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Free translation sample

german_mom
Active Member

Hello community,

 

I am new at Upwork and I was just wondering if it's normal for a client to ask for a free sample, e.g. the first two pages of the whole workload, and then disappear without any further remark on the provided sample? (In the chat it says "Job has been cancelled.")

Isn't that kind of rude to just cancel the job instead of declining properly and saying thanks for your work, but I've chosen someone else? After all, I have translated close to 900 words for free. She could have at least told me if my work was good or not.

 

By the way, she was the one who contacted me in the first place, not the other way round. And she's a bestselling author (I did some Google research on her name) - who would have thought?

17 REPLIES 17
gnakeur
Community Guru

You were scammed. Now you know that you should NOT start working without a contract. The fact that client was interviewing you does not mean you are hired. Classic scam here. Read through help articles and forum. 

 

By the way you are not alone who was scammed. You translated first 2 pages, other translated pages 3 and 4 etc. He probably wanted to hire 99 people or was interwiewing 50 freelancers. At least you can be proud you were the first! 🙂 Just kidding, but you really need to prepare before resuming your activities here.

 

Edit:

 

Forgot to mension ther "her" name could be Marilyn Monroe as well or "she"  could be "he".

Oh.

So, not only was she impolite but above all she's a fraud. I see.

I wouldn't have thought that, because she was so nice in the beginning. And I wouldn't have thought that a bestselling author would be so desperate for getting free translation work. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

Sure she would be nice because she needed a trust from your side. And I am repeating, your "client" is not that bestselling author you think he was.  

But what would someone get out of my translation then? And all the other translation work he/she/it stole from us?

He/she/it sent 20 invitations and none of them was unanswered. So they all worked for free? What's in it for the scammer? What's the point in receiving 20 x2 pages of translation which doesn't even match, because every translator has his own style? And what's the point in getting a novel translated, if he's not even the author but only pretending to be? I don't get it.

Claudia, chances are he's what's known as a farmer around here. He gets a translation job from a real client, then gets it translated 2 pages at a time for free, then delivers it to his client and collects his fee. Obviously, there are only so many gullible new freelancers he can take advantage of, so when he runs out of those, he'll either hire the lowest hourly rate translators he can find, or google translate.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

I see. But the work he delivers to the real author will be so freakin awful! Google translate mixed with dozens of different translation styles and qualities... The real client's proofreaders must be dumb and blind not to notice such a scam.


@Claudia B wrote:

I see. But the work he delivers to the real author will be so freakin awful! Google translate mixed with dozens of different translation styles and qualities... The real client's proofreaders must be dumb and blind not to notice such a scam.


Claudia,

 

We cannot assume that all clients, let alone farmers, care as much about the quality of work delivered as we do. The Internet is paved with crap.

 

Best,

Michael 

versailles
Community Guru

@Claudia B wrote:

Hello community,

 

(...) I was just wondering if it's normal for a client to ask for a free sample, e.g. the first two pages of the whole workload, (...)


Your question makes no sense because nobody in their sane mind would translate two pages for free. Not even two paragraphs.

 

And if someone does, then it's not the client who is the problem, it's the person who accepted this free work, even if it was in the hope of being hired. Mostly because being hired doesn't work that way.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Yeah sure, Rene, I am the whole problem and you are so smart. You've never been a beginner.

 

For God's sake, I am new at Upwork. I am new to this whole business. Don't pick on me, ok?!

Don't take it personally.

 

If you stick with it and get some experience here, you too will be able to help newbies. Rene and others aren't trying to pick on anybody. Sometimes direct advice is the most helpful, even if it seems at first glance to be less gentle than it should be.

Giorgi and John were helpful and informative (thx!). Rene wasn't.

 

Hi Claudia,

 

To help you get to a successful start on Upwork and avoid situations like this in the future, please check the resources listed in this post. It's very important that you have an active contract and the client's payment method is verified before you start working on the assignment and all payments are made via that contract. 

 

If a client requests free work, please report them by flagging their job post or a message as inappropriate.

~ Valeria
Upwork

@Claudia B wrote:

Yeah sure, Rene, I am the whole problem and you are so smart. You've never been a beginner.

 

For God's sake, I am new at Upwork. I am new to this whole business. Don't pick on me, ok?!


 Claudia,

 

A little off topic, but since you're new you probably didn't realize that you have to use a profile pic of yourself that is clear and professioinal.  Not doing so can get you flagged for a fake profile pic. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
petra_r
Community Guru

@Claudia B wrote:
I have translated close to 900 words for free.

 900 words is not a "sample"

900 words is a "translation"

 

The professional way to handle such a request is to respond with:

 

"Hi XYZ,


Sure, that's a great idea and I'd be more than happy to translate those 900 words for you, so we can both see how well our styles align.

 

We can do this one of two ways: You can hire me on an hourly contract, or set up a fixed price contract for this sample translation.  If you opt for the fixed rate option, my price per word is $ 0.12, so the milestone to set up and fund would be $ 108, including the Upwork fee.

 

I look forward to working with you.

 

Regards, "

susanned
Community Leader

Well ... if it is one or two pages of 10, yes, that sounds like someone trying to puzzle the whole together without paying.

 

But - for novels? Does any of your guys believe that out of Upwork an author or a printing house would give me a 70-100k novel to translate without seeing a page or two done first? And no, they do not pay for this kind of style check. So don't bash Claudia for this. Of course I always tell them here it is against UW-policy and I need a milestone, but it is not a sign of a client being a scammer.

re: "And no, they do not pay for this kind of style check."

 

Whether or not a brick & mortar publishing house would ask a potential employee or contract worker to do a short translation for free is not what is in dispute here. If a publishing house would do that does not change the fact that doing so is unacceptable on Upwork.

 

re: "...it is not a sign of a client being a scammer."

 

Good point.

 

re: "So don't bash Claudia for this."

 

You are correct: There is no need to "bash" the original poster (Claudia). But is important to address her question and make it clear that the client in question violated Upwork ToS. And she was wrong to provide a free translation like that. It doesn't make her a bad person. It was a mistake. Every one of us made mistakes while starting out. After completing over 100 jobs, I still make mistakes sometimes.

Agreed - and I did actually think that Rene was objectionable in his response.

 

Claudia - I have often done a short translation of a few pages (not incidentally on Upwork) when a client has been looking for a book translator: It is normal in such circumstances, in the professional field, for the client to offer to pay for the translation IF  the translator is not then hired to do the full book. I don't know what your background is (I haven't looked at your profile) but I think that is probably something one learns from experience. 

But I have to say that on a number of occasions I have been asked to translate a short passage, a paragraph or two, and have done that without being offered or expecting payment - because the client has then gone on to give me the whole job. Again, this has not been on Upwork where the client is breaching the terms by asking for a free translation.

I think you have been very unlucky here. But there will be better clients out there - do you provide any sample translations of similar material when putting in your proposal. In your position (and my apologies here because this is not at all what you asked for advice on), as a newcomer trying to biuild up a track record,  I would probably translate a paragraph or so from a daily newspaper with the date of your proposal and include it.

Good luck,

Ailsa

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