Becoming a translation quality assessor
Thread poster: Michelle Deeter

Michelle Deeter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Apr 21, 2012

Hello all,

I recently received an email to become a translation assessor. Here is the gist of it:

I’m writing to invite you to join the assessment team of our organisation's new grants programme, PKX Translates!

Launching in April 2012, this exciting programme and it will offer grants of up to 75% of funding for translation costs to publishers.

We are inviting you to join us as an assessor for books written in Chinese. Assessors must preferably have experience within the publishing/ literary translation field as well as the specialist linguistic and cultural knowledge of the relevant country.

If you are interested in joining us, please send your CV to ---. We will then add your name and language/country specialism(s) to our pool of assessors and you may be invited to assess an application for us, depending on books submitted to the programme in any given round. There are two application rounds for this grant, one in April/May and one in October/November.

As an assessor, you would be responsible for scoring selected applications and writing an evaluation report, assessing the application against three main criteria: literary quality, strength of project, contributing to literary / cultural diversity. Based on your assessment of the application, you will be asked to make a recommendation to PKS’s selection panel.

***
My question is, has anyone ever been an assessor before? What is it like? Do I read the entire book in Chinese (my second language)? Or am I assessing translation samples?

I'm very interested in the position but I'm a little worried that the workload will be high, as I am already doing a full time Master's program. I'm also not sure what kind of report they are looking for. I have none of the preferred "experience within the publishing/literary translation field."

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Michelle

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2013-07-31 07:42 GMT]


 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 10:21
German to Swedish
+ ...
Hmm... Apr 21, 2012

You received this out of the blue, having "none of the preferred experience". They haven't checked you out and send a form letter. Perhaps to hundreds of people? (Who's going to read all those CV:s?) And zero search hits for "PKX translates", that exciting new programme launched in April. Or was it PKS, as in the last line?

This may be real, or it may not.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:21
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Did you ask the client? Apr 21, 2012

Michelle Deeter wrote:
I recently received an email to become a translation assessor. ... My question is, has anyone ever been an assessor before? What is it like? Do I read the entire book in Chinese (my second language)? Or am I assessing translation samples?


I think your best bet may be to ask the client all of these questions. I get the impression that you need to assess books that were written, and not books that have already been translated. If you do not assess the entire book, simply write that fact in your report.


 

Michelle Deeter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:21
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Correction, PKX is is English PEN Apr 21, 2012

Hi there,

I was unsure if it would be bad form to put the real name so I made one up. (I didn't realize that I used two different names, oops!) The organization is not quite a company, it's an organization that promotes free speech. They are called English PEN and their website can be found here.

http://www.englishpen.org/

The good news is, I have worked for them before (doing interpretation at a fiction literary meeting) so there might have been a real person that really recommended me based on my linguistic skills. So it's probably slightly better than a form letter. I just don't have the kind of experience that they are probably needing.

I'm thinking that asking questions directly to the organization would be a good idea.icon_smile.gif

Thanks for your tips!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 16:21
Chinese to English
English PEN are certainly very reputable Apr 21, 2012

And they've been doing a lot in China lately, as you're no doubt aware. I can't for the life of me work out what this job involves, but it's probably worthwhile being involved with them whatever they're doing!

 

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:21
German to English
+ ...
Ask them what they want Apr 21, 2012

Michelle Deeter wrote:
I'm thinking that asking questions directly to the organization would be a good idea.


Yes, definitely.

It sounds like this is part of English PEN's new translation grants programme. When they evaluate applications for translation grants, they will need input from people who can read the proposed books in their original languages.

http://www.englishpen.org/translation/writers-in-translation/

They'll probably be looking for something similar to the 'reader's reports' that publishers commission: a synopsis of the plot and a brief discussion of the author's style, the extent to which the book supports PEN's aims, etc. But the people who sent you the message are the ones who can tell you for sure.

A better place for this post would be in the literature and poetry category: http://www.proz.com/forum/literature_poetry-22.html


 


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