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Why would an agency requesting English into Spanish want native English speakers to quote?
Thread poster: liz askew

liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:15
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
May 28, 2009

Hi

Why would an agency who is requesting translators from English into Spanish want native English speakers (American or British) to quote??
See:

Native speakers of English
Posted: May 28, 2009 11:21 BST (GMT+1) (GMT: May 28, 2009 10:21)

Job type: Translation/editing/proofing job

Languages: English to Spanish

Job description:

We are looking for English into Spanish translators who native speakers of English (both American and British) for long term collaboration with our company.

I find this illogical.

Any comments appreciated.

Liz Askew

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-05-28 13:15 GMT]


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gqushair
Spain
Local time: 07:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Are they from or familiar with the translation sector? May 28, 2009

Dear Liz,

Is it an actualy translation agency? I ask beacause many people outside of the field are not familiar with the concept that translators generally translate into their native language, or with the very idea of language pairs.

It could also be an error, I suppose.

***

Off-topic note: I'd like to take this opportunity to commend you on your fantastic terminology contributions. I've only recently started answering ProZ questions an disucssing on forums, and I continually find your answers to reflect a perfect balance between expertise, humility, a conservative approach, and politeness. I think some of us (me first) could definitely improve by using you as an example. I'll try and stop answering questions half-asleep after having just stumbled out of bed (j/k).


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:15
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What was their answer... May 28, 2009

liz askew wrote:
Why would an agency who is requesting translators from English into Spanish want native English speakers (American or British) to quote??


What was their answer when you asked them about it?


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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:15
Member
French to English
+ ...
Support request May 28, 2009

Hello Liz,

I often submit a support request when I see ads posted like this as I presume that the pair must be incorrect. Staff (or job moderators?) can contact the poster to check if they meant something else. The job is often closed and re-posted with the correct pair/mother tongue.

Best,
Jocelyne


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Penelope Ausejo  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Might be a mistake May 28, 2009

Might be a mistake... they might have that as a save setting from their last posting and might have not noticed...

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RichardDeegan
Local time: 01:15
Spanish to English
It's their business May 28, 2009

I figure it's their business when they specify Spanish natives (or, in just the last two weeks- Russian natives or French natives) for a Spanish to English translations.
I also figure that, based on their management of quality control or self-image as demonstrated, I can well afford to stay from them and avoid future problems.


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Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:15
French to English
Maybe mistake, maybe not May 28, 2009

gqushair wrote:


Off-topic note: I'd like to take this opportunity to commend you on your fantastic terminology contributions. I've only recently started answering ProZ questions an disucssing on forums, and I continually find your answers to reflect a perfect balance between expertise, humility, a conservative approach, and politeness. I think some of us (me first) could definitely improve by using you as an example. I'll try and stop answering questions half-asleep after having just stumbled out of bed (j/k).


Me too. On both counts:) Back on topic, it is probably a mistake, but I have heard of some individuals and agencies that prefer to work only with people who speak the same language/live in the country as they do. I suppose it makes communication easier, even if it not the best way to ensure quality of the final product.


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Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
inclinations May 28, 2009

I have noticed that some people, probably with very low common sense and knowledge of the translation/interpretation world, would give priority to the communication with the interpreter/translator and their own ease (not having to understand heavy accents or choice of words) than having the message delivered correctly in the target language.

There are medical doctors in the hospital where I work whose Spanish is good for informal conversations but at the time to explain what lupus does to the human body or how a urine reflux works, they tangle words, literally translated expressions and make a linguistic mess. Unfortunately, those people, the LEP, very rarely state the fact that they do not understand the explanation.

[Edited at 2009-05-28 14:26 GMT]


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:15
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
your fantastic terminology contributions May 28, 2009

Well, I say, this is very kind of you:-)

It's amazing this is the impression you have got of me:-)

Perhaps you didn't see some of my very early contributions when I did not bite my tongue [for the record I have been banned from Proz on two occasions:-) - for being over-frank, well, that's what I like to call it!].


In any case, thank you for that huge compliment. You cannot see the smoke coming out of my ears sometimes as I really struggle now and again to get an answer together, but I am a stubborn so and so and don't give up too easily...

The reason I really posted this query is:

a. I thought I was seeing things
b. I was unable to quote for this job (with British English) because in my actual profile I profess to be proficient from French and Spanish into English only.
c. I was pretty stunned in any case because I would never translate into any other language other than English as this is my mother tongue. But I don't want to start off the debate about translating into one's non-mother tongue, as we have all been there before on Proz.
d. BTW I have been learning French and Spanish for over 40 years, but still wouldn't translate into these languages. I do interpret into them, but, hey..

Liz


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:15
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It's their business May 28, 2009

Well, yes....I won't lose any sleep over this, but was still surprised to read this job advertisement.

Liz


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Some agencies are just careless May 28, 2009

It seems that they click anywhere to get the job out, quickly!

I work EN-US/PT-BR. Nevertheless, I've seen jobs posted in my pair that:
- required absolutely that the translator (not interpreter!) lived in China
- were completely written in German, with lots of detail.

Of course, carelessness goes beyond that. Sometimes they demand Trados - and no other - to translate audio or video files, or handwritten documents.


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
error or ignorance May 28, 2009

Liz,

I agree with the other posters, but I did want to share that 3 weeks ago, a referred client wrote and my heart sank when I saw he needed an "into Spanish" translator. I said that regretfully I couldn't accept the job.

He wrote right back, saying opps! he was looking for an into-English translator. He is a native speaker of Spanish, and he is a direct client--you would think that he wouldn't have gotten it backwards. So, it could be even easier for a third party to get mixed up.

That said, it is probably a case of ignorance (in my younger days--long before I consider translation as a career--I suffered from the same misapprehension).

Best,
Patricia


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xxxAWa
Local time: 07:15
English to German
+ ...
Or they want to be sure the source text is understood correctly May 29, 2009

and thus the content translated, make that conveyed, correctly.

I'm a native speaker of German with near-native knowledge of English (highest knowledge-rank "awarded" to non-natives). I mostly translate into English simply because my customers had problems with native speakers' translations of their texts. For example one company received a translation in which the translator, dealing with software messages, had used "operate" instead of "edit". Of course this text could not be used. Therefore the company decided to use a near-native speaker with knowledge of the subject rather than native speakers who do not know what they are translating.


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:15
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
near-native knowledge of English May 29, 2009

Hello

Here we go again...

I appreciate that you must have a great deal of expertise in your field of translation and wouldn't want to knock it at all.

However, I am a native English speaker, born and bred in the UK and I am still learning my own language. This is particularly true in the case of my so-called field of expertise - medical. For this very reason I would never translate into Spanish or French in relation to medical texts [can you imagine the dangers involved?]. I can only dream of becoming near-native in Spanish or French. The more I learn about these two languages, the more I realise I have even more to learn about the intricacies and subtleties of the vocabulary in these two languages.

So, no, I would never translate out of my mother tongue.

Good luck to you though!

Liz


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xxxAWa
Local time: 07:15
English to German
+ ...
Let's not go there May 29, 2009

liz askew wrote:

Hello

Here we go again...

I'd rather not
I most certainly don't want to start the discussion about native/near-native/non-native speakers again. I just wanted to say that there may be reasons why some clients want a native speaker of the source language (with a very good knowledge of the subject and the target language) instead of a native speaker of the target language (who knows nothing about the subject of the text) when they cannot find a native speaker who knows the subject a text is dealing with.


...So, no, I would never translate out of my mother tongue.

Good luck to you though!

Liz


Thank you Liz,
luck is always welcome to support my efforts - even after 9 years as a freelancer.



[Edited at 2009-05-31 06:38 GMT]


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