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Thread poster: Richard Bartholomew

Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:54
Member (2007)
German to English
May 28, 2005

First, some background. For the past twenty years or so, I've earned my keep as a software engineer specializing in scientific and engineering applications. I've worked primarily as a sub-contractor for outfits like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. I hold an active Department of Defense (DoD) secret clearance. My language pair is German to English.

Now, my question: Is anyone aware of a market in technical translation requiring a DoD clearance? A modest web searching effort hasn't turned up anything. It seems as though there should be some work with this requirement since defense contractors do a considerable amount of business with foreign governments.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:54
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Off the top of my head May 28, 2005

I would imagine DoD clearance would be of use if you were a direct translation provider to the DoD.
Stuff that is outsourced is generally cleared as not confidential, in my meagre experience.
In fact, ministries of all sorts tend to have in-house translators for that requirement.
Angela

Rich B. wrote:
Is anyone aware of a market in technical translation requiring a DoD clearance? A modest web searching effort hasn't turned up anything. It seems as though there should be some work with this requirement since defense contractors do a considerable amount of business with foreign governments.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
yes, DoD translation needs May 28, 2005

Rich,
Yes there are needs for a background like yours.
See my background at my website further below.
I've worked on automatic translation system for DARPA and other government projects.
I can give you a few pointers. Just send me a message through my Proz profile page.

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
security clearance for translation jobs May 28, 2005

Angela Arnone wrote:
I would imagine DoD clearance would be of use if you were a direct translation provider to the DoD.
Stuff that is outsourced is generally cleared as not confidential, in my meagre experience.
In fact, ministries of all sorts tend to have in-house translators for that requirement.


I know of translation agencies here in France who handle government-sensitive translation work, and require citizenship as a basis for working on such projects. The types of projects that I have seen as advertized for such a profile are often with regard to aerospace projects, most likely involving military aircraft.

Jeff


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:54
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Hi Jeff - I'm not sure if I understand your post correctly May 29, 2005

so if you could explain if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me (smile) I'd be grateful!
Citizenship, I presume you to mean, is not equivalent to security clearance, but merely some indication of being a native speaker of the target language?
AFAIK, all translation work is confidential and "non-disclosure" is inherent to the translator's code of ethics, but that's not the same as having security clearance ... my brother was given that kind of clearance years ago to work for the UK government and the entire family was vetted at the time.
Angela

Jeff Allen wrote:
I know of translation agencies here in France who handle government-sensitive translation work, and require citizenship as a basis for working on such projects.




[Edited at 2005-05-29 12:04]


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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:54
Member (2007)
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I'm vague about it too May 30, 2005


Stuff that is outsourced is generally cleared as not confidential, in my meagre experience.


A little more research shows that defense contractors
typically market customized weapons developed for the
military to foreign governments. If this is the case
then most of the work would be translating English
material into non-English languages. Even so, I'd
imaging that the customer has to specify the desired
modifications, presumably in the customer's own language.

It's really hard to tell. The trade journals report an
awful lot of military hardware and software being sold
to foreign governments, yet there's little, if any,
mention of exactly how the inevitable language
differences are accomodated.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
citizenship requirements & security clearance for translating May 31, 2005

Jeff Allen wrote:
I know of translation agencies here in France who handle government-sensitive translation work, and require citizenship as a basis for working on such projects.

Angela Arnone wrote:

so if you could explain if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me (smile) I'd be grateful!
Citizenship, I presume you to mean, is not equivalent to security clearance, but merely some indication of being a native speaker of the target language?
AFAIK, all translation work is confidential and "non-disclosure" is inherent to the translator's code of ethics, but that's not the same as having security clearance ... my brother was given that kind of clearance years ago to work for the UK government and the entire family was vetted at the time.


Hi Angela,
I meant that government-sensitive documents (in France) can be outsourced for translation. I have worked in collaboration with French government units that keep all work inside, but have seen a number of translation job announcements over the past few years by translation agencies that require citizenship to work on government projects. The citizenship requirement, to my knowledge, is not for native language validation but rather a government requirement for sensitive information (usually military related). The citizen requirement is often enforced by US government entitites.
Security clearance is still another level. I worked as an American citizen on government-funded projects that did not require American citizenship (we had a lab full of native-speaking translators who were translating from English). However, that being said, for those who conducted translation system demos to military and government personnel at their sites, our team members giving those demos had to obtain special security clearance with a full (family) background check.
The concepts of "confidentiality" and "non-disclosure agreements" tend to be business and contract items. Citizenship requirements and security clearance procedures are government-specific requirements be be able to even get to the point of working with such a contract.
There might be some differences between countries on how such points are applied.

Jeff


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:54
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Thanks Jeff! Jun 1, 2005

That is very useful information from a very specific personal experience and extremely helpful.
Regards
Angela

Jeff Allen wrote:
Hi Angela,
I meant that government-sensitive documents (in France) can be outsourced for translation. I have worked in collaboration with French government units that keep all work inside, but have seen a number of translation job announcements over the past few years by translation agencies that require citizenship to work on government projects. The citizenship requirement, to my knowledge, is not for native language validation but rather a government requirement for sensitive information (usually military related). The citizen requirement is often enforced by US government entitites.
Security clearance is still another level. I worked as an American citizen on government-funded projects that did not require American citizenship (we had a lab full of native-speaking translators who were translating from English). However, that being said, for those who conducted translation system demos to military and government personnel at their sites, our team members giving those demos had to obtain special security clearance with a full (family) background check.
The concepts of "confidentiality" and "non-disclosure agreements" tend to be business and contract items. Citizenship requirements and security clearance procedures are government-specific requirements be be able to even get to the point of working with such a contract.
There might be some differences between countries on how such points are applied.

Jeff


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