Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
I don\'\'t think ProZ.com Native Speaker Certification is useful
Thread poster: Francesco Volpe

Francesco Volpe  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:58
English to Italian
+ ...
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 colleagues is more important than years of studies in a publicly recognized University or institute.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-10-19 07:45 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Dito
Local time: 17:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Agree with a useless certificate for 50.00 Oct 19, 2001

I agree. It does not reflect the quality of the translation/translator and smacks of a nice idea to get 50 quid. It also seems an error prone mechanism for assessing \'authenticity\'. I wonder if this is not only a nice idea to keep the site going?





Direct link Reply with quote
 

mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:58
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree. Oct 19, 2001

I don\'t think there is much to be added to what my colleagues have said. I would not pay for a certification of this kind; agencies have many other means of verifying you\'re good at a tongue (talking or writing to you, for example).

Moreover, we all know natives who do not have a good standard when speaking/writing in their mother tongue, don\'t we?
[addsig]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
mckinnc  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
French to English
+ ...
that's a bit harsh Oct 19, 2001

Although you can argue about the method used for classifying pros, surely it is helpful if the asker of a question knows that the person posting an answer is a native speaker. They would then know that the answer has more chance of being usable and idiomatic.



In reality, not all posts are equal and this is not always clear to the asker. Obviously, it all depends on the cultural knowledge and language abilities of the pro who answers. Those pros who really excel in languages that are not native to them have an opportunity through this system to have those exceptional skills recognized.



Non-native speakers can of course frequently make enlightening comments because they generally have a deeper understanding of the source language but at least askers would know this is the profile of the person answering.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:58
English to Croatian
+ ...
I am (*) nativ speaker!. Oct 19, 2001

Certificate of native speaker!??

Excuse me, but...

I am relativly new to this site (4 mths or so, and I think is\'s been doing great job!) but regarding this matter I have no choice but to agree with all those opposing this proposal. I would like to see someone who is able to say weather I was grown up in northern or southern part of Croatia, or Bosnia, or England, or Australia...and on the basis of 3-4 minutes of phone-call!



Henry, I have to admit that your intention was good but, as you can see, it stired the \"translator world\".



By the way, translators are not the \"speakers\" - they write. (\"3-4 minute-phone call\"?!)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
It is optional! Oct 19, 2001

It may be offensive and stupid, but it is optional. And if there are customers who require it, it surely cannot be called useless.



Jacek


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 22:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
but why? Oct 19, 2001

All said and done, why should Proz.com undertake such a task of identifying native speakers.I think Proz.com has much better things to do.This is a great site bringing together a cosmos of translators around the globe and Henry and PROZ.COM have gone a long way to bring thousands of translators under one platform and now suddenly it looks as though it wants to divide its own folk or say separate the sheep from lambs, so to say.



Quote:


On 2001-10-19 08:44, jacek wrote:

It may be offensive and stupid, but it is optional. And if there are customers who require it, it surely cannot be called useless.



Jacek



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gilda Manara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:58
German to Italian
+ ...
why this certification? Oct 19, 2001

If ProZ really wants to certify something, I don\'t think that being native is the right thing. My being a native speaker is certified by my certificate of birth, my passport, my name or whatever else - not by a funny logo added by ProZ. And I don\'t see that such a certification would be really useful to the outsourcer. Of course every outsourcer can ask for native translators - but it is not a certification by ProZ that will prove this! It reminds me of Italian wines, which must have a D.O.C. label with official stamp to be recognised as coming from a certain area of the country... I have a great admiration for ProZ, the people who have created it and those who work for keeping the site going - but with this initiative I don\'t agree at all.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
I have found this a useful and interesting initiative Oct 19, 2001

Why does anyone think a passport is a certification of a native speaker status? We are talking of professional \"native-speaker\" status, which is of interest to potential customers.

If all of those who disagree with this proz initiative can\'t see the reasoning behind it or see it as a con, then I\'m sorry.

I have seen too many thousands of pages translated into the most abysmal English (or Italian- the only two languages I am qualified to judge) by people who have reams of paper qualifications from prestigious colleges and universities. It is a general convention that you only translate into your native tongue - how many of you, busy with your dictionaries, are aware of that? How many good translators fall into the trap of being tempted to work into the source language then realise (or worse don\'t realise) they bit off more than they could chew and end up flooding kudoz with apparently banal questions or giving the customer a trashy piece of work?

Take a minute out and think that proz is offering a service and is not \"ripping off\" its members. has it ripped you off so far? How many unpaid services is it offering? No complaints there?

I took, and passed, the native speaker test for English. Do you realise how many people don\'t take me seriously in English as I have an Italian name? I have been pipped at the post for jobs by people less experienced than me because they are called Smith or Brown or whatever.

Now I can say that four peers, who are mother tongue speakers of my language, guaranteed that my native tongue is English (UK). That does not make me a good translator but it defines a sector in which I may be competent to work. I have even seen kudoz replies coming in from people with certification and degrees and diplomas (who offer translation into a language that is not their native tongue) and these answers are kitted out with incomprehension of the text, grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes. That\'s just for single sentences. What kind of pig\'s ear would they make of a whole text????

Bear in mind that the native speaker test is not obligatory and the cost covers the time and energy spent getting it done.

I have no vested interest in defending this thing - I thought it was a good idea, you do it if you want. Amen.

But please, those of you who have been so derogatory, reflect wholeheartedly on my comments, which as usual are honest (not rude or aggressive) and down to earth, and ask yourselves if perhaps there is some point in it after all.

Angela





Direct link Reply with quote
 
Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 22:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
But......????? Oct 19, 2001

Yours was a very passionate argument and I feel as strongly as you, when it comes to quality of translations. Did Proz.com certify you as a \" professional native translator\" or \"a native professional speaker\"? Truly, you amply qualify for both. I have great regards for you, both as a translator and a very very warm person. But I feel strongly when it divides the community of translators as native and non- native.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:58
Member
French to English
+ ...
Money and effort better spent elsewhere Oct 19, 2001

I also don\'t fully understand the motive behind certifying native speakers. Many outsourcers do specify \'Native speakers only\' which solves itself easily when bidding or sending CV, a bidder would state that they are a native speaker of the particular language. If they aren\'t and choose to lie, we\'ll that is none of our business.



With regards to answering questions, I find that many answerers specify in the Reference section that they are a native speaker anyway, so...



I would rather spend my money getting a certification that attests to my ability as a translator and that is more widely recognized. Also, because a Proz event is not likely to ever come to Toronto, I would have to do the certification by phone, at a higher cost.



I also think things could get out of hand with translators who work in several language combinations. We may see some Proz with the little \'N\' beside 3 languages. This may cause some outsourcers to question the certification. This goes back to earlier discussions on being bilingual. Sure they are many people who consider themselves to be native speakers of more than one language because of where they grew up, education, etc.



And just because someone speaks well in an interview or over the phone in any given language, doesn\'t mean they\'re a native speaker. I am a native English speaker, but I feel confident that I could take the test for my 2nd language (Spanish) and more than likely pass as Native speaker. I always get asked by Spanish speakers which Latin American country I\'m from - they can\'t place the accent but they never guess that I am not a native speaker. I am always flattered, but I would NEVER say I am a native Spanish speaker.



I think both the site and the translators\' time, effort and money could be better spent on other things. I have very, very few complaints about this site, I think it\'s great, but when I read this latest idea, it just made me think it was an opportunity to grab some extra cash and give more advantages to those who can afford to pay the fee. It is also disadvantageous to those who work in extremely rare combinations, for which 3 native-speaking certifiers cannot be found.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Derek Smith  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:58
Italian to English
+ ...
My Uncle Sylvester's English Oct 19, 2001

Trouble is, there are so many different types of native speaker accents that it\'s difficult to be categoric. Take my uncle Syl, who was an Irishman with such a broad and unruly sort of pronunciation and usage that he would never have qualified for a little N symbol (although he knew no other language). Anyway, what on earth is Henry D looking at in his photo?

As for \"Smith, Brown or whatever...\" well! I hardly know what the world is coming to...



Direct link Reply with quote
 

CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 12:58
Member (2004)
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, useful and interesting, but no need here to be carried away Oct 19, 2001

by passion...

Do you translate into Italian? You do give very useful and appropriate answers in Italian. Do you mean to tell me that you are the only one capable of functioning into two different languages?

Of course, you don\'t. Yes, there are people who translate into languages that they have not mastered. But do you mean to rule out the possibility that someone may have mastered more than one language?

I live in a country with thousands and thousands of fully functional bilingual (and trilingual) people, accredited by the government to conduct business and work in the two official languages (I am one of them, God help us). Can they all translate into the other language? Of course some may, but most don\'t. We have in fact a shortage of official languages translators.

And as you say, speaking like a native, has nothing, or little to do with being a good translator.

And what\'s that \"busy with your dictionaries\"?

Do you think I never consult an Italian dictionary? Or an English or a French one for that matter? And sometimes I make more mistakes going into Italian, precisely because I have the self-assurance of the \"native speaker\" and fall prey to the first word that comes into my head. Being a native speaker is no excuse for consulting a dictionary, often rather then seldom.

Ma torniamo a bomba, come si dice.

Outbursts don\'t win people over to any cause, be it this certification or any other position we may defend.

Let\'s see what others think about the certification. Those in favour or against may be a minority or a majority on the site, who knows. We may learn something about the direction the site is taking. And about the willingness of people to follow it.

As you and others have said, nobody is making it mandatory.

Cheers

Paola



Direct link Reply with quote
 
Henry Dotterer
Local time: 12:58
SITE FOUNDER
PNS certification is an (optional) tool provided for the use of service providers Oct 19, 2001

Give the contentious nature of the debate surrounding \"being native\", it is not surprising that a number of misconceptions have arisen over the ProZ.com Native Speaker initiative.



I\'ll explain where the idea came from.



Many members of this site are by now familiar with InstantJobs. InstanJobs is a service offered via partner websites (you won\'t find it here), whereby a short text can be uploaded for translation, and paid for online by credit card. Behind the scenes, these texts are passed from the partner sites to the ProZ.com server, which in turn proceeds to *automatically* invite ProZ.com members to complete the assignment. These members have been \"prequalified\" based on 7 different factors, including credentials earned from translator associations, etc.



The promise made by InstantJob partner sites, in some cases, is that the translated texts will be \"native.\" This is a promise made apart from the promise that the translation will be of high-quality. (So let\'s put aside the debate of the relationship between native language and quality of translation; that has no bearing here.) Some clients demand that translations be \"native\", and ProZ.com wishes to support this marketing decision in those cases.



So the challenge for us, as ProZ.com staffers, is to devise a method by which the InstantJobs system will be able to select native speakers of a language specifically, when required. Instantly. With no coordinator intervention.



To date, we have relied on the judgement of the individuals invited. Invitees are instructed not to accept jobs unless they are native speakers of the target languages and target dialects. By and large, this approach has worked; most people are attentive enough to read the instructions, and most people are conscientious enough to respect the request.



However, in a small percentage of the cases, non-native speakers, or in one case, a speaker of a dialect other than the one requested by the client, have accepted the assignments. This has caused a problem. (Not from the client, since the texts were caught in time, but from within--others invited to the InstantJobs but beaten to it objected strongly, since according to the instructions, the assignment should have been left for them.) Over time, the ProZ.com Native Speaker certification will solve this problem. It will also solve the problem for clients in a similar position.



But again, the program is optional.



Yes, some outsourcers will take the time to determine whether or not you are a native speaker of the target language, either by talking with you or reviewing your passport (not that I believe that is any indication), etc. The question you may ask yourself, as a business-person, is whether it will serve your interests to take care of that task for your clients, in advance.



The PNS certification is not something being imposed upon clients or translators. Rather, it is just one more tool ProZ.com provides for service providers. Judging from the response to our announcement so far, many professionals see value in it.



All of which is to say what Jacek has put so succinctly.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 12:58
German to English
+ ...
Thank you, Henry Oct 19, 2001

Thank you for taking the time to explain the situation to all those \"doubting Thomases\" .



We must look at the bigger picture: PNS will be a credential that you can also use outside of the ProZ community. Plus, as I mentioned in a previous posting, it is one shot at a credential (no matter how small or trivial it might be) for those colleagues who have no access to other forms of accreditation, etc.



I also agree with Angela: there are many people who, based on their names or location, would not be taken for native speakers (and Canada is a perfect example: a Québecois with a French name would have a hard time convincing people that he is, in fact, an English native speaker; that \"little\" PNS mark could go a long way to casting aside any doubt).



Don\'t forget: you don\'t have to get it if you don\'t want it. As for limiting the reach of job ads, well, this is already happening now - e.g., on the basis of accreditation. PNS would only be another, minute, parameter that outsourcers could define in their search for translators. All Henry is doing is give all of you an opportunity to be more competitive, that\'s all. A votre choix!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


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


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

I don\'\'t think ProZ.com Native Speaker Certification is useful

Advanced search






Across v6.3
Translation Toolkit and Sales Potential under One Roof

Apart from features that enable you to translate more efficiently, the new Across Translator Edition v6.3 comprises your crossMarket membership. The new online network for Across users assists you in exploring new sales potential and generating revenue.

More info »
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 »



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