Using ProZ profiles for non-translation business
Thread poster: Sara Freitas

Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 08:09
French to English
Mar 21, 2003

During a recent KudoZ exchange of agrees/disagrees, I came across another user (non-platinum member) who does not appear to actually be a translator. I NEVER check profiles, but the person\'s answers and comments gave me a funny feeling, so I followed my instinct and checked the profile.



The person claims to \"have a very good reading knowledge of academic (Language XX) and can carry on a reasonable conversation in that language.\"



The interesting part is that the profile in question contains a link to a non-translation business website, and the main purpose of the profile seemed to be to provide links to other personal/business sites.



My questions are:

1. Am I making a big deal about nothing?

2. When new users register, is there any process of checking how profiles are being used?

3. Is it really ok to include links for one\'s own commercial (non-translation) purposes?



I would like to know the site staff\'s and anyone else\'s opinion on this issue.



Regards,



Sara



[ This Message was edited by: SFM on 2003-03-21 15:25]

[ This Message was edited by: SFM on 2003-03-21 15:29]


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Carolyn Denoncourt  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:09
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Please squash non-translation use. Mar 21, 2003

My own opinion is that it would detract greatly from the quality and usefulness of this site if it began to be widely abused as a way to try to promote non-translation matters. That said, I can\'t think of how it could be very effective to promote one\'s non-translation business through this site, but I would rather eliminate the possibility.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:09
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
This is clearly a matter for moderators Mar 21, 2003

Dear Sara,

Why don\'t you send an e-mail to the moderator of your language pair giving the link to the profile concerned. It is the moderators job to take action (if any action is necessary) and they will certainly act accordingly.

Best,

Magda

PL Forum Moderator


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Christopher Crockett  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
Misuse of a Profile Page ?? Depends on what Planet you Live On, I Suppose Mar 21, 2003

Hi, Sara.



Thanks for such a careful reading of my profile :



http://www.proz.com/?sp=partprof&eid_s=39371



gosh, if a simple \"neutral\" puts you to this much work, what would a more honest \"disagree\" have brought out ?



obviously, everything on my profile page



http://www.proz.com/?sp=partprof&eid_s=39371



is there for a specific purpose, specifically related to my hopes to get a translation job in one of my various specialties.



Specifically :



--i\'ve put a link to my bookdealing site because i\'m looking for a translation job from a French book seller (they could *all* use some help, in my experience), and demonstating that i actually *am* an antiquarian bookdealer, and one capable of accurately describing my wares in detail, will be of use to any potential customer of that ilk;



--i\'ve put a link to my Chartres site (htpp:/ariadne.org/centrechartraine ) because i hope that it establishes my bona fides as a reasonably literate html person, as well as as a reasonably literate historian and art historian, should some potential client have some doubts about that;



--i\'ve put in a link to just a bit of the fruits of my own historical research because it establishes my ability to make use of highly technical texts written in French (and Latin); to understand them fully and completely; and to apply them to the creation of an original work of my own, however eloquent (or not) that work strikes the reader --the ability to write the English language in a technical field is just important to a translation job as one\'s ability to read the foreign language, it seems to me, and this link establishes my ability to do that as well.





i entirely agree with Carolyn \"that it would detract greatly from the quality and usefulness of this site if it began to be widely abused as a way to try to promote non-translation matters.\"



i am not now, nor do i intend in any way to abuse this site in such a manner, as i believe any fair-minded, even most superficial glance at my profile page demonstrates quite clearly.



re your questions specifically :



\"1. Am I making a big deal about nothing?



yes, and i have to say that i find that very curious indeed. perhaps you are terribly bored ?



\"2. When new users register, is there any process of checking how profiles are being used ?



i have no idea, but would have no objections to my profile being \"checked\" at any time, as i have no intention of abusing the site, nor do i have any interest in seeing the site abused by any one.



\"3. Is it really ok to include links for one\'s own commercial (non-translation) purposes?



absolutely.



as in : duh.



if one\'s own commercial (or non-commercial) sites can be used to establish one\'s bona fides in some field(s) of expertise, it is absurd on its face to forbid a link to them being placed on one\'s profile page.



and, as for my links being a \"very effective [way] to promote one\'s non-translation business through this site,\" i share Caroline\'s skepticism on this matter and the thought of actually selling some of my books via this site really never occured to me --though if anyone here wishes to buy one, he or she is welcome to contact me off-list.



i\'ll sell books to anyone.



shucks, i\'m not proud.



best to all from here,



christopher


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Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:09
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Leave Christopher alone, please! Mar 21, 2003

There are many of us who come to translation from fields that are totally unrelated to language. There\'s a prominent member in the German community who\'s also a cabinetmaker. I know a computer engineer who shadows as a translator sometimes. Another a marine biologist. And yet another a dedicated housewife!



This is a site that reflects the variegated range of human activity. The only requirement is that members demonstrate language skills. Christopher, in his many guises, has clearly proven that.



I am puzzled that, instead of being impressed by his achievements and welcoming someone of his calibre into the ProZ family, you doubt his abilities and question his intentions (and that after merely reading a few paragraphs in his profile).



Leave him alone please.



Marcus

*professed dabbler in many things*


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:09
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you for pointing me to this profile! Mar 22, 2003

I love ProZ.com! It is my workplace, and I enjoy working here. But also for its amazing diversity and richness. The presence of Mr.Crockett\'s profile is certainly a contribute to it.



KudoZ, on the other side, is just a clever tool with many purposes:

- helping each other,

- helping by comers,

- helping translators to relax and play,

- building (not very reliable) glossaries

- and, may be, helping potential clients to assign their jobs.



The latter use is the most unsafe, and any good client should see that the only way to get some ranking out of KudoZ is by reading the single contributions rather than counting the points. Points alone do not mean much. Good PMs at agencies understand this by themselves.



Also the use of glossaries should be made with great care. Professional translators know this, there is no need to explain.



So, my 0.02: enjoy diversity and play with KudoZ. Every game, can give some frustration, yet they are mostly fun. The points are just the paprika of this game!



All the best.

Luca


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:09
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
I live on Planet Crockett Mar 22, 2003

and I\'d like to think that Planet ProZ is in the same solar system. I am a translator AND a journalist. My profile reflects this and in fact contains links to a selection of my articles.



Is this a crime?



Of the 30,000 odd translators (double entendre intended in the nicest possible way) who frequent ProZ, I am sure, without having any empirical data to back up my assertion, that a large chunk of them moonlight/double-up as something else. Many of us are freelancers after all, and often through choice or by force of circumstance, we have more than one job/vocation. \"Portfolio careers\" are what they call them these days, I believe.



Monojobamy is boring. Jacks-and-Jills-of-all-trades unite. Down with Unitranslationism.





[ This Message was edited by: The Tautologist on 2003-03-22 12:18]


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 08:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I apologize to Chris for misinterpreting his profile. Mar 22, 2003

Unfortunately, what I meant to be a general question about how Proz profiles can be used has turned into a personal attack. It was never my intention to start some kind of witch hunt on ProZ, so I am sincerely sorry if it sounded that way.



However, comments like:



\"duh\"



\"perhaps you are terribly bored\"



and



\"...if a simple \'neutral\' puts you to this much work...\"



are really not what I was aiming at by posting in this forum, so I would like to publicly apologize to Chris for my comments and put an end to the ugly direction this discussion has taken.



Chris has provided a very clear explanation of the connection between the info on his profile page and translation work.



When I first read his profile I felt that stating the ability to carry on a \"reasonable\" conversation in French was a strange way to market one\'s services in that language, but I suppose that in highly specialized academic translations the ability to converse really doesn\'t matter (and I am not being facetious here)! I don\'t work on the sort of academic translations that Christopher is hoping to find, and I am sure that his research experience will make him a great candidate for such specialized work.



I tend to work on things like supermarket brochures and financial reports, and I guess I failed to think outside the box of a commercial translator when viewing Chris\' profile.



I agree with all of the comments other ProZ made, including Chris (except maybe the \"duh\") in response to my posting and I hope that Chris gets lots of traffic on his site, finds lots of translation work, and sells lots of books.



By the way, \"Planet Sara\" is by no means limited to commercial translations. I also teach, paint, draw, hike, snowshoe, practice hatha yoga, and travel. I am all for expressing a wide range of human talents and interests on Proz.



Regards,



Sara


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Florence B  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:09
Member (2002)
English to French
+ ...
Sara Mar 22, 2003

I\'m glad about this clarification.

Still, one more thing you may possibly not have caught yet - forgive me if I\'m wrong:



\"..the ability to carry on a \"reasonable\" conversation in French was a strange way to market one\'s services in that language, but I suppose that in highly specialized academic translations the ability to converse really doesn\'t matter (and I am not being facetious here)!\"



Well, Sara, I happen to know Christopher since well before ProZ. This is his way of speaking.

You have many profiles on the site with statements of the kind: \"outstanding linguistic skills\" etc.. do you systematically believe that this is pure truth? You probably need more information, don\'t you? I mean, please use the same criticism with understatements as you do with overstatements.



I very well understand that working for corporate commercial texts, you\'re not used to this at all - but that\'s the way in some other areas of specialization.



As to your questions, links to your other sites are welcome as long as they\'re relevant to your translation skills (which is definitely the case here). However, some profiles whose only purpose was advertising something else have been removed (people who had set up pages to openly show their products but not offering any skills at all as a translator)



Florence \"Oddie\"

translator AND medieval illuminator

Moderator Eng>Fre


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 08:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I appreciate your response, Oddie. Mar 22, 2003

Of course I am well aware of the fact that people say all kinds of things on their profiles (just as they do on CVs and at job interviews). I even say that I have a high level of fluency in French in my own profile, which is completely unverified (diplomas not being a measure of fluency or writing ability). My customers just have to take a chance and judge on me on the work I produce, which is visible in my portfolio and glossaries.



As I stated earlier, (and I will say it again) I never meant to launch a personal attack against anyone. In fact, I didn\'t even mention any names in my posting!



I did read the profile in question carefully and the link to translation was not apparent to me. (It wasn\'t clear to me that any translation services were being offered!) Again, after reading Chris\' explanation, I now know what that connection to translation is and I am sure he\'ll be successful in his niche market with such an impressive scholarly background.



I appreciate you stepping in as a moderator to clarify my question on the use of links to commercial sites, which was really the only question I was asking, anyway.



Thanks again for taking the time to settle the issue.



Regards,



Sara





[ This Message was edited by: SFM on 2003-03-22 17:34]


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