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I have been working for Gengo for a while and passed the standard test two years ago. Almost all of the jobs I did received good feedback from the customers. My current rating is 10 out of 10, and I believe I did a good job too.

However, I find the Pro test particularly frustrating because all my 6 attempts I did in the pass one year failed . I am very concerned by the opaque nature of the reviewing - specific reasons are never mentioned if your test is rejected. You simply get "your test performance did not meet our expectation and that some of your translation is not accurate enough" - here again no specific example are cited, and even yes, you will not be informed why the senior translator think your translation is inaccurate.

Here is the dilemma - if you opted for a word-to-word strategy they would accuse you of being too literal; if you try to do something a bit more creative, they blame you for not following the source. It is pretty much the case that it all depends on the reviewer's preference.

Could there be any reliable and quantified reviewing matrix in place to ensure the impartial and fair nature of this test? I think this is line and foundation based on which  translators are willing to join and contribute.

 

 

5 comments

  • 1
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    ChikaraShimizu

    > Yuhang Yang

    I'm in almost the same situation. The dilemma between literal translation and free translation is really confusing me.

    But I think, in the end, it's just a compatibility issue. There is no perfect translation. If we are really good translators, someone should find us. We don't have to stick to Gengo. Indeed, I've got a chance to work as a translator thanks to Gengo, which is open to almost everyone all over the world. But once we got to believe ourselves to be better, we can leave Gengo anytime and look for other chances. If you do this, Gengo just lose one good translator.

    Anyway, I like Gengo and want to keep working on it. So it's nice if its test system gets better.

  • 1
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    Megan Waters

    @Yuhang: Thanks for your comment. The tests are actually reviewed using the exact same method used when reviewing individual jobs. So there is indeed a reliable and quantified reviewing matrix already in place and is not random as you suggest. The senior translators have a huge amount of tests to mark each week, so I think they prefer to give a standard answer but often do add specific examples and feedback, too. We can work with the senior translators to ask them to include more examples to better help our translators. Do you think this would help?

  • 2
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    May-Lin

    In my experience (having passed standard, pro, and proofread), Gengo prefers that you stick as close to the source material as possible, but at the same time make sure the translation sounds natural, even if that means tweaking it a little.

    E.g. if you are translating a standard business letter from German to English, then the German text would probably start with "Most honored Mr. Jones". Now you could translate that word for word, and it wouldn't be grammatically wrong, but that's not how you usually address people when writing business letters in English, so you'd write "Dear Mr. Jones" instead.

  • 0
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    leonardosp95

    When I tried to do the test (three times, now I have to wait for months) I did receive a feedback. There were minor errors, some of them really stupid that I couldn't even believe I did them. Anyway, looks like the senior members of your language pair (I suppose it's related to Chinese, due to your name) may not have been replying you with a good analisis, not telling you what is wrong(and if it is wrong) and why.

  • 0
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    mirko

    If they're using the GoCheck system for test reviews as well, as Megan was saying, then providing a list of mistakes should be entirely feasible, since they're all listed in order to calculate the score. One thing I never really understood, however, is how the "too close/far from the source error" works on Gengo (and how it is evaluated), especially since my ST never raised that point in the 30+ reviews I got.

    At any rate, fact is we're talking about a test, not a regular quality review, so, if every time one failed they received a detailed explanation of the mistake(s) they made, then that would become kind of a "walkthrough" to pass the test (especially if the text sample remains the same between two consecutive tests), since a rejection here is not final (as it tends to be elsewhere).

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