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Requirement: must live in USA / or must be US citizen
Thread poster: esoft

esoft
Canada
Local time: 04:02
Italian to English
Apr 11, 2005

In Proz postings I often see requests for translators who live in a specific country. Specifically, I there seems to be a lot of postings requiring that the translators live in the USA; other times they require that they be US citizens. This requirement seems to be prevalent for USA. As you can appreciate, outside of UK English, 90% of the postings for the North-American market are practically for the US market.

I understand that some instances may require local translators for reasons of practicality but how could an entire country be local?

Hope that some of you who have these requirements can shed some light on this topic. If the requirement is regulatory, please point to the applicable law/rule.

Thanks in advance

Antonella


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vorloff
Bosnian to English
+ ...
A few possible reasons Apr 11, 2005

I'm not sure what types of requests you have been seeing, but I wouldn't say that a majority require US citizenship. Some that do, may be because the projects are of a sensitive nature and require some kind of government clearance. I would say that most of the posts with the US citizenship requirement that I have seen have been for this reason.

Another possible reason is for tax purposes. Maybe some companies prefer to work with US citizens or those living in the US because they don't want to take the time to figure out the implications as far as taxation is concerned. The other possibility is liability issues.

Some people just feel more comfortable entrusting jobs to local freelancers, because they can pick up the phone and talk to them without having to deal with international calls and time zones, send them a standard check instead of having to figure out payment transfers, etc, etc. Since you are in Canada, this shouldn't really apply to you, so I would say that if you suspect this is the only reason that the job posting states US resident/citizen, go ahead and apply for it anyway. The poster could have just forgotten or not realized that he or she was excluding our friendly neighbors to the north.

Regards,

Vera




esoft wrote:

In Proz postings I often see requests for translators who live in a specific country. Specifically, I there seems to be a lot of postings requiring that the translators live in the USA; other times they require that they be US citizens. This requirement seems to be prevalent for USA. As you can appreciate, outside of UK English, 90% of the postings for the North-American market are practically for the US market.

I understand that some instances may require local translators for reasons of practicality but how could an entire country be local?

Hope that some of you who have these requirements can shed some light on this topic. If the requirement is regulatory, please point to the applicable law/rule.

Thanks in advance

Antonella


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Subhamay Ray  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:32
English to Bengali
+ ...
A unique phenomenon Apr 12, 2005

Vera Orloff wrote:

Some people just feel more comfortable entrusting jobs to local freelancers, because they can pick up the phone and talk to them without having to deal with international calls and time zones...


I won't agree with this because we find more job postings with "must live in the USA" requirement. I don't remember how many times I have seen "must live in France" or "must live in China" as a requirement for recruiting translators.

But perhaps it is useless to discuss this here. Would that make things change?


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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:02
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Maybe they wanted North American English Speakers...? Apr 12, 2005

I think maybe this sometimes occurs because the world seems to love to divide English into US English and British English, completely disregarding all other Anglophone countries. (To be cautious: I speak in generalities here and do not mean to offend anyone nor to insinuate one form of English is better than the other.)Apart from the previously stated security and tax reasons, the poster may just want a "US English" mother tongue but more rightly should have said they wanted a "North American English" speaker. (Small tangent: it drives me crazy when people say I speak "American" when my dictionary has the word "English" stamped across the front, I had to take four years of "English" in high school and I constantly have to press 1 to listen to those awful telephone menus in English. A spade is a spade and American English is not its own language; it's not even a dialect!)Anyway, that's just one possiblity and my two, okay five, cents...

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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 13:32
English to Assamese
+ ...
It is the ghost of losing jobs. Apr 12, 2005

For quite sometime now, there had been growing apprehension in certain quarters in the US about flight of jobs to developing countries. Legislations have been passed in certain states like California against outsourcing of federal govt jobs. Most of the translation agencies incidently are based in California. I think this is reason for those job postings requiring US citizenship or residentship.

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:02
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tax reasons Apr 12, 2005

or policy related to tax reasons may apply in some cases.

While I haven't seen this in the EU, I know that current mechanisms have made EU transactions more transparent (and somewhat more advantageous) than outside-EU operations.

I also saw this as a requirement for any translator seeking grants from the (US) National Endowment for the Arts: after all, it's US taxpayers' money, and I can find no objection to that. It's also possible some people simply do not want to bother with Form W-8 procedures. And in interpreting, the advantages of hiring locals are clear.

I think it's a pretty objective requirement.


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Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Own experience Apr 12, 2005

I have worked on a couple of occasions with an american agency and there has been no problem...what's more I have never been asked to fill the W8 thingy....which I wouldn't mind.
I see this as laziness in not wanting to think about how will I pay this person if he/she does a job for me.
Again some agencies in the State are not very familiar with the World I would say. Yesterday I bid for a job into Castilian Spanish and the PM wasn't sure if I was ok for the job because my profile mentions 'European Spanish', he asked me 3 times in 3 different e-mail if I was sure it was the same thing....unbelievable.
TAke care.


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esoft
Canada
Local time: 04:02
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you to everyone who responded Apr 14, 2005

I appreciate everyone's feedback

Antonella


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