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Please don't assist "translators" who clearly haven't a clue
Thread poster: xxxLia Fail
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 21, 2003

Please don't assist ""translators" who clearly haven't a clue!


I have just noticed that someone is posting questions that are of no special difficulty to anyone who claims to be a professional translator, indeed I would say that they are not 'translation difficulties' at all, in the sense understood by academics, theorists, or professionals. Moreover, it is clear that he/she is not translating into his/her first language.

What's more, the asker claims in their profile to be an expert in fields related to the questions asked.

Having looked at previous questions asked by the same person in the same language direction, there is further (and ample) evidence that this individual is claiming to be an expert in areas where he/she needs to ask basic terminology questions.

There is also the possibility that he/she is simply posting the questions to get free help, i.e he/she is too lazy to go to the trouble of using dictionaries or the WWW first. But it most certainly looks like incompetence to me, becuase the questions are quite plain and straightforward.

Please, I ask all translators to exercise discernment in answering questions. Ok, you pass over on KudoZ and BrowniZ but long-term it benefits the site and your profession.

This particular indivdual is undercutting what I understand to be the standard rate for this language pair and direction in the country in question - and substantially. He/she is therefore literally taking the bread and butter out of the mouths of people who could do the job better and faster. This is unfair competition and represents an unethical attitiude on the part of the individual in question. Long-term this simply causes damage to the profession, which historically has had a poor reputation. The only way to improve this reputation is to self-regulate and to politely and firmly exclude those who are clearly non-professionals, those whose attitudes are detrimental to the profession, etc.

In relation to non-natives translating, I understand perfectly that it is not always the case that particular markets can supply sufficient native translators, whether for economic reasons or due to a shortage of translators in certain language pairs. Moreover, often non-natives are very competent in certain areas of expertise where using the correct terminology and language is more important than linguistic niceties.

In other words, there is no hard-and-fast rule about who should translate what, and for this reason it is important to be discerning in offering your knowledge and expertise to those who will materially benefit from it, in some cases - such as this one - to the detriment of the profession in which you have invested years of your life and possibly a lot on money in terms of the acquisition of knowledge and expertise.

Rather than point out my problem with this individual in the questions he/she has posed, or write directly to the individual, I prefer to raise it here. The reason for the former is to give the individual the benefit of the doubt since there may be a justification or explanation (in this case I can't imagine how there possibly could be one, however).

The reason for the second is that it doesn't bring the problem to the attention of other website users, so as to raise consciousness of the problem, to discuss it, and to try and prevent its occurrence by encouraging people to make their own personal decision to decline answering such questions.


[Edited at 2003-12-21 15:04]

[Edited at 2003-12-21 15:22]

[Edited at 2003-12-21 16:07]

[Edited at 2003-12-21 16:13]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 20:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Moving this thread Dec 21, 2003

Hi Ailish

I'm moving this thread to KudoZ / KudoZ.Net forum.
Why don't you contact the moderator of that pair? If the questions are not against the rules, he / she could at least contact the asker and tell him what some people think.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Claudia Dec 21, 2003

Good idea, as I think that option is a more balanced one than a personal approach. Nonetheless, I notice that LOTS of people are helping this person, so I am hoping to make them realise what's going on!



Claudia Iglesias wrote:

Hi Ailish

I'm moving this thread to KudoZ / KudoZ.Net forum.
Why don't you contact the moderator of that pair? If the questions are not against the rules, he / she could at least contact the asker and tell him what some people think.


[Edited at 2003-12-21 16:10]


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:42
English to French
+ ...
when Dec 21, 2003

will you stop to play the sheriff in proz ?
You accuse someone on a forum, we do not even know who, when, where.

Don't you think people are old enough to judge by themselves ?

Better to write to this person or to the moderators.


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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:42
English to French
+ ...
More Dec 21, 2003

Ailish Maher wrote:

Please don't assist ""translators" who clearly haven't a clue!

...


He/she is therefore literally taking the bread and butter out of the mouths of people who could do the job better and faster.


There is always someone richer or healthier or better and faster, in the world.



only way to improve this reputation is to self-regulate and to politely and firmly exclude those who are clearly non-professionals, those whose attitudes are detrimental to the profession, etc.

...

it is important to be discerning in offering your knowledge and expertise to those who will materially benefit from it, in some cases - such as this one - to the detriment of the profession in which you have invested years of your life and possibly a lot on money in terms of the acquisition of knowledge and expertise.



You really are a little troublemaker, aren't you ? You know very well your speech to steer up and incense the crowd, don't you ?

I told you already, you are in the wrong website, proz is for anyone and anyone can answer. It is so.

You can create your own place for translators, abiding to your rules. There are others so, but not so popular as proz. Now, why would that be ?



[Edited at 2003-12-22 02:38]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:42
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Please do not interefere and please do not insinuate Dec 21, 2003

Ailish Maher wrote:
I have just noticed that someone is posting questions that are of no special difficulty to anyone who claims to be a professional translator

Really? Has s/he? Please tell us the link and we can judge for ourselves.

... exclude those who are clearly non-professionals, those whose attitudes are detrimental to the profession, etc.

Can you really define what is a professional translator. Please do, and see how many will concur.

In other words, there is no hard-and-fast rule about who should translate what, and for this reason it is important to be discerning in offering your knowledge and expertise to those who will materially benefit from it, in some cases - such as this one - to the detriment of the profession

In which way is it detrimental to help others???


...give the individual the benefit of the doubt ...

EXACTLY !!


encouraging people to make their own personal decision to decline answering such questions.

That is exactly what we have been doing for some 36 months now.

My suggestion:
Mind your own business and do not defamate others, be they individuals or groups (the so-called 'unprofessionals').

Mats Wiman


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Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 01:42
English to Arabic
+ ...
Ailish has a point! Dec 21, 2003

Ailish has a point. I donot agree with your harsh criticism.

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lien
Netherlands
Local time: 00:42
English to French
+ ...
still more Dec 21, 2003

Ailish Maher wrote:

I notice that LOTS of people are helping this person, so I am hoping to make them realise what's going on!



So, doesn't it ring a bell ? Maybe it is time YOU realise what is going on.


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xxxPaul Roige
Spain
Local time: 00:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
Un point pour tout le monde Dec 21, 2003

Ailish does have a point, so do others with opposing views in this thread. Personally, if I don't like what's on TV, I don't watch it — same here, my personal choice. No agro necessary, Ailish only expressed her concerns and she's entitled to it, whatever her motivations. Let's move on and merry christmas.
P


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abborre
Denmark
Local time: 00:42
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Criticism of others Dec 21, 2003

As professionals we should all respect eachother and be mature enough to allow people to ask questions they feel are valid. We are all entitled to ask questions on this forum and in kudos. If someone does not like what is being written then my advice is IGNORE IT!

At the end of the day, if a translator is "not a professional" in another person's eyes then it is up to their clients to recognise that fact and not hire them, it is not for us as peers to witch hunt or put another person down.


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:42
English to Spanish
+ ...
totally agree with Paul Dec 21, 2003

Paul Roigé wrote:

Ailish does have a point, so do others with opposing views in this thread. Personally, if I don't like what's on TV, I don't watch it — same here, my personal choice. No agro necessary, Ailish only expressed her concerns and she's entitled to it, whatever her motivations. Let's move on and merry christmas.
P


I understand Ailish's point, sometimes it's a bit annoying to see very basic things asked by people that are working as translators (or at least that's what we suppose!!), but even if they are not, you always have the choice of answering or not.
And I can also understand the other opinions.
Fortunately, we can make our own choice.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the longest night of the year ;o)
Grace.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 00:42
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Please, again Dec 22, 2003

Hi everyone,

“Gobsmacked” is the word….

I don’t believe it.

Might I make so bold as to suggest people take the trouble to go back to the beginning of this thread and actually read what Ailish wrote. No, seriously. Please go back and read it again.

Don’t bother. I’ll summarise.

A) Someone who purports to be a professional translator (if not God’s own gift to the profession) is patently incompetent in a field in which he or she “specializes”. We’ve all seen it before, so I don’t understand the reason for the sudden outbreak of indignation.

(I’ve seen translators who “specialize in transport/ exports etc” asking what C&F, CIF, FOT, FOB etc… means. If you don’t even know the Incoterms exist, you can hardly claim to be competent in transport. Simple, n’est-ce pas?

B) This person is undercutting the rates of other translators vastly more worthy of obtaining this work.

The only reason he/she can:

a) obtain the work
b) retain the client
c) get paid

is because the very same people who are being “cheated” out of benefiting from this work are actively helping him/her. (…and I’m getting sick of putting everything in masculine and feminine all the time.)

The first person to respond to her post was a moderator who didn’t appear to “take offence”. I don’t really understand why anyone else should.

Mats, if you bother to re-read her post you’ll find your three questions already answered. (why she’s posting it here, why it’s detrimental to everyone and why the person does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. i.e. If I claim to be a professional translator and need to ask how you say “issue an invoice” in xxx language, where’s the “doubt”?????. Come on. This person isn’t a student, someone who’s curious about word or phrase. No. They have a profile in which they claim to be a TRANSLATOR).
(Notice the clever use of the plural “they” to avoid using he/she)

As far as “minding your own business” is concerned, well, …….please.

And then, alas, we come to lien, whose profile readeth thus:
“Speciality: Adult literature porno hardcore literary translator tourism translations ads litterature tourisme traduction brochures publicité” (sic).

Unreal. Like, ……..I mean man, like, ….unreal……..

I quote the bard: “There is always someone richer or healthier or better and faster, in the world.”.

Quite. “citius, altius, tontius”.


Saludos,
Andy


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:12
English to Tamil
+ ...
Dear Alish, this is where dictionary answers do help Dec 22, 2003

In another thread initiated by you it was from an asker's viewpoint, see:http://www.proz.com/topic/16213. And here you are on the other side. At least now there are no capitals and it is comforting to see this.
If you do not want to answer a question, no one forces you. But others have their reasons for doing so, and if they do so for the brownies, why not? Someone might save money on getting upgraded to platinum by using up his brownies and who are we to condemn it?
My assumption in the other thread that many asker's have not consulted the dictionary in the first place due to any reason whatsoever has been vindicated by you, Hence we just give them the dictionary answers and earn some easy brownies. At least now you have answered your own earlier thread.
Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2003-12-22 04:43]

[Edited at 2003-12-22 04:49]


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 20:42
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Well said, Paul Dec 22, 2003

Paul Roigé wrote:

Ailish does have a point, so do others with opposing views in this thread. Personally, if I don't like what's on TV, I don't watch it — same here, my personal choice. No agro necessary, Ailish only expressed her concerns and she's entitled to it, whatever her motivations. Let's move on and merry christmas.
P


Thanks, Paul, I think you would be a great moderator!
Merry Christmas to all!
Enrique


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xxxmishima
Local time: 08:42
Italian to Japanese
+ ...
Ailish is right! Dec 22, 2003

Mats Wiman wrote:

My suggestion:
Mind your own business and do not defamate others, be they individuals or groups (the so-called 'unprofessionals').

Mats Wiman



Above all, I am very astonished that you - a moderator - used such a harsh and impolite words ("mind your business", unbelievable!) when replying to a Proz.com member who simply posted her opinion without offending anyone. Expect Henry to rebuke you.

Ailish, although indirectly, has explained one of the reasons why there are Proz.com translators who decided never to become Platinum (at least this is true for me) under the present "kudoz" circumstances. For just a bunch of miserable kudoz there are "professional translators" that accept to be stabbed in the back by obvious amateurish translators who, without the least decency and making no efforts at all, grab the readily translated terms and then offer their services at a much lower price.

It is true that those who reply should not complain when they lose jobs to amateur translators that behave like this, but are we sure that Proz.com can do nothing to avoid this situation?

Mishima


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