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Test as criteria for Proz.com membership
Thread poster: Niraja Nanjundan
Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:27
German to English
Oct 13, 2005

As a way of ensuring a higher degree of professionalism on Proz.com, I would like to propose a (translation) test as a criteria for membership (both non-paying and platinum). The test would be in all the fields of specialisation you offer as well as in all language pairs, and could be conducted at test centres in the different countries under supervision of a qualified external examiner. Another option is to download tests from the site, but there is a risk of cheating. Use of dictionaries and other reference material should be allowed. If it were implemented, already existing members would have to take it too to retain membership.

What do you think? Any other suggestions?


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:57
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
What would this accomplish Oct 13, 2005

I'm sorry but I fail to see the point.

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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 16:57
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
This must be for the agencies/clients to do Oct 13, 2005

I don't see why ProZ should be involved in something like this.

Many agencies/clients already ask for tests before actually hiring a new freelancer, so why would ProZ have to do the same thing? And would any outsourcer have complete and utter faith in the results, or would they still want to make their own tests?

Besides, I feel that this would somehow make ProZ responsible for the members' competencies, and I really don't think that's fair.

Already we have verification of credentials, and what more do you want? Those, who have not verified credentials, may very well be left out when outsourcers chose who to work with, who knows?

My suggestion: leave it to the outsourcers! They are not stupid, and even passed tests at Proz would not outrule under-qualified translators, IMHO ;o)

Oh, and besides: I for one have already taken a number of tests when graduating, so I would really be offended by having to take tests all over again simply to become a member of this site.

[Edited at 2005-10-13 10:42]


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Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:57
Latvian to English
+ ...
Agree with Mikhail Oct 13, 2005

What would this achieve? Proz.com is a site for translators (from beginners to experienced professionals) to exchange views, offer/provide advice, find jobs etc, as opposed to being a professional association for translators - and should remain as such!

[Edited at 2005-10-13 11:35]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
English to Polish
+ ...
Um... Oct 13, 2005

Who checks the tests?

Best regards,
Pawel Skalinski
Warsaw, Poland

p.s. OK - reading instructions helps... "qualified national examiner".
I still don't think it's a good idea. This is generally a 'goodwill' site and there are now lots of ways for dealing for people who break rules too often.

P.A.S.

[Edited at 2005-10-13 11:36]


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:57
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Um... 2 Oct 13, 2005

...and who pays for the reviewers?

Gianfranco


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
Ummmm..... Oct 13, 2005

... and who reviews the reviewers?

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Han Li  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 22:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
Agree Oct 13, 2005

But there must be have many problems,such as the above

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Karine J.
Local time: 16:57
French to German
+ ...
and.... Oct 13, 2005

who have the right to decide or not of the membership based on a subjectiv conclusion of somebody who review the translation?

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Robert Donahue  Identity Verified
Russian to English
+ ...
I am reminded of a quote from Groucho Marx... Oct 13, 2005

Who once said, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member."

All joking aside let's address your idea.

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:

As a way of ensuring a higher degree of professionalism on Proz.com, I would like to propose a (translation) test as a criteria for membership (both non-paying and platinum). The test would be in all the fields of specialisation you offer as well as in all language pairs, and could be conducted at test centres in the different countries under supervision of a qualified external examiner. Another option is to download tests from the site, but there is a risk of cheating. Use of dictionaries and other reference material should be allowed. If it were implemented, already existing members would have to take it too to retain membership.

What do you think? Any other suggestions?


What do I think? I think it's almost completely unworkable. First who is going to write the tests for ALL fields of specialization? Where do these test centers (not to mention proctors) come from? Who pays the lease? Do we stick one in every country in the world? In all 50 U.S. states?

Then the question becomes why should we bother in the first place? Proz is not a certifying organization. That is not its intended role and I think many would agree that it should not be.

Finally there is the issue of finance. Will this testing be provided free of charge or included in the membership fee? Which, not to be rude, you currently don't pay. How much would that cost? I see that you are a relatively new member. Take some time to read through some of the old forum posts and you will find postings from many members of lower-income countries who are not able to pay the current membership cost. I appreciate your concern and think that your heart is in the right place but I don't feel that your proposal is feasible.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some practical points... Oct 13, 2005

Niraja Nanjundan wrote:
The test would be in all the fields of specialisation you offer as well as in all language pairs, and could be conducted at test centres in the different countries under supervision of a qualified external examiner.


The cost of this would be prohibitive. Proz.com membership would drop to a few hundred in a matter of days.

Another option is to download tests from the site, but there is a risk of cheating. Use of dictionaries and other reference material should be allowed. If it were implemented, already existing members would have to take it too to retain membership.


The risk of cheating is minimal (in fact, the South African Translators' Institute's accreditation test is taken by correspondence, with checks and balances included). But the cost would be prohibitive.


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Subhamay Ray  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:27
English to Bengali
+ ...
Ideally... Oct 13, 2005

I would agree with the proposal. I feel it would have been great if some such tests could be implemented. At the same time as many colleagues have already pointed out in detail, this will not be a practically workable solution -- neither financially nor otherwise.

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Bernadette Mora  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Test translation? Oct 13, 2005

I pay my yearly fee to expand my business and I try to live off tranlating. So I don't see the point of this proposal. And most of us are so fed up with doing many test translations and not receiving any feedback afterwards!

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Totally Impractical Oct 13, 2005

Testing is an extremely involved and complicated process and very expensive to say the least. Just devising a reasonably good test takes the efforts of many professionals for a considerable length of time, perhaps even years. First, the test itself must be "tested". Then it must be administered and graded. Then it must be evaluated and re-evaluated.

Then of course multiply that by all the languages represented in Proz.com.

Plus the fact that there will not be many takers. Totally impractical.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:57
Member
English to Turkish
And what if... Oct 13, 2005

... the candidates post Kudoz questions having checked the box "This question is taken from test/homework"?

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