Blacklist of translators
Thread poster: Dirk Wouters
Dirk Wouters  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:33
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jan 18, 2007

Hi everyone,
I have recently heard an agency mention an existing blacklist of bad translators that circles the Netherlands.
I had never heard of this. Have you ever heard of a Blacklist going around in the Netherlands or any other country for that matter? And do you think it is ethical if such lists would exist without us translators knowing about it?

[Edited at 2007-01-18 16:46]


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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:33
Member (2002)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Blacklist of Translators Jan 18, 2007

I would like to know if it exists, find out more about it. I also wonder if it is legal without the people mentioned in it knowing about it.

Perhaps our legal eagle Prozians might shed a light on this.

Lucinda


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John-Paul Greco  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:33
English to Italian
+ ...
"Blacklist of translators Jan 18, 2007

In my opinion, a blacklist might be a little extreme. I feel that if someone is not considered a comptetent translator, being refused a good testimonial or reference should be enough.

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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 10:33
Dutch to English
+ ...
One view from a legal eagle ... Jan 18, 2007

Lucinda wrote:

I would like to know if it exists, find out more about it. I also wonder if it is legal without the people mentioned in it knowing about it.

Perhaps our legal eagle Prozians might shed a light on this.

Lucinda


Not enough information is available about this alleged list, what is allegedly on it and/or how it's allegedly used and distributed for any lawyer to give a definitive answer.

But here's (just) one argument anyhow, in case it does exist:

Truth and public interest are the general defences to defamation.

Applied to the following hypothetical case -

a) An agency in the Netherlands relies on a untruthful statement from a Dutch translator that he/she is native English and specialises in legal and financial translations;

b) The translator in question is in fact neither and produces sub-standard work that shows up both statements to be wholly inaccurate claims

All arguments about whether "native is best" and proper selection procedures aside - this is just an example - why shouldn't serious agencies and institutions - who choose to work in association to some degree with each other (if at all) - give each other a heads-up?

It's the truth and it can be argued it's in the public interest to keep masqueraders out of this business.

The converse holds true: if untruthful and unfounded statements are being spread about a translator, he/she would have a claim against the party who first published the statement and potentially those parties who repeated it (by circulating the list). How difficult it may be to pursue this claim isn't being examined here.

However, whether the list exists isn't really that significant an issue, word of mouth in this small world of translation has the same effect.

All professions have their "blacklists" - some more informally structured than others. If an actress in Hollywood earns a reputation for being a prima-donna who keeps on forgetting her lines, she'll quickly find doors slammed in her face.

Bottom line: a translator is as good as his/her last translation and bad news has a tendency to travel fast.


[Edited at 2007-01-19 04:27]


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:33
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Never heard of it Jan 18, 2007


And do you think it is ethical if such lists would exist without us translators knowing about it?

I do not believe in the existence of such a black list in Netherlands. How do they spread it? Subscribing to a mailing list - Black List Translators?
There are to lot of categories of agencies here in the Netherlands
- very unprofessional one's who do not choose their translators carefully
- semiprofessional with some kind of selection procedure
- agencies with strange self-styled seals of approval
- very big agencies who are paying low rates
- very small agencies who are paying good rates
etc. etc.
Do you really think that they all pulling together?
I am just wondering.
Regards&Groetjes
Steffi


[Edited at 2007-01-18 18:24]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 04:33
English to Russian
+ ...
A perfect answer Jan 18, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

word of mouth in this small world of translation has the same effect...

All professions have their "blacklists" - some more informally structured than others.


Even more so - Dirk, I believe you took it a bit too literally. If you are in business for at least 3 years, you too likely have a list of people you would not want to work with or recommend. For various reasons - for example, in certain cases mostly related to interpreting assignments pugnacity might overweigh professional brilliancy in choosing a booth partner. I am talking about people who are long past the fear of losing a client to a better colleague, they simply don't want to mess with bullies or someone who is always late. We all have our "blacklists" of such colleagues or agencies known for bad practices, and we try to do our best and save our friends from stepping into any kind of a relationship with them. I'm not talking about BB now. We might be on somebody's else blacklist too. Comes with the territory.

Nothing out of the ordinary. In what form or shape would you expect this" list" to be made public?

You know, not once in my 16-year experience a good decent colleague and professional was drowned or pushed out of the circle by some lousy liers. The truth was always out there. We are not at each others' throats. On the contrary, we value reliable colleagues very much and promote each other. So do the agencies, we are their assets. On the other hand, various jealous peddlers have had been sorry more than once, not because they have been hunted down by someone but again, because the truth is out there.

[Edited at 2007-01-18 18:49]

[Edited at 2007-01-18 18:51]

[Edited at 2007-01-18 19:16]


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Henk Peelen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:33
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Good idea! Jan 18, 2007

Existing nearly 8 years, Proz probably is growing boring.
Any clue about the fee for being enlisted on this new phenomenon?


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 12:33
Turkish to English
+ ...
Seems fair to me Jan 18, 2007

It seems fair to me given that translators also (rightly) report non-paying agencies to one another.

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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:33
German to English
+ ...
Translators or outsourcers? Jan 18, 2007

Are you really sure which of the two is meant here?

I know of outsourcer (bad payer) blacklists, but - translator blacklists?

As John Paul says above: "In my opinion, a blacklist might be a little extreme. I feel that if someone is not considered a comptetent translator, being refused a good testimonial or reference should be enough."

Think about it - surely logic suggests that outsourcers would not - as a rule - go out of their way to share information with each other for obvious competitive business reasons?

Similarly, I would contend that freelancers tend to share more information (e.g. Blue Board), personal feedback etc. etc.

I wonder what others think (and apologies to any outsourcers if they feel I am wrong - feel free to pillory me if you must!).

Chris


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:33
English to German
+ ...
Fair competition Jan 18, 2007

Henk Peelen wrote:

Existing nearly 8 years, Proz probably is growing boring.
Any clue about the fee for being enlisted on this new phenomenon?


I am all for fair competition! You should earn yourself a place on this list, not pay for it.

Sonja


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
German to English
+ ...
Translator WWA Jan 18, 2007

Perhaps it's just a translator WWA feature?

Marc


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