Mobile menu

Monolingual credentials needed for proofreading / editing /revisions
Thread poster: Gayle Rolando
Gayle Rolando  Identity Verified
Sweden
Swedish to English
+ ...
Apr 12, 2009

I am trying to find out how to report monolingual credentials as a native speaker. I am a native speaker of English with editing/proofreading experience, but I am unable to apply for limited monolingual jobs on ProZ when the outsourcer requires reported credentials in this "pair" (English > English).

I have been schooled in English and have completed a University Degree in English (Science), but I have never taken a proficiency test in English or studied the subject of English beyond school level. The only credentials it seems I can report from my home country (South Africa) and from my country of residence (Sweden) is membership in one of their translation institutes. While this is on my list of things to do to gain credentials for translating (Swe>Eng), I can't see how this can be useful for proofreading or editing in English.

Do I need to take a proficiency test in order to obtain credentials in my native tongue or is there some other way of verifying my proficiency in English? I am a verified member here and English is my only reported mother tongue. It seems strange to have to take a test when I have university level studies in English.

I have looked around the forums and not found any information that helps specifically with this question, although there seems to be a fair amount of debate on the topic in general. Any help would be most appreciated.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:13
Finnish to English
Two issues Apr 12, 2009

I think there are at least two issues: linguistic credentials and domain-related credentials

If you are a native speaker of English and a translator into that language, then one may assume you have the linguistic skills to revise English that has been poorly written, written by a non-native speaker, etc. or just to check for slips, etc.

Perhaps of greater importance is whether you have expertise in the subject. For example, I translate pharmacology but would never revise/proofread it. On the hand, I would feel comfortable revising (monolingually or otherwise) texts on certain aspects of music, having a degree in the subject, being able to play an instrument, having composed and arranged, and having listened and read widely on the subject.

[Edited at 2009-04-12 16:12 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Gayle Rolando  Identity Verified
Sweden
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agreed, but how do I list those credentials? Apr 12, 2009

I agree with you completely. There are certainly texts that I would not bid on given their content.

I was wondering if there is any way of verifying my ability to proofread/edit in my mother tongue on the ProZ site. I have, as yet, not worked out how to do this.

It means I am unable to bid on jobs where the outsourcer has limited the bidding to freelancers with verified credentials (even for monolingual jobs). Do I need to have studied English at a higher level than school to do this? I think there are many freelancers who proofread / edit in the native tongue without having studied the language further. It is their expertise that counts. But if you are unable to bid on the job in the first place, even when it is a general text, it seems a bit strange. Or is that just me?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:13
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Suggestion Apr 12, 2009

Gayle Rolando wrote:
It seems strange to have to take a test when I have university level studies in English


If you have a University degree in English, you just need to send it to the staff and you will have verified monolingual credentials.

Just submit a support ticket. I got monolingual verified credentials that way.

I hope this helps.

Angio

[Edited at 2009-04-12 18:13 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:13
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
First you have to report them Apr 12, 2009

Gayle Rolando wrote:

How do I list those credentials?



You can list that way

1. Report your credentials in the appropriate field in your profile by indicating your University (you have to click on "other" and then enter the name).

2. Submit a support ticket requesting the verification by attaching a scanned copy of your degree.


Please feel free to contact me if I was not clear enough

[Edited at 2009-04-12 18:11 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:13
German to French
+ ...
native speaker / credentials / proficiency in own mother tongue Apr 12, 2009

Hello Gayle,

I am sorry to say that, but you have no credential for your mother tongue.
You are an English native speaker, but I'm affraid it is not enough to be considered as a credentials. Not every native speaker has a perfect command of his/her mother tongue.

You studied science, so your academic degree refers to science, and in no way to your language skills.

I don't mean that you're not ABLE to correct or translate, just that you do not seem to HAVE a corresponding credentials.
Also, I'm afraid that "experience" is not a credentials.

You would if you had a degree/diploma or the like in linguistics, in English, in Modern Literature, in Journalism, in teaching English to foreign English-learners, or maybe some redactionnal experience, or even the CPE.

I can understand that this is very disconcerting, but a credentials is more than the confirmation of your mother tongue: it is supposed to be a concrete evidence of your tested and proven perfect command of the language, and the only way is a test/diploma/degree or the like.

Wish you all the best,


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 23:13
Chinese to English
English degrees, etc, as credentials for English-native speakers Apr 12, 2009

Angio wrote:

Gayle Rolando wrote:
It seems strange to have to take a test when I have university level studies in English


If you have a University degree in English, you just need to send it to the staff and you will have verified monolingual credentials.

Just submit a support ticket. I got monolingual verified credentials that way.

I hope this helps.

Angio

[Edited at 2009-04-12 18:13 GMT]


Um, this is interesting. I am a few papers off having a degree in English ... But our BA degrees are 3 years, and some countries have 4-year degrees...

What about degrees in communication studies, teaching English, technical writing/information design etc?

[Edited at 2009-04-13 01:07 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:13
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It is the outsourcer's choice (could be misinformation) Apr 12, 2009

Gayle Rolando wrote:

It means I am unable to bid on jobs where the outsourcer has limited the bidding to freelancers with verified credentials (even for monolingual jobs).
...
But if you are unable to bid on the job in the first place, even when it is a general text, it seems a bit strange. Or is that just me?


You know, this depends on the outsourcer, it is their choice.
They may want a native English speaker with verified credentials in Linguistics or something. (Unfortunately there is no filter for the type of credential, from the filter's point of view, a non-native person's English proficiency credential is the same as a native English person's degree in English linguistics...) Or they may just simply don't know how to use the checkboxes and how the filtering works, and as a result, they may not get what they want.

I had a feeling that most monolingual English credentials are reported by non-native speakers of English, to prove their English proficiency, so I checked the directory for native English speakers for English-English Editing/proofreading, and found 152 people with reported monolingual credentials, and 20 of those people have their credentials verified. 49 people showed up if Native was not a requirement. So, apparently there are slightly more native English people than non-native with verified monolingual credentials (29 vs. 20) among those that take editing jobs.

If I were to outsource an editing job in science, I would want to see proof that the applicant has excellent writing skills in the field that is required. If you published articles, studies, whitepapers in your field of science in English, I would be very happy to hire you as an editor for similar jobs.
I would not tick the checkbox for "credential", but I would definitely tick the "native" box, and the appropriate field of expertise. Then I would look at each person's CV, profile page, etc.
Same would work for a journalistic piece, or an analysis of a piece of art. Linguistic credentials may not mean much for me, if I needed an editor for those.
But then, I know how these settings work on ProZ. Not all outsourcers are like that.

So, you may want to consider listing your diploma as an English credential, and ask staff if it could be verified. You may want to look up some of your colleagues (just the way I did) and see what they listed and what got verified.

I think this whole credential topic is controversial from many aspects. There are people reporting monolingual credentials as bilingual credentials, some of those were even verified by staff... This is plain wrong, IMHO.
There is not enough differentiation between self-reported and verified credentials on the profile.
Another thing is that there is no way to report professional credentials/degrees in one's field of expertise, other than including it in one's CV/resume, and there is no way for the outsourcers to filter for such credentials. This is perhaps something to think about for the future.

[Edited at 2009-04-13 01:04 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:13
German to French
+ ...
Contact the staff Apr 13, 2009

Hello Gayle,

I see, you mean specifically your skills in correcting scientific translations.
I think the only "concrete" credential here is a translation degree with specialization in Science or medicine, or a professional redactional experience in that field.

On the other hand, I think you do correspond perfectly to that kind of jobs, so just contact the staff members, and send them your science degree with a note explaining your issue.
There's no reason why they shouldn't grant you the "verified" symbol.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Gayle Rolando  Identity Verified
Sweden
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone! Apr 13, 2009

Thanks everyone for your comments and advice. I certainly agree that having mother tongue English is not a credential for being able to edit or proofread, but this area does still seem like a bit of a grey area. My reasoning was simply that passing a degree requires a certain command of the language.

I also agree that the outsourcer has an absolute right to decide. However, technical freelancers that are suited to the job are sometimes excluded based on the credentials filter, which seems a shame. Perhaps it is a case of not being able to use the filters correctly.

Interestingly, I am studying a TESOL qualification, and am still not sure this really should qualify me for editing any more than my degree does. And I am not sure a degree in linguistics would help anyone trying to decode a technical/engineering text. I suppose these issues fuel constant debates.

Anyway, I will send in what I have and see what happens. Otherwise I am not against taking a proficiency test if necessary. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond, I really appreciate it!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Gayle Rolando  Identity Verified
Sweden
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Contact the staff Apr 13, 2009

Thanks Elodie,

I think we posted at the same time, so I didn't see your last post. I will try and verify my scientific credentials by contacting the staff as you and a few others have suggested, although I was actually talking about more general texts when I started this forum post.

Perhaps the best way of sorting out the general English credentials is to take a proficiency test or finish the TESOL qualification. As Katalin pointed out, there are as many native tongue speakers who have taken these tests as there are second language speakers.

This system of proficiency tests is not common in South Africa (at least not when I was there)and so perhaps it's simply a case of me not being used to it.

Thanks again everyone.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 23:13
Chinese to English
Scientific proofreading, etc: applied degrees; ag/hort; memberships Apr 13, 2009

Elodie Bonnafous wrote:

Hello Gayle,

I see, you mean specifically your skills in correcting scientific translations.
I think the only "concrete" credential here is a translation degree with specialization in Science or medicine, or a professional redactional experience in that field.

On the other hand, I think you do correspond perfectly to that kind of jobs, so just contact the staff members, and send them your science degree with a note explaining your issue.
There's no reason why they shouldn't grant you the "verified" symbol.


Hello Elodie

It seems that you are in the business of proofreading etc. I'm very interested in how credentialling works.

1 What about 'applied' degrees. Could a degree in ag or hort science give credentials for scientific or management proofreading, for example? I did a final-year paper in 'rural development and extension' - would that count?

2 Is there any demand for ag/hort proofreaders that you know of? If one is a member or associate of a professional association, eg NZ Institute of Agricultural Science, would that count?

3 'professional redactional experience' ? Could you explain a bit more ...

Much appreciated.

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-04-14 00:42 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Monolingual credentials needed for proofreading / editing /revisions

Advanced search


Translation news





memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs