What is a non-professional linguist?
Thread poster: David Brown
David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:59
Spanish to English
Feb 28, 2004

A recent posting on proz.com stipulated that non professional linguists should not apply. How do we define a professional or non-professional linguist?

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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:59
English to German
+ ...
To my understanding... Feb 28, 2004

... this is someone who's working as a linguist beside his main profession, to earn some extra money and who does not dedicate all his time and efforts to concentrate on his linguistic skills.

But that's just what I think this might be. It would be the best if those who ask "non-linguists" to refrain from applying would clearly state what to their understanding a non-linguist is.

Regards,

Sonja


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:59
Italian to English
It's a very fair question ... Feb 28, 2004

... because there are all sorts of ways you can define "professional" and indeed "linguist".

In the absence of any further indications from the job posters, who presumably know what they mean even if they haven't told us, I would imagine that a "non-professional linguist" is someone who does not earn all or part of their living by selling their language skills on the market.

FWIW,

Giles


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I wouldn't define it Feb 28, 2004

in fonction of the main profession or earnings due to language skills. Unfortunately I know many professional linguists who don't work as such, although they studied and are qualified for, because they need a regular income and being good is not enough in some contexts.

I'd say that a non-professional linguist is for example a bilingual person who thinks that he's got the requirements to be a linguist but is in fact an amateur, with no skills, no studies or no knowledge. The problem is that this can be seen just by the others, so outsourcers shouldn't rely on this warning to have non-professional linguists not applying for the job.

[Edited at 2004-02-29 01:45]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:59
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'd say it was an outsourcer misconception Feb 29, 2004

A linguist in the academic sense is a person who has seriously studied linguistics - and you can do that in one language, with perhaps a smattering of a language elective and tons of theory.

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