Páginas sobre el tema:   [1 2] >
Acceptable length of test task
Autor de la hebra: Jenny Nilsson

Jenny Nilsson
Suecia
Local time: 01:53
inglés a sueco
Jun 17, 2020

I've been approached by an agency who wants me to do a translation test. Usually no problems, except this one is longer than the word count I usually accept for tests. 418 words total. How big do you think test tasks should be?

 

Tom in London
Reino Unido
Local time: 00:53
Miembro 2008
italiano a inglés
Long Jun 17, 2020

Jenny Nilsson wrote:

How big do you think test tasks should be?


About as long as the time it takes to say "think test tasks" 3 times quickly



In other words: if it takes more than a few minutes, it's too long.

[Edited at 2020-06-17 12:55 GMT]


Chris S
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:53
Miembro 2007
inglés a portugués
+ ...
@Jenny Jun 17, 2020

The tests I accept doing are usually no longer than 300 words but I must say that, because I was very interested in working with a particular client, I have exceptionally done more than that. It’s up to you! I prefer doing a non-paid test than having to fill endless forms and send copies of diplomas courses I took over 40 years ago…

expressisverbis
Apolonia Dermit
Zibow Retailleau
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Joe France
Fatine Echenique
Ezequiel Fernandez
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Países Bajos
Local time: 01:53
Miembro 2006
inglés a afrikaans
+ ...
@Jenny Jun 17, 2020

Jenny Nilsson wrote:
I've been approached by an agency who wants me to do a translation test. This one is longer than the word count I usually accept for tests. 418 words total. How big do you think test tasks should be?


It should take you no more than 1 hour to do the test translation, and preferably no more than half an hour. So calculate, based on that. 418 seems a bit long, but hey, if you're not busy, what do you have to lose?


Fatine Echenique
Philippe Etienne
Laurent Mercky
Sheila Wilson
Tina Vonhof
Philip Lees
Robin LEPLUMEY
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 00:53
Miembro 2015
inglés a portugués
+ ...
If it is longer, Jun 17, 2020

perhaps your question should be "How to tell a scam from a test".
Please be careful if it is not someone who wants a translation job done for free.
Usually, I don't translate a translation test with more than 500 words, and this is already a bit longer.

[Edited at 2020-06-17 13:28 GMT]


Elena Aclasto
 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 02:53
inglés a ruso
Any Jun 17, 2020

if paid, 250 words if not.

Robert Forstag
Philippe Etienne
Daryo
Morano El-Kholy
Chris Foster
 

Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 16:53
Miembro 2001
alemán a italiano
+ ...
It depends.... Jun 17, 2020

Dear Jenny,

as in all things, there are buts to what can be considered the norm. There are fields of expertise for which you might not be in the position to provide *any* reference (for ex. you have signed NDAs et similia) and also you cannot mention names: in one word, no nothing.

Now, as much as I'd like not to do anything for free at my age and after so many years in translation, I can't expect a potential who doesn't know me and my work to trust my words about how m
... See more
Dear Jenny,

as in all things, there are buts to what can be considered the norm. There are fields of expertise for which you might not be in the position to provide *any* reference (for ex. you have signed NDAs et similia) and also you cannot mention names: in one word, no nothing.

Now, as much as I'd like not to do anything for free at my age and after so many years in translation, I can't expect a potential who doesn't know me and my work to trust my words about how much I know and I've done blablabla.
Not being able to provide any reference, I have to accept a test translation if I am interested in the regular job (I do any test translations only when the talk is about a regular work flow).

That said, some fields might require longer tests, out of various reasons which vary according to specific fields or clients, and at the end, provided that the potential is a well-known client/end client, it goes down to one question: am I ready to invest something in order to add – potentially – another regular client to my book?

I see it as a form of marketing, it's a risk, it costs me something (my time), might go well, might not.

The only thing I do not accept is when they try to set a deadline for a test translation. Now, I am paying for the work I am normally paid for, so I decide when I deliver. And that's the end of it.

It's up to you and your situation.

Giuliana
Collapse


expressisverbis
Philippe Etienne
Lisa Grayson
Jessica Noyes
Josephine Cassar
Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Elena Aclasto
 

Édith Koumtoudji  Identity Verified
Sudáfrica
Local time: 01:53
Miembro 2020
inglés a francés
+ ...
@Jenny Jun 17, 2020

Hi Jenny.

If you can do 300 words why can't you do 418 words if you are given enough time to complete the task?

I have asked an academician and head of a language centre about your concern and this is her reply:

"418 is an acceptable number of words, and allows people to assess translation ability properly. Tests at university are normally between 500 and 800 words in length. (Students who are not practitioners take longer to complete the tests)"
... See more
Hi Jenny.

If you can do 300 words why can't you do 418 words if you are given enough time to complete the task?

I have asked an academician and head of a language centre about your concern and this is her reply:

"418 is an acceptable number of words, and allows people to assess translation ability properly. Tests at university are normally between 500 and 800 words in length. (Students who are not practitioners take longer to complete the tests)"

I hope this helps.
Collapse


 

DZiW (X)
Ucrania
inglés a ruso
+ ...
Either a short test/interview or relevant Portfolio and References Jun 17, 2020

Hello Jenny.

If a middleman/prospect approached you, then you are somehow valuable for them--they know you may bring them benefits and profits, but how about you--

Do you know the favorable (for you!) terms--whether it's worth even trying?

Blast it if after promised $.07/word, freebies, and 'discounts', it lands some $0.009/word flat--before taxes and expenses, let alone paid within six-nine months.

While you decide what is better for yo
... See more
Hello Jenny.

If a middleman/prospect approached you, then you are somehow valuable for them--they know you may bring them benefits and profits, but how about you--

Do you know the favorable (for you!) terms--whether it's worth even trying?

Blast it if after promised $.07/word, freebies, and 'discounts', it lands some $0.009/word flat--before taxes and expenses, let alone paid within six-nine months.

While you decide what is better for you, don't sell yourself cheap right from the start. So, get ready to substantiate your rates.

Cheers
Collapse


Philippe Etienne
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 01:53
Miembro
inglés a francés
Too long Jun 17, 2020

You can also state your conditions (after all, they stated theirs) and reply that you only accept tests below xxx words. I've had replies such as "ok, do the first 250 words", and even work after the "Pass".

It all depends on how likely they will send you serious work.
Doing a test for the sake of it to comply with onboarding processes, standards and whatever is a waste of time, and the more time spent, the more time wasted. But doing a test and landing a few thou per year is
... See more
You can also state your conditions (after all, they stated theirs) and reply that you only accept tests below xxx words. I've had replies such as "ok, do the first 250 words", and even work after the "Pass".

It all depends on how likely they will send you serious work.
Doing a test for the sake of it to comply with onboarding processes, standards and whatever is a waste of time, and the more time spent, the more time wasted. But doing a test and landing a few thou per year is worthwhile.

Ah, and before the test, make sure you know everything about how they operate: rate, CAT discount grid, contractual clauses, payment terms, invoicing process, platform if any, online/offline CAT, etc. Because when converted to hourly earnings, your initial word rate decreases sharply if you do their admin, use a broken CAT tool, accept extortionate CAT discounts, pay their money transfer fees, do rounds of useless post-delivery checks by clueless machines, etc.

Philippe
Collapse


Sheila Wilson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Josephine Cassar
 

Sadek_A  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:53
inglés a árabe
+ ...
Only you can tell Jun 18, 2020

As others have successfully indicated here, never accept a test from someone new that is refusing to negotiate terms beforehand.

Also, I might add, never accept a test from someone to whom you applied before and who never had the decency to reply in due time.
When you take from your time to apply with someone that explicitly expressed a need for your services (via job posting, emailing, etc.) and they don't reply at all, they must get blacklisted by you.
Things like "due
... See more
As others have successfully indicated here, never accept a test from someone new that is refusing to negotiate terms beforehand.

Also, I might add, never accept a test from someone to whom you applied before and who never had the decency to reply in due time.
When you take from your time to apply with someone that explicitly expressed a need for your services (via job posting, emailing, etc.) and they don't reply at all, they must get blacklisted by you.
Things like "due to expected number/amount of applications, we won't be able to reply to everyone" must not be accepted by translators.
How hard is it for that someone to reply with a polite automated message? If they don't even take the time for such an automated message, then they deserve zero of your time at all.
In addition, a polite automated message for 2 projects in a row without any further communication must also get them on your blacklist.

And, of course, never accept a test from someone with whom you had a prior bad experience.

Translators are supposed to behave well towards clients, and so are clients towards translators.

Weigh the projected workload and terms carefully, and then decide on the test all by yourself.
Collapse


 

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 23:53
japonés a inglés
Go ahead Jun 18, 2020

Jenny Nilsson wrote:

I've been approached by an agency who wants me to do a translation test. Usually no problems, except this one is longer than the word count I usually accept for tests. 418 words total. How big do you think test tasks should be?


418 is a little longer than usual, but not by much. If the agency is reputable, the rates are good and they're not trying to make you do it in an unreasonable amount of time, go ahead.


Maria da Glória
 

conejo  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 18:53
japonés a inglés
+ ...
It depends but I'd say 1 page is the limit Aug 11, 2020

Of course we don't want to spend a lot of time doing tests. But I'd say the limit is 1 page in a 10 or 12-point font. Beyond that it is not reasonable.

 

Maria da Glória  Identity Verified
Brasil
Local time: 20:53
Miembro 2020
inglés a portugués
+ ...
Only Aug 11, 2020

Up to 300 words I accept, above that I get suspicious.

Becca Resnik
 

Didi18
Estados Unidos
Local time: 16:53
Miembro 2020
inglés a español
+ ...
Which agencies are reputable? Aug 12, 2020

Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei wrote:

Jenny Nilsson wrote:

I've been approached by an agency who wants me to do a translation test. Usually no problems, except this one is longer than the word count I usually accept for tests. 418 words total. How big do you think test tasks should be?


418 is a little longer than usual, but not by much. If the agency is reputable, the rates are good and they're not trying to make you do it in an unreasonable amount of time, go ahead.




How do we find out which agencies are reputable?


 
Páginas sobre el tema:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Acceptable length of test task

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »