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5 Steps To A Great Test Translation (for the translator)

Last week we gave a few pointers on how to Make A Test Translation Useful which was aimed at those dishing out the test.

But what about if you’re taking the test? Read below for 5 Ways To Make a Test Translation Great and often work in your favour.


Let’s start with the most important. Make sure the agency can afford you! Negotiate rates before accepting to carry out a test translation. There is nothing worst (trust me!) than spending your time doing your absolute best on a test translation to be told they think you are good enough (yay!) to work for them, but they only offer 0.03USD per word and it is non-negotiable!

Treat it as real work

Obvious one. How would you carry this out if it was paid? Do your absolute best their explanation. Best foot forward. What comes around goes around. *insert synonymous idiom here*

Stick to the brief

If the instructions say to only translate highlighted parts, don’t bother translating the rest – this will probably be held against you. If you aren’t given any instructions, ask for some! Ask who the (albeit, pretend) readership will be. Ask the (again, pretend) reason for translation – informative? For publication? You get the gist. Just make sure to follow instructions. Agencies don’t want translators who veer from what they’re asked to do.

No “and/or”s, slashes or comments

You certainly wouldn’t leave alternative translations in your final documents in normal circumstances. Same applies here. This would most likely count as a mistranslation or an error.

No translator’s notes

Unless specifically requested in the instructions, I’d definitely pass on these. They can sometimes give the impression that you don’t really understand or are not confident with your translation.



Would you give any other advice to those carrying out test translations?

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