When a request is for unpaid work, this should be clear in the message line
Thread poster: Robert Forstag

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 13, 2011

There is currently a posting for a translation of a 20,000-word short novel that one learns (only after opening and reading the entire posting) is really a request for unpaid work.

Would it not seem fair to require that such requests for pro bono translation be clear in the message line itself? After all, it is a "Jobs Board" and not a "Volunteer Opportunities" board.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's clear Nov 13, 2011

It starts out "Busco traductores voluntarios..." and later repeats the same thing. It's not in the title, but may be seen as soon as you open it up.

 

Claudia Luque Bedregal  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
"pro bono job" option Nov 13, 2011

Perhaps the site could add a "pro bono job" option similar to the one for "potential jobs" or "not-for-points question", like that all Proz members would will get email notifications with the indication "the outsources has indicated that this is a pro bono job..."

Have a nice Sundayicon_smile.gif


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Right Nov 13, 2011

Hi Claudia,

This is precisely the idea. I don't have a problem with such postings per se, as long as it is immediately evident in the message itself that the work is unpaid.

What I don't like is something that masquerades as a standard job offer, but that really is a solicitation of pro bono work (as in the case I've cited).

It suddenly occurs to me that I have some essays and correspondence that I wrote some years ago that I'd like translated into Spanish with a view toward possible future marketing as a book in Latin America and Spain. Estimated word count is about 50,000 words. I'm not a rich man, but if there are any volunteers interested, we can discuss further.

Any takers?

icon_smile.gif

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Off topic Nov 13, 2011

I wonder if the 20,000 words contain the same proportion of spelling mistakes as the job poster's request?

Back on topic, I quite agree with you, Robert. It would be good to have a "pro bono job" box to tick when posting such a job.

Wandering off topic again: I could translate about half the 50,000 words of your future book this evening. Presumably you don't mind splitting the job under the circumstances?icon_smile.gif


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Emma Nov 13, 2011

Entertaining and whimsical post. Thanks. icon_smile.gif

I'd be happy to consider giving you the 25,000 words, but first I have to ask you to translate a sample of 1000 words that I will evaluate when I have time, and I will get back to you--when I get back to you....

icon_wink.gif


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Pro bono? Nov 13, 2011

I would not use the term "pro bono" here because that means "pro bono patria" or for the good of the country. In this case it could be just for the love of art or even perhaps to unwittingly provide a profit to some beggar who does not wish to invest anything of his own in the project.

But yes, perhaps there should be a special classification for such appeals.


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Pro bono work Nov 14, 2011

Henry Hinds wrote:

"pro bono patria" or for the good of the country.


Actually, I think it means "pro bono publico" (for the public good). And in fact the idea of pro bono work does fit in here because it means a professional service that is provided free of charge (as opposed to voluntary work, which doesn't have a "professional" concept attached to it).

I think pro bono work is indeed an excellent way of supporting certain NGOs and other charities and it's good to see ProZ moving in this direction too in partnership with www.translatorswithoutborders.com


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ditto Nov 14, 2011

[quote]Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Henry Hinds wrote:

Actually, I think it means "pro bono publico" (for the public good).


Me too. The "patria" bit sounds like a rather jingoistic variant.


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:31
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Pro bono requests Nov 14, 2011

Pro bono (coming from pro bono publico) requests are allowed on ProZ, for registered non-profit organizations - most importantly humanitarian NGOs. While lots of NGOs employ full-time translators and outsource paid work to freelance translators, it is generally accepted that a humanitarian may ask for pro bono help.

Many for-profit organizations make considerable efforts to obtain free human translation through crowdsourcing. LinkedIn tried that a couple of years ago, but they got an overwhelming negative feedback from professional translators, including a letter by Jiri Stejskal, explaining why this is a no-go. ProZ rules, too, allow only registered non-profit organizations to post free translation requests.

Best,
Attila


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wasn't aware that such a rule... Nov 14, 2011

...was already in force. So thank you, Attila, for the information. Allowing pro bono postings (but only for registered non-profits) certainly makes sense.

Since pretty much "anything goes" in terms of rates on the Jobs Board, I am glad that a line has at least been drawn at "free"....

[Edited at 2011-11-14 15:54 GMT]


 


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