Translation Tests – To Do or Not To Do?

Last Updated On: June 19, 2017


Translation Test

Translation TestAccording to those who have taken translation tests as a way of assessing their ability to translate well in their chosen language, they have found the drawbacks of such tests far outweigh the benefits when it comes to securing a job in translation that matches their language skills in two languages.

The drawbacks of doing a translation test are outlined below.

1. The test translation is often far too long, implying that the company who asked for the test to be taken was just after a free translation with no intention of either offering a job or paying for the test translation


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    2. Reference material is not provided with the test translation so the candidate is not sure what sort of terminology is expected. Keeping the terminology the same in all a company’s documents makes it consistent. By omitting to provide the terminology means the outcome of a translation test would not be acceptable by the company

    3. The context is not provided when a technical document is used for a test translation

    4. The company who requests the translation test fails to tell the translator who the intended reader or audience is going to be. It is very important in order to carry out a good translation to know who will read the translation as the translator will adapt a documents translation to suit the readership.

    5. You can’t trust the marker of the test as their company, if they could get away with it, may downgrade the quality of your work so they have to pay less.

    6. Often translation services dispatch tests and job details just to appease the translator’s interest when typically there are no jobs available or the job seekers language specialism is not in demand.

    The final advice is that when a translation agency in Australia asks you to complete a test translation be wary. Even if you are good it doesn’t mean by taking the translation test that a successful attempt at translation will open up a job in translation.

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