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Please, job posters: native language is not quoter location
Thread poster: Wolfram P Singewald

Wolfram P Singewald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:38
English to German
May 14, 2012

Hello dear ProZ community,

I feel a little strange posting what could be called a complaint as a newbie, but, well, there it is.

In the past few days I've been unable to quote on a few jobs in my fields and language pairs because I live in the "wrong" country. (I'm a native German living in Spain.)

I'm pretty sure however that the respective jobs did not require the translator to live where the target language is spoken, as all of the job posters were located somewhere else in the world; e.g. one such job was posted from Israel.

So please, job posters, do not specify a quoter location unless it's really necessary - I'm sure I'm not the only translator out here not living in the country of his native language and missing out on quite a few interesting job offers.

Thank you very much!

[Edited at 2012-05-14 20:47 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-05-14 20:48 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:38
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You are quite right... May 14, 2012

... you are not alone!

Teresa Borges
A Portuguese translator living in Belgium


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:38
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sometimes limiting quoters to a particular country is indeed deliberate May 15, 2012

I find this to be the case in quite a few jobs posted from Spanish agencies or individuals. I think it has to do with tax and accounting issues.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:38
English to German
+ ...
@Robert: Either that - or mere ignorance. May 15, 2012

If I may quote from a recent email, sent by a prospective client in the US:

"How do you ensure that your German copy is up-to-date and ‘fresh’ working from the US?"

Hahahahahahaha!

No further comment.

icon_smile.gif


 

Carol Rush  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
French to English
+ ...
There are lots of us... May 15, 2012

I am a French translator living in Cape Town!

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:38
Member
English to French
It can make sense May 15, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:
"How do you ensure that your German copy is up-to-date and ‘fresh’ working from the US?"

Although I won't bet that job posters actually intend to screen applicants in such a way, people who've been living in a foreign country for eons may speak a language contaminated with "faux amis" and dodgy expressions.

Examples in EN-FR:
Comfortable: confortable instead of à l'aise
To make sense: faire du sens instead of être sensé/pertinent/raisonnable or other
Exhibition: exhibition instead of exposition
Application: application instead of candidature
Systemic: systemic instead of général
Diversion: diversion instead of déviation
Etc.

However, in this global village, even French people living in France tend to absorb such phrasings on TV. Maybe it sounds trendier.

Philippe


 

Derrio  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rates May 15, 2012

Robert Forstag wrote:

I find this to be the case in quite a few jobs posted from Spanish agencies or individuals. I think it has to do with tax and accounting issues.



I'm not sure Robert, I think sometimes it's more to do with the rates they want to pay. I had a reply from a Spanish outsourcer who said "You're British are you - you probably won't do it for this rate". He was right.

As an aside, there are probably more native English speakers per square mile in the part of Spain where I live (Ibiza) than there are in certain parts of London I have lived in. I don't think that in this day and age of internet, satellite tv etc. that you're in much danger of losing touch with your mother tongue. And then some agencies want to know how you keep up to date with your source language if you don't live in a country where it is spoken - you can't win!


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:38
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I agree! May 15, 2012

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:
"How do you ensure that your German copy is up-to-date and ‘fresh’ working from the US?"

Although I won't bet that job posters actually intend to screen applicants in such a way, people who've been living in a foreign country for eons may speak a language contaminated with "faux amis" and dodgy expressions.

Examples in EN-FR:
Comfortable: confortable instead of à l'aise
To make sense: faire du sens instead of être sensé/pertinent/raisonnable or other
Exhibition: exhibition instead of exposition
Application: application instead of candidature
Systemic: systemic instead of général
Diversion: diversion instead of déviation
Etc.

However, in this global village, even French people living in France tend to absorb such phrasings on TV. Maybe it sounds trendier.

Philippe


Every time I hear a new one I cringe.

My current pet hate is "délivrer"


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:38
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
My boss had the solution for this... May 15, 2012

Derrio wrote:

Robert Forstag wrote:

I find this to be the case in quite a few jobs posted from Spanish agencies or individuals. I think it has to do with tax and accounting issues.



I'm not sure Robert, I think sometimes it's more to do with the rates they want to pay. I had a reply from a Spanish outsourcer who said "You're British are you - you probably won't do it for this rate". He was right.

As an aside, there are probably more native English speakers per square mile in the part of Spain where I live (Ibiza) than there are in certain parts of London I have lived in. I don't think that in this day and age of internet, satellite tv etc. that you're in much danger of losing touch with your mother tongue. And then some agencies want to know how you keep up to date with your source language if you don't live in a country where it is spoken - you can't win!


My former boss once said "Ideally translators ought to spend say three months of the year in each of their source language countries and the rest of the year in their target language country".

Yeah sure. And what if they want to live with the person they love, or have children, or even simply live their life in a familiar place surrounded with precious memories? The former boss in question lived across the road from his mother who was still living in the house he grew up in...

I always point out to those who raise such objections that living in a country does not necessarily help you to learn the language spoken there. As we were saying in another thread, some people live for years in a place without learning the language.

Learning a language and keeping in touch with it is more a question of being an avid absorber of all things linguistic than location. If I found myself obliged to move back to the UK for example I would hunt out French speakers and reading material and of course keep in touch with all my friends here, and probably change my Internet home page from the BBC to something French.

WP Singewald, perhaps this is not the right place for your message though, it's mainly translators knocking around here, not our clients...


 

Wolfram P Singewald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:38
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
tax issues May 15, 2012

Derrio wrote:

Robert Forstag wrote:

I find this to be the case in quite a few jobs posted from Spanish agencies or individuals. I think it has to do with tax and accounting issues.

k
I'm not sure Robert, I think sometimes it's more to do with the rates they want to pay. I had a reply from a Spanish outsourcer who said "You're British are you - you probably won't do it for this rate". He was right.


Derrio, even less reason to demand that the translator live in Germany, I dare say.

I think Robert has a point there.

It's not too complicated as far as I understand the system, and thanks to VAT ID's it doesn't make a difference inside the EU whether you're doing domestic or international business.

But for international invoices outside the EU, both sides end up paying their country's VAT on the invoice,with the customer not being able to reclaim it because the translator is not paying VAT in their country.
Which is the same as when you're dealing with a VAT exempt business inside your own country, e.g. small businesses in Germany, all freelancers here on the Canary Islands..


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
Common practice May 15, 2012

Wolfram P Singewald wrote:

... I've been unable to quote on a few jobs in my fields and language pairs because I live in the "wrong" country. (I'm a native German living in Spain.)


My (English) friend works in your pair too, but he uses a UK address (and email account) for business correspondence; he says he has to do this because agencies in Germany seem reluctant to outsource transactions into English to anybody living outside of the UK (or USA for Amercian English), and especially Spain, which apparently has a bad reputation for fly-by-night or unprofessional translators.

You could maybe set up a proxy address in UK or Germany for this purpose.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:38
Spanish to English
+ ...
True May 15, 2012

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Nicole Schnell wrote:
"How do you ensure that your German copy is up-to-date and ‘fresh’ working from the US?"

Although I won't bet that job posters actually intend to screen applicants in such a way, people who've been living in a foreign country for eons may speak a language contaminated with "faux amis" and dodgy expressions.

Examples in EN-FR:
Comfortable: confortable instead of à l'aise
To make sense: faire du sens instead of être sensé/pertinent/raisonnable or other
Exhibition: exhibition instead of exposition
Application: application instead of candidature
Systemic: systemic instead of général
Diversion: diversion instead of déviation
Etc.

However, in this global village, even French people living in France tend to absorb such phrasings on TV. Maybe it sounds trendier.

Philippe


Very true. I recently recommended a job to an Italian friend who has lived in Ireland and Spain for a few years and she apparently made 2 or 3 minor, but "typical Spanish" mistakes in the test translation. I notice it in my own language use too, but try not to let it creep into my work.


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:38
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Natives plus May 15, 2012

When I started freelancing a few years ago there were a couple of Dutch agencies who wouldn't consider me because, as an into-English translator, I had to reside in an English speaking country. I think they called the concept 'Natives plus' or something. I didn't bother arguing and a quick search reveals that they seem to have vanished off the face of the earth - thankfully.

Olly


 

Wolfram P Singewald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:38
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
proxy address May 15, 2012

neilmac wrote:

My (English) friend works in your pair too, but he uses a UK address (and email account) for business correspondence; he says he has to do this because agencies in Germany seem reluctant to outsource transactions into English to anybody living outside of the UK (or USA for Amercian English), and especially Spain, which apparently has a bad reputation for fly-by-night or unprofessional translators.

You could maybe set up a proxy address in UK or Germany for this purpose.


I'd have one in Germany that I could use, but what'll the client say when they receive an invoice from a Spanish address? I'll have to ask my tax consultant, but I reckon there'll be problems with my tax declaration if my invoices bear a foreign address.

Thanks for the hint though, I'll see if I can do it that way.


 

S P Willcock (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
German to English
+ ...
source languages May 15, 2012

Texte Style wrote:


My former boss once said "Ideally translators ought to spend say three months of the year in each of their source language countries and the rest of the year in their target language country".

Yeah sure. And what if they want to live with the person they love, or have children, or even simply live their life in a familiar place surrounded with precious memories? The former boss in question lived across the road from his mother who was still living in the house he grew up in...
what a bizarre concept. luckily, I live in Romania, where German and Czech are also spoken as native languages in some parts of the country. maybe I should add Hungarian to my source languages just to take advantage of the situation... and Armenian, and Serbian, and Ukrainian, and all the other minority languages. but then I also have Slovene as a source languages, and I'm two countries away from the nearest Slovene-speakers.

most of the time I have lost out on offers from not being UK-based, it's been because the end client in London wants to sit down at the table with the translator at some stage of the finalisation process.


 
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