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Credential verification questions
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Mar 26, 2009

I have a few questions regarding verification of credentials listed in profiles.

Q1: If someone has a monolingual language certificate in X language, is it OK to list it as a certificate in the X to Y language pair (where Y is the native language of the person)?

(A monolingual language exam is an exam where they test the candidate's abilities in a given language, regardless of the native language of the person. The TOEFL is one such example, or the Japanese language exams given by the Japan Foundation. I know in Hungary there are monolingual and bilingual exams, it is the candidate's choice. Bilingual language exams obviously test both languages and include a translation/interpretation part as well.)

Q2: Should a monolingual credential described in Q1 get the "verified" status as an X to Y credential?

What do you all think?
Katalin


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good question Mar 26, 2009

Indeed I don't quite agree that my Proficiency certificate is classified as an English into Spanish credential. It is clearly an English-only credential. This is something that should be revised in the credential system.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:56
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
No Mar 26, 2009

Good question, indeed.

I think a clear separation should be made between bilingual certificates -- such as an ATA certificate -- and monolingual ones, such as TOEFL.

Likewise, a monolingual certificate should not automatically get the X -> Y verified status. By acquiring a certificate in language X, the candidate has fulfilled a great part of the requirements of getting certified between X and Y (or from X and Y) -- but it is not the same as obtaining a bilingual certificate.

Of course, it should work both ways: it should not be possible to sport bilingual certificates as monolingual ones, either. Also, bilingual certificates often have a source and a target language, and these cannot be swapped. Perhaps it would therefore be more appropriate to speak of language-pair certificates (such as the ATA certificate).

Attila

[Edited at 2009-03-26 18:27 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:56
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
They are separated Mar 26, 2009

There are monolingual verified credentials and bilingual ones in many colleagues' profiles (I know it for sure since they are friends of mine).

I think they are considered and verified separated by the staff.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Monolingual and bilingual credentials can be listed, that is not the question Mar 26, 2009

Angio,
It is true that you can see monolingual as well as bilingual credentials in profiles, as it is possible to list them as such. (I have two monolingual credentials in my profile.)
The question is not whether it is technically possible to list monolingual credentials separately from bilingual ones - it is possible.
To list a monolingual credential, all you need to do is select the language pair as X to X, and put the description of the credential there.

The question is what you think of a credential that is monolingual being listed as bilingual?
What do you think of such a credential getting "verified"?

Katalin


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chica nueva
Local time: 14:56
Chinese to English
Chinese proficiency Mar 27, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Angio,
To list a monolingual credential, all you need to do is select the language pair as X to X, and put the description of the credential there.
Katalin


This is interesting. Thanks for raising it, Katalin. I shall see what the answer is, and perhaps consider it for my own Chinese-proficiency credentials.

The HSK exam is offered to foreigners and national minorities in China and internationally. IMO it would be great to see it recognised by ProZ (if it's within the scope of the site).

Lesley


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Two monolingual credentials equal one bilingual? - further questions about credentials Mar 31, 2009

OK, so far I think all respondents agreed that a monolingual language certificate in language X is NOT equivalent to a bilingual certificate in the X to Y language pair or in the opposite Y to X pair, even if Y is the person's native language.

We also discussed that it is technically possible to list monolingual credentials on our profiles, and they should be listed as such.

I think we also agreed that site verification of incorrectly listed credentials should not happen.

(We still have not heard from ProZ staff regarding this.)

Anyway, I have further questions.
Let's say a person has a monolingual language proficiency certificate in language X, and another one in language Y. (The person's native language is Z.)
Should this person list a credential in the X to Y pair, or in the Y to X pair, or in both pairs, or in none of these pairs? In other words, could two monolingual credentials equal one bilingual?

Another question:
Let's say a person has a verified monolingual credential in language X, he is native in Y, and listed X to Y as his working language pair. When an outsourcer searches the directory for the language pair X to Y, and checks the box for "credential required", this person does not appear on the list of search results, as the credential is listed as monolingual, and not as an X to Y credential. Is this appropriate, in your opinion, or should this person appear on the list?


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Taija Hyvönen
Finland
Local time: 03:56
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
I have been waiting for an answer on this also Apr 1, 2009


(We still have not heard from ProZ staff regarding this.)


If there is no procedure for this, they should come up with one, I think, and we should be informed.

[Edited at 2009-04-01 06:04 GMT]


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Elodie Bonnafous  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:56
German to French
+ ...
1 Monolingual + 1 Monolingual = 1 Bilingual ? Apr 8, 2009

No, no, and no !
A monolingual degree is a monoligual degree, two monolingual degrees are two monolingual degrees and NOT a bilingual degree!
A monolingual degree (TOEFL, Proficiency etc.) attests the proficiency in ONE language and has NOTHING to do with professional translation skills!!!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Correct! Apr 8, 2009

Elodie Bonnafous wrote:
A monolingual degree is a monoligual degree, two monolingual degrees are two monolingual degrees and NOT a bilingual degree!
A monolingual degree (TOEFL, Proficiency etc.) attests the proficiency in ONE language and has NOTHING to do with professional translation skills!!!


That's precisely the difference between a bilingual individual and a translator.

The bilingual can swim across the river as many times as they want, and live on either side speaking the local language. A translator can take people across the bridge and provide for their communication needs.*

I speak a few languages I don't translate, however I don't translate any language I don't speak.


* (I know it's an interpreter, but I'm talking figuratively.)


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What does ProZ.com do about it, then? Apr 8, 2009

I agree with what everybody said.
Monolingual certificates are just that: certificates of proficiency in a single language. They should not be recognized as bilingual certificates, even into the person's native language.
Monolingual credentials should not be listed as bilinguals, and should not be verified as bilingual credentials.

The fact is, that there are many people listing their monolingual credentials as bilingual, and there are cases when these are actually verified by ProZ.com staff!

I would like to know what ProZ.com staff thinks about this, and what their proposed approach is to resolve this discrepancy.

Katalin


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Verified credential without identity verification? Apr 14, 2009

I just happened to see something interesting today in a profile:
There were 4 verified credentials listed. It was actually 2x2, in other words, 2 for the A to B and 2 for the B to A language pair. It seems the 2 credentials listed for each pair are actually the same thing, but the degree is listed once in language A, and once in language B. In fact, it is probably only one degree, but a bilingual-bidirectional, so I guess it is OK to list it for A to B and B to A, but why twice for each?
All four credentials seem to be verified by site staff, so this person seems to have 4 verified credentials. This is one issue.
The other issue, which is more important, I think, that this person does not have VID.

How can credentials be verified without verifying someone's identity?


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
It is what it is - just an entry on a website Apr 14, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

How can credentials be verified without verifying someone's identity?


Just open the freelancer directory and select e.g. English-Spanish or English-German and specify the red "P" as parameter and you will find that there are even members of the order of the red "P" who are not showing the "verified identity" tick mark. If somebody can be certified without having his identity verified, why should others not have one or several credentials without having their identity verified.
My identity was verfied, but I somehow lost the tick mark again over the years, I have no idea why and I don't really care, these symbols are just little icons on a screen, nothing more.

Siegfried


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Important points Apr 14, 2009

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:
All four credentials seem to be verified by site staff, so this person seems to have 4 verified credentials. This is one issue.
The other issue, which is more important, I think, that this person does not have VID.

How can credentials be verified without verifying someone's identity?


Hi Katalin,

I think you raise an important point about the relationship between credential verification and VID verification.

Though I am not completely sure about this (and since you were a moderator you may be better informed than me about this), AFAIK, when you register as a paying member, obviously you need to pay for your membership, so I suppose that at that moment you may include some kind of "identification" reference, such as a credit card or bank account information that includes identity data. So I suppose you are then granted VID status.

The thing is, when we register our profile, we are given the choice to then show our "real name/identity" or a nickname/initials (my case), so in this case, when you visit a profile, you only see this, but you may have already been VIDed.

Unfortunately, if you decide to change either your nickname or your full name as it has been entered/shown in your profile, you "lose" that VID status, so you then need to get VIDed again. This could explain why you see some profiles with PRO/credential verifications, but without any VID.

At any rate, I think you certainly raise some quite important points about credential verification and other PRO-related verifications, so I hope our usually helpful members of the Proz.com staff are reading this thread or may be about to read it and answer some of your very constructive/valid questions.

Cheers,

Ivette

[Just edited to correct Katalin's name, which I had misspelled...]

[Edited at 2009-04-14 18:19 GMT]


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