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Job posting looking for someone who is not a language professional
Thread poster: Patricia Lane

Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:37
French to English
+ ...
Jun 11, 2007

Hi all,

I couldn't seem to figure out which forum to post this in so, moderators, feel free to move it to the most suitable place in your book.
(recent job posting, now squashed, link removed)

In this job posting, they are seeking someone with less than 12 years of schooling to proof a document and ensure it is comprehensible to those with a limited education.

They have limited this post to members for the time being.

If they feel this is the most appropriate place to post such a job offer, what does that say about the profession and about Proz??

I am (almost) speechless..

Patricia

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-06-11 17:10]

[Edited at 2007-06-11 17:11]


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
English to French
+ ...
Actually... Jun 11, 2007

I think what they want is to check if that person, with less than 12 years of schooling, will be able to understand the text. They are not asking for language professional services, i.e. check the quality of spelling, terminology, etc., they just want to know if an "average" person will understand this presumably "average" text...

But I'll admit that ProZ is perhaps not the best place to recruit persons with less than 12 years of schooling

[Edited at 2007-06-11 17:06]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:37
English to German
+ ...
Contact a Jobs/BB moderator Jun 11, 2007

Patricia,
As usual in such cases (and as mentioned by moderators several times in the past), the most efficient way of dealing with such an issue would have been to contact one of the Jobs/BB moderators, as the job in question was obviously not in line with the rules for posting jobs on ProZ.com. This would have assured a more immediate reaction, rather than relying on one of us reading your forum posting (which, BTW, does not properly indicate the topic...).

I'll move it to the ProZ.com Job Systems forum, and will edit the title; I would appreciate if you could edit your posting by removing the URL. Thank you.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:37
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry Ralf Jun 11, 2007

I removed the link.

But they were indeed looking for someone with less than 12 years of education. That is what drew my attention. They were not looking for someone used to, for example, writing for an audience with XYZ profile.

Patricia


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:37
English to German
+ ...
No problem Jun 11, 2007

Thanks, Patricia,

I removed the link.

But they were indeed looking for someone with less than 12 years of education. That is what drew my attention. They were not looking for someone used to, for example, writing for an audience with XYZ profile.


Which is precisely why I removed the job without hesitation.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:37
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Need to be quite a special project Jun 11, 2007

A couple of years ago I was asked to translate a book about inventions for children. I decided to do it with my students: even though the book was short - about 40 loose pages - it was easily possible to cut it into many small parts. When the translators and proof-readers finished their work, I asked the daughter of a friend, who was around 10 to read it. If was a good way of checking what would not be perfectly understandable for the target group.
So I believe there are some cases when you could be looking for someone who is certainly not overqualified. However I must agree with you and Marie-Claude: there is little overlap between this group and that of of ProZ.com (paying) members.
Attila


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:37
English to German
+ ...
Right job - wrong place Jun 11, 2007

So I believe there are some cases when you could be looking for someone who is certainly not overqualified. However I must agree with you and Marie-Claude: there is little overlap between this group and that of of ProZ.com (paying) members.

Precisely, Attila: I am reasonably certain that the job was legitimate - but it was not a job to be posted on ProZ.com.

Best,
Ralf


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Isn't that a bit short-sighted? Jun 11, 2007

I believe it makes good sense to post such opportunities here on Proz.com, with the proviso that the youngsters who will/might be recruited will be proposed by and remain under the supervision of qualified adult professionals - i.e. members of this community.

In other words, I see no problem with a job-poster looking for the help of members who could seek out and liaise with suitable youngsters (their own children, perhaps) to further the aims of a legitimate project. It would help promote the youngsters' awareness of the importance of language and understanding; it could be just the enriching experience many kids lack when faced with the gruelling task of learning their conjugaisons.

Think of it as a virtual equivalent of the 'bring your kids to work' days that are sometimes organized by large companies so kids get to know what Mum and Dad do all day.

MediaMatrix


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Right Place Jun 11, 2007

The right place to look would probably be in the poster´s own community, around the corner perhaps.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Unless, of course ... Jun 11, 2007

Henry Hinds wrote:

The right place to look would probably be in the poster´s own community, around the corner perhaps.


... the poster works in Tokyo and the text to be checked is written in ... let's say ... Mapudungun.

MediaMatrix


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Then Jun 11, 2007

Then we might want to send it to the VIII Región or thereabouts...

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 20:37
Spanish to English
+ ...
Right, Henry! Jun 11, 2007

And where better to go looking for someone with Mapuche neighbours than here on Proz.com!

MediaMatrix
(IX región)


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:37
English to French
+ ...
Exactly: Jun 11, 2007

Marie-Claude Falardeau wrote:

I think what they want is to check if that person, with less than 12 years of schooling, will be able to understand the text. They are not asking for language professional services, i.e. check the quality of spelling, terminology, etc., they just want to know if an "average" person will understand this presumably "average" text...


I have once answered such an offer: they were looking for boys, younger than 12, Spanish NS, living in the US. They needed those boys to read by themselves a medical questionaire about some kind of condition they had to pretend they were suffering from, and see if those boys would understand the questions and be able to answer those questions without the interference of another person, in Spanish.

Then they also needed adults, Spanish NS living in the US, to see if they would understand the same kind of questions about their potential child's disease.

They had to read the questions first, and then had a phone appointment of app. one hour with a very professional person who would thoroughly read and discuss the questions with them and ask what they understood and how could it be rephrased for better understanding.

The people I found and who were accepted for the study were paid what I think was a fair amount for their time (not too much, not too little), and I got a fair percentage per person I found.

Everything was professionally dealt with, paid on time etc.

But I'll admit that ProZ is perhaps not the best place to recruit persons with less than 12 years of schooling

[Edited at 2007-06-11 17:06]


Well, of course I didn't personnally translate anything, and what I did was more "selling" maybe, but I think it still has to do with languages, and as a Spanish speaking foreigner and language consultant in the US, I was maybe able to find and select suitable people more easily than "just anyone" if I can say so (just because a kid's last name is Perez - taking this name only as an example - doesn't mean he is NS). That is why I think it's maybe not such a bad place to post this kind of "job" here on ProZ. We all have the right to be willing to do this or not, just as we have the right to accept a job where more IT knowledge is required than translation skills themselves, or whatever job there is that doesn't fit our profile.

Anne


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interesting Subject Jun 12, 2007

What we have come up with here is actually a very interesting and important subject and one that is almost always totally ignored, which is: How pertinent is translated material to the community to which it is directed?

Here in the US we so often have to translate material for bureaucracies, companies, etc. directed to the local Hispanic population. A lot of this material is barely comprehensible for a well-educated person in English, and we then have to translate it into Spanish, and of course we cannot change the register; we cannot "dumb it down".

Yet the audience will be people whose average educational level is quite low. Therefore, how can they possibly expect it to be properly understood?

The precipitating problem here is that surely the person was misguided in looking for people on this forum who could validate materials. Such people should be sought directly among the target population in communities where materials are to be used, and they should be dealt with directly in a comprehensive process.

On the other hand, someone is to be commended for at least realizing that there is a communication problem.

One person I have worked with was producing a series of animated videos and other animated materials on health care for the local population to be used at the hospital. It appeared to be quite effective. She seemed to have some great ideas.

But it is not so easy for such ideas to become generalized. It is also part of the "translation process" to insure that materials are appropriate for the intended audience, but that process must start with the creators of the materials; it cannot start with us except perhaps as a matter of educating clients, and that is not an easy task.


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:37
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good point Jun 12, 2007

You raise a very good point, Henry, as did Anne and Mediamatrix.

However, the poster had the full liberty of indicating such objectives in this ad and he/she would have received much support from this community. Nothing of the sort transpired from that text, which is probably why Ralf nixed it immediately.

As such, I reacted to it negatively. And all the more so because I had stumbled onto this "job ad" after some discussions on the French forum concerning lousy salaries, temporary jobs and internships - what salaried translators struggle against just as freelance translators struggle against low rates - and thus my reading of the ad was all the more epidermic.

Clarity of communication is critical - right from the phrasing of a job posting!

Cheers,

Patricia


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