Despite your awesome resume, clients ask you to do a sample translation. You accept but then they send you more than 3 pages of text. What do you do?
- I never do sample translations so I don’t care, and because I am that awesome no one shall question my powers
- I (im)politely decline
- I accept it because I’m that desperate
No matter what your answer is, if you are a freelance translator there’s a high chance you’ve already been in this situation. While many debate whether sample translations are a legit practice or not, it’s a fact they happen in 99,99999999% of time when you approach or get approached by a new client.
The unwritten rule says that a batch of 250-450 words is an optimum, a fine number that should allow you to show off your skills. Fine, 250-450 words may not be much, but where is the line that separates “professional client’s practice” from hard core exploitation?
I guess each of us set their own boundaries. For me, this boundary is at 250 source words, which should be one A4 page (single spacing). I do them simply because I like to see the type of material I’d be dealing with.
Yet, there are clients who abuse this situation and will, believe it or not, try to drag you through the “circles of hell” pointing out that they like your translation, but because of so many applicants they cannot decide if you are the perfect one for them. Then, they send you another sample translation.
Do you accept?