2nd request for test translation from existing client
Thread poster: Jacqueline Sieben

Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dec 30, 2011

Hi All - and Happy New Year's Eve!

Just wanted to share with you that one of my clients, a translation agency with whom I have been working for almost a year and accounts for 30%-40% of my monthly revenue, asked me to do a 350 words test translation for a job of 30,000 words. BTW, they had never asked me before to do this and I know that they appreciate the quality of my work. If the end-client approves I will get the job. I accepted and made the translation (it may take some time b
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Hi All - and Happy New Year's Eve!

Just wanted to share with you that one of my clients, a translation agency with whom I have been working for almost a year and accounts for 30%-40% of my monthly revenue, asked me to do a 350 words test translation for a job of 30,000 words. BTW, they had never asked me before to do this and I know that they appreciate the quality of my work. If the end-client approves I will get the job. I accepted and made the translation (it may take some time before the agency will get feedback from this client, so I was told, and I am still waiting).

One week later they asked me again to provide a test for a critical end-client: close to 500 words for a 2500 words translation. I refused and said that I was no longer available to do test translations due to my busy schedule. I also mentioned that a 500 words sample translation is a bit much in proportion to the job's total word count.

I am quite happy with this client, but I don't regret my decision. Do you agree?

[Edited at 2011-12-30 17:04 GMT]
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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
Absolutely Dec 30, 2011

I absolutely agree.
The first test was already superfluous, as they know your work. But to make a known translator do several tests? That's just silly.

I've lost several prospective clients because they asked for several, or oversized, tests. Last month one even had the nerve to ask me for 1) two tests 2) three references and 3) a telephonic interview. In my opinion, anyone of these should suffice. If you're so afraid of hiring someone, please do the work yourself.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:18
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
500 is about twice too long, IMO Dec 30, 2011

Jacqueline Sieben wrote:
close to 500 words for a 2500 words translation. I refused and said that I was no longer available to do test translations due to my busy schedule. I also mentioned that a 500 words sample translation is a bit much in proportion to the job's total word count.


I suppose that if it really is the end-client demanding a test then it might be reasonable to do it - if you want the work. But I personally wouldn't do a 500-word test for any job. I tell clients that I'll do 100-150 though I might do a little more at a pinch if there seemed to be value in it. The only thing you might do, IMO, is do it for your normal rate on the basis that you'll take 500 words off the final word count if you're awarded the job.

Happy new year to you too.

Sheila


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:18
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Decent agencies... Dec 30, 2011

... will pay you for such a test. In actual fact, they're not testing you at all. It's the end client who is testing the agency.
And that's a paid job for you.


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
My thoughts exactly! Dec 30, 2011

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

... will pay you for such a test. In actual fact, they're not testing you at all. It's the end client who is testing the agency.
And that's a paid job for you.


You are basically helping them to get clients and profit...

I did work for a US agency who continuously asked for test translations (about 200 words), but they also offered 24 hours for the selected team to "grab" translations from their site, so it paid off with larger translations....


 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:18
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I have one client who asks for test translations all the time Dec 30, 2011

Dear Jaqueline,

I work for one agency that asks me to do test translations all the time. They have a multilingual audio-guide system they propose to museums and touristic attractions. The idea is that they deliver impeccable technology and impeccable translations into any language. I'm part of their into-Dutch solution.

Every time we don't land the end-client - we're never the cheapest solution - we all feel disappointed. And every time we gain a new customer the agency
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Dear Jaqueline,

I work for one agency that asks me to do test translations all the time. They have a multilingual audio-guide system they propose to museums and touristic attractions. The idea is that they deliver impeccable technology and impeccable translations into any language. I'm part of their into-Dutch solution.

Every time we don't land the end-client - we're never the cheapest solution - we all feel disappointed. And every time we gain a new customer the agency asks me to do the Dutch translations - and I'm not the cheapest solution either.

Cheers,
Gerard
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Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:18
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Marketing expenses.... Dec 31, 2011

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

... will pay you for such a test. In actual fact, they're not testing you at all. It's the end client who is testing the agency.
And that's a paid job for you.


Yes, you are so right, it should fall under marketing expenses. The text is a sample of the full translation, but I am still waiting for the end-client's approval. No approval, no translation.

Thanks for your input!

[Edited at 2011-12-31 12:22 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-31 12:22 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:18
French to German
+ ...
This matter exists only... Dec 31, 2011

This matter exists only because many agencies do not have much language expertise. And certainly there would be less agencies (and less requests for "free" tests!) if PMs were really knowledgeable.

Unfortunately and as everywhere else, commercial skills have taken the better part of our business.


 


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2nd request for test translation from existing client

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