Translating tests vs. giving samples of work
Thread poster: martplume

martplume
Local time: 15:53
English to Latvian
+ ...
Aug 25, 2012

Hello dear colleagues!

Lately I have been overwhelmed with people always asking to do sample translations for them. And mostly they want them free. But I value my time dearly and Im not novice in this business. Most of the time i do do the sample translations (for free) but maybe I should start asking money.

Also sometimes I just respond with ''what if I give you a sample of my work'' instead of doing the test translation. In my ''free'' time (when I am not doing the trasnlations) I rather spend educating myself about the business, sending invoices etc.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paulo Eduardo - Pro Knowledge  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:53
Member (2008)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
sample provided Aug 25, 2012

If the sample you provide is directly related to the subject of the translation being quoted, no need to do the so called test.

However, how can one be certain of your expertise if nothing is provided in advance?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Alexandra Schneeuhr  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:53
Member (2012)
English to Russian
+ ...
The choice is yours... Aug 25, 2012

Hello,

I am relatively new to ProZ forums, but have already seen the free tests issue discussed here and there, with lots of valid arguments pro and contra. I guess if you want some specific assignment you should be prepared to do a very brief test, especially if it happens to be a part of the actual project you'd be given if the test proves successful. However, when the agency contacts me first and asks for a free test "to check my language skills", I simply offer them to view my sample translations. I can always get them a small extract of a previously translated project (minus any sensitive details like companies' names etc.) which would give them an idea what they would be getting for their money.

In brief: if I want the job bad enough, I'd do a test. If it's another way around and it's the customer who wants me - fine, they can hire me, but no tests, no freebies ))


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Antonella Bova  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:53
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
UNFORTUNATELY A LOT OF DISHONESTY AROUND... Aug 26, 2012

Hi all,

I have had to many experiences so far of agencies contacting me and asking me to do a "sample" text translation for free and then I just didn't hear back from them, they didn't even bother replying to say whether they found the translation suitable or not. Once I could find out, with the help of a Facebook group of translators, that one agency had asked different translators to translate different parts of a contract, pretending it was a test...Basically a lot of them get their translations done for free this way, and I'm really fed up with this whole bunch of liars.
I personally agree with the idea of having sample translations ready to forward as a proof of our ability (at the end of the day, if one wants to be dishonest too, as they are, one could ask someone else to do the translation test as well). I know this is a very difficult environment and getting a job isn't easy at all, but sometimes we feel so desperate to get a a job that we agree to translate for free so many times that we almost waste our time more than if we "insisted" with waiting for more professional employers who trust our profile and eventually complain with our work once they've been delevered it (if they really don't like it).

I think that us translators should demand a bit of more respect, and this should start from us.


Good luck to everyone


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:53
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Test is better Aug 26, 2012

martplume wrote:
Lately I have been overwhelmed with people always asking to do sample translations for them. And mostly they want them free.


A portfolio translation is likely to have been polished several times over a long period of time, and can be expected to be flawless. Also, in a portfolio translation the translator can conveniently delete a source text sentence that he finds difficult or which contains something linguistically controversial.

With a test translation, the translator is often under some measure of pressue, and he typically does not check his translation several times over before sending it to the client -- to the contrary, some translators spend as little time as possible on a test translation, which means that the test translation is a more accurate reflection of the translator's actual quality. In a test translation, the client can deliberately put a difficult sentence or two in it, or things that inexperienced or unqualified translators often get wrong.

A test translation enables the client to measure multiple translators with the same yard stick. Also, if the same editor(s) always review the test translation, the reviewer knows after a while what types of errors to watch out for and what sorts of things tend to vary, because the reviewer is familiar with the text.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:53
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
You get what you pay for Aug 27, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

With a test translation, the translator is often under some measure of pressue, and he typically does not check his translation several times over before sending it to the client -- to the contrary, some translators spend as little time as possible on a test translation, which means that the test translation is a more accurate reflection of the translator's actual quality.


It sounds like you're saying that if it were an actual (paid) translation, the translator WOULD check it several times and spend as much time as needed to make sure it is correct. Isn't THAT a better reflection of what the translator could be expected to produce as paid (i.e., normal) work? It seems to me that if you ask someone to work for free, what you get will be representative of--well, what they will produce if asked to give away their time.

In a test translation, the client can deliberately put a difficult sentence or two in it, or things that inexperienced or unqualified translators often get wrong.
A test translation enables the client to measure multiple translators with the same yard stick. Also, if the same editor(s) always review the test translation, the reviewer knows after a while what types of errors to watch out for and what sorts of things tend to vary, because the reviewer is familiar with the text.

Fair enough.

[Edited at 2012-08-27 14:09 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:53
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
feedback Aug 28, 2012

I am willing to do short tests if the company seems like a serious one and I have the work capacity. I always ask for feedback on my translation, as a precondition to doing either a free test or a paid test. That way if they don't hire me, I can hopefully learn from any mistakes I may have made. I think it also puts a bit of pressure on the client or agency: that I do not wish to be relegated to some heap of unread applications, but rather expect serious attention.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


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


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

Translating tests vs. giving samples of work

Advanced search







SDL Trados Studio 2017 only €415 / $495
Get the cheapest prices for SDL Trados Studio 2017 on ProZ.com

Join this translator’s group buy brought to you by ProZ.com and buy SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance for only €415 / $495 / £325 / ¥60,000 You will also receive FREE access to our getting started eLearning program!

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



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