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Proz.com's official language?
Thread poster: mariana24

mariana24  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:25
Spanish
+ ...
Jun 30, 2008

I am working with two web designers on what will -hopefully- be my website. On a couple of occasions they have needed to contact Proz.com about a few things (hosting, mainly). Neither of them read or write English, so I encouraged them to write in Spanish, being this a translation site, and moreover, having corresponded myself in Spanish in the past, and Proz.com having so many staff all around the world and speakers of so many languages -at least they do have Spanish speakers who live in Spanish speaking countries-.

To my surprise, on both occasions the answer was in English (although the person who answered lives in Argentina, from the profile I saw). I had to translate the e-mails for them and even though I have no problem doing that, I wonder whether I was misleading or had missed something at believing that they could correspond in a language that is not English. In this process, I also looked for the option of changing the site's interface language, being also surprised at finding that even if I chose Spanish, most of the content of the site was in English.

Is English Proz.com's "official" language? Is the site assuming that everyone on this planet knows English? How do translators working on language pairs that do not include English manage to work with the site? Do they have to learn English to understand all its content? How do outsourcers from non-English speaking countries deal with this? Is there anything indicating that English is or will be everybody's language at any known point in the future?

I find this quite strange, not to say worrying...


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 09:25
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
English is ProZ.com Lingua Franca Jun 30, 2008

and the reason is quite simple- no need for conspiracy theories. Say- being a jobs' mod, I write to Latvian outsourcer about his job not in Latvian, but in English. The reason is that my colleagues- job mods may need to follow up, and though they know many languages, none of them knows Latvian. And like goes for all other areas of the site.

Added:
And obviously English is the most common denominator- though there may be more people speaking Spanish or Chinese than English in the World, however knowledge of English is more evenly distributed through the World- say, in Latvia there are not so many people understanding German or Spanish, however most can understand some English.

As to non localized parts of the Site- as you may know, all localization was done by a volunteer teams and obviously it is nearly impossible to have the daily changing parts of the Site localized in all languages.

Uldis

mariana24 wrote:
Is English Proz.com's "official" language? Is the site assuming that everyone on this planet knows English? How do translators working on language pairs that do not include English manage to work with the site? Do they have to learn English to understand all its content? How do outsourcers from non-English speaking countries deal with this? Is there anything indicating that English is or will be everybody's language at any known point in the future?
I find this quite strange, not to say worrying...


[Rediģēts plkst. 2008-06-30 18:04]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 02:25
SITE FOUNDER
I suggest you indicate a preference for Spanish in this case Jun 30, 2008

I asked Jared from our support team to respond, but my guess is that in this case the answer to your designer's questions was provided by Andrew, who tends to handle hosting and does not speak Spanish (yet - he's studying it!)

As you have experienced, the staff will correspond in Spanish (or any other language one of us speaks) as necessary. If your designers say they prefer to correspond in Spanish, we will probably be able to oblige.


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mariana24  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 03:25
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 30, 2008

As you have experienced, the staff will correspond in Spanish (or any other language one of us speaks) as necessary. If your designers say they prefer to correspond in Spanish, we will probably be able to oblige.



Uldis and Henry.
The person who answered my designers' e-mails is called Lucía and is Argentinean.

My designers do not "prefer" to correspond in Spanish. They just have no choice, as if you had to correspond in...Swahili? Therefore, and with no conspiracy theory on my part, I was left wondering if that was the case with all people who want for some reason or another to correspond with site staff.

Cheers,

Mariana


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