Re: FWD: Preparing a translator test

Subject: Re: FWD: Preparing a translator test
From: Sybille Sterk <sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 00:36:06 +0000

I had to check out translators for our company, ensuring that they were qualified enough for the subject matter and also that their style (and other skills, for example maintaining the formatting) fitted the company style. We gave each translator (we went through a translation agency) two pages of text, pieced together from different manuals (some of the text was more hardware orientated, other sections more software orientated and again other sections were scientific descriptions. I tried to include all the different types of text that the translator might come across whilst working for us. Those translations were then sent to our sales offices in France, Spain, Italy, Japan and Germany to be checked over. The formatting I checked myself.

This test gave us a good basis to select the translator.

I think it is quite common to expect a translator to do a test translation (this is also often called a "Sample Translation"), so a professional translator shouldn't really have a problem with that. I have worked as a translator myself and have been asked to do sample translations.

Many translators are working from home, rather than on-site. This is generally not a bad thing if the circumstances allow it, because most translators get much more work done this way. However, if you do have translators working from home, I would ensure that there are at least two people the translator can contact in case he needs any information. If the translators work on-site, I would try to make them feel as part of the team (however brief) as it improves communication, i.e. the translator will be more inclined to ask questions when he/she doesn't understand something, or is unsure about something. It also allows the translator to suggest corrections or improvements.

It might also be a good idea to ask for references to find out if the work of the translator in the past has been of the same standard throughout. Some translators's standards vary very much from one translation to the next.

Hope this helps,


At 23:34 01/03/00 , anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com wrote:

I would like to know if there is any translators subscribed to the list.
If there is any, have you been given a translation test previous to
contract? How was you experience? Any recommendations on how to
administer tests for prospective translators?

Sybille Sterk
Email: sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net
Web Site:
"This writing business. Pencils and what-not.
Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it." -- Eeyore

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