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Only good translators will survive.
Thread poster: Telesforo Fernandez
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 06:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 31, 2001

I have been following the heated arguments amongst the translators, not only on this site but also in other sites. The crux of the matter is that there are too many translators and too few jobs.This where the shoe pinches. Hence the scramble for assignments. From this malaise/ glut arise the arguments about good translators and bad translators, professional and non- professional, accreditted and non- accreditted, native and non - native, experienced and not so experienced, low rates and reasonable rates and finally if you have the desired tools or not ( the pun is mine). I think the translators are in a tight spot.You post a job and you are flooded with quotes until you go crazy.

But the point of consolation to the good translator is that nobody pays if the translation is not good enough, irrespective of one being accreditted, qualified, native, tools or no tools, residing in particular country,professional,freelancer,experienced or raw.

The moral of the story is that one can\'t palm off a bad translations inspite of one\'s credentials or qualifications.Nothing to worry, agood translator will survive even if he is a native of the Moon where no one speaks a language.


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 06:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
May 31, 2001

quote : CTrans wrote :

But if you feel that the market is getting too small for all of us, then you should really be supporting the idea of more regulation. By having regulated access to this profession, you would keep the number of potential \"competitors\" low.

TELEF :

I do not subscribe to any idea of regulation. Let the good, the bad and the ugly battle out. It is the survival of the fittest. I read in one good book on translations \" Translators never made a living\". The dictum seems to hold good even today . So I do not like the idea of filtering out translators. And who are these filtrators? or inflitrators? The translation marker has always been like this. It will continue to be so. At least , you are lucky to receive 30 inquiries per day and you can\'t meet all the demand. I must really appreciate your industrious nature; inspite of being flooded with translation jobs you have enough time to be on this Forum. I see you everywhere in this forum. Hatts off to your dedication to PROZ.COM. Henry, you are lucky to get such kind persons. It reminds me of the dictum\" where there is will, there is a way\".

Even I am proud of your contribution to this forum.



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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:29
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
May 31, 2001

I would like to add my opinion about

credentials and their verification by ProZ.



I have been listing/counting in ProZ several language combinations for accredited/verified members and I have discovered the following approximate figures:



Only 20-22% of members claim some sort of accreditation.

Only 2-3% are verified

Most of the verified credentials are ATA members.



This is not fair for all reputable members of equivalent organizations in other countries.



What is the procedure to follow (if any) for having our credentials verified?



I agree with the clear need for making ProZ more professional.

A lot can improve with very little effort and even some weeding out.


[addsig]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:29
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
May 31, 2001

In answer to the last point, about how credentials are verified, I had been wondering about that myself. I came to the conclusion that I should send certified copies of my various diplomas by post to proz.com. I have not done this yet, but intend to, and presumably it would provide acceptable evidence. I realise, however, that not everyone works for lawyers and can so easily obtain certified copies.

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:29
SITE FOUNDER
Jun 1, 2001

Actually, we do check certificates without charging. You can fax them to +1 (510) 839-5793, or send them to the address listed on the home page.



We prefer to have associations confirm credentials directly, and provide specific pages to them for that purpose. Some associations have been more receptive to this than others; hence the disproportionate number of \"verified\" credentials in some associations.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:29
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2001

Well, I don\'t agree that there are too many transaltors and not enough jobs.

There are lots of jobs that cheapskate clients only want to pay cheap rate for and there are many, many poor translators.

The weeding out needs to be done on quality and that will not be done by demanding presentation of credentials.

If you live in a country where associations are professional and bona fide, that\'s great.

I don\'t. Check out my SC and see how many of my colleagues are accredited and ask why.

An English person living here cannot be accredited by the local association as they don\'t have the right high school diploma - how can this be considered a serious organisation?

My credentials are a long list of satisfied customers, coming back for more.

They are all happy to give a reference.

Won\'t bore you any more with this topic, but let\'s bear it in mind.

Angela







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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 06:59
English to Hindi
+ ...
Jun 7, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-05-31 04:08, telef wrote:

The moral of the story is that one can\'t palm off a bad translations inspite of one\'s credentials or qualifications.Nothing to worry, agood translator will survive even if he is a native of the Moon where no one speaks a language.





Excellent point. That\'s true.

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Fevziye Gündoğdu
Local time: 04:29
Turkish to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2001

I have a question? What documents do you accept as certificate?



In Turkey this is a problem. They only accept diplomas from Philology departments. Yet, a philologist has no knowledge on my field of study. They come up with funny translations and are accepted just because of the field they have studied in. No one cares about how many years I have spent studying English. Somebody who starts to learn English at the age of 18 can go and get that diploma. There are no institutions to solve this problem.



I think Turkish Translators are trying to do something about it, but...



Can you give information on how ATA and other institutions control the quality of a translator?



And I agree on the point that it is your work that shows your quality.



deniz gündoðdu


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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jun 15, 2001

ATA does not have \"quality control\" as such. Translators can take the ATA exam, which is a \"one-time quality check\". Once you have passed that exam, there will be no \"ATA officer\" watching over your shoulder, ensuring that you do everything right. But having passed this exam (or any other similar exams offered by other associations) shows that you can deal, professionally, with certain types of text (ATA requires the translation of 3 different text types - eg, legal - as part of their exam).



I understand your frustration over the procedure for recognising certain documents, etc., while discarding others. If the situation in Turkey is what you say it is, the best solution will be for you and other translators to join forces, lobby, etc.



You may also want to join IOL in the UK. They are closer to Turkey, geographically, and you may find it easier to get to an examination centre \"close-by\".



But you should also be aware of the fact that ProZ does not, apparently, confirm all those certificates - even when they have copies sent to them!!!! Outrageous - having proof of a member\'s credentials and not openly confirming them is tantamount to deceiving outsourcers and other users of this site.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-20 20:01 ]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:29
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 20, 2001

Just following up Angela\'s reply to telef: I agree with Angela. In fact, the demand seems to be expanding (though I have observed a curious January phenomenon we call in Spain the \"uphill traction\"), right after companies close the fiscal year. What I think we have to observe, whether we see the glass as half-empty or half-full, is the ethics behind our behaviour towards our colleagues when it\'s quite evident we have a vested interest in the same fields. I\'d just like to point out that these are the same colleagues who can pull us out of a rough spot when we\'re in it way over our head with 9,000 words a day or a terminology toughie. Need I tell you all, keep smiling! And have a nice day.

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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:29
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Shrinking market where? May 18, 2010

I don't see a shrinking market, I see an expanding market.

Too many translators? I have no problems finding jobs and I am sure many translators don't either.

Credentials? I have no linguistic training but I can positively state I am a much better translator than most of the so called "translation graduates" I have come across in my language pairs. I have no objection to credentials per se but no one should think that credentials make you a translator, the curriculums concentrate far too much on theory and not enough on practice.

I sincerely believe living for extended periods in your "source" language countries is a far better "credential" than any degree from any university, if you have both so much the better, but if you only have one, have the "living" experience not the "academic" one, your time and money will be much better spent.

Making Proz more professional? What makes a translator a professional, quality translations? on-time delivery? professional business standards? good customer service? I offer all those and many people with credentials don't.


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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:29
Portuguese to English
+ ...
In Brazil May 18, 2010

Angela Arnone said:

"Well, I don't agree that there are too many translators and not enough jobs."

Obviously she would have had a different idea if she lived in Brazil.

Here, almost anyone who studied English (or other language) for a few months thinks that he/she can translate. So on the specialised sites there are often thousands of translators (many of which of dubious quality) for one job, and as the lowest rate always takes it this means that the going rates are extremely low - while the cost of living and especially taxes are the highest in the world.

Private clients are a better bet, but still here discounts are the norm.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
@ Paul May 18, 2010

A silly question: what are in fact the needs of the Brazilian market? And why do some Brazilian outsourcers contact me for EN>FR?

[Edited at 2010-05-18 19:55 GMT]


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Cécile Sellier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
English to French
+ ...
About credentials Sep 29, 2010

Alex Lago wrote:

Credentials? I have no linguistic training but I can positively state I am a much better translator than most of the so called "translation graduates"
(...)
I sincerely believe living for extended periods in your "source" language countries is a far better "credential" than any degree from any university


I totally agree with Alex on this: I did graduate in English, but spending years abroad (England, Ireland, Australia, NZ and Canada) is definitely how I became fluent. Studying a language at university (well, at the uni where I was anyway!) is mostly theoretical - a lot of reading but no speaking...

Which brings me back to credentials: I'm starting my business as a translator, and am having a website made. I'd love to show my potential clients how good I am, but do not have a degree in translation (being top of the class in translation during my 4 years at uni doesn't count!!) and as I am just getting started, I can't have any clients recommend me...

Do you have any advice on this?
Having earned 12 KudoZ points* since I joined ProZ (just a few days ago) and having lots of people "agreeing" with my translations, I was wondering if having another pro translator write something nice about me might be an idea??

Thanks


Edit:
* 16 points!!

[Edited at 2010-09-29 09:48 GMT]


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Michael GREEN  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
English to French
Quite so, Alex! Oct 30, 2010

Alex Lago wrote:

I sincerely believe living for extended periods in your "source" language countries is a far better "credential" than any degree from any university, if you have both so much the better, but if you only have one, have the "living" experience not the "academic" one, your time and money will be much better spent.



I'm coming in rather late in this discussion, but I couldn't agree more, Alex!

I don't have professional qualifications - just 25 years hands-on experience in international business, which was the basis for my decision to become a professional translator. I live in my source language country - have done for over 30 years - and my customers are so happy with the quality of my work that when I announced my retirement they all asked me if I would continue to work for them "on difficult jobs".
So I'm a retired translator - but still working (when and how I want to - what could be better?!).
The proof of the pudding is in the eating - and customers don't care about qualifications if the quality of the translation is good enough.


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