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Why would someone be rude to me because of an ad?
Thread poster: samnunns
samnunns
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
Oct 8, 2005

I recently posted an ad here ( title: Potential big financial project) and in 2 days I got an email that put no focus on the job with an intention to be rude to me. Does anyone have any idea why? Here's the email I got. (I replied...... but I'm not sure if my email should be posted here because it's not exactly "pretty" )

The email I got:

To whom it may concern,

I hereby refer to the message you posted on proz.com
First, with respect to the concern of your clients with the mother tongue language of the potential translators, are you a native English speaker? From what I read in the description you posted, I am sure that you
are not (e.g. “4 books on Finance that covers (s?) real estate” and
“I may have work provided by some of my clients”, shall be “I can or
am able to”, “can” is definitely different from “may”). Therefore
it is not difficult to find translators satisfactory to you for the job
of your clients including without limitation me to the extent that the
English writing you posted is acceptable to your clients.

What makes me more interested is your plan of setting up a translation
agent of your own. I have been nourishing the same hope for some time
without encountering any real chance to make a startup......

Best regards
-- I am civil, so I've decided the name should be hidden. --


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:23
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hi Sam Oct 8, 2005

First of all, while posting anything on the web you should be prepared to get various kinds of feedback. Unfortunately, not every user of Internet is polite and civilized.

Instead of replying to the offender in the same manner you should contact any of the site moderators.

Best,
Natalia


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Last Hermit
Local time: 20:23
Chinese to English
+ ...
Retort: Yes, you CAN have work. But you MAY not! Oct 8, 2005

A most prevalent joke about the use of "can" and "may"

Student: Can I pee, sir?
Sir: Yes, you CAN. But you MAY not!

More to follow. Stay tuned.


samnunns wrote:

I recently posted an ad here ( title: Potential big financial project) and in 2 days I got an email that put no focus on the job with an intention to be rude to me. Does anyone have any idea why? Here's the email I got. (I replied...... but I'm not sure if my email should be posted here because it's not exactly "pretty" )

The email I got:

To whom it may concern,

I hereby refer to the message you posted on proz.com
First, with respect to the concern of your clients with the mother tongue language of the potential translators, are you a native English speaker? From what I read in the description you posted, I am sure that you
are not (e.g. “4 books on Finance that covers (s?) real estate” and
“I may have work provided by some of my clients”, shall be “I can or
am able to”, “can” is definitely different from “may”). Therefore
it is not difficult to find translators satisfactory to you for the job
of your clients including without limitation me to the extent that the
English writing you posted is acceptable to your clients.

What makes me more interested is your plan of setting up a translation
agent of your own. I have been nourishing the same hope for some time
without encountering any real chance to make a startup......

Best regards
-- I am civil, so I've decided the name should be hidden. --


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samnunns
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
can or may Oct 8, 2005

As for this matter, I pointed out (to this person) in my email :
MAY is right here because "I am not sure if I will get this job" (and that's why the topic is "potential project") while "can" or "be able to" bears a more positive meaning. So really, I don't know what this persona is talking about..... his/ her English s***ks.(So says my kiwi husband,too, who happens to be a native English speaker.) And the mistake that I made, "four books that covers...", was purely because I typed too fast.
Anyway, I wasn't sure if this kind of thing should be reported to the moderators but I guess it should. Thanks for the advice, Natalie


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Last Hermit
Local time: 20:23
Chinese to English
+ ...
His is LESS acceptable Oct 9, 2005

Here you go:

Left: from NODE; Right: from AHD
( http://www.bartleby.com/61/76/C0057600.html )



samnunns wrote:

I recently posted an ad here ( title: Potential big financial project) and in 2 days I got an email that put no focus on the job with an intention to be rude to me. Does anyone have any idea why? Here's the email I got. (I replied...... but I'm not sure if my email should be posted here because it's not exactly "pretty" )

The email I got:

To whom it may concern,

I hereby refer to the message you posted on proz.com
First, with respect to the concern of your clients with the mother tongue language of the potential translators, are you a native English speaker? From what I read in the description you posted, I am sure that you
are not (e.g. “4 books on Finance that covers (s?) real estate” and
“I may have work provided by some of my clients”, shall be “I can or
am able to”, “can” is definitely different from “may”). Therefore
it is not difficult to find translators satisfactory to you for the job
of your clients including without limitation me to the extent that the
English writing you posted is acceptable to your clients.

What makes me more interested is your plan of setting up a translation
agent of your own. I have been nourishing the same hope for some time
without encountering any real chance to make a startup......

Best regards
-- I am civil, so I've decided the name should be hidden. --


[Edited at 2005-10-09 04:36]

[Edited at 2005-10-09 04:37]


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ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
Just take it easy and be happy! Oct 9, 2005

samnunns,

If you saw the fierce battles that took place on this forum in the past, you would feel that this case is just a piece of cake. So, just take it easy and be happy!


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Last Hermit
Local time: 20:23
Chinese to English
+ ...
And this sentence sounds very awkward if not inaccessible Oct 9, 2005


Therefore it is not difficult to find translators satisfactory to you for the job of your clients including without limitation me to the extent that the English writing you posted is acceptable to your clients.


His/her grammatical mistakes:
1) "including without limitation me" SB "including, without limitation to, me", despite its clumsiness.

2)The word "find" and the noun group "to the extent" are separated by too many words/noun groups, well, to the extent that 远水不能救近火!


[Edited at 2005-10-09 04:35]


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chica nueva
Local time: 01:23
Chinese to English
Because they want to see how you will react, maybe...? Oct 9, 2005

samnunns wrote:

I recently posted an ad here ( title: Potential big financial project) and in 2 days I got an email that put no focus on the job with an intention to be rude to me. Does anyone have any idea why? Here's the email I got. (I replied...... but I'm not sure if my email should be posted here because it's not exactly "pretty" )

The email I got:

To whom it may concern,

I hereby refer to the message you posted on proz.com
First, with respect to the concern of your clients with the mother tongue language of the potential translators, are you a native English speaker? From what I read in the description you posted, I am sure that you
are not (e.g. “4 books on Finance that covers (s?) real estate” and
“I may have work provided by some of my clients”, shall be “I can or
am able to”, “can” is definitely different from “may”). Therefore
it is not difficult to find translators satisfactory to you for the job
of your clients including without limitation me to the extent that the
English writing you posted is acceptable to your clients.

What makes me more interested is your plan of setting up a translation
agent of your own. I have been nourishing the same hope for some time
without encountering any real chance to make a startup......

Best regards
-- I am civil, so I've decided the name should be hidden. --


Yes, ask Kevin Yang about this perhaps. He is a very good advisor.It is possible he will post a comment on this thread.I have an idea of what he might say. Take time to observe, learn from Proz, establish yourself here, read profiles, see what kinds of people there are here and who is respected and why.See how people interact, who talks a lot, who doesn't say much.Is that person respected here, then 值得考虑.Is that person not respected here, then 没关系,不理他.You know your situation best.但是 '不必太乐观'- is that 不客气,不礼貌, or just 一个人的(不太受欢迎的)建议,讲现实?

另外,你们台湾/香港同胞,软吗?你们年轻小姐们,敏感吗?有没有可能大陆的男同仁们正在...

Thank you for posting this here...

[Edited at 2005-10-09 18:33]


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Last Hermit
Local time: 20:23
Chinese to English
+ ...
Did you happen to know the "rule of proximity"? Oct 9, 2005

Let's take a look at this first:

1) None of them ARE translators.

You might consider this sentence incorrect or unacceptable. It is true that it is wrong according to descriptive grammar. But in the most-prised grammar book "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language"by Randolph Quirk et al such usage is accepted basing on the "rule of proximity". Do a Google search, you may be able to find many reputable sources to support this.

Nonetheless, the usage of "None of them IS translator" is more formal than "None of them ARE translators".

Thus, basing on the said rule, your "four books that coverS...", might not necessarily be wrong in this informal context.

More to follow. Stay tuned.

samnunns wrote:

As for this matter, I pointed out (to this person) in my email :
MAY is right here because "I am not sure if I will get this job" (and that's why the topic is "potential project") while "can" or "be able to" bears a more positive meaning. So really, I don't know what this persona is talking about..... his/ her English s***ks.(So says my kiwi husband,too, who happens to be a native English speaker.) And the mistake that I made, "four books that covers...", was purely because I typed too fast.
Anyway, I wasn't sure if this kind of thing should be reported to the moderators but I guess it should. Thanks for the advice, Natalie


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
語言使用的目的 Oct 9, 2005

samnunns,

Yueying 說對了:Just take it easy! 不管在哪個生活圈內,總會有人不客氣。只要自己明白語言使用的溝通目的,溝通雙方因語病需要澄清的地方互相客氣澄清即可,不誠意的言語可以不必理會,因為那種只為抓語病而非為澄清言語內容以達溝通目的之不客氣的言語,原本就是我們在社群裡不希望捲入而浪費精神的口角,所以一笑置之可矣。

事實上,不管一個人某種語文的程度多高,多多少少都會說或寫出有語病的東西,只要不太嚴重,可以達到溝通目的即可。要求精確則是同仁之間善意客氣的切磋琢磨;這種切磋琢磨可以很正常地進行的,不需要弄得雙方動氣。其實,除了基本的語文理解和表達能力之外,翻譯人之間建立合作關係的基礎,正是對溝通目的之體認,以及正確的溝通態度。

希望每個人都能把這種事當作正常的人間現象,淡然處之。

Wenjer


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ysun  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
To be fair Oct 9, 2005

samnunns,

作为一位旁观者,我认为那位朋友给你的Email虽然说话比较直率,但还算不上是 rude。如果我的理解没错的话,那位朋友的主要意思和弦外之音是:一,据我判断,你自己也不是 native English speaker,如果你的client能接受你的English,为什么你非要求与你合作者也必须是 native English speaker?二,你的翻译社至今还只不过是一个设想,但未必能成为现实。

关于第一点,我觉得他说的还是有一定的道理。我一直认为,不一定非得 native English speaker 才能作中译英。为此我还曾与一位 native English speaker 在此论坛上进行过激烈的辩论。选择中译英人才,你应该综合考虑译者的素质。翻译无非就是理解和表达,两者不可偏废。如果译者能很好地理解原文,但译文表达不好,固然是一种欠缺。但如果译者不能很好地理解原文,那么表达再好也是白搭。“故事”讲得再动听,却很可能讲的完全是另一码事。在很多情况下,你可能还不得不选择一位non-native English speaker 来作中译英。为了改善译文的表达,你可以让一位 native English speaker 来做 proofreader/editor。在很多情况下,我们不一定非得迁就翻译社,而要给他们上上课。

关于第二点,并没有人规定非得翻译社才能在 ProZ.com 上做聘人广告。我特意去看了一下你的广告。其中,你刻意解释了你有成立翻译社的计划,其实你根本就没有必要解释。合作是两相情愿的事情。只要你能按时支付合理的稿费,那么是不是翻译社根本就无所谓。我也曾在 ProZ 上登过聘人广告。此后,有一个大陆的翻译社给我来过 Email,态度很傲慢,问我是否是翻译社,公司网址是什么?我心想,是我聘你,还是你聘我?就理都没理他。须知,很多翻译社在网站上说得天花乱坠,但你在交了活之后根本就别指望能收到他们的钱。一位帮我翻译资料的朋友说的一句话,使我印象很深。这句话的大意是:我最不担心收不到钱的是请我合作的自由译者。

在 Proz 上登聘人广告,只是发现人才的手段之一。如果你平时经常参与Kudoz questions 的问与答,参与 Forum 的讨论,你可以了解很多翻译人员的水平和性格。你可从中选择潜在的合作伙伴。还有一个有效的方法是让同行们推荐。

以上拙见,仅供你的参考,也希望能有助于化解你与那位朋友之间的不快。祝事业顺利!

[Edited at 2005-10-09 19:43]


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Kevin Yang  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:23
Member (2003)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I see nothing wrong for the Chinese translators pairing with the native English linguists at ProZ Oct 10, 2005

Dear samnunns,

Thank you for sharing with us your recent experience! I am sorry to learn that you were bothered by that particular comment you received, and even replied him with a not-so-pretty response. I hope this matter got stopped and did not escalate further. For a better understanding of what happened here, I think there is a necessity to discuss about it openly, so we all can learn something from it, and prevent it from happening to us in future. I could write this message to you in Chinese, but I chose to write it in English, because I want whoever wrote that message to you can also read this message of mine.

It is so nice to have many nice colleagues here to offer their inputs. By reading their messages, I hope you are feeling better now, because after all, there are many experienced peers here helping you. By reviewing your job ad (Yes, I found it and read it twice) as well as this person's email, I would like to share with you my thoughts. You do not have to agree with me, but you should at least read and think what I said.

1. By reading your job ad, to be honest with you, I found it was confusing. I was not clear about your role in that project, or the role of the native English linguist you are looking for. You gave too much unrelated information, which did not help with the description of your potential job, but projected your operation as not professional, not yet registered, offering a project that might not be secured. As a translator myself, I would wonder immediately if you were qualified to manage such a large project, and my translation service would be compensated at the end. You also revealed your interest of collecting resumes of the translators for your future job. By the way, collecting resumes of translators is a banned activity at this site.

Solution: If I were you, I would be up front with people and make it very clear at the very beginning of your job ad that I were looking for a native English linguist to pair up with me as a translation team. I would do the draft translation from Chinese to English, and the native English linguist would need to polish my English translation. Please respond ASAP, so I could submit my bid to my client for this potential Chinese to English translation job. Payment would be made upon delivery of every three chapters. Never offer the information that is not needed.

2. Your job ad does contain numerous grammatical mistakes. The person who wrote to you was confused by your ad. He misunderstood what you were looking for. He was saying, if your client had been satisfied with your English, why bother to look for a native English linguist? It perhaps would be much easier to find another person at similar English level as yours to do the job. He thought you were looking for a native English translator to split the books or chapters with you, then you both do the English translation at the same time. I certainly hope you did not mean that. I have lived in the United States for 20 years, and I am still not ready to offer that kind of service. I always have to have a native English linguist to polish my English. Anyway, in my opinion, he was very blunt. But, I could understand where he came from. Indeed, it was very rude to cite those grammatically wrong sentences as he did, kind of like pushing a pie into the asker's face. I agree those sentences he picked were grammatically wrong, but the way he put them together made me wonder if he was trying to help the asker to improve English or just trying to humiliate the asker.

Solution: Always proofread your ad. It would be better if you can have another person read your ad when you plan to post it in the public. The ad must be very straightforward and clear about what you are asking for. Grammar mistakes and spell errors will certainly make you look bad. Another important thing I like to mention to you is that, before you post anything to the public, you must get your Profile at ProZ.com well written and presented. This is the "front entrance" of your store. Would you walk into a store and do business with the store owner if his store looks horrible or nothing is there?

3. This is an international job market. You are dealing with the people from all over the world. Everyone is very particular about his/her business here. You should also think this place as a jungle, and always get prepared to protect yourself, and let go the mindset of the Bamby walking into the forest by accident. I can see you are new to ProZ.com. I am sorry that this hurtful experience came to you so early. I hope this experience will help you to get tough quickly. As a business owner, everyone is entitled to walk to you and to tell you that your product or service sucks. You could respond him by saying "Get out of here. You bastard!" Or you could also take another approach by taking a deep breath and saying "I apologize for that, Sir! Let me fix it for you. There, how do you like it now?"

Solution: Don't draw conclusions too quickly. Sometimes a quick reaction based on your first impression does not bring you the best result. When your emotion goes up, your reasoning goes down. Give yourself some time to analyze. If possible, talk to a couple of your friends. There is no gain to argue with your client or customer, especially when your product is not flawless. Remember the customer is always "right." The goal is to send them away happy and you get paid in full.

4. Most native English translators are great. For example, Lesley McLachlan is so patient with the Chinese translators and always offers her help. It seems to me only a few of them showed impatience about the Chinese translators'English. As Yueyin mentioned, we had a lengthy discussion over the topic of non-English speakers perform English translation. Please go to read those messages in that folder when you have time. I think the worst kind should be what I had experienced. It happened some years ago, when we were debating if I, as the moderator, could unhide a large number of KudoZ answers that were unnecessarily hidden by a Chinese translator, I was attacked by a guy from Spain about my English, because he believed my English was not up to his "standard." He went on and questioned my integrity and qualification for being at this volunteered position. True, you simply can find all kinds of people out there. However, I noticed the Chinese people are much kinder; they always encourage foreigners to learn Chinese and eager to help. If anyone finds any "ugly Chinese," please be sure to report to me. I will be happy to go to deal with that person.

What I want to say to those native English speakers is that, if you really want to help the Chinese translators, it perhaps would work much better if you can show them what is considered as better English, rather than criticize them or simply humiliate them. I see that you can put up with the Mexican folks speaking English, and also can accept the English from India; I think it is not too much to ask to give the Chinese people a chance to use English. English is spoken by so many people in so many countries, have you all agreed on everything among yourselves in terms of grammar rules and word usages? Have you ever heard the English spoken by American cowboys? Don't you find our English improved so much than those Chinese people who were portrayed in the old American movies? I think it is a great solution to the quality improvement for the Chinese translators to pair up with native English linguists as translation teams. I see nothing wrong with that.


Kevin


[Edited at 2005-10-12 09:35]


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samnunns
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please don't miss the point Oct 10, 2005

No, there's absolutely nothing wrong for Chinese translators to pair with native English speakers. There's no way I'd think it's wrong.... I AM A CHINESE TRANSLATOR MYSELF!! (In my profile, I declared my native language Chinese!) And actually, before posting the job here, I have contacted a Chinese translator here (I can prove this by giving you the user name.) but later on it seemed that MY CLIENTS (not I) care about this more than I thought. So I though I was obligated to make this known to applicants. The point here has never been who is or who isn't a native English speaker, or even how wrong that person's English is; it's that I wonder why he/she would write that kind of email to a stranger. Not that I really care; actually I find it a bit laughable, but I'd still like to know if anyone has any idea why this would happen.
ps. Thanks for all the advice and comfort. You are nice people.


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samnunns
Local time: 20:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The job I posted -- I hope this clear would clear up some point Oct 10, 2005

This is an article in reponse to Kevin; he made some good points.
The reason why I gave unnecessary explanation (like my company does not officially exist and how I know about this job) is simple: I want to be as honest as I can with everyone I work with.
Here's what happened: My clients called me up, asking me if I had time for this project and inviting me over to have a look at the books. After glancing through the books quickly, I told them that it's too big for me right now and I would not have time for it. Then, I said, " You know I've been working on this translation company thing; do you think you could let me find people to do this job?" The answer is quite reasonable, " I'm not sure about that. Our boss told us to call you, and he's the one that make this kind of decisions. How about we talk more about this when he's back from the vacation?" (I went to the company on the last day before a one-week holiday)
I just have this idea that I want to think for my translators. Having been one myself, I know how insecure it is for us to get a job through the Internet, and that's why I revealed the details that I didn't have to. Because there are chances my clients would say, "Alright, but only native English speakers," or "OK, Chinese translators would do as long as they could translate a sample that satisfies us" or a much simpler "No". If it is one of the first two reactions, I will have to contact my applicants and make it clear that, still, this is a "potential job" so far, and ask them, " Do you want to work with me to try and get it?"
As for the actual books, I don't have them because I wouldn't be the translator for them anyway. So I couldn't really give a more detailed description of them; I do have a short sample of them, but I don't think it's ethical for me to spread it before my clients give me the go-ahead.
The last thing that I want to say I see eye to eye with Keving (or maybe someone else?) is: the most important thing is for the translators to get paide. But I thought this is easy to solve since I am willing to put some deposit in my translators' paypal accounts before each delivery.


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:23
English to Chinese
+ ...
People usually stur things up Oct 10, 2005

Dear samnunns,

There are people in this world who'd like to stur things up and laugh up their sleeve when there's a mess. So as Mr. Sun and Wenjer suggested, just sit back and let it go.

I think this issue is very clear. You or anybody here have the right to recruit fellow translators, as long as business is ethnical and payment is good.

I read in some English forum that people complained there are psychos in this world. It is true. There are some people here who are really not professional. Just let ride.

Regards,

Jianjun

[Edited at 2005-10-10 10:16]


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