Job-swap suggestion (D)
Thread poster: OrnellaBulthuis

Local time: 08:30
Dutch to Italian
+ ...
Jan 27, 2004

I have no idea whether this is feasible, but Henry and co might be interested if it is.
I see a lot of people post KudoZ questions for texts they're clearly not very well suited to, in my case Italians doing translations of publicity and marketing material for future publication on the British or American market. There is unfortunately a lot more ITA-ENG work of this kind available in Italy than ENG->ITA and even more unfortunately no apparent lack of non-native speakers willing to have a go.
It struck me that it would be great if they could get an ENG-ITA job in exchange for their impossible task, while a native English translator could benefit from doing the ITA-ENG translation.
Already I see the sweat on people's foreheads at the thought of all the problems that could arise!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2005-02-03 16:14]


Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:30
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
... not in line with code of professional conduct Jan 27, 2004

Interesting concept, unfortunately, it's not workable. Obviously, I can't speak for other countries' professional translators' organisations, but - if I have understood your suggestion correctly - certainly against the code of professional conduct set by the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI). (refer to publications - code of conduct). Under point 3 "dispersion of work" it states: no member shall sub-commission or sub-contract without his principal's prior knowledge and agreement, nor without defining the changed responsibilities, if any. Members acting as a company or agency shall disclose this fact to whom they subcontract work." This goes hand in hand with standards of work (i.e. competencies in language combinations and subject matters)... HTH


United Kingdom
Local time: 07:30
English to Italian
+ ...
I agree with Wenke. Jan 27, 2004

I also think that giving out and accepting work into a language which isn't one's mother tongue is an ethical issue. It has recently been discussed at lenghts on Langit with some really interesting contributions. I think the heading was something like "il problema delle doppie frecce" (i.e. translating both ways).



Irene N
United States
Local time: 01:30
English to Russian
+ ...
No sweat since there is no future in it. Too bad... Jan 27, 2004

OrnellaBulthuis wrote:

no apparent lack of non-native speakers willing to have a go.

Ornella, unfortunately, the answer lies in your own posting. Those who "do it all" would hardly see a reason to give it up. Otherwise why would they accept it in the first place? I believe in highly-knowledgable multidiscipline, multilanguage translators, I know a few in person, but this is not the case we are discussing here, right?

I had an experience with job swapping, but in very specific cases. I work for a couple of agencies that have a very stable pool of translators. We know each other for ages, and sometimes we would "correct a mistake" of an unexperienced new manager and exchange respective preferrable subjects. I can recall maybe 3-4 times total in 10 years. Both tasks must be available, close volumes and equal rates required, etc. Also, this is a risky business, it takes years of very stable relationship with employers who must trust you completely to tolerate such "self-management" and not forget you the next time. Plus an employer must be very well educated in profession specifics, otherwise you just might turn out to be "bad" and somebody who says "yes" before finding out the proposed subject - "the best". In my case I'm talking 10-12 years of "in sickness and in health":), business turned into personal friendships where betrayals are impossible. I doubt though that swaps can be turned into a "common practice" - too much trouble, you are right again.


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:30
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Could possibly agree to recommend each other for jobs Jan 27, 2004

I have occasionally been offered English-Russian work, which I always refuse, but if I know of someone who could do the job, I recommend him or her for the job instead. But certainly you can't do anything without the client's knowledge.


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