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\"The ProZ Translators Association\"
Thread poster: xxxeurotransl
xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
Jun 29, 2001

Maybe this is not the right forum to post to, but it is a suggestion, so we\'ll see.



(Note to Henry: feel free to move this contribution to another, more suitable section of the forums if necessary)



I believe that ProZ deserves the designation \"(global) translators association\" - after all, there are way over 19,000 members now. Along these lines, I have prepared a couple of recommendations (in random order):





  • ProZ should organize an annual conference in different parts of the world - this will give members a chance to meet in person and enhance the \"community spirit\" (the upcoming conference in Italy is a first step in the right direction)



  • Just like ATA, etc., ProZ should introduce 2 categories of membership: \"Pro\" for professional translators with at least 2 years of working experience, accreditation, degree, etc. \"Associate\" for those just starting out - or those that, at the point of joining ProZ, have no verifiable working experience, accreditation, etc. Upon meeting those requirements (accreditation, working experience, etc.), they will be upgraded to \"Pro\". A partner site of ProZ, www.infomarex.ie, for example, requires 2 years of experience and a CV before including you in their database. ProZ should do the same.



  • Many translators in several parts of the world do not have access to accreditation exams, etc. For them, ProZ should provide an option to become \"accredited\" by ProZ: this may be done by \"peer review\" (2 to 3 peer reviewers qualified in the language combination at hand), for example, or by actual translation exams. ProZ could play a crucial role here and take over where the other national and international associations (e.g., FIT) have been negligent so far.



  • This is just a shot in the dark, and the implementation of this particular recommendation will definitely be a long way off, if at all, but here goes: how about providing online courses in translation? NYU, I believe, does it. Of course, ProZ would have to be accredited as a \"degree-granting institution\", but I would not go that far: these online courses would not be about \"degrees\", but about giving future translators around the world an opportunity to learn and to be mentored. A person\'s performance in such courses could serve as his or her \"ProZ accreditation\" - and if, one day, ProZ has become fully established as an association conferring accreditation (and with the ProZ designation having become fully accepted and recognized), such accreditation/completion of online courses may just be worth more than some \"degree\".





Just food for thought. I\'d like to know what you think.


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 30, 2001

Proz.com is a cooperative of the translators. We have to further cement these bonds. Essentially, these bonds arise from the help we render to each other, by answering the term questions and Henry and his team deserve a Big Kudoz.( A Medallion of the Translators).

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
French to English
Jul 1, 2001

I fail to see how PROZ could ever pretend (as in claim) to stand in the shoes of an accreditation body. Whilst I appreciate your concern about members\' qualifications, as well as the appropriateness thereof to the profession of translator and the veracity of certain members\' claims with regard to the qualifications they say they hold, playing the role of an accreditation body is not what I understand PROZ to be all about.



That does not mean that improvements cannot be made, nor does it mean that the raison d\'être of the site cannot be changed. Never the less, just where would you put all those people whose valuable experience bails out many a translator because he or she really knows the field inside out?



I understand that certain countries, Canada for example, (your country of residence I believe), have a great deal more experience in the organisation of translators as a profession. Many countries could learn a great deal from what has been done there. However, this does not rule out other ways of doing things, nor does it mean that translators working from other countries are necessarily bad.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-03 07:29 ]


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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 2, 2001

I understand you point of view. But do not use such harsh words against proz. com ( shoes of accreditation ....). Perhaps, you never meant it. It is the blessed English phrase. Let us all work in cooperation.

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xxxeurotransl
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jul 2, 2001

I agree with you nikscot.



When I use the word \"accreditation\" I do so for lack of a better word at this point in time - the thing I have in mind is not intended to be similar to ATA, etc.



What I am trying to say is that ProZ could really make a big difference in the global translation industry as a \"seal or mark of quality\".



As I also said, this \"accreditation\" could take the form of peer review, which would also help those that are currently unable to obtain traditional accreditation (for geographical reasons, etc.).



The experts in their fields, which you mention, would not be excluded - they could simply provide their CVs and references to ProZ (or the \"peers\") and thus obtain the \"ProZ Seal of Approval\" or \"accreditation\".



In addition: the system would be open to anyone - credentialed and \"non-credentialed\" translators. Those that joined ProZ as \"Associates\" would then have the option of upgrading to \"Pro\" status upon completion of, say, 2-3 jobs through ProZ, etc. Or they could send in a sample translation to ProZ for peer review - this way, no one would be excluded, and any translator from a region where traditional accreditation is not available would be able to obtain at least some kind of \"quality seal\".



In a nutshell: the kind of \"accreditation\" I am talking about is cooperative in nature; unlike the more \"dictatorial\" system employed by associations.



Please also keep in mind that my suggestions are based on a long-term view: personally, I believe that ProZ will be a major player in years to come; possibly, even surpassing ATA and other associations in importance. And if they should ever decide to get into online courses as well, hey, they would be unbeatable.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-02 15:51 ]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
French to English
Jul 3, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-02 10:38, telef wrote:

I understand you point of view. But do not use such harsh words against proz. com ( shoes of accreditation ....). Perhaps, you never meant it. It is the blessed English phrase. Let us all work in cooperation.





I\'m afraid you have totally misunderstood what I was saying...

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
French to English
Jul 3, 2001

Quote:


On 2001-07-02 10:38, telef wrote:

I understand you point of view. But do not use such harsh words against proz. com ( shoes of accreditation ....). Perhaps, you never meant it. It is the blessed English phrase. Let us all work in cooperation.





I now understand what you were getting at, \"Stand in the shoes of an accreditation body\". Yes I did mean it, but I think you have misunderstood it.



Far be it for me to criticize PROZ.COM! I was defending it! I was trying to express the idea that as far I understand the purpose of PROZ, it has never purported to be, nor expressed any intention of becoming an accreditation body. As I understood it, the main purpose is to provide on-line help for terms and tricky bits of translation work, essentially for translators. The best people to address this matter of course, are those who run it.



Which \"blessed English phrase\" are you referring to?



As to criticism, I think I can stand in the shoes of the PROZ.COM people - after all this is our site too! - and say that constructive criticism is always welcome!



Nikki





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Telesforo Fernandez
Local time: 15:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 3, 2001

Thanks Nikki for your reply. By that \" blessed English phrase\" I was referring to \" -----shoes of an accreditation......\". I felt it a little out of place, but since you have clarified, things are clear to me now. We all are great supporters of proz.com because it is our own site, so to say. You have been giving valuable tips and inputs on this forum. Telef

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Blanca Rodr�guez
Local time: 11:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 22, 2001

Talking of accreditations and degrees... I think it\'s a tricky field. I have a degree in translation and interpretation myself, but I know many translators who are great professionals but don\'t have any degree at all or at least not in translation. I know it may sound contradictory but I believe our profession is quite a particular one, because self teaching can be just as useful as a \"proper\" education. It just takes longer.



And from my point of view, degrees just give you the starting tools, you will have to keep learning for the rest of your life if you want to succeed in this business. I know some people who are REAL scholars, but they didn\'t acquire their vast knowledge at uni, they learned it from the books they\'ve read during all their life. I think degrees are something like the driving lincece. Did any of you really knew how to really drive a car when they gave you the licence? At least I didn\'t.



As for accreditations... I don\'t have an accreditation and I don\'t think that makes me a worst professional. I think they are way too overvalued. Like ATA membership: you just have to pay and you\'re in, it\'s just that easy. But still many agencies and clients consider ATA membership some kind of \"super merit\". I don\'t see the point.



Any views on this?


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Dave Simons
Local time: 11:28
French to English
Aug 2, 2001

\"...from my point of view, degrees just give you the starting tools\"

.

\"As for accreditations... I don\'t have an accreditation and I don\'t think that makes me a worst professional.\"

.

.

hear hear

.

Qualifications and accreditations can help get you in, but only your ability will keep you there.







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Roberto Robles
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 18, 2001

Hello.

I agree and I disagree if I may...

I am Mexican, live in Mexico, work in Mexico, studied in mexico, etc.

Have more than 10 years experience living and raising a family with my job as a translator: I say this so you see I\'m serious about this.

However, I have no acreditation other than my university degree.

I belong to the local translators organization, which belongs to a fellow translator who became popular by inventing that idea, and frankly has helped us not at all.

Clients here are impressed when you belong to an association (being engineers, chemists, etc. they are members of any number of associations and are proud of it). So, I said I agree: no, it won\'t make me a better or worse translator.

I also said I disagree. I disagree with discounting this idea. I see great merit in it. I see great future in it. Requirements? Yes. But let\'s be strict. Peer review? Let\'s be real professionals about it.



Just beware. There is an organization out there... I promise I will give you the link later on, that peer grades and then accepts or rejects applicants on taht basis. In the end people who had a lot of friends in the site ended up being accepted. Others were not because they could find noone to sponsor them...



Finally, online courses for translators are a great idea. However, a site is being launched next month that will specifically offer Specialized Translations Courses online. I read I\'m not supposed to advertise here so I won\'t tell you who they are. I do know they have been working for 4 years developing their courses... apparently it\'s not as easy as it sounds.



Have a great night!


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