lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

Strategies to Avoid A Translation Sample

This post is originally from, but I copied it and added some new pieces of information.

I know the topic of the translation tests might be not uncommon here, but I wonder if you could help me in this case. As I am SICK of taking free translation tests leading you nowhere but to the Land of Wasted Time and Frustration, That's why I have started adopting certain strategies and I would like my colleagues to give me their opinions about them:

Asking for a paid sample:

I don't know why we have to do free samples in the first place, but that is another different topic that has been discussed over and over along the industry.

The first strategy will be then to ask for a payment for your sample, deductible from your first payment. Another option would be to charge them a minimum rate for the sample.

However, some agencies just don't want to pay for them, arguing this is part of their recruitment process.

Asking for guarantees:

1) I will have the right to appeal any dubious decision correctors and reviewers may have (which are many, as you never know who is actually correcting you).

2) I will have the right to have an actual part of the work and not just be left in a database who knows where.

3) I will have the right to be fairly compensated if no work is assigned to me within the next six months.

Of course, few agencies have really accepted this, but I think it is just fair: I spend a valuable time doing a free test, investing time, money and resources on it, so it is just normal I will try to assure my investment. I think agencies want to play the clever game and want you to take all the expenses of THEIR OWN recruitment process, with no commitment whatsoever.

Showing your time is valuable and you are not desperate:

Simply stating I have much work to do for a freebie, and that I will love to work with that agency, but only for paid work. In that way, I can show them my time is valuable, and that I am not desperate to work with them. 

I think this shows you value your time, and that you are not in need of work.

Sending some of your own samples:

Out of the free samples you have taken before, or from your previous projects. Just don't forget to remove any sensitive information!!!!!

This is a classic, and if you combine it with the previous strategy, I think it is bound to be the most successful one.

Of course, these strategies are not error-free, and agencies may simply pass by. In that case, you will need to decide and balance the risks and benefits of whether to take the test or not.

What do you think? What is your policy with translation tests?

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