Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Off topic: What would YOU like to ask Henry, the founder of Proz?
Thread poster: philgoddard
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Nov 6, 2009

I've been commissioned by the ITI Bulletin to do an interview with Henry Dotterer, the founder of this site. It may also be published in the ATA Chronicle.

I want the interview to be fairly light-hearted, and I want to find out about the individual as well as the website. I won't shy away from critical or hard-hitting questions, but I don't want to get too involved in the minutiae of the site.

Is there anything on your mind that you'd like to ask him? I need any suggestions by early next week, please. You can either post them here or email them to philgoddard1@btinternet.co.uk.

Thanks very much!
Phil Goddard


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:42
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Good luck with your interview Nov 6, 2009

Anything I want to ask Henry, I'll ask him here. Don't be lazy, just read through all the questions he didn't answer.

Regards,
Gerard


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:12
German to English
More about the future of the translation industry and ProZ Nov 7, 2009

In his presentation at the ProZ.com Virtual Conference in September, Henry spoke about the importance of machine translation and collaborative translation. I recently uploaded the TAUS search widget to my desktop and was reading some articles on MT on their website. I noticed that ProZ.com is a member of TAUS (Translation Automation User Society). It would be interesting to know from Henry, if he has any specific plans in these areas with respect to ProZ.com. Is he planning to integrate any of these new technologies into the services ProZ.com offers in the future? What does he think of crowdsourcing? Does he think translators are right to be so sceptical about it?

If possible, do post a link to your interview here, once it's published. I'm sure many members and users would like to read it.

All the best,
Niraja

[Edited at 2009-11-07 00:22 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 06:42
Russian to English
+ ...
Nothing, really Nov 7, 2009

The man's running a business, just like we all are. Give him a break.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:42
English to Dutch
+ ...
Listen to his talk Nov 7, 2009

.. which is/was very inspiring and may give you a good basic idea of the man and his mission.

http://www.proz.com/virtualconference

Not that I always agree with ProZ policy, but then.. freelancers can be an obnoxious lot of loners. Hard, if not impossible to come to consensus on anything with us.

Henry is an unending source of ideas, some good, some not so much, but all-in-all definitely a blessing to the translator community.

The unasked question in my mind is: how long is he going to be able to keep this up?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
At what moment in time... Nov 7, 2009

...did he grow tired of being a translator and why.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
German to English
+ ...
My take Nov 7, 2009

@Marinus - agree with you on the speech. I thought it had substance.

@Tomás - Henry was originally an engineer. AFAIK he was not a translator for long and I think an engineering background is very helpful when setting up something like Proz.
A similar case is engineer Mark Lancaster who set up SDL (albeit with no linguistic background). Someone has to come up with these inspired ideas. Since I don't do inspired ideas, I have to fall back on inspired translation.
Ask yourself how many freelancers have gone on to set up their own business with employees and why? Not for charitable reasons, I'm sure.:roll:

@phil - I'd ask him:

1. Why he thought it was such a good idea to 'disenfranchise' tried and trusted mods a while back and shift more control to site staff? (Think global, act local should be the concept IMO)

2. Why are there not more translators among the site staff?

Cheers,
Chris


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
That does not answer the question Nov 7, 2009

Textklick wrote:
@Tomás - Henry was originally an engineer. AFAIK he was not a translator for long and I think an engineering background is very helpful when setting up something like Proz.

I was a software engineer too before translation... but when I started translating I quickly knew it would be for a long time... or forever --not my decision, but God's I reckon. If Henry was a translator at some moment in time, my question makes total sense. Why did he get tired or became uninterested in translation as a career?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBrunswick
French to English
Quality and rates Nov 7, 2009

The below comments pertain to an interview several years ago (this can be seen online at
http://www.lisa.org/globalizationinsider/2002/11/industry_buz.html):

Perhaps, philgoddard, you could ask him about the things not covered in the interview referred to above: erosion of rates, lack of certified/trained translators among the proz.com membership (is the number still hovering around 3%, and no, the red P does not qualify as bona fide certification), and whether he thinks his site has contributed to the erosion of the profession as a whole.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

sandhya  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:12
German to English
+ ...
Can we be more positive? Nov 8, 2009

Hi,

Phil started a topic that might obviously take a very negative and critical turn.
In his opening post, Phil also specified he wanted to keep his interview light-hearted and get to know the person as well.
Of course, he might throw in a few hard-hitting questions, so I request posters to come up with some positive and tough questions.

Some posts are rather critical and I think as usual we forget, Proz.com is not the "governing board" for the translation industry. It is merely a business portal where translators can meet, exchange ideas, clients can post jobs (which a translator is at full liberty to decline/accept!) and have some fun too!

I think this rates issue is an old and much-debated one... As far as I know Proz.com has no authority to stipulate rates. It is a sort of job site (like hundreds of other job sites) where the client posts jobs and translators accept. Proz.com is a platform where we come together, meet and conduct business... that's all, so don't hold it responsible for all things negative in the industry

So please don't get confused with the purpose of this portal and try to keep your questions constructive... that would help Phil develop a very interesting interview where we get to know the man behind the portal!

thanks
cheers
Sandhya

[Edited at 2009-11-08 01:32 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:42
French to German
+ ...
OT: a few comments Nov 8, 2009

Brunswick wrote:

Perhaps, philgoddard, you could ask him about the things not covered in the interview referred to above: erosion of rates, lack of certified/trained translators among the proz.com membership (is the number still hovering around 3%, and no, the red P does not qualify as bona fide certification), and whether he thinks his site has contributed to the erosion of the profession as a whole.

Sorry, but I cannot let this one pass without commenting. I find it amazing to see over and over again that some colleagues tend to confuse expertise with diplomas. Some trained translators produce real crap and don't even notice it over time. Browse through the profiles here and elsewhere, read translators' posts written in their native language in the fora (again on other portals too, not only on ProZ.com), visit the websites of some certified/trained translators - and you will see what I mean. It begins with punctuation!

Personally and if I had to "hire" a translator, I would not look only for their diplomas, but also for the samples they display in their profile or the overall impression I have about it. Sometimes the scarlet P is more than justified, even without a degree in translation - see the FAQ about the Certified PRO Network at http://www.proz.com/pro-tag/info/faq and especially Q/A #2:

2 - How good of a translator does one have to be to be admitted into the program? Is the idea that only elite translators will be admitted?
No. The screening process seeks to establish only that an applicant meets or exceeds certain minimum professional standards in the three screening areas (translation ability, business reliability and “citizenship”). In other words, the level screened for is not “elite” but “adequate”.


As per contributing to the erosion of the profession, I assume we all know that some (if not all) of the biggest translation agencies have opened subsidiaries in emerging countries in order to follow the "delocalization trend". Can ProZ.com be held accountable for such managerial decisions and for their consequences?

[Edited at 2009-11-08 08:28 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
I agree with Sandhya and Laurent Nov 8, 2009

I agree with your posts. We all know there are problems in our business - as in any other, no doubt.
The topic-starter wants ideas for interesting/entertaining questions to ask in his interview with Henry.
I'd like to ask:
What gave you the idea to start Proz?
How did you go about it?
How long was it before it really "took off"?
What were the main snags?
Are you satisfied with it?
What future plans do you have for it?
What are the most frequent problems - and the oddest ones?
For example ...

Best wishes,
Jenny


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:42
German to English
Interview Nov 8, 2009

philgoddard wrote:

I want the interview to be fairly light-hearted, and I want to find out about the individual as well as the website. I won't shy away from critical or hard-hitting questions, but I don't want to get too involved in the minutiae of the site.

Phil Goddard


Hi Phil - sounds like a worthwhile project. I'd ask two questions.

1. Communication: since there are no linguists/certified translators on the staff and linguist moderators are no longer a sounding board for site improvements, isn't it difficult to communicate with professional translators? When members raise issues about improving the quality of KudoZ, for example, the typical response from staff (the voice of ProZ) is to quote the current rules and little else.

2. Are the KudoZ rules enforcers promoting worst translation practices by sheltering askers from any criticism/suggestions for improvement? For example, asking the asker what his own research has yielded is currently a punishable offense. Should the definition of a pro-level KudoZ question be revisited? Are questions that can be easily found in a dictionary or by spending a few minutes online doing some basic research properly classified as professional KudoZ questions?


[Edited at 2009-11-08 16:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-11-08 16:05 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Enrique
Local time: 07:42
SITE STAFF
Translators among the site staff Nov 8, 2009

Textklick wrote:

2. Why are there not more translators among the site staff?


Kim Metzger wrote:

1. Communication: since there are no linguists/certified translators on the staff and linguist moderators are no longer a sounding board for site improvements, isn't it difficult to communicate with professional translators?


Hi Chris and Kim,

As a matter of fact, there are five certified translators among site staff, plus a couple of engineers who have worked as translators in the past.

Regards,
Enrique


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:42
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
take 2 Nov 9, 2009

Enrique wrote:

Textklick wrote:

2. Why are there not more translators among the site staff?


Kim Metzger wrote:

1. Communication: since there are no linguists/certified translators on the staff and linguist moderators are no longer a sounding board for site improvements, isn't it difficult to communicate with professional translators?



As a matter of fact, there are five certified translators among site staff, plus a couple of engineers who have worked as translators in the past.


Let's replace "site staff" with "decision makers" in the original question.
Maria


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Fernanda Rocha[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What would YOU like to ask Henry, the founder of Proz?

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search