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In my language pair (EN>IT), the standards have declined
Thread poster: Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Feb 10, 2004

Recently, out of curiosity, I started answering a few KudoZ questions (after a year gap) and I noticed that, at least in my language pair (EN>IT), the standards have declined dramatically. Loads of people translating out of the their mother tongue and in fields they obviously know nothing about. This site and other translators' lists obviously have taught these people nothing. More than ever, I feel saddened and I wish our profession could be regulated, so we can get rid of the cowboys. Can you imagine a doctors' site where "professionals" ask how to perform an enema? Get real.

Giovanni

[Edited at 2004-02-10 22:32]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 18:44
SITE FOUNDER
After you, Doctor... Feb 10, 2004

Giovanni wrote:

Can you imagine a doctors' site where "professionals" ask how to perform an enema?

Actually, doctors are doing online collaboration. And scientists, and lawyers, and farmers, and programmers.

If you don't like the way things are going online, or at ProZ.com, we at least are open to suggestions. Or if you think regulation is the solution, why not hop in the driver's seat?

Personally, I see a lot of talented linguists here (along with some bad ones, it's true!)

PS. Welcome back.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There is talent here Feb 11, 2004

Yes, talent and experience can be found on this site. Of course, one has to know how to identify it.

On the other hand, this site is very useful for honing your skills and comparing them with your peers.

Although translation has been around for thousands of years, I see it as a new profession in a very real sense. Never have we had such organization, contact, rapid delivery, translation tools, glossaries, rapid lookup dictionaries, cultural contact.

Translation is a "new" profession!


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bergazy  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 00:44
Croatian to Italian
+ ...
If you dislike the Musicians... Feb 11, 2004

don't crash the Piano!
Please, take your violin and perform
a solo.
I'll be your audience.

Ciao


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:44
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
In fairness to Giovanni Feb 11, 2004

Hey guys,
Don't be so defensive! I think that part of what Giovanni means by regulation (and correct me here if I'm wrong!) is that here in Italy, there is no such thing as an official professional association for translators and interpreters. There is a bar association of those practicing law, a medical association for physicians, and so on. But nothing for translators.
Professional ethics should suffice, but evidently this is not the case.
I am completely bilingual, because I grew up in Rome. Nevertheless, my parents sent me to an English-speaking school and I went to high school, college and a year of grad school in the United States. As a result, though I get asked to translate into Italian, I turn it down. I do not feel I have the kind of education I need to translate into Italian.
Unfortunately, Giovanni, there will always be people out there who are willing to take on jobs they have no business doing. All we can do is educate our customers!


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Dutch to English
+ ...
Even with regulation things go wrong Feb 11, 2004

I do not know of any translator who managed to kill at least 15 people on purpose. While in the medical profession it has happened. Just look at the case of killer doctor Harold Shipman who did just that.

Although Giovanni may have a point, on the whole I am with Henry on this one. Most translators act in an ethical manner and, yes, there is the odd "cowboy" (not my word) but hopefully even they will eventually become professional. Maybe ProZ can help on this front!

Is ProZ supposed to be just for the elite? And who would be qualified to decide who is in and who is out? I suppose you could demand only translators who are associated to professional bodies but you would lose a large number of very good translators.


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Member (2004)
English to Italian
TOPIC STARTER
A couple of points... Feb 11, 2004

I was not crashing the piano... in fact, I was talking about my language combination and not Proz in general, although I believe that the KudoZ section tends to encourage unprofessional people.
I am still convinced that our profession should be regulated. This will not solve the problem, bit it would limit it. For example, as a member of ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting), I have to abide to a specific professional conduct. I am **not** allowed to translate into a foreign language, otherwise I would be kicked out.
Secondly, I do not agree that our profession does not carry risks. It does. Ask translators in the medical or nuclear fields...
As far as the KudoZ are concerned, I would like to see the points system scrapped. This encourages competition between colleagues, which, in turn, means that **every** question, even the most unprofessional ones, gets an answer. This, in my opinion, is not right and should be addressed. I look forward to the "improvements" quoted by Tayfun.

Giovanni

[Edited at 2004-02-11 09:56]

[Edited at 2004-02-11 10:59]


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mbc
Spain
Local time: 00:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
of cowboys and other creatues Feb 11, 2004

Personally, I´m not convinced that rules and regulations help much. In most countries, you need to be certified as a teacher--I´ve had plenty of bad ones. You have to finish dentist school to be a dentist--hasn´t everyone heard a horror story?
It takes all kinds to make a productive, dynamic group of translators. Maybe some people don´t have a translating degree, but rather lots of experience in say engineering, that´s perfect for me because I have studied literature and art and know little about anything technical. I like reading all the different profiles on ProZ., seeing how people became translators. There are many different paths: some people learned their B language at a prestigiuos university, others married someone from a different country and learned FAST... Yes, the levels vary but doesn´t a professional know how to make his way through the wild west?

[Edited at 2004-02-11 11:14]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:44
Flemish to English
+ ...
A degree Feb 11, 2004

You are MITI,MIL. But there is also ESIT (Paris) and its Catholic Counterpart, there are T&I schools in almost every European country. Some countries like Belgium even have 8 of such institutes, who compete amongst each other. Some schools are better known in the Anglo-Saxon world and have a better reputation, others are not well known.
Should a T&I-degree be a condition to become a member of this site (would not be commercially feasible), then translators are going to quarrel about which school is the best?
Too technical topics should be translated by a team of a linguist and a specialist. That way you get a linguistically and technically correct translation.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:44
German to English
+ ...
MITI, MIL - NOT a degree Feb 11, 2004

Williamson wrote:

You are MITI,MIL. But there is also ESIT (Paris) and its Catholic Counterpart, there are T&I schools in almost every European country.


Williamson, I think you are missing the very point Giovanni is trying to make. ITI and IoL are professional associations and as such, one of their roles is the promotion of high standards in the profession. MIL and MITI are not "degrees", or comparable to degrees. These organizations do conduct examinations and assessments and require certain qualifications for membership, and some people seek membership as a form of qualification, but that is only part of the story. The maintenance of codes of practice and ethical principles is just as important.

Marc


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 18:44
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...
The nuclear argument Feb 11, 2004

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:

Secondly, I do not agree that our profession does not carry risks. It does. Ask translators in the medical or nuclear fields...
Giovanni


This is true, Giovanni, but do you really think the cowboys do these translations ? More likely they translate warranties for toasters.

Nancy


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 00:44
Spanish to English
+ ...
nuclear and medical, revisited Feb 11, 2004

NancyLynn wrote:


This is true, Giovanni, but do you really think the cowboys do these translations ? More likely they translate warranties for toasters.

Nancy


Well... I don't know about the nuclear field, but in English/Spanish, at least, it's not at all unusual to see medical questions posted in batches by people who very obviously are not specialists in the field (to be polite--some of them don't have much of a clue, period). I've often wondered how they dare to take on such jobs. I guess it's a case of fools (and cowboys) rushing in...


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:44
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Its the client who has chosen the translator Feb 11, 2004

If the client trusts a persons with a specific job its his fault if the result is bad.
But I believe the Kudoz system is used by many students and lay people, who just have to know the meaning of some text. Nothing to worry about. Better than using machine translation. To me the kudoz system is a funny game for leasure hours, nothing to take too serious.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:44
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Students and lay people Feb 11, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If the client trusts a persons with a specific job its his fault if the result is bad.
But I believe the Kudoz system is used by many students and lay people, who just have to know the meaning of some text. Nothing to worry about. Better than using machine translation. To me the kudoz system is a funny game for leasure hours, nothing to take too serious.


Maybe one more tick box could be added to the KudoZ question form: I'm a professional translator.


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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
Italy
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Where are the Italian pros? Feb 11, 2004

Aint'it curious?

Over 12 hrs. after the thread was open and although it's still pretty close to the top in the Recent Forum Postings sindow, the first post by an Italian translator is yet to come.

Are we supposed to infer anything from this?


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