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Is ProZ a pressure group?
Thread poster: Felipe Gútiez

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 1, 2008

What do you think?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I think... Sep 1, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
What do you think?


I think you'll get better responses to your posts if you not only ask a question and leaving it up to the readers to think up a line of thought, but if you actually present an argument along with your question, so that readers have something to think about and respond to logically and argumentatively, instead of simply giving their random opinions about the topic.

I also think you should respect other participants in this forum by showing in your replies that you had actually read their posts and address the issues that they indicate, instead of simply following up responses with more questions, seemingly in an attempt to get responses for the sake of responses.

As for your actual question...

What do you mean by "pressure group"? What makes you think that ProZ.com may be a pressure group? Can you give us examples of similar situations eg online forums that turned out to be pressure groups? Would you regard it as a positive or a negative thing if ProZ.com were a pressure group?


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 07:23
Partial member (2003)
French to English
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In what sense? Sep 1, 2008

Pressure group acting on behalf of/against whom or what? Pressure group to promote the sale and use of CAT and other software? Pressure group to help raise/lower standards and/or rates in the translation industry? Please explain.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:23
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
This thread... Sep 1, 2008

... is the result of the term being used incorrectly in another thread - I wouldn't worry about it. Like the official mantra says, it's just a platform, and a useful one in many respects.

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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What do you mean? Sep 1, 2008

Can you explain what you mean exactly with "pressure group"? If you mean a political lobby, I don't think it is a "pressure group" or "lobby". In fact it run and hosted by a company and its main philosophy is defined by the company, not by the users. I don't think either that the company intends to become a lobby to influence legislation.

Is this the sense of your question?


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Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do think ProZ could be a pressure group Sep 5, 2008

Most regular posters are experienced translator who would like lobbying but do not know how. There are regularly postings about problems of top translators who would like to be solved, and this since many years, but these problems are still unsolved.
Lobby groups are groups that try to defend/push the interests of a profession, a way of thinking, even a particular technology.
I think that in some way, ProZ is already a pressure group and could be more in the future.
But ProZ is much more than a pressure group, it is also a community, a global platform full of wonderful people, and most importantly:
it works, and it works very well.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"full of wonderful people" Sep 5, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
I think that in some way, ProZ is already a pressure group and could be more in the future.
But ProZ is much more than a pressure group, it is also a community, a global platform full of wonderful people, and most importantly:
it works, and it works very well.


Felipe, I know I have said this many times, but let me insist: "full of wonderful people". Please don't count me in your expressions of enthusiasm about translators as a whole. Every time someone says "you are wonderful", the next minute you have some request to do something you dislike. I don't want to be wonderful. I just want to be myself, thank you!

As for whether Proz works very well... I think I will keep my opinion to myself for now.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:23
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Lobbying implies a policy maker Sep 5, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:
Most regular posters are experienced translator who would like lobbying but do not know how. ... Lobby groups are groups that try to defend/push the interests of a profession, a way of thinking, even a particular technology.


Lobbying works well on the country level, where there is a clear policy maker whose policies must be implemented (i.e. a government or state). It would not work well in our industry because (a) it spans multiple countries and (b) few of those countries have laws and/or traditions about translators that could be used for leverage.

Besides, most problems that translators deal with are grounded in the ignorance of their clients, not in maltreatment from entities with power. You can't legislate ignorance (and stupidity?) out of this world.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Taking the question bluntly, yes, it is Sep 5, 2008

Conceptually, Proz is a venue for translation consumers to find vendors worldwide and let them bid. The client then has, with little effort, the option to choose the cheapest one among all bidders that fulfill their requirements.

Were it not for Proz (and alikes), the client might have to find such vendors one by one on their own, and so they might miss the cheaper guys who, for that very reason, cannot afford more pervasive advertising.

So, businesswise, Proz - as an organization - does create a pressure group for keeping translation prices down worldwide, by providing a venue for reverse auctions.

Imagine an end-client who indeed needs a translation in a somewhat rare language pair. Their searches most likely will lead them to the higher-priced vendors who spend part of their income in SEO for their web site, and they'll miss the cheap nebechs who can't go beyond simply having a free profile up on Proz.


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