Providing reference for volunteer translator to help establish them
Thread poster: tembrina

tembrina
Local time: 16:08
Spanish to English
Feb 15, 2015

Hi,

I have a friend who is interested in starting to do translation work (English to Spanish) professionally. She doesn't have a translation degree or software, but has extraordinary command of the subtle points of both languages. I've been talking with her about doing some volunteer translation work for my organization's health information website as a way of getting started/building her resume. She lives in El Salvador, and, although she did wonderfully in university studies, the lack of opportunities for smart young graduates is really limited, so we think this might be a way of increasing her attractiveness as a job candidate.

My organization doesn't credit any website content, and wouldn't generally credit translations either.

What is the best way for me, as the representative of the organization, to provide a recommendation/reference for her so she can build her portfolio? I am the director of a small legal program in my day job, and can use that title to recommend her. (I've done some Spanish to English translation myself.)


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Change Feb 15, 2015

You say your organization doesn't credit volunteer work done for it, so I would suggest changing that policy. If you do not even recognize help provided, then how can you expect people to help? C'mon now...

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tembrina
Local time: 16:08
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Most of our content written by staff in English has no attribution either. Feb 15, 2015

To clarify, for our website's general content, we do not credit the writer in English either, which is written by staff. So whether staff, volunteer, paid translator, or unpaid translator, most of our content doesn't have an attribution, but rather is the institutional author.

For any content published under the name of an individual or individuals, we credit the translator fully, whether paid or volunteer.


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Sarah Calek  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:08
English to German
+ ...
Letter of Reference Feb 15, 2015

If crediting the actual work isn't an option right now, I would suggest a letter of reference instead.

I have also worked on web site content before and cannot specifically link to it, claiming it as "my translation"... but I got a letter of reference and can at least show that the localization department in that firm was pleased with my work.

It is always nice to have something more tangible to prove previous experience and if she does a good job for your company, it shouldn't be a problem to write an official-looking (company logo and job title always look good on such documents) letter of recommendation afterwards.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 20:08
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Middle ground Feb 16, 2015

How about allowing her to list you as a reference on her CV/job applications? Then you can give her a glowing recommendation if anyone calls, explaining that while it is company policy not to list her name on the site she did do the work and you are very happy with it. If she has a Proz profile you can also give her a WWA entry, showing you would be willing to work with her again. And of course you can always recommend her to friends and work colleagues looking for translation services.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:08
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No need to change your policy Feb 16, 2015

Surely, the idea of working pro bono is that you're doing something useful, helping a cause you believe in, isn't it? I don't think you should feel obliged to thank every contributor publicly - they know who they are.

But you can do three things (that I can think of):
1. You can allow her to state on her profiles, CV etc that she has translated n,nnn words pro bono for Xxx organisation
2. If she's looking for a job as an in-house translator (highly unlikely), you can provide a reference
3. If she becomes a freelance translator, she can set up a profile on this site and then ask you for a WWA entry, as suggested by the previous poster. These client testimonials are what freelancers use in place of references, which are for employees.


Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei wrote:

How about allowing her to list you as a reference on her CV/job applications? Then you can give her a glowing recommendation if anyone calls, explaining that while it is company policy not to list her name on the site she did do the work and you are very happy with it. If she has a Proz profile you can also give her a WWA entry, showing you would be willing to work with her again. And of course you can always recommend her to friends and work colleagues looking for translation services.


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Rachel Waddington  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:08
Member (2014)
Dutch to English
+ ...
LinkedIn Feb 16, 2015

If your translator is on LinkedIn another option would be to add a recommendation to her LinkedIn profile.

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tembrina
Local time: 16:08
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Feb 17, 2015

Thanks everyone,

These are all good suggestions, and I'll be able to find a good way to credit her work. I like the idea of a letter on company letterhead.

Katharine


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