Mox is a young but well educated translator. Two PhDs, six languages...
and he hardly earns the minimum wage.
Oh, this one is so true!!! In all the points. I can only agree ;)
And once you have successfully translated the text and bothered a few good clients so they would provide credentials, the agency says that finally you are too expensive (though your rates were indicated in your CV) but nevertheless they would be glad to work with you if you offered a rebate... (true story)
Very true. There is one simple solution, though, to a part of this that all established translators should adhere to: Don't do so called "test translations" for free. If all adhered to this principle, these presumtuous requests for "free tests" will eventually vanish, and everybody is better off ultimately.
That's right, but it's so infrequent to find agencies that will pay you for a test translation! It only happened to me once and I was kind of shocked!
that is only BECAUSE some translators succumb and do it for free! Of course they will continue as long as translators are willing - once translators are not willing, agencies will have to pay!!
I prefer doing tests for free than filling-up so many agreements etc. How boresome:-(
Very well observed, but what is the solution? The mentioned agreements and the style guide are good things to have, so for projects exceeding a certain size I feel I have to accept those. For smaller jobs... I would simply refuse anything less than, say, a day's work if it involved contracts and style guides or the use of TMs, MTs, or worse: terms in an Excel file (unless it is a regular client, of course).
I use freelance websites where I have lots of reviews by now, so I refuse to do test translations. Clients can look at the numerous feedback I have received on other jobs.
I think it's quite normal to request a test translation as well as to do it. I have been working for a translation agency, managing the translation projects, and doing translations myself. We use help of freelance translators, of course, whom I usually find at ATA.A few months ago we decided to practice what we never did before: request a test translation before we pass a job, because of below scenario.Usually, before I gave a project to somebody, I used to ask (verbally or via email), if he/she was competent to do a specific work (for example, to complete a legal or medical translation, which require certain skills and knowledge of the field). The answers were often positive: "Surely, we can"! In spite we did not knew people, we trusted them. We passed the projects, and were delivered terrible translations, because people really did not know what they were doing. We had to edit translation ourselves- I mean completely redo them. When we tried to discuss the problem with translators themselves, they got insulted and upset, stating everything was perfect. We paid invoices, of course, in spite of disappointment and frustration. From then on, we prefer to check what we buy.I do not want to say all people are like ones, described above. There are many very very professional translators, whom we have long time cooperation with. We never saw those people personally, and not even spoke to them by phone. They are in far away states or countries, and we communicate via internet. Everything is always smooth with them: order- completion -delivery-billing-payment. Both parts-service provider and customer are satisfied and content.My point is: we should be more fair with each other to avoid misunderstandings and needless troubles. If one is not competent in particular field, he/she should let a customer know before taking a job. Money is not everything what counts. Good opinion once lost is lost forever, is not it?
Well, usually, I don't mind doing translation tests. Most of them take less than an hour to do, and they might be what makes you stand out among other possible candidates. A company asked me to do two more tests after doing the first one. I was skeptical, but as the company had a good reputation and the person with whom I was exchanging emails was very diplomatic, I agreed. They ended up assigning a 77.000 word job to me, which I am currently working on. Besides, they usually ask for the tests before contracts and agreements. To me, that is the annoying part!
Dear Spammers, your comments will be deleted and marked as spam.Dear colleagues, I will not be able to reply to your questions. It was too much time consuming.
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