Declare native language - which one?
Thread poster: Nicole Tata

Nicole Tata  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:56
English to German
+ ...
Mar 4, 2003

I’ve just discovered that there’s a new feature on our profile pages: you can declare your native language. Hurray, I hear you say, and rightly so. At last, the veil is lifted on those who really translate into their mother tongue and those who claim to be fluent in every imaginable language under the sun. It gives us credibility as translators. And finally, outsourcers can search/select by native speaker competency. I’m sure the benefits are obvious to all and must be the reason why Henry & co saw fit to add this feature.



But hang on a minute, what if you have more than one native language? Which one do you declare? I’m talking of the plight of bilingual translators, of course – also known as the worst of both worlds, always having to justify, explain, convince …



Yes, I feel hard done by. I don’t want to declare ONE native language but two! I don’t want to be known as a native German translator unless I can also (and equally) call myself an English native translator. That is what I am and that is how I market myself. And quite frankly, I don’t see why I can’t put that on my profile page.



ProZ promises that ‘If you are a native speaker of more than one language, ProZ.com will soon give you the opportunity to prove it. You may apply in advance for a ProZ.com Native Speaker credential in your second native language. There might be a fee for this service.’



Why do I have to prove that I am bilingual? Who is to judge? Do I have to sit a test? Even pay a fee??? I don’t think so. By refusing to choose, I will of course be at a disadvantage, since I am now officially neither a German nor English native translator. So I might as well be Chinese for all the job offers I am likely to get through ProZ!



Regards

Nicole



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lcmolinari  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
We always have to prove ourselves Mar 4, 2003

Nicole says:



\"Why do I have to prove that I am bilingual?\" -- Well, if one weren\'t required to prove it, what\'s to stop anyone on the site with a profile from declaring they are bilingual, or tri-lingual? We need checks in place on this site to ensure that it remains high-quality and highly-regarded in the industry.



\"Who is to judge? Do I have to sit a test?\" -- I don\'t know who will judge, but if you are truly bilingual and have to take a test, there shouldn\'t be a problem. Does any country\'s translation association allow its members to declare themselves certified without sitting for a test? No, and this is along the same lines.



If we are Proz were simply allowed to declare as many native languages as we like, we would have many profiles with 3, 4 or more native languages declared.



I fully understand your problem of not being able to choose between English or German as your native language. But, as it says, you will soon be able to declare both. Charging a fee does seem unfair, but hopefully Platinum members will not have to pay a fee to declare their second native tongue.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
You declare your dominant native language Mar 4, 2003

The one you translate the fastest into, are surest in, are more competent in and make the most money from. Make sense?



Relax, I\'m in the same boat. And I was born, grew up, studied and lived for 28 years where my second native language is spoken.





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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:56
French to Spanish
+ ...
Me too ! Mar 4, 2003

Hi, Nicole. I can\'t make it up:

french or spanish ? I really don\'t know. For the time being, I won\'t make a choice... I\'ll wait till I\'m a Platinum ! (and get the 120 bucks !)



Juan.


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 08:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Both or none of them Mar 4, 2003

Hi Nicole



I\'m in the same situation.

Quote:


But hang on a minute, what if you have more than one native language? Which one do you declare? I’m talking of the plight of bilingual translators, of course – also known as the worst of both worlds, always having to justify, explain, convince …





So you know it\'s hard to convince those who don\'t know you.



Quote:


I don’t want to declare ONE native language but two! I don’t want to be known as a native German translator unless I can also (and equally) call myself an English native translator. That is what I am and that is how I market myself. And quite frankly, I don’t see why I can’t put that on my profile page.



Me too. Not German/English but Spanish/French. That is how I market myself too, but it\'s not easy.

You can put it in your profile, but this is what you say. It\'s what I say too, but I\'d like to really prove that it\'s true. That\'s the reason why I\'m not just satisfied with this future possibility, I\'m very happy with the idea of being able to prove it and of having an acreditation of that.



Quote:


Why do I have to prove that I am bilingual? Who is to judge? Do I have to sit a test? Even pay a fee???





Well, maybe for you it\'s less difficult than to me to be credible, but just a few days ago I wasn\'t chosen for a job because, as I wasn\'t a native speaker they would have to pay for an editor and a proofreader.

This statement was made despite the experience I had in that field or the fact that I was willing to do a test.



I\'m tired of that, so if ProZ bilingual test can change Project Managers\' mind, giving guarantee of what I say, I ask for it. But I agree with you that until I can\'t do that test I prefer not to choose, and keep on saying, explaining and trying to prove that I\'m bilingual.



Notice that this feature exists only for Platinum members.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-04 23:32]

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 06:56
SITE FOUNDER
You stand to benefit most from this system Mar 4, 2003

As I wrote to Rick Zingale...



There has been a lot of discussion on the topic of native language representation, among hundreds of moderators and members,

and the solution you see is what we have arrived at. Note that the system does not presume that a person has only one native

language. It simply says you must prove the second. This requirement is unfortunately necessitated by the fact that some

people apply liberal definitions of the word \'native\' when vying for assignments. You are no doubt aware of this, and as a

true 2NL (native speaker of two languages), it is likely that like Claudia, you have been inconvenienced by that fact.



Our system means clients will know for sure that you really speak two languages as a native. They won\'t have to waste time

qualifying people who only claim to.



2NLs have been the biggest supporters of this rollout.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:56
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No one who really speaks two languages correctly Mar 5, 2003

has to shake in his shoes. At the same time, we have to admit that every bilingual has a dominant and recessive native language, even if this may be subject to stimuli and circumstances. Even if the language you say \"ouch\" in isn\'t the one you do maths in. It\'s all been taken into consideration and is based on research and experience.

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-03-05 00:23]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
How about... Mar 5, 2003

...people who have been accredited/certified in both languages by say, the ATA or ITI?



Will they have to undergo a test too?



If yes, why?


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:56
Flemish to English
+ ...
What T&I-school graduates? Mar 5, 2003

They are not bilingual. However, when they begin the course they have to choose two foreign languages. All the aspects of these languages as well as the cultural background, literature, institutions of the countries where these languages are spoken are taught. In order to graduate, they are required to translated in both directions.

What if you have grown up in a bilingual district and have used the second official language of the country/district actively for the past 27 years?


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cruse  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:56
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Hurray - somebody is in the same boat as I! Mar 5, 2003

I am bilingual German-Norwegian and I think it is our responsability to ensure that the declaration is correct, and whoever reads it should assume that it is a correct statement.
[addsig]


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