Add option for "exclusive" search to directory searches, KudoZ and job posts
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Jul 3, 2012

G'day everyone

Briefly, my suggestion is that in the directory searches and other places where translators are selected, a check box called "Only" is added next to the multiline options, which would cause the search to include only translators for whom that option is their only selected option.

The reason for this is because translators often declare multiple things in an attempt to get into more search results, even if those things are secondary for them.

An example: Many translators believe that most translators can also do editing, proofreading, back-translation, etc, so they those services to their profile pages in the hope of getting more jobs. This means that many translators who add "Editing" in addition to "Translation" as a service are not experts at editing, even if they are experts at translation. If a client wants to find an linguist who is primarily an editor or who specialises in editing or who has far more experience in editing than in translation, the client won't be able to do that at ProZ.com, because at ProZ.com a search for linguists who do "Editing" brings up lots of linguists for whom editing is just side-affair.

Another example: At the moment, if a client selects Language A as the translator's native language, the search result will contain translators whose native language is Language A but will also contain translators whose native language is both Language A and Language B. What if the client believes that he needs a translator who has just one native language? At present, ProZ.com does not allow that kind of search.

Another example: Many translators who are reasonably good at writing in their source language seem to to offer translation in both directions. This despite the fact that their secondary language combination (from Language B to Language A) is not nearly as good as their primary language combination (from Language A to Language B). Doing this helps translators get more jobs during dry spells in their primary language combination. If a client believes that translators who translate in both directions are more likely to suffer from second language contamination (a valid concern), and he wants to avoid that in his particular job, he might prefer to search for translators who offer only one language combination. At present, ProZ.com does not make this possible, though.

Another example: ProZ.com encourages translators to list three [edited: no, ten!] "specialisations", so many translators list the three fields in which they are most eager to get jobs. However, if a client wants to find translators who truly do specialise in just one subject, instead of translators who are merely extremely eager to translate in that subject, he would not be able to do so at present in ProZ.com.

Yet another example: Many translators offer more than one CAT tool, but I think that a translator who offers five different CAT tools is less likely to be an expert at a single one of them than a translator who offers only one of them. Therefore a client who needs an expert at Wordfast Pro might want his search to give preference to translators who use mostly or only Wordfast Pro. With the current search options in ProZ.com, such expertness is not searchable because a search for "Wordfast Pro" translators will yield translators who have simply downloaded it as well as those who can extensively troubleshoot it.

So, if a checkbox saying "Only" can be added to those search items, clients can search for linguists that comply to very specific requirements, and clients can filter out translators who have declared (in good faith) things that they are not experts in.

Your thoughts?

Samuel



[Edited at 2012-07-04 07:14 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
My two cents Jul 4, 2012

[quote]Samuel Murray wrote:

"... translators often declare multiple things in an attempt to get into more search results..."
-> Yet some of us actually do manage to work in lots of fields and areas, with reasonable success.

"Another example: Many translators who are reasonably good at writing in their source language seem to to offer translation in both directions."
-> There should be no problem if this is done by a native+non-native team, as in my own case.

"Another example: ProZ.com encourages translators to list three "specialisations", so many translators list the three fields in which they are most eager to get jobs."
-> Yet others have "specialisation" thrust upon us. Why is it always deemed "a good thing" rather than a narrowing of options? I often see it is more of a limitation than a virtue. And experts in a field will often take things for granted that a lesser mortal might need explained in greater detail.

Another assumption I don't share is that everyone who signs up to proz is "eager to get jobs". It certainly wasn't one of my reasons - I mainly just wanted somewhere to brainstorm and sound off. Like right now. However, I do agree with most of Samuel's concerns.


 

BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Proz management should hire you, Samuel Jul 7, 2012

and I mean it.

Consider my previous response as if it had not been written, please.













[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:43 GMT]


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
English
+ ...
So, wait a minute. Do I understand correctly? Jul 7, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

>If a client wants to find an linguist who is primarily an editor or who specialises in editing or who has far more experience in editing than in translation, the client won't be able to do that at ProZ.com, because at ProZ.com a search for linguists who do "Editing" brings up lots of linguists for whom editing is just side-affair.<



I am primarily an English editor and proofreader (30 years+), but also translate from Dutch to English (7 years), and so my profile shows translation and editing/checking as the services I offer.

So, are you proposing that to be found in a search for only those people who only edit or proofread and nothing else, I would not be found?

Would I need to eliminate my translation services in order to be found as an editor?

Or would I perhaps be able to specify my 2 or 3 top functions in order of experience or ability?

Not to sidetrack the discussion, but your question leads me to a subject I have brought up to ProZ staff on several occasions.

Since ProZ describes itself as a site for language professionals and gives members the option to identify editing/proofreading as a service offered, I think it would be good if editing was treated as a separate function. If I remember the response I got from ProZ, the site is for translators (so then why do they say "language professionals")?

If editing and proofreading were treated separately, had a separate division, say, on the site, the first problem you mention would probably be avoided. I could then list myself as an editor who also translates rather than a translator who also edits. Not have to choose between the two.

Another problem for editors and proofreaders is that there is no place to enter separate rates for those services. Just a blanket English to English "translation" rate. When I brought this up to ProZ support, I was told "You can include specifications about different rates for different services in the "About me" section of your profile for now." I don't find that satisfactory.

If ProZ is indeed a site for all language professionals, I believe there should be a separate division for editors and proofreaders.



Edited to add a comma and rearrange some words. Once you put yourself out there as an editor/proofreader, everything you write MUST be perfect.

Then edited again to clear up misattributed quoted text.


[Edited at 2012-07-07 11:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:43 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:36
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I vote for more flexibility and precision throughout the site Jul 7, 2012

Suzan Hamer wrote:
I am primarily an English editor and proofreader (30 years+), but also translate from Dutch to English (7 years), and so my profile shows translation and editing/checking as the services I offer.
Since ProZ describes itself as a site for language professionals and gives members the option to identify editing/proofreading as a service offered, I think it would be good if editing was treated as a separate function.

On our profiles we have the option of selecting "editing/proofreading" as a service (or not - we cannot split them). Job posters, bizarrely enough, can select "checking/editing" as a service, whereas "proofreading" simply does not figure on the list of services requested! The overall job type is classed as "Translation/editing/proofreading job", "Potential" or "Interpreting". So, what if a poster has a potential requirement for a proofreader??? Editors and proofreaders perform two different jobs and not all of us do both; bilingual and monolingual work is very different yet there is absolutely no mention of this. It's all hopelessly inconsistent and inflexible and it simply doesn't allow reality to be reflected.

That's getting OT, but basically I would like to see profiles, directory searches, Kudoz questions and job posts all being sufficiently flexible and precise to be able to tie down exactly the professional / services / specialisations... required. As an example, imagine ProZ member John Doe lists translating, proofreading, transcription and training as services he provides. Three identical jobs are posted, calling for both transcription and translating work to be done.
Job A uses an "OR" type search - John Doe is selected (on both counts)
Job B uses an "AND" type search - John Doe is selected because he offers both services
Job C uses a "100% match" type search - John Doe is not selected because he also offers proofreading and training.

Maybe this is seen as "too complicated" by some people here. I maintain that anyone who is seriously part of the industry will understand totally that accurate definition of professionals, jobs and services is essential.

Sheila


 

BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Suzan, you have misread my reply. Jul 7, 2012

Samuel wrote about those who work primarily as editors.
Please look again at the original post.

Let me give you an example: one of my friends is an editor. She specializes in Slovenian, period.
Another one translates but otherwise specializes in editing.
That is what I meant.



[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:34 GMT]


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
English
+ ...
I was replying to Samuel's post, not yours, Bea. Jul 7, 2012

BeaDeer wrote:

Samuel wrote about those who work primarily as editors.
Please look again at the original post.




[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:34 GMT]


I work primarily as an editor....

I agree with Sheila: "...I would like to see profiles, directory searches, Kudoz questions and job posts all being sufficiently flexible and precise to be able to tie down exactly the professional / services / specialisations... required. ....anyone who is seriously part of the industry will understand totally that accurate definition of professionals, jobs and services is essential."

Edited to add: I see now what the problem may be, Bea. In my original post, I quoted Samuel's original post, but for some reason the quoted text is attributed to you. I must have done something wrong; will try to correct it on my original post.

[Edited at 2012-07-07 14:42 GMT]
Edited to add comma and fix typo... sigh.

[Edited at 2012-07-07 15:01 GMT]


 

BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Oops, apologies. Jul 7, 2012

That'll teach me that it is better to not reply than do so in a hurry.

 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
English
+ ...
We all do it, Bea. No apology necessary. Jul 7, 2012

Get so excited we reply in haste... Thank goodness we have an edit function.

 

BeaDeer  Identity Verified
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Spoken like an editor Jul 7, 2012

Suzan Hamer wrote:

Get so excited we reply in haste... Thank goodness we have an edit function.


icon_smile.gif


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Some comments Jul 7, 2012

Suzan Hamer wrote:
So, are you proposing that to be found in a search for only those people who only edit or proofread and nothing else, I would not be found?


Well, yes. If the client specifically checks the box that says "exclusive service provider" (which is unchecked by default), then you would not be found in that search.

By the way, it is unfortunate that ProZ.com does not allow us to state our services in order of preference, similar to how we can currently sort our language combinations. ProZ.com always shows the services in a certain predefined order. "Translation" is always listed first, and I think "Editing/proofreading" is always listed second. I tried to get them to be displayed in a different order, by adding them in a different order, but no... ProZ.com resorts them the moment I save my profile page. So if someone is mainly an editor who does translation on the side, his profile will give the impression that he is mainly a translator. This is bad, bad, bad, and should be fixed by ProZ.com.

The ideal situation would be that the "exclusive" search would in some cases apply not to the only item listed but to the top item listed (i.e. "top or only", similar to how language combinations are currently searched). However, currently that is not how ProZ.com stores profile data, so one can't search for it like that.

Would I need to eliminate my translation services in order to be found as an editor?


Only if the client specifically checks the "exclusive service provider" box. If the client does not check that box, you will be found.

Since ProZ describes itself as a site for language professionals and gives members the option to identify editing/proofreading as a service offered, I think it would be good if editing was treated as a separate function.


This is off-topic for this thread, but I agree -- it would not hurt if ProZ.com were to split that option into more meaningful services, e.g. monolingual editing, bilingual editing, bilingual proofreading, grammar & spell check, and galley proofreading. Do I understand correctly what you were trying to say?


[Edited at 2012-07-07 15:15 GMT]


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:36
English
+ ...
Not exactly, Samuel. Jul 7, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

Suzan Hamer wrote:
So, are you proposing that to be found in a search for only those people who only edit or proofread and nothing else, I would not be found?


Well, yes. If the client specifically checks the box that says "exclusive service provider" (which is unchecked by default), then you would not be found in that search.

By the way, it is unfortunate that ProZ.com does not allow us to state our services in order of preference, similar to how we can currently sort our language combinations. ProZ.com always shows the services in a certain predefined order. "Translation" is always listed first, and I think "Editing/proofreading" is always listed second. I tried to get them to be displayed in a different order, by adding them in a different order, but no... ProZ.com resorts them the moment I save my profile page. So if someone is mainly an editor who does translation on the side, his profile will give the impression that he is mainly a translator. This is bad, bad, bad, and should be fixed by ProZ.com.

The ideal situation would be that the "exclusive" search would in some cases apply not to the only item listed but to the top item listed (i.e. "top or only", similar to how language combinations are currently searched). However, currently that is not how ProZ.com stores profile data, so one can't search for it like that.

Would I need to eliminate my translation services in order to be found as an editor?


Only if the client specifically checks the "exclusive service provider" box. If the client does not check that box, you will be found.

Since ProZ describes itself as a site for language professionals and gives members the option to identify editing/proofreading as a service offered, I think it would be good if editing was treated as a separate function.


This is off-topic for this thread, but I agree -- it would not hurt if ProZ.com were to split that option into more meaningful services, e.g. monolingual editing, bilingual editing, bilingual proofreading, grammar & spell check, and galley proofreading. Do I understand correctly what you were trying to say?


[Edited at 2012-07-07 15:15 GMT]


As neilmac said, "...some of us actually do manage to work in lots of fields and areas, with reasonable success." I don't want to be eliminated from searches for NL>EN translators because I also edit in English. I don't want to choose between the two; I think I do both very well. And yet, I do want people looking for an editor to recognize me as someone who specializes in editing.

I was thinking that having the site divided into two "sides" or division, one for translation and one for editing/proofreading (or perhaps other language services). But that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand right now.

You do understand correctly part of what I said. I also have asked if we could rank services in order of preference. If we could rank them in order (and I too have tried, as you did), then someone could search for top-ranked service. I don't like the idea of "only" because it would eliminate me, because while editing is my primary service and skill, it is not my only one. Perhaps a "top or only" option would be better. It would eliminate those who edit a little on the side, and yield those who are only or primarily editors.

And yes, I suppose it would be good to have even more options for identifying specific services, as you mentioned. That also speaks to what Sheila said about having options that are sufficiently flexible and precise to accurately describe our services. For clients, it would enable them to find the exact services they seek.

From other threads, I get the impression that ProZ caters specifically to translators, even though it presents itself as a site for ALL language professionals (which, naturally, includes editors and proofreaders), because there is more in it for them to promote translation. I'm assuming there is no money in editing/proofreading; no computer-assisted editing/proofreading software? Just guessing. I suggested once that they split the site, or at least had an editing division on the site. That way they would appeal to a larger audience; two markets rather than one.

[Edited at 2012-07-07 15:55 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-07-07 16:18 GMT]


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:36
Romanian to English
+ ...
Fields and languages Jul 7, 2012

Fields are not that clear. There are documents that are business AND financial documents at the same time. Or financial AND legal at the same time. Or sometimes clients would call financial documents accounting documents and viceversa. You can't separate specializations like that in all cases. Some fields are interrelated, and it is natural for some translators to be specialized in several such fields.

I don't think it's reasonable to force this false user-friendly approach on outsourcers. Even if some people have multiple native languages, the outsourcers can still see that, so if they prefer someone with one native language only, they can contact a translator who has one native language only and ignore the others. Outsourcers must be given the possibility to CHOOSE, that's what the market is about.


 


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