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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Are Translation Tests Helpful?

Are Translation Tests Helpful?

Like any other industry, being a rookie at freelancing is a tough time and you are made to put up with many uphill tasks. Once such task that every freelancer, searching for jobs, faces is the ordeal of taking up tests for translation. But, does taking up such tests really result in getting you jobs is the golden question.

Different agencies handle the proposition of hiring people to do their jobs in different manner. Some just go by the CV you have provided while others resort to screening using samples that you have provided or by checking with some references that you have given. Yet there are others that ask you to take up a test free of charge for evaluating you.

From the agency’s point of view, such tests are justified saying that samples provided may not necessarily be yours while reference response can many a times be questionable. For this reason, they have to take up a test for evaluation. They say that they cannot provide a response to every person who takes up a test.

While there are agencies that do provide a feedback to tests that are taken, there is an equal or a higher number of agencies that do not do this. For this reason, many freelancers get dejected by not receiving proper responses and in several cases receiving devious replies.

This brings us back to the question- Do such tests result in providing you jobs? While it is a general opinion that such tests are nothing but a waste of time, there definitely is a small percentage of people who claim that they have landed up jobs by taking up tests before starting out.

So, the proposition of taking up a test or not is a decision that has to be made by you. The only kind of safeguarding that you can do from your side is to try and check the credentials of the agency to see if you are not being taken for a ride by taking the prescribed test.


Anonymous said...

We just awarded a project to a translator who had done a sample translation for us months ago. A test translation can be a good way for a translator to sell his or her services to an agency or to a direct client.