Free translations?
Thread poster: Anne R

Anne R
Italy
Local time: 21:23
English to French
+ ...
Jan 20, 2011

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to know whether any one had heard about some group of translators who are recruiting voluntary translators - sorry, had to change my post, broke a rule - naming an agency/potential client - that I did not know about yet - and worked for them on free translations. I am tempted to do it from time to time in order to gain more experience in the NGO sector but I would like to have some feedback about it. Although they say that they provide translations for free to NGOs, they also indicate that they charge them lower rates. So I am slightly 'confused'. In addition, what's your opinion about providing free translation from time to time as a way to gain more experience? any comment welcome! Thank you



[Edited at 2011-01-21 17:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-21 17:41 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:23
French to German
+ ...
Pro bono Jan 20, 2011

Hello Anne,
if you really want to gain more experience in the NGO sector, then just contact such organisations directly. Some of them post pro bono jobs here and elsewhere from time to time.
My policy as per such jobs remains clear: I will accept them only if everybody else involved in the project works on the same basis.

I don't think it is the case here - and, to be honest, the offer seems a bit strange.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 21:23
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
you may be right Jan 20, 2011

Thank you for your answer, I guess you're right. I also found out that behind that there is a 'real' Translation agency, so I think i'll start contacting NGOs direct!

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Enrique
Local time: 16:23
SITE STAFF
Translators Without Borders Jan 20, 2011

Translators with at least two years of experience and who are willing to translate for humanitarian NGOs can consider joining Translators Without Borders.

The not-for-profit association Translators Without Borders (TWB) was created in 1993. It was originally meant to provide free translations for Doctors Without Borders. Gradually TWB extended its help to further ONGs and associations. Today this pro bono work assists organisations such as Médecin du Monde, AIDES, FIDH, Secours Populaire, Handicap International or the International Alliance of Independent Publishers.

TWB aims to provide pro bono work to enable NGOs to concentrate on their activities by relying on a network of experienced translators. The money saved can thus be put to use in the field.

Regards,
Enrique


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Elena Sabatell  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:23
German to Spanish
I worked for them! Jan 20, 2011

Hello Anne!
I particulary found it good working for free to gain some experience and did a translation through this agency for a NGO. I didn't read something about lower rates, just volunteer translations, and I don't really think they got some benefit with my work...but who knows... anyway, I did it and I would do it again... Almost all the agencies and direct clients want translators with experience and if you're starting your career as a freelance translator without enough experience.... I think is a good way to gain some experience. Of course we have to be always careful and get some information about the agency or client first, like your're doing now, and don't accept a translation if you suspect they are taking advantage of you!
In the web page of the agency you can find the names of the volunteer translators, in may case I translated part of a web page from German into Spanish and my name is also in each of the pages where appears my translation.

This was just my case but I hope I could help you somehow!


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 21:23
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
To Enrique and Elena Jan 20, 2011

Thank you both of you for these answers
I do actually have a good deal of experience, over 6 years as an employee, but since I am only part time translator, (which up until now was fine with me, I have been working for the same client all the time, but I would like to expand my client base) I thought it would be good to do 'some good' by offering to do some translation for free in the NGO sector in order to boost my CV with other names than my main client, even if that one is very respectable and known in its sector.

so after reading your answers, I will reconsider and go and have a look at the 2 websites.

Thank you
Anne


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keshab  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:53
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
I want to work for TWB but.... Jan 20, 2011

I met them in the last ProZ.com virtual conference. Their work seems interesting to me and I have applied to work for them. But they replied that they need a certified translator because they have to work within a limited period and have no time to proofread the task.I have nothing to say about their decision on reasonable ground. But I have a doubt about the fulfillment of this criteria as certified translators in my language pairs are very rare. However, I appreciate their mission and wish them a good luck.

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Enrique
Local time: 16:23
SITE STAFF
No certification is required, as far as I know Jan 20, 2011

Hi keshab,

TWB looks for solid translators because they look for translations that are done OK the first time, but as far as I know certification is not a requirement. There is a registration form in the TWB web page and, if the application is considered attractive, the candidates are asked to perform a short test translation.

Regards,
Enrique


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:23
French to German
+ ...
Curious requirement, indeed... Jan 20, 2011

keshab wrote:

(.../...) But they replied that they need a certified translator because they have to work within a limited period and have no time to proofread the task.I have nothing to say about their decision on reasonable ground. (.../...)


Curious requirement, indeed... From my experience, I can tell you that 1) "certified" translators are as fallible as the rest of us and that 2) some of them still manage to produce bad translations without even being aware of it.

In short, "certification" is not a guarantee of quality.


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Alexandre Maricato
Brazil
Local time: 16:23
Member (2009)
English to Portuguese
Strange way to turn help down Jan 21, 2011

(.../...) But they replied that they need a certified translator because they have to work within a limited period and have no time to proofread the task. (.../...)


This is a very interesting requirement. And I wonder if NGOs work within a limited period and have no time to proofread the task, do others do not have to?

I honestly to not see how a situation other than an epidemic or catastrophic event require a more urgent action than business situations that involve decisions that have to be taken whitin a strict timeframe (typically everything that in one way or another affects the daily lives of the people/organizations).

If I were an NGO, I would be happy to accept the time and efforts of anyone trying to help. And I wonder how they would feel if the people who they are trying to help said "you are not qualified enough, please come back next year".

[Edited at 2011-01-21 10:31 GMT]


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Alison Watt  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:23
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I did a couple of translations for them... Jan 21, 2011

...to get some experience, as I am trying to get started as a freelancer. They seemed to deal with it quite professionally, and for me it is good experience in a different field (otherwise I have done more technical stuff).

I would say if you want to do a "good deed!!!" perhaps it's not a bad way to help - the translations I did were for two different charities, one in Spain and one in Austria. They're normally quite interesting, too.

That said I don't hear from them that often, I think I have been signed up a year, and they have asked perhaps 4 times.

Hope that helps!


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Mondolingua  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:23
Member
Italian to German
+ ...
Confusion of agency names Jan 21, 2011

Dear Anne,

May we (Mondolingua Austria) ask you with which "Mondo lingua agency" you were in touch with?
We´d like to understand if some agencies are using a similiar brand name like ours, (which causes confusion sometimes).

Thank you for your answer.

kind regards
The Mondolingua Team
Austria


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guest1234  Identity Verified
Mauritius
Local time: 23:23
French to English
+ ...
truth Jan 21, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
In short, "certification" is not a guarantee of quality.


Thank you. I'll still get certified later when I'm richer from beautiful projects done, it's like wearing a bow-tie to be part of the club....

I don't really like NGOs. You can even donate them money to get projects haha. Then this money goes to feed some rich man on a private island.

[Edited at 2011-01-21 19:07 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-21 19:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-21 19:21 GMT]


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keshab  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:53
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Perhaps there is a classification Jan 22, 2011

Enrique wrote:

Hi keshab,

TWB looks for solid translators because they look for translations that are done OK the first time, but as far as I know certification is not a requirement. There is a registration form in the TWB web page and, if the application is considered attractive, the candidates are asked to perform a short test translation.

Regards,
Enrique


Thanks Enrique for the comment. I have submitted the form and got this response. Perhaps my application was not so attractive:).

Alexandre Maricato wrote:
I honestly to not see how a situation other than an epidemic or catastrophic event require a more urgent action than business situations that involve decisions that have to be taken whitin a strict timeframe (typically everything that in one way or another affects the daily lives of the people/organizations).


I observed one thing when I explore the site again and I got a second thought. They need language combination of French, English,Spanish and Portuguese. I think they actually need languages of developed countries, not the languages of developing countries - the so called 'Third World'. As the charity goes at one direction- from first world to third world - the languages of developed countries needed more to pursue loan, grant etc. But those are only my assumptions, not sure about it.


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