I have had enough of free trial translations
Persoa que publicou o fío: Katalin G

Katalin G
Japan
Local time: 03:18
Japanese to English
+ ...
Aug 6

Hi there,

There is actually not much to discuss about it, but I feel like I have had enough of free trial translations, and I wonder whether some of you have a similar experience.

When I register to some new translation agencies, or when they ask me to register in their database, some (not all) would require a free trial translation test beforehand. This actually sounds a logical requirement. However, it is rather tiring as some of them provide a bit longer and time-c
... See more
Hi there,

There is actually not much to discuss about it, but I feel like I have had enough of free trial translations, and I wonder whether some of you have a similar experience.

When I register to some new translation agencies, or when they ask me to register in their database, some (not all) would require a free trial translation test beforehand. This actually sounds a logical requirement. However, it is rather tiring as some of them provide a bit longer and time-consuming pieces ... : ((
And of course not all give orders immediately after completing these translation trials.

There are some periods when I do these trial translations one after the other ..
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Kelly S
Becca Resnik
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:18
Membro (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Free trial translations Aug 6

Free trial translations are a waste of time. The agency makes promises but, as they say in Japan,
"amai kotoba, kurai michi".


Tahira Rafiq
 

Ivona Nováková  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:18
Membro (Jul 2020)
English to Czech
+ ...
I understand you. Aug 7

Of course, they want to see how good the translator is, but what I am sad about is that they thank me, but then don't even let me know if my translation suits them and at least include me into their system.

Angie Garbarino
Ju-young Park
Cetacea
Noelia Ronceros
 

Kelly S
Ireland
Local time: 19:18
Membro (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
CV should be enough Aug 7

The translator's c.v. should be enough.

Tahira Rafiq
 

Elena Feriani
Italy
Local time: 20:18
Membro
French to Italian
+ ...
Are you an agency or a freelancer? Aug 7

Hi kyushuben,

I took a look at your profile and saw that you have a lot of language pairs listed. If I was a recruiter looking for a translator, I would assume that you are not an excellent translator in all of those pairs and I would request a test from you.

Unless you have people working for you, I suggest that you list your main pairs only, in order of experience.
Also, your real name would serve you better than a nickname, because recruiters like to look you u
... See more
Hi kyushuben,

I took a look at your profile and saw that you have a lot of language pairs listed. If I was a recruiter looking for a translator, I would assume that you are not an excellent translator in all of those pairs and I would request a test from you.

Unless you have people working for you, I suggest that you list your main pairs only, in order of experience.
Also, your real name would serve you better than a nickname, because recruiters like to look you up in LinkedIn and Google too.
And finally, your profile was last updated in 2015. I suggest you update your page more frequently to make a better impression on recruiters.

Tests are boring and often fruitless. I get discouraged too and stop applying to any jobs for months. But when I have little work I'm happy to submit a couple tests. They're often challenging and one can learn something from them.
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Lidija Klemencic
Ju-young Park
Cetacea
expressisverbis
Chiara Gavasso
Maria da Glória
Sarah Murray
 

Mustafa Merza
Turkey
Local time: 21:18
Arabic to English
Sometimes Aug 8

It makes you wonder if some of the agencies make applicants do the work for free while they get paid for it.

Sarah Maidstone
Becca Resnik
Tahira Rafiq
 

philgoddard
United States
Membro (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Put some sample translations on your website Aug 8

Then potential customers can get an idea of your style without wasting your time and theirs.

DZiW (X)
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 13:18
English to Russian
+ ...
Never Aug 8

Kelly S wrote:

The translator's c.v. should be enough.


Kelly S, I'm sorry but it seems like you've never been recruiting or reading the masterpieces of self-proclaimed geniuses.

CVs are nothing but a starting point for putting a person on a short list.

Translators with names in the translation world and the industries they serve, who'd earned the right to laugh at any test propositions either because they are already too busy elsewhere or can present portfolios and killer samples of previous jobs (relevant to the subject of interest!) within minutes upon request are far and between compared to the armies of translation job seekers on today's market. All it takes it to climb the same heights and the world will be at your feet.

Guess what: even top people may find a test or two worthy of doing. Depends on the level of the client, at times bound by regulations that make tests unavoidable even if it's just a formality, and confirmed duration, scope of work and money behind it.

I hope you understand that I'm not advocating for free tests from the agencies registered on the dark side of the moon, of which you've never heard of and vice versa.


Lincoln Hui
Jorge Payan
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

TranslateWithMe
Poland
Local time: 20:18
English to Polish
+ ...
oh, yes, they do... Aug 8

Mustafa Merza wrote:

It makes you wonder if some of the agencies make applicants do the work for free while they get paid for it.


LOL, it happened to me at the beginning of my career. I did a short translation that was supposed to be "a free trial" text and later I saw it on one of websites....

I even heard of a publishing house that gave a few translators "trial texts" from a book they wanted to publish and simply made a compilation from the texts later. The only paid job on that was the proofreader's job...


 

Katalin G
Japan
Local time: 03:18
Japanese to English
+ ...
INICIO DE TEMA
Thanks! Aug 10

Dear All,

Thank you for all your replies, comments and tips!

As written in one of the replies, such trial translations can result in an actual job offer quite rarely.
Well, yes, that is also my experience so far.
I could develop a relatively fruitful relationship with some of the people/agencies who requested trial translation from me, but that is only the minority ...
I haven't heard of the others since then ...

Thank you for all yo
... See more
Dear All,

Thank you for all your replies, comments and tips!

As written in one of the replies, such trial translations can result in an actual job offer quite rarely.
Well, yes, that is also my experience so far.
I could develop a relatively fruitful relationship with some of the people/agencies who requested trial translation from me, but that is only the minority ...
I haven't heard of the others since then ...

Thank you for all your valuable tips, I will consider and try to implement them.

Live long and prosper.
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MK2010  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:18
Membro (2017)
French to English
+ ...
It can be frustrating... Aug 10

...and there have been cases where I suspected the client was just collecting a bunch of translated passages to patch together, however:

I have landed most of my top clients, i.e. the ones that have given me regular work for years, by agreeing to do a test translation.

They want to see if you're a good fit, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Especially if it's in a creative field, where style is important. And obviously, if you were trying to get in wit
... See more
...and there have been cases where I suspected the client was just collecting a bunch of translated passages to patch together, however:

I have landed most of my top clients, i.e. the ones that have given me regular work for years, by agreeing to do a test translation.

They want to see if you're a good fit, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Especially if it's in a creative field, where style is important. And obviously, if you were trying to get in with a national or international government organization, you would be put through a battery of tests. Again, perfectly normal.

The best we can do is use common sense, research the potential client, and do our due diligence. To flat out rule out tests, though, is utterly ridiculous.

[Edited at 2020-08-11 04:07 GMT]
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IrinaN
Dan Lucas
conejo
 

conejo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:18
Japanese to English
+ ...
Test translations are a part of the business Aug 11

I agree with you, it is frustrating to have to do a lot of test translations that may not result in getting actual work. But, it is factual that an agency is trusting you to be able to do the job and they don't really have any proof that you can do it unless you submit a test. Posting samples on your profile is not an equivalent, because anybody can find some text online and a translation of it and put that on their profile. Samples could have been translated by anybody, and a test is a way to v... See more
I agree with you, it is frustrating to have to do a lot of test translations that may not result in getting actual work. But, it is factual that an agency is trusting you to be able to do the job and they don't really have any proof that you can do it unless you submit a test. Posting samples on your profile is not an equivalent, because anybody can find some text online and a translation of it and put that on their profile. Samples could have been translated by anybody, and a test is a way to verify that you actually did the work. I do think it is a standard practice. So it is reasonable for clients to ask for a test, within certain limits.

But you should try to take tests in the most effective way. For example:

1. Don't take tests until you have verified that company's Blue Board rating, payment method, and payment terms, and the details of the project. One pitfall of tests is that many agencies will ask you for a test without giving you any information, and I'd recommend against doing a test until you have information. First verify it is feasible for you to work with them and that they are a good payer. Then take a test. A lot of times if you ask for the above information up front, you will realize that it is not feasible to work with them (or there is not enough time to complete the project, etc.) and save yourself the time of doing a test in advance.

2. Don't do excessively long tests. A test is reasonable but if they ask you to translate 8 pages for free this is a huge red flag. Different people establish different limits for tests but I'd say that 1 page of text in a 10 or 12-point font is probably the limit for being reasonable.

I have also gotten a lot of clients by doing tests, as others have said. Good luck.
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Willian Ribeiro
 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:18
Membro
German to English
+ ...
My request Aug 14

Katalin G wrote:

However, it is rather tiring as some of them provide a bit longer and time-consuming pieces ...


I have had several tests come through that are much longer than I find reasonable (600+ words sometimes), and in these instances, I kindly let them know that I don't do tests of more than about 300 words. Their deadline is often unreasonable (we need it by *tomorrow*), in which case I mention that I'd need a bit more time. Every single time, they've agreed to let me just translate the first 300 words and take whatever time I need. For the record, I too am beyond exhausted of translation tests. Such is the nature of the beast, I suppose. At any rate, you could try making this request, and I suspect you'll have good results.


 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 21:18
English to Romanian
Orders? Aug 16

Katalin G wrote:

And of course not all give orders immediately after completing these translation trials.



Somehow I feel you wouldn't like a client who actually gives you orders...


 


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