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Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
Poll: What percentage of your agency clients wouldn't mind working with translators not native of the TL?
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 10:57
SITE STAFF
Dec 1, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What percentage of your agency clients wouldn't mind working with translators not native of the TL?".

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neilmac
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Off the top of my head Dec 1, 2011

I said about 30-60%, although the truth is I don't actually know.

However, judging by the rise in the number of "revision/proofing" requests received recently for texts which have obviously been done either by non-natives using tech aids or simply by inept natives, I suspect that at least half of the agencies are working with non-native translators. The reasons... well, apart from the fact that it can work out cheaper for them, there is also the solidarity aspect with other speakers of one's own native tongue, where for example Spanish agencies may prefer give work to a Spanish person rather some "guiri" whenever possible.

Many clients may be unable to tell whether a text in another language they don't know has been translated properly or not, so the temptation for agencies is understandably quite strong. "Vamos a ver si cuela..."


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Ian Jones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
Don't know Dec 1, 2011

I couldn't tell you but I imagine none of them.

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 20:57
Turkish to English
+ ...
I don't know Dec 1, 2011

How could I?

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Lisa Simpson, MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Partial member (2010)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Do any of us REALLY know? Dec 1, 2011

I think the question really needs to be directed at the agencies.

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Teresa Borges
Belgium
Local time: 19:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As far as I know Dec 1, 2011

None!

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Maika Navarro  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 04:57
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Less than 5%, or even less Dec 1, 2011

As far as I know, only a few one would accept work form a non native speaker. The rest prefer the high quality only a native speaker can offer them.

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Hebrew to English
More effective... Dec 1, 2011

....if it had been directed at the corporate members, although whether they'd have answered honestly is another question.

[Edited at 2011-12-01 16:12 GMT]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:57
French to English
Eh? Dec 1, 2011

Another brilliantly worded question They may "mind" and do it anyway, for various reasons.

FWIW, I have fairly solid grounds for believing that some of the French staff in a couple of the agencies I work for have been turning their hand to translation into English when work has been in short supply. Why pay me to do it and also pay their staff for sitting around twiddling their thumbs is, I assume, the financial logic behind it. In fairness, I think they would prefer not to do it. So I think they "mind" but do it anyway.

I'm not really sure what the question is ultimately trying to establish....


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends on the subject area, or depth Dec 1, 2011

If it's a plain-vanilla translation, of course they will prefer TL native speakers, using a non-native only after having exhausted all other options.

For specialized translations, if they can get a true expert in that very subject, they won't care much about what is their native language.

These are not my clients, however in the general marketplace I see more outsourcers absolutely demanding Trados - even in projects where it's useless - than requiring native command of either language, SL or TL.


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:57
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
I don't know Dec 1, 2011

It's not something that has ever really come up. Since they only contact me for jobs into my own native language, I assume that very few of them would chose a non-native, but I don't know for sure.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 19:57
English to French
+ ...
None Dec 1, 2011

... of the agencies I work with behave that way.
However, they may hire the services of a translator who lies about being a native of the TL. Agencies seldom fall into that trap more than once - they don't want trouble with the end customer! They too want to get paid


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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:57
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I have no idea Dec 1, 2011

How could I know that?
None ... I hope.


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Local time: 01:57
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
How many able native English speakers Dec 1, 2011

who happen to be translators can translate competently medical (or any highly specialized field that requires in-depth knowledge and expertise) texts from Chinese into their mother tongue ie English? Can they meet the market demand for such translations?

Simply put, the answer to the poll question really depends on the SL and TL as well as the specialized field. When an agency can't find a native speaker to do the job, it is left with only one option, isn't it?


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Chun Un  Identity Verified
Macau
Local time: 01:57
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Also, as an editor for an English language scientific journal, Dec 1, 2011

I have read and edited plenty of academic papers written by native English speakers whose writing skills are far below what one would expect from an educated native speaker. Being a native speaker, sometimes, doesn't really mean much.

[Edited at 2011-12-01 16:58 GMT]


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Poll: What percentage of your agency clients wouldn't mind working with translators not native of the TL?






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