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ProZ.com Native Speaker certification: A great idea!
Thread poster: jgal

jgal  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
+ ...
Oct 17, 2001

What a good idea!



Just a few quick questions:



How will you be choosing the native speakers to do the testing?



Will the new grading have an effect on the order in which candidates for ProZ jobs are displayed, for example?



Will outsourcers be able to specify a \'native speaker\' requirement when posting jobs?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:38
SITE FOUNDER
There are reviewers, and then there are initial reviewers Oct 17, 2001

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How will you be choosing the native speakers to do the testing?

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As explained in the PNS FAQs, a ProZ.com Native Speaker is a person whose recorded speech is regarded by at least 3 of 4 other previously certified ProZ.com Native Speakers as native. That simple.



Your question, I presume, is how we select the initial four reviewers in each language.



Answer: Because there are many different definitions for \"native speakers\", we deciding to choose the initial four native speakers in each language according to the strictest definitions available. Initial reviewers must

(1) Be born and raised in an area in which the language is spoken

(2) Be living in an area in which the language is spoken

(3) Have been raised by speakers of the language

(4) Not be native speakers of any other language



Consideration is made for dialect.



----------

Will the new grading have an effect on the order in which candidates for ProZ jobs are displayed, for example?

----------



No.



----------

Will outsourcers be able to specify a \'native speaker\' requirement when posting jobs?

----------



Yes.



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BernieM
Hong Kong
Local time: 09:38
French to English
+ ...
Could one miss out on suitable jobs? Oct 18, 2001

Henry,



In response to Julia\'s question, you confirmed that outsourcers will be able to specify \'native speaker\' when posting jobs. Does this therefore imply that if one does not have the native speaker certification e.g. let\'s say for example that someone is reluctant to pay the test fee, then one could miss out on suitable jobs?



Whilst I agree with Julia that the certification is, on the face of it, a good idea, it seems to be a situation of \"pay up or lose out\". Your comments?



To balance the slightly negative opinion that I have just expressed, I should let you know that I think you have done a really excellent job with the ProZ site. In particular, I have noticed a number of small, but extremely useful, changes filtering through to the main pages recently. Keep up the good work!


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 07:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
great concept - people certify others in their own regions Oct 18, 2001

Imagine an American going to be certified by another American that he is truly native Ameican. It won\'t be a difficult task for one American or British to recognise another American or British. But will they able to certify without bias that a particular American or British is a good translator? Good native speacher( speaker) yes,but good translator! ButI think this test will be very useful when someone wants \'voice recording\'.

nevertheless, it is a good beginning . Well begun, halk done. Congrats, Henry, for this service of identifiyng natives.


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Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:38
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
some people are fully bilingual Oct 18, 2001

There are people fully bilingual that were only born in one country! I live about 50% of my time in France and 50% in Spain, first husband Spanish, second, French. Pre-college education French, University education Spanish. Children attend school in France. Officially resident in Spain.



How to prove I am taken for a native speaker when I do my everyday shopping in France, speak to my children\'s teachers, to my husbands\' colleagues, etc.?


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 07:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
this has nothing to do with translation ability Oct 18, 2001

Good Questions!

I imagine a scenario like this: Look there, I can see that he is truly a native German or French.

But can you say if he is a better translator than you ? No, no. He is a good native speaker, but I am better translator tham him.

This is just in a lighter vain - this business of translators and certifiers.



Quote:


On 2001-10-17 15:01, jgal wrote:

What a good idea!



Just a few quick questions:



How will you be choosing the native speakers to do the testing?



Will the new grading have an effect on the order in which candidates for ProZ jobs are displayed, for example?



Will outsourcers be able to specify a \'native speaker\' requirement when posting jobs?



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David Rockell
Chinese to English
Something to aim for! Oct 18, 2001

I love to learn other people\'s languages and I\'d be tickled pink If I were inadvertently mistaken for a native speaker. Now I have the opportunity to be certified as one if I can speak well enough for three minutes and not say anything too incongrous or slur my speech so much as to give the game away. I am going to learn Arabic (I know three words so far) and I reckon I\'ll book myself in for a test in about 12 months from now. If in the unlikely event I fail, I\'ll hit the books and try again when I reckon I\'ve got the right stuff!

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:38
French to English
Native tongue, native ability, ability as a translator - a step in the right direction Oct 18, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-18 04:11, telef wrote:

But can you say if he is a better translator than you ? No, no. He is a good native speaker, but I am better translator tham him.

This is just in a lighter vain - this business of translators and certifiers.









Back to the age-old questions of native tongues and professional competence. When you read through the information posted up about it, then it is perfectly clear that it is intending to serve as certification of native ability in a mother tongue upon the criteria set forth. I think this can only be beneficial to clients - not to mention the client education enhancement factor (opting for native speakers in preference to non-native speakers). We all know that it is one of many factors which combine to guide a client in his choice. It is, always has been and no doubt always shall be something of a moot point. Henry clearly states that native speakers can be illiterate. Says it all.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-18 05:57 ]

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 21:38
SITE FOUNDER
filtering by native language will be possible Oct 18, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-10-18 00:51, BernieM wrote:

In response to Julia\'s question, you confirmed that outsourcers will be able to specify \'native speaker\' when posting jobs. Does this therefore imply that if one does not have the native speaker certification e.g. let\'s say for example that someone is reluctant to pay the test fee, then one could miss out on suitable jobs?





It is already possible for outsourcers to limit their postings to people who have been accredited as translators by a major translation authority. It is also possible to search for translators according to this criterion. So already, this sort of filtering occurs at ProZ.com.



It is our intention to introduce similar filtering options in relation to native language. However, we will not institute the function until everyone has been given ample opportunity to be certified.



As for the fee, in setting it, we believe we have chosen a level that makes it possible for all serious members to get certification. The amount of $50--$25 if you can make it to a ProZ.com event--pays for a credential valid for a career.

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 21:38
German to English
+ ...
Good deal Oct 18, 2001

Response to BernieM: I fully appreciate your concerns about not receiving every job posting in your language combination. But as Henry points out, this is happening now for other reasons already (accreditation, country, software, etc.). If you want to make sure that you get a look at every job that\'s out there, I suggest you go to the website and look at the full list of jobs posted. And if you find a job that is of interest to you, but one you have not been notified of by e-mail, place a bid and market yourself to the outsourcer.

I have done that myself in the past, and in some cases, I managed to convince the outsourcer even though I did not meet the profile that he/she had previously defined. Remember: ProZ is a meritocracy, i.e., you will be judged based on your own merits.



General response: yes, you are right: being a native speaker does not mean that you are a good translator, but the PNS mark is just yet another qualification that you can choose to use in selling your services. And the price is not really a problem, is it? Remember: this certification will be valid for 20 years! And, more importantly, it is not contingent on membership, which I believe to be an important signal that Henry is sending out to associations such as ATA, who will take your certification away if you decide to quit the association (and such associations will charge you anywhere from $100 to $300 a year just to keep your certification \"alive\"). So, even charging a one-time fee of $50 for something that, in fact, is a life-time certification (after all, many of us will be retired or semi-retired 20 years from now) is a hell of a good deal.



Another upside: several ProZ members have complained about the fact that they do not have access to, say, ATA accreditation (geography, \"exotic\" language combinations, etc.). With PNS, Henry gives you a shot at some form of credential that you can obtain no matter where you are or what languages you speak. So, given all these advantages, I don\'t think that PNS is overpriced at all.







[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-18 13:20 ]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 07:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
native speakers will be given a long rope before they are certified at Proz.com Oct 18, 2001

Thanks Henry for that clarification. It simply means that the native speakers will be given a long rope to get themselves certifed by paying a small nominal fee to Proz.com before thEy are filtered out.

This is a good service which, surely, cannot come for free.



Quote:


On 2001-10-18 06:55, Henry wrote:

Quote:


On 2001-10-18 00:51, BernieM wrote:

In response to Julia\'s question, you confirmed that outsourcers will be able to specify \'native speaker\' when posting jobs. Does this therefore imply that if one does not have the native speaker certification e.g. let\'s say for example that someone is reluctant to pay the test fee, then one could miss out on suitable jobs?





It is already possible for outsourcers to limit their postings to people who have been accredited as translators by a major translation authority. It is also possible to search for translators according to this criterion. So already, this sort of filtering occurs at ProZ.com.



It is our intention to introduce similar filtering options in relation to native language. However, we will not institute the function until everyone has been given ample opportunity to be certified.



As for the fee, in setting it, we believe we have chosen a level that makes it possible for all serious members to get certification. The amount of $50--$25 if you can make it to a ProZ.com event--pays for a credential valid for a career.



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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good idea - but surely there are other ways to do it. Oct 19, 2001

I certainly agree that it is a good idea to try and give those looking for a translator as much information as possible for them to make their choice of translator for a particular job, and undoubtedly being a native speaker is an important criterion.



I am not averse to paying for a native speaker certification, since I accept that it might offer an advantage in some circumstances. I would have thought, however, in cases like mine, where the nationality, country of schooling and workplace are identical, that there can be no doubt that as to a person\'s native speaking ability, and I would not have any problem with sending in documentary evidence to this effect by e-mail.



I appreciate that many cases are not as straightforward as mine and your method of certification is a good idea. However, to me, it seems somewhat inappropriate to ask, say, an obviously native German to undertake a test to prove that he can speak German.





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Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:38
German to Italian
+ ...
I am not convinced of this certification Oct 19, 2001

because I doesn\'t seem to me that it would be very useful for the outsourcers. Somebody wants the translation to be done by a native speaker in order to get a good job, while ProZ can only certify that he is native. We can get the same result showing a copy of our passport!

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Francesco Volpe  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:38
English to Italian
+ ...
I don't think this certification is useful Oct 19, 2001

Why someone who was born, let\'s say in Italy, has completed all his/her course of studies, included University degree and maybe a doctorate, in this country, and reports this information in his/her own profile or CV, has to demonstrate he/she is a native speaker of the language and pay for it?

It is as though the judgement of 3 or 4 of his/her respectable colleages is more important than years of studies in a publicly recognized University or institute.



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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Francesco Oct 19, 2001

I agree wholeheartedly with Francesco on this, although I am not, in principle, averse to paying something to have a notation against my bid which says that I am a native speaker. It does seem ludicrous that, having been born in England, been educated in England to degree level and having always worked in England, I now need some translator colleagues to certify that I am a native speaker of English.



I appreciate that the intended manner of certification may be an appropriate in some cases, but surely not in clear-cut ones like mine and Francesco\'s.



Icidentally, on a personal note, I would not even want to bid for jobs that are not into English, my mother tongue.









Quote:


On 2001-10-19 03:59, fvolpe wrote:

Why someone who was born, let\'s say in Italy, has completed all his/her course of studies, included University degree and maybe a doctorate, in this country, and reports this information in his/her own profile or CV, has to demonstrate he/she is a native speaker of the language and pay for it?

It is as though the judgement of 3 or 4 of his/her respectable colleages is more important than years of studies in a publicly recognized University or institute.





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