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Poll: Have you ever dropped a translation test after having started it?
Persoa que publicou o fío: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:20
PERSOAL DO SITIO
May 19

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever dropped a translation test after having started it?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalia Balbi Amatto. View the poll results »



 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:20
Membro (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No May 19

I haven't done a translation test in many years and never took one that I didn't intend to finish.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 19

I don't think so, not that I recall anyway. In fact, I don't remember the last time I did a translation test, but if I ever did one, I would have finished it.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:20
Membro (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Yes May 19

Only once as I decided I would not like to do any translations/proofreading for that agency. I found out the test had to be concluded within 1 hour - I did not know before - so I decided those would be the working conditions with that agency so I did not conclude it and do not regret it at all. The other tests I did were not like this and most provided feedback but I now no longer do tests when the agency does not provide feedback.

Natalia Balbi Amatto
Nikolay Novitskiy
 

Ian Keith Jones Williams  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Membro
German to English
+ ...
Pre-view May 19

I always take a look first to check I know enough about the subject and ensure it is not too long.

Katya Kesten
Liena Vijupe
Aline Amorim
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Membro
English to French
Yes May 19

A long time ago, for some obscure reason, I accepted to do an unpaid timed test for a prospective agency. It didn't seem too daunting at first sight, something like 400 words in one hour.
I quickly realized that I couldn't cross the finish line in time while making sure my translation skills were showcased in the best light.
In retrospect, it was silly of me to put myself in such a position. I'm not into racing, after all.

Philippe


Natalia Balbi Amatto
Josephine Cassar
Nikolay Novitskiy
Susanne Toito
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 20:20
Membro (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No May 19

I’ve never dropped a translation test after starting it, but I have been refusing all translation tests that come with a time constraint. I don’t mind doing them but it will be in my own time. I prefer doing a translation test than providing diplomas for courses I took some 50 years ago…

Natalia Balbi Amatto
ahartje
Kaisa I
Laura Kingdon
Susanne Toito
 

Aline Amorim  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:20
Membro (2019)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No May 19

Sometimes I do the test before starting a translation project minimum 300 words.

 

Gloria Teixeira  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:20
Membro (Mar 2020)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No May 19

That I remember, that never happened to me.

 

Nilton Junior  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:20
Membro (2009)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No May 19

I don't think I have ever dropped a test after I started working on it, but I refused to complete a few tests after initially agreeing to translating them due to different circumstances. Examples:

- Oh, I talked to my manager and we cannot accept your translation rate. We can only afford $0.00001 per word for your language pair, but you can still take the test if you want.
- Unreasonable time restrictions, deadlines, instructions or word counts.
- Draconian NDA sent alon
... See more
I don't think I have ever dropped a test after I started working on it, but I refused to complete a few tests after initially agreeing to translating them due to different circumstances. Examples:

- Oh, I talked to my manager and we cannot accept your translation rate. We can only afford $0.00001 per word for your language pair, but you can still take the test if you want.
- Unreasonable time restrictions, deadlines, instructions or word counts.
- Draconian NDA sent along with the test.

In all honesty, I dislike taking translation tests. I never know who is evaluating it, so I can't be sure whether the reviewer will see a slight deviation from the source for stylistic reasons as an improvement, or if they expect awkward translations just for the sake of keeping it faithful to the source. If I happen to figure out the website or company that served as inspiration for the test piece, does the reviewer expect me to use their exact terminology in order to evaluate whether I am a good researcher, or will they see it as sign of laziness?

There are so many variables involved that I tend to spend more time leaving comments than translating, which causes the whole process to be too exhausting for me. For this reason, I tend to just avoid taking tests altogether.
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Natalia Balbi Amatto
Susanne Toito
 

Nikolay Novitskiy  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:20
Membro (2018)
English to Russian
Yes, it was too long and complicated May 19

Recently I received a translation test from a prospective agency. But I refused doing it, because of several reasons:

- the test was long, containing both translation and review parts
- there was an extensive list of specific requirements for each task
- there was a requirement to provide a Glossary, and to specify the sources used
- the agency HR warned me that even a single mistake would result into a fail

I had a few days to complete it, but I also
... See more
Recently I received a translation test from a prospective agency. But I refused doing it, because of several reasons:

- the test was long, containing both translation and review parts
- there was an extensive list of specific requirements for each task
- there was a requirement to provide a Glossary, and to specify the sources used
- the agency HR warned me that even a single mistake would result into a fail

I had a few days to complete it, but I also had some ongoing jobs from my current clients. I decided to chose one thing and to do it perfectly, rather than to fail with both tasks. The agency had my sincere apologies, of course.
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Natalia Balbi Amatto
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:20
Membro (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes May 19

In certain occasions, I accept to take a test. Then the client sends a document with a thousand words, and I just drop it immediately.
Also, on one recent occasion, a friend suggested a site with many transcription jobs, and she said she'd have work at any time, and as much as she wanted. I thought that was great. I signed in and registered for the tests (three of them!). On the very first one, I thought there was something wrong. It took me an hour to transcribe the first one. Then I aske
... See more
In certain occasions, I accept to take a test. Then the client sends a document with a thousand words, and I just drop it immediately.
Also, on one recent occasion, a friend suggested a site with many transcription jobs, and she said she'd have work at any time, and as much as she wanted. I thought that was great. I signed in and registered for the tests (three of them!). On the very first one, I thought there was something wrong. It took me an hour to transcribe the first one. Then I asked my friend how much they paid per minute of video. It was, of course, a riculous, way-belo-peanunts price. I dropped it immediately, of course, and figured I had wasted one whole valuable hour of my life.
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Natalia Balbi Amatto
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
 

Yetta Jensen Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:20
Membro (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
No May 20

I accept unpaid translation tests of 250-300 words, if I am interested in the client; but not with time constraint. (And mostly there are none)
In fact, the standard of the test and it's assessment tells me a lot about the standard of the company.

I have seen tests with terms and language I have never encountered in my entire career (e.g. medicine) and I wonder who made up such unrealistic text.
I have also seen tests with the English source full of mistakes or the Danis
... See more
I accept unpaid translation tests of 250-300 words, if I am interested in the client; but not with time constraint. (And mostly there are none)
In fact, the standard of the test and it's assessment tells me a lot about the standard of the company.

I have seen tests with terms and language I have never encountered in my entire career (e.g. medicine) and I wonder who made up such unrealistic text.
I have also seen tests with the English source full of mistakes or the Danish source hardly understandable, definitely a machine translation. - This happened a couple of months ago. I completed the tests but explained the mistakes to the client. However, I was not interested in woking with them.

I respect tests that are a bit difficult with a couple of traps embedded, and in a language we see in real (professional) life.
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Unfair practices May 20

The agency had my sincere apologies, of course.

Nick, I see your point and while a styleguide is ok, why did you apologize for that (A) unpaid, (B) too long, (C) complicated test and (D) extra research job, especially considering mere nitpicking and finding fault with translation? You just declined the unfavorable offer. And they deliberately wanted you to do much work for free They were responsible for providing adequate tests playing fair. I bet their flat rate is a way under $0.05/word, right? Nice.

Besides, unlike children’s games, a business offer/proposition has nothing to do with guilt: either soberly accept/negotiate or pass right along but soberly. You don’t apologize to anybody and everybody for nothing, do you? Perhaps, there must be a good reason yet with the same conclusion.


Susanne Toito
 

Susanne Toito
Canada
Local time: 15:20
Membro (2017)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes May 20

I'm just a newbie at this freelance stuff, but already these 'tests' rub me the wrong way. Why is it someone with a graduate degree and experience in the area should be asked to do a 'test'?
I also used to be a teacher and only in the 'private' schools did they ask people to 'teach' a class so that they could observe before you get hired. This is an insult, IMHO.
That being said, I once did do a 'test' translation and have this horrible feeling someone just got a free translation an
... See more
I'm just a newbie at this freelance stuff, but already these 'tests' rub me the wrong way. Why is it someone with a graduate degree and experience in the area should be asked to do a 'test'?
I also used to be a teacher and only in the 'private' schools did they ask people to 'teach' a class so that they could observe before you get hired. This is an insult, IMHO.
That being said, I once did do a 'test' translation and have this horrible feeling someone just got a free translation and that this is a good way to get free translations. I won't do it again.
Anyone else experience this?
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