Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
People should not be able to claim they are native speakers without verification. (Staff: Link)
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
May 6

According to the FAQs, people who claim more than one native language are supposed to be vetted and have a relevant icon, yet there are people who claim several native languages and are absolutely NOT native in one of them (mine), and they don't have any sort of icon, whether grayed out or multicolored. This has direct relevance for directory searches, when a potential client is specifically looking for a native speaker.

I am well aware that many native speakers are bad translators into their native language, and many non-natives are excellent translators into their non-native language. My point is that people should not be able to just claim any old language as their native one without some sort of verification. I visited Italy for a few days when I was 11 years old. Does that make me native in Italian?

Proz staff, please reply.

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:55 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2018-05-07 13:49 GMT]


 

Roisin Ni Cheallaigh
Ireland
Member
English to Irish
+ ...
"Fake native speaker" May 6

I never heard the term "fake native speaker".

 

finnword1
United States
Local time: 21:16
English to Finnish
+ ...
mother tongue May 6

These individuals with two native languages might have two or more mothers, all speaking a different language. i thing the biological (native) mother should have priority.

 

The Misha
Local time: 21:16
Russian to English
+ ...
Let it go, Susan May 6

Roisin Ni Cheallaigh wrote:

I never heard the term "fake native speaker".


And?

Really, spare yourself the grief, Susan. You cannot regulate people into being critical of themselves and honest with others. Just ask the folks in charge of the Criminal Code and the Ten Commandments:)

What has always bugged me though is what on earth all these "natives" are thinking and who they think they are kidding. Do they really believe the rest of us here are clueless? Or blind? Or tone deaf?


 

Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 04:16
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
Dodgy native (English) speakers May 6

I once complained about this issue as well. There are apparently lots of 'native English speakers' (with those dodgy looking gray N signs in their profiles) in my language pair (EN>TR), most of whom, I am sure, have never lived a day outside of Turkey in their lives. It's very annoying to see such people 'consider' themselves as 'native speakers' to actually indicate that they are at above 'intermediate' level in their 'source' language. I get pissed off every time I am denied bidding on jobs posted here 'because I did not report that I am a native English speaker'.
There has to be a system in place to weed out those 'native speakers'.

[Edited at 2018-05-06 17:46 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
money talks: no stated malice is looming May 6

Dear Susan,

I believe you're taking it too far--right to the very root of the matter, because even just checking translators' language pairs and credentials is an overkill, let alone qualifying the 'nativeness' properly. For example, before approving one as an applicant, besides a confirmed portfolio or a reference/guarantor, a few translation job portals required some ten posts in every stated language. Even better, when prospects come at the invitation of eligible members and verified colleagues.

Why, it really makes sense to monitor paying* members for they are the brand and the driving force of the ProZ, consequently rejecting some 3/4th of all the participants... Alas, the owners may see it just as denied profits.

Furthermore, there's no such thing as a global "self-regulated" translation market yet.


 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 10:16
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com Native Language Program May 6

Susan Welsh wrote:

According to the FAQs, people who claim more than one native language are supposed to be vetted and have a relevant icon, yet there are people who claim several native languages and are absolutely NOT native in one of them (mine), and they don't have any sort of icon, whether grayed out or multicolored. This has direct relevance for directory searches, when a potential client is specifically looking for a native speaker.

I am well aware that many native speakers are bad translators into their native language, and many non-natives are excellent translators into their non-native language. My point is that people should not be able to just claim any old language as their native one without some sort of verification. I visited Italy for a few days when I was 11 years old. Does that make me native in Italian?

Proz staff, please reply.

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:55 GMT]


Hi Susan,

There is the ProZ.com Native Language Program.

In the new directory, clients can filter by those who have had their native language verified.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The problem lies in DEMANDING native speakers to translate into any language May 6

I'd have countless cases on this matter, will share just one here.
Once I visited an American or British (can't remember) translation agency's web site, and they had a page in BR Portuguese, so I decided to have a look. The translation was simply awful, worse than raw machine translation.

So I wrote them, suggesting they unplugged it until it could be adequately revised by a competent translator. BTW I refrained from offering this service, as I'd rather redo it from scratch.

The agency owner wrote me back, dumbfounded, saying that it had been translated by a native of (name of a Brazilian state capital), still living there, who had provided evidence of both.

All right, that translation would pass scot-free through a spelling & grammar checker, but it was visibly "written in English with Portuguese words and grammar". That person could be a native, however definitely not a translator.


My take on translation is that...
A bilingual person is someone capable of expressing their own ideas in two different languages; a translator is a professional trained and qualified to faithfully and accurately express someone else's ideas in a language different from the one in which they were originally issued.


Some translation clients tend to think that demanding absolutely a native speaker of the target language will provide them with enough safety against the translation sounding "outlandish". Not true! If it were, what would be the reason to be of so many translation courses at all levels? (I mean technical in high school, undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate.) A simple foreign language course would suffice! After all, the assumption is that regular education should train the native to write properly in his/her own language.

Then there are different levels of non-native translation.
I've appraised its crudest form on this page.
Then there are supposedly higher-grade shades, which I've compared on this page.

I have branded myself as a 'fake' - as you name it - native speaker of both Portuguese and English on Proz, only because such absolute demand has become a kind of crutch for translation agencies to lean on. If the job goes south, they can blame it on the Brazilian schooling system, thus avoiding their due diligence in finding a competent translator.

As a sworn translator/interpreter licensed by the Brazilian government for EN < > PT, the law expressly forbids me to decline any such sworn translation request in either direction, regardless. Yet some outsourcers still demand a native.

The point is that sworn translations must be accurate. There is no room for innuendoes, word play, regional slang, etc. So I am 100% safe with my English.

In all other cases, the key point is that I don't live in an English-speaking country, so I'd be unable to write in the everyday lingo used there NOW. However I know native EN-speaking translators living in Brazil, as well as native PT-speaking translators living in EN-speaking countries, whose translations into the local language - whichever it be - of material requiring current 'street' language would be perfectly adequate.

The key is in the translator's ethics. A translator should know - and refrain from being shy to disclose - his/her limitations. For instance, though I am technically a native speaker of Portuguese, no question about it, I would definitely be unable to write a proper phrase in its European variant. Although - technically again - I am not a native speaker of English, most people say that I fare better writing in it than a considerable majority of its native speakers in America.

The last point is that translation is an art and technique that can be learned. Being bilingual is a must-have requirement, of course, but it's not all of it.

If being a native speaker were such an imperative requirement for translation, irreplaceable by any kind of learning, IMHO we'd never let humans fly our aircraft. You'd board a modern jet airliner, and see perhaps a duck and a pigeon sitting at the cockpit, since they are the truly native flyers - not us, humans.


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:16
German to Serbian
+ ...
They may have a mother and a father. May 7

finnword1 wrote:

These individuals with two native languages might have two or more mothers, all speaking a different language. i thing the biological (native) mother should have priority.


For instance, some may have a native English father and a native French mother. Then being spoken to in two languages as they grow up. What then?


 

Lian Pang  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:16
Member (Mar 2018)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Let the market do its job May 7

No question that some people are bilingual or even trilingual. Or simply have mastered the language to a native equivalent level. But there are also your so-called "fake" ones, Like José Henrique Lamensdorf mentioned in his first example.

Point is, there is no way you can manually make sure that everyone is who he/she claims to be. Have the "fake" native speakers negatively affected on your business ? Do they harm you in anyway ? Have they infringed your rights ?

If not, it's not really worth your attention. The market is competitive as it is . It will naturally flush out the bad ones. Just abide by your standards and code of conducts, focus on YOUR products, everything should be fine.


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 03:16
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Agree May 7

Susan Welsh wrote:

According to the FAQs, people who claim more than one native language are supposed to be vetted and have a relevant icon, yet there are people who claim several native languages and are absolutely NOT native in one of them (mine), and they don't have any sort of icon, whether grayed out or multicolored. This has direct relevance for directory searches, when a potential client is specifically looking for a native speaker.

I am well aware that many native speakers are bad translators into their native language, and many non-natives are excellent translators into their non-native language. My point is that people should not be able to just claim any old language as their native one without some sort of verification. I visited Italy for a few days when I was 11 years old. Does that make me native in Italian?

Proz staff, please reply.

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-05-06 13:55 GMT]


I couldn't agree more. I don't necessarily say they are bad translators, but many of them are not that specialized in specific fields. In my language pair many times when it comes to specialized texts it is much better to hire a bilingual or a very good non-native specialized translator to translate a highly specialized text (+ a native-speaker reviewer) than to hire a native speaker who is not so specialized in that field (not so specialized: she/he is comfortable with general texts within that field but not deeply specialized).

Also I think a native-speaker is somebody who has been born in his/her native-speaking country, lived with parents who spoke the same specific native-language. A person who has been living in country A for 20 years and the country's native-language is AAA and her/his parents spoke to him/her in AAA, and then this person moves to country B will never be a BBB native-speaker. She/he can be bilingual after 10 + years.

Furthermore even native-language can fade if you don't live in your native-language country any more. Culturally you lose many things when you don't live in your native-country: the way how people are speaking (because it's changing), the latest trends, laws, the same is true for specializations: terminology what is used within the native-country etc.

So it is a complex question.

[Edited at 2018-05-07 09:35 GMT]


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
There oughta be a law... May 7

The Misha wrote:

You cannot regulate people into being critical of themselves and honest with others.



That's where you and I disagree, Misha. (But you knew that.) I think there oughta be a law against lying (or self-deception, which is probably the case for the individual who prompted me to post this discussion).

@José:
I agree with everything you say. It just pisses me off when someone who couldn't write decent English to save his/her life claims to be a native speaker.

@Kevin:
Thanks for the information on this native language verification program, although it's hard to see how anyone who should use it would find out about it.

PS - Both The Misha and José are clearly "fluent speakers" of English! Even if they do have an accent and only one mother.


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Jose - amateur translations May 7

I really liked the example on your website, "a whorehouse full of young ideas."

 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 09:16
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Asinine doesn't begin to describe May 7

finnword1 wrote:

These individuals with two native languages might have two or more mothers, all speaking a different language. i thing the biological (native) mother should have priority.

I think this is on the verge of crossing the line of being extremely offensive on multiple levels. Actually, I think it crossed the line, continued for about a mile, then came back and took a big stinking dump on it.

[Edited at 2018-05-07 13:06 GMT]


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:16
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Lincoln May 7

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Asinine


I think finnword1 was joking.icon_smile.gif


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


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


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

People should not be able to claim they are native speakers without verification. (Staff: Link)

Advanced search






CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2019
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2019 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2019 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