Monday, June 30, 2008

"We need urgently a translator" - or, how not to entice one

Yesterday I received this message:
Dear miss, dear mister,

We need urgently a translator who translates technical documents from english to italian for our firm [name deleted].

Therefor we need a test for his person in order to know his translation qualities . The english texte to translate as a free test is enclosed to the email.

So, you need a translator urgently.


But in order to entice someone during the weekend, a well written message, addressed to your candidates by name (if you need to send to multiple persons because of the urgency, there is always mail merge), with a polite inquiry about availability, rates (and an offer to pay a rush surcharge) would have greater chances of success than a message from an aol e-mail address, with almost no information about the customer, obviously sent to all and sundry, full of errors and, to top it all, demanding a free test.


  1. I totally agree with you. Translation tests for urgent jobs on a weekend are just *wrong* - at least when coming from a fellow translator who should know better.

  2. Looks like this person needs to take a project management test. Wow. I wonder how many replies they get.


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