Translation tests
Thread poster: Karolina Blachucka

Karolina Blachucka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:34
Spanish to Polish
+ ...
May 23, 2011

Hi:)

I´ve started to wonder how agencies evaluate translation tests...As far as I know, translations in more popular pairs like English-Spanish probably are corrected by in-house translators..but what happens with translations for example from Spanish into Polish? I was asked few times to do such tests and I would like to know what the process of correcting them looks like.. I imagine they don´t want to pay money for correcting such tests and I don´t think they give it to some e
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Hi:)

I´ve started to wonder how agencies evaluate translation tests...As far as I know, translations in more popular pairs like English-Spanish probably are corrected by in-house translators..but what happens with translations for example from Spanish into Polish? I was asked few times to do such tests and I would like to know what the process of correcting them looks like.. I imagine they don´t want to pay money for correcting such tests and I don´t think they give it to some external translator and pay him/her for correcting it, do they? maybe they compare it with texts that they got already translated? but if they don´t know the source language they cannot evaluate the differences between compared translations..we all know that there are no two identical translations, especially when texts included in test are not technical ones...there may be differences in style or choice of words...I really don´t know how they do it, at least here in Spain...Do you think they really care about it?
What do you think?

Karolina:)
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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 08:34
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
Marginal and misty May 23, 2011

Karolina Blachucka wrote:
I would like to know what the process of correcting them looks like..


Actually, that process is often enveloped in a cloud of mystery, like in some thriller movie.

The translator doesn't know who the checker is and the checker doesn't know who the translator is. But more importantly, we don't even know whether the checker's evaluating competencies are any stronger than those of the translator. Based on what I've seen done with some tests, I'd say they pick some checkers randomly from job boards.


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:34
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
I do May 23, 2011

I do sometimes check a bunch of translation tests agencies abroad who cannot read the target language, and the source language is not native either.

I provide them with details on accuracy, layout, punctuation, look & feel of each of the
translations and suggest which translator is best suited for the job they have in mind.. (based on this single test). I normally ask the translation tests to be anonymous, so I don't know who made it (in my language, Dutch, I know many of the
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I do sometimes check a bunch of translation tests agencies abroad who cannot read the target language, and the source language is not native either.

I provide them with details on accuracy, layout, punctuation, look & feel of each of the
translations and suggest which translator is best suited for the job they have in mind.. (based on this single test). I normally ask the translation tests to be anonymous, so I don't know who made it (in my language, Dutch, I know many of the translators).

And I get paid by the hour.

Having said that, I know some agencies either just hand test translations over to their clients or compare them to an existing template.....

So, there are a lot of variables to discuss, including feedback, delay, whether or not tests are time and paid (and might be deducted from the first invoice to the potential new client)...


-===-
Ed
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Michal Glowacki  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:34
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
Some pay May 23, 2011

I know some agencies send test translations to their trusted suppliers and pay them a fixed amount for that.

 

Fouad El karnichi  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:34
Member (2008)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Evaluation criteria May 23, 2011

I wonder why agencies should not take their time to look at the translators profile prior to deciding wether to send a test or not- and for FREE.

Currently , there are coleagues who are not willing to take free tests, especially when those tests are beyond the market threshhold . I started to do just that. For instnce, few weeks ago I received a request for an agency to do a test for FREE for a document of 780 words !!. I refused to do that.

Now, I do not do free tests
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I wonder why agencies should not take their time to look at the translators profile prior to deciding wether to send a test or not- and for FREE.

Currently , there are coleagues who are not willing to take free tests, especially when those tests are beyond the market threshhold . I started to do just that. For instnce, few weeks ago I received a request for an agency to do a test for FREE for a document of 780 words !!. I refused to do that.

Now, I do not do free tests. Agencies should change their evaluation criteria and make it more flexible with translators profiles. We need some respect here...we selling the services and sure have a say (and ethically reponsible) in what we deliver.....

I believe, some agencies take advantage of many non- seasoned and untrained/unaware freelancers and newbies to procure free translations , which they post edit afterwards to save lots of money.

Another agency had a different tactic : they asked me if I am willing to do a long standing reviewing project for them . After nearly a week of incoming and oucoming e-mails , it turns out they want me - first- to take a FREE TRANSLATION (NOT REVIEWING)test of 600 words. When I asked them to send another evaluation model to check my REVIEWING skills , they said then that they are willing to pay the test (the translation test) with the condition that I will be paid only if I passed the test, after that I said I cannot fit the tranlation test in my schedule ( in other words , I do not want tow ork with you- I lost trust in you).

Another agency approached me and said that I need to take a 4hours FREE online test !!!!!!..... I said I do not want to waste 4hours of my busy time doing free translations. Mind you that this translation was to be done online and directly linked to their server.


What can I say ...we need to be vigilant and know how to defend ourselves...This is getting too much.

Thanks



[Edited at 2011-05-23 17:51 GMT]
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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:34
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do it sometimes... May 23, 2011

...and rarely find people who in my opinion did a perfect job, unfortunately. However, not long ago a customer found a Finnish-Spanish translator who was really outstanding.

 

Claudio LR
Local time: 08:34
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Serious agencies... May 23, 2011

Serious (and quality) agencies have a limited number of languages and fields (not: we translate every language and every field). A few are even specialized in just one field. And have either in-house translators for all their languages or primary external partners they use to test candidates (as well as to do tests when they try to win a new client). And they always pay them.
As for free tests, as I have said many times in this forum, if the agency puts an advert and translators apply or
... See more
Serious (and quality) agencies have a limited number of languages and fields (not: we translate every language and every field). A few are even specialized in just one field. And have either in-house translators for all their languages or primary external partners they use to test candidates (as well as to do tests when they try to win a new client). And they always pay them.
As for free tests, as I have said many times in this forum, if the agency puts an advert and translators apply or if translators apply spontaneously, the agency has the right to request a small free test. If they search for a translator and contact them, they must pay the test. This is what serious agencies do.
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