Can I have two native languages?
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Sep 17, 2009

I have noticed that I am not eligible to quote for certain jobs because I have not given Portuguese as my native language (I chose English). As it turns out to be, I consider myself native in both English and Portuguese, and therefore wonder if it is at all possible to give two native languages - although I feel slightly more at ease translating PT>EN than the other way round.

To shed light on this, I was born in the United Kingdom into a British family and studied at the British School here, but at the same time I have been in Brazil more than 40 years and studied at University here. I consider Brazil my home but at the same time am still British in essence.

If there is anyone in a similar situation (with two or more native languages), I'd like to know what they did in this situation - which native language(s) did they declare? If it is indeed possible to include another native language, how can I go about this?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
There is a FAQ entry about two native languages Sep 17, 2009

http://www.proz.com/faq/764#764

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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 16:52
SITE STAFF
Submit a support request Sep 17, 2009

Hi Paul,

To get assistance from staff you should submit a support request at www.proz.com/support

Regards,
Enrique


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:52
French to German
+ ...
As Enrique told it... Sep 17, 2009

Paul Dixon wrote:

If there is anyone in a similar situation (with two or more native languages), I'd like to know what they did in this situation - which native language(s) did they declare? If it is indeed possible to include another native language, how can I go about this?


Hi Paul,
I registered with German as a native language too and wanted to add French. As Enrique said, you should send a support ticket to the ProZ.com staff and the matter will be dealt with in a couple of hours.

Laurent K.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 12:52
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Same situation Sep 17, 2009

I am in the same situation. My first language is Dutch but after more than 40 years in Canada and having gone to university here, I am actually more comfortable translating from Dutch to English than the other way around.

At the time I joined Proz I could enter both languages myself but maybe the procedure has changed since then.


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The Misha
Local time: 14:52
Russian to English
+ ...
Makes three of us Sep 18, 2009

Except in my case the language is Russian, and it's only about 20 years, rather that 40 with you, Tina and Paul (for an excuse, I am still in my early 40s). However, I've been around English since the age of 6 and eventually went for a university degree in it. I am native-like and I sure am much more comfortable with English these days - to the point of being able to write fairly decent original prose in it. Regardless, I think the verdict is clear on all of our cases: technically, none of us is a native speaker. To be sure, there are plenty of nice folks in my pair frivolously claiming to be native speakers of both English and Russian. However, this is precisely the case of hiding a pig in a poke: one only needs to see their writing or KudoZ answers here to know what language they used to call their mommas. Whatever immediate benefits they may be able to claim through this ... er ... exaggeration - such as being able to bid on penny jobs routinely posted here - it wouldn't be worth it for me, and it shouldn't be for you. Just like you guys I feel much more comfortable translating into my "technically" non-native English, and that's what I mostly do. All my clients know I am not a native - and guess what?! They don't care, my work speaks for itself. I guess, that's a much more honest way out. Cheers!

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Quamrul Islam  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:52
Member (2009)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Yes, you can... Sep 18, 2009

Hello Paul,
Well, it's quite possible for a person to have more than one native language. If you feel more at home with a language other than your first one, then I think you should claim it as your native language (meaning that you are as proficient as a native). For this, you do not need to be a born native for that language.
It may be mentioned here that you can change your native language(s) by sending a support request at www.proz.com/support.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:52
French to German
+ ...
Are you kidding us? Sep 18, 2009

The Misha wrote:
Just like you guys I feel much more comfortable translating into my "technically" non-native English, and that's what I mostly do. All my clients know I am not a native - and guess what?! They don't care, my work speaks for itself. I guess, that's a much more honest way out. Cheers!


"Technically" non-native? Must be a joke. I assume none of your "technically" EN mother tongue clients can even tell the difference.


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