Getting satisfaction from ones job is a must when one considers how much time is devoted to making money. For freelancers the very question of money & satisfaction is one that circulates around the head every time a new job offer pops up in the hub of their business world – the very hive of activity (if you’ve done your sums right) – the email in (with the offers) box.
That satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with many other factors too: Am I respected as a professional? Am I given the due respect I am worth? Actually the nitty gritty of it is- am I being told the truth?
Am I being told the truth? What do I mean?
I participated in the “Take our poll: should new clients test your skills or hire you on trust?” I answered honestly that I thought it only fair to carry out a small translation test of around 250 words. Fair because let’s face it you wouldn’t hire a person you had never met nor interviewed before would you? Agree as I may I do have something to add to this & whilst I’m at it lets also get back to the original question of “Am I being told the truth?”
On submitting your “test” translation you are doing so in good faith, just as if you were getting suited and booted for that all important job interview. You wouldn’t expect to arrive, be asked to make coffee & then find out that you needn’t have bothered blowing the moth balls off the old whistle because the job never really existed in the first place. Or worst still it was given over to a machine long ago! Confused? Don’t be, I can easily explain …..
It’s plain to see sometimes that what’s actually going on is that no matter how good your test translation may have been you’re just not going to get the job. Scenario, I send off a test translation for a website. I get one section to translate, and the other 300 translators get the others. Result the website was translated thank you – sorry services no longer required!
Second scenario – The big respected translation agency advertises for – let’s say a freelance legal translator. Legal – pretty serious subject – or so you would think. Out goes the test translation but be careful not to get too technical, too legal, in fact too anything because that Trados proofreader won’t like it! Alert, alert – fuzzy match or what! Apparently even where 2 applicable law systems are completely different it’s still possible to translate legal documents word for word – don’t make me laugh!
The fact of the matter is this; some people are getting too big for their boots. Just because you own an agency does not mean you get to treat your workers no better than shoe-shiners (sorry shoe-shiners you do a great job) & it does not give you the right to pay the hard-working professional peanuts whilst you fat cats get to lick the delicious and thick cream off your lovely whiskers. If you want to pay with peanuts hire monkeys and give “poor” translators a break!
Take the test but watch out for the trick question!