts provided.

So, if both the test subject is unreliable (a stand-in may take the test instead) and the evaluator too (the outsourcer has no secure way to check their competence in an unknown target language), what's the point? A waste of time for all involved!

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