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The value of ProZ.com verification of our qualifications
Thread poster: B D Finch

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:47
Member
English to French
+ ...
DALF Dec 6, 2018

Point taken. I hadn't thought of its use to showcase source language ability, although it is still surprising to see the title of a certification among the names of educational institutions.

I also thought that adding a single language (as opposed to a language pair) was only used to attach a target language service to it (monolingual proofreading, copywriting, etc.) but I guess it can come in handy in a case such as the one you have shared.

[Edited at 2018-12-06 12:58 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Jean, re: adding a single language Dec 7, 2018

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:
You CAN define a single language (not a language pair) in your profile, and add monolingual credentials to it, so your suggestion is already implemented (new language/language pair appears after hitting "Update list of credential language pairs".)


Unless I'm mistaken (and I'm fairly certain of this), adding a monolingual service to your profile isn't going to make your profile come up in a directory search for a bilingual service with a verified credential. In other words, if you don't have a verified credential listed under French-to-English, but you do have a verified credential listed under English (monolingual), and then if a client searches the directory for translators who offer French-to-English who have verified credentials, your profile will not come up in the results.

My suggestion is that language proficiency credentials are tied to the profile as whole (or: to any service that includes that language), and not each specific service individually (e.g. to a specific language combination). Having proven proficiency in French may be less important in French-to-English translation than proven proficiency in English, but it's not irrelevant to it.

Adding a single language makes sense for monolingual proofreading services as well.


Only if you offer monolingual proofreading and you are waiting for clients to use the directory search to find monolingual proofreaders.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Value of verification vs value of credential Dec 7, 2018

B D Finch wrote:
Jean Dimitriadis wrote:
Again, under the wide definition of “what is a credential”, DALF could still be considered a “credential”, but then, at this point, why not list French high schools?

1) It is a valid demonstration of a good knowledge of the source language;
[etc.]


I think it's important to know that different credentials will be valuable for different clients for their own different reasons, and ultimately it is up to a client to do his homework and decide which credential he considers worth taking into account in selecting a translator. What is important is that clients are not given a false impression when viewing credentials on profile pages.

With regard to which types of credentials should be accepted for reporting on ProZ.com, it is impossible to draw a clear line. A high-school diploma from one country may well be sufficient to show language proficiency, whereas that from another county may be insufficient. Should we be able to report high-school diplomas on ProZ.com? I personally do think so (in a separate section), but that is also a separate discussion. Obviously ProZ.com has tried to limit the types of credentials to "tertiary" credentials that are specifically "language" or "translation" related, but it's still quite subjective.

I would also like to see the option to upload scans of these credentials, which would appear as a link next to the reported credential on the profile page. In addition, it would be nice if the credential entry can also include a link to a web site that explains the credential (the user would set his own link, but there should also be the option to get the link verified to confirm that that web page really does relate to the credential being reported).

[Edited at 2018-12-07 10:32 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Storm meet teacup? Dec 7, 2018

Has anyone pointed out yet that a good translator has nothing to fear from anyone playing the system or outright cheating, with or without ProZ verification?

IrinaN
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@M[r|iss]s Finch Dec 7, 2018

B D Finch wrote:
Does it matter how long one has studied translation or where?


Not specifically, no. But if a client wants to form an impression of a credential, then the duration and name of issuing institution would form part of that impression, if the information becomes known during his research into the credential.

In the case of my credential specifically, the reason I mention it is this: the word "diploma" in my country of origin can mean anything (all the way from attendance certificate for a 1-day workshop to a university-issued post-graduate qualification), so it would be important to me (and possibly to clients as well) that clients understand that my "diploma" relates to 3 years of full-time study at a technical university, and not a 40-day long course of evening classes.

Duration and/or intensity is not important by itself, but sometimes duration does say something about the credential.

I really couldn't say how long I studied either French or translation and never studied either full-time or at university.


Yes, but this discussion is specifically about credentials in the sense of certificates etc. issued by institutes, and not about combined accrual of translation expertise. I learnt more about real-world translation in my first 5 years of actual translator work than in my 3 years of translation study, but that's not a "credential" in this sense, and we shouldn't try to make the credential section of our profile pages cover more aspects of qualification and suitability than simply that.

Samuel Murray wrote:
The important word in my credential is "verified" -- as long as my credential is "verified", I will come up in a directory search for translators with a "verified" credential, and I'm confident that few clients will check which credential I actually have.

That "verified" bit, and how misleading it can be, is the problem, particularly as so many translation clients cannot judge the quality of the work they pay for. ProZ shouldn't set itself up as providing what looks like quality control, unless and until it has a better system than the current one. [/quote]
I hear you, but that is the alternative? At present, ProZ.com distinguishes between self-reported credentials that may be lies, and self-reported credentials that were given a cursory check by people who often know more about credential checking than the average client. Even that very basic check has tremendous value, but what is important is that clients looking at profiles do not end up getting the wrong impression about what that value is.


[Edited at 2018-12-07 10:36 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:47
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
I believe the answer is yes Dec 7, 2018

Chris S wrote:

Has anyone pointed out yet that a good translator has nothing to fear from anyone playing the system or outright cheating, with or without ProZ verification?

Go to the 6th post of the thread.


Chris S
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Chris Dec 7, 2018

Chris S wrote:
Has anyone pointed out yet that a good translator has nothing to fear from anyone playing the system or outright cheating, with or without ProZ.com verification?


The issue is not whether good translators have anything to fear, but whether good clients might have something to fear.

And don't forget the knock-on effects -- ProZ.com should prevent a situation where clients get burned and then conclude that nothing written on ProZ.com can be trusted (which ultimately affects the believability of profiles of good translators).


Chris S
 

writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
The profile page can be all truth, sheer fiction or a combination of both Dec 7, 2018

Imo, the Proz "Certified Pro" has to be taken with a grain of salt.
After all, there is no Proz rule stating that the claims/information on the profile page have to be truthful.
People are completely free to lie about their native language(s), location, educational background, translation experience, translation fields and anything else they think will enhance their chances of landing work.
The P does make some attempt to 'certify' educational claims, but unfortunately that's about it. One also has to be a good Proz citizen and be a paying member. That's about all that's required. Any profile page lies are left untouched and a number of colleagues even have the P for native languages that aren't actually their own.
All's fair in love and war, Proz style. However I feel that allowing a large number of profile pages that contain so much fiction does make a mockery of honest colleagues whose profile pages contain nothing but the truth. The dilemma of trying to remain an honest person in a dishonest world.



[Edited at 2018-12-07 13:31 GMT]


Mirko Mainardi
Rachel Fell
Chris S
Michele Fauble
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:47
Member
Italian to English
Let's give clients a little credit Dec 7, 2018

Samuel Murray wrote:

The issue is not whether good translators have anything to fear, but whether good clients might have something to fear.


Let's give clients a little credit; I don't think anyone is naive enough to believe that everything written on every profile on Proz is 110% honest. In that respect Proz is no different from Tinder or Instagram - people put what they think reflects them in the best light for the purpose in hand, whether that's finding a partner, getting more followers or finding translation clients. "Ah but ProZ is a site for professionals!" I hear you cry! It was once, it ain't any more, part of which can be attributed to the site's own policies.

Samuel Murray wrote:

And don't forget the knock-on effects -- ProZ.com should prevent a situation where clients get burned and then conclude that nothing written on ProZ.com can be trusted (which ultimately affects the believability of profiles of good translators).



See above. If Proz want to prevent its clients getting burned, it should rethink multiple areas of the site.


Chris S
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:47
Member
English to French
+ ...
ProZ.com Professional guidelines Dec 7, 2018

Lett's not forget the ProZ.com professional guidelines for translators, interpreters and translation companies that most ProZ members endorse (and ALL members of the ProZ Pro network must respect, lest they want to lose their Pro status if exposed).

Among these guidelines, it is stated that professional translators, interpreters and translation companies should:

represent their capabilities, credentials and levels of experience honestly and accurately

https://www.proz.com/professional-guidelines

That should count for something.

Besides the specific points discussed, I think many posters would agree that the credentials reporting/verification needs some generous review, to help ensure that can linguists represents their capabilities, credentials and levels of experience honestly and accurately, the goal also being to build (or at least avoid hurting) client trust and foster fair competition.

Jean

[Edited at 2018-12-07 14:12 GMT]


Michele Rosen
 
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