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Edward Mahana, the translation thief
Thread poster: philgoddard
philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Feb 9, 2014

Someone calling himself Edward Mahana recently stole several sample translations from other people (including me) and placed them on his ProZ profile. He was clearly too lazy or incompetent to do his own.

They have since been removed, but I thought you'd be interested in knowing, in case he does it again. It makes me wonder whether this is a more widespread phenomenon, and other people have done the same.


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:10
Japanese to English
+ ...
I wonder Feb 9, 2014

If you search on Google for a segment of a translation sample that is displayed on a Proz user's profile, does it show up as a result? If the same segment is displayed on multiple profiles, do all of them show up in the results?

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:10
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
How come? Feb 9, 2014

If this has happened, how come that there is still a profile with that name? Such action would deserve being kicked out, wouldn't it?

Have you notified ProZ staff when you noticed your translation sample on his profile page? Did you take a screenshot?


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Orrin Feb 9, 2014

Yes, it does show up in Google, so that's a quick and easy way of finding out whether your beautifully crafted prose has been purloined by a lesser translator than yourself.

Katalin: I asked the staff of ProZ whether they planned to give him the boot, but I haven't heard back from them, probably because it's the weekend. I assume he's removed the stolen translations because they told him to.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 18:39 GMT]


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TranslateThis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't hold your breath Feb 9, 2014

philgoddard wrote:

Katalin: I asked the staff of ProZ whether they planned to give him the boot, but I haven't heard back from them, probably because it's the weekend. I assume he's removed the stolen translations because they told him to.

[Edited at 2014-02-09 18:39 GMT]


I am glad to hear that Proz.com staff did something in this case and the samples were removed. I would not hold my breath though as far as any other consequences. This is not exactly the same issue, but I have sent several support tickets about someone falsely claiming to be a member of ATA in their Proz.com profile (he/she is not in the ATA directory and ATA confirmed that this person is not a member), but Proz.com has not done anything about it. It's been five or six months and they are still "looking into it".


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's not good. Feb 10, 2014

It sends out the message that, as long as you pay your subscription, it doesn't matter what you do. If you cheat, you just get your knuckles rapped.

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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:10
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Not even rapped knuckles ... Feb 10, 2014

philgoddard wrote:

It sends out the message that, as long as you pay your subscription, it doesn't matter what you do. If you cheat, you just get your knuckles rapped.


That's my experience as well, although I'm not sure about the rapped knuckles part. Last summer, I reported a member who, in her CV, claims to have qualifications she clearly doesn't have - she has had vocational training and mistranslates this to sound like a university degree. Also, she pretends to have several (!) other language related university degrees, while her writing looks like the first draft of someone on the verge of illiteracy (but possibly rather living on the far side of that verge).

Nothing has been done about that.


[Bearbeitet am 2014-02-10 10:33 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:10
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
making us all look bad Feb 10, 2014

Hi everyone,

I was one of the people whose sample translations were stolen. I recommend that you occasionally Google your sample translations (and any other content on your Proz profile or website) as this seems to be something that happens quite a bit.

The person has since removed my translation from his personal website, but he is still here on Proz. I find this rather distressing, as I have seen people banned for less. He stole a total of 9 sample translations from 7 people here on the site! Not only is this totally wrong, it's also incredibly stupid.

It's people like this who are giving translators a bad name and helping to ensure that average hourly rates remain at the level of a (hard-working) fish & chip shop employee.

Michael


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:10
Japanese to English
+ ...
Automated checks Feb 10, 2014

I have no idea how this website is actually coded, but would it be feasible for Proz to put some sort of automated check into the translation samples section of profiles? I'm imagining something that would be able to check all sample translations submitted via the profile updater against those already listed on user profiles, making sure the new submissions aren't dupes. It seems like you would only have to check the target text, since even if a user somehow legitimately had the exact same source text as another user, they wouldn't translate it exactly the same word-for-word. I know that Proz has a lot of users, but since all sample translations are plain text it might not cost so much overhead to do this type of checking.

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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:10
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
his profile has been removed Feb 10, 2014

Nice to see that things like this don’t go unpunished here on Proz:

removed

Michael

[Edited at 2014-02-10 14:05 GMT]


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:10
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
That's good - he is a real piece of work, it seems Feb 10, 2014

If you google his name (Edward Mahana) you will find info that he was born in 1970. That would make him 44 years old. However, on his own website he has a picture of a guy who is more likely in his 60's. So, I searched for the picture and it is a stock image used on many other websites.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yay! Feb 10, 2014

Good riddance to him.
I have several more ideas for revenge up my sleeve, but maybe getting him off ProZ is enough for now...
By the way, my thanks go to Michael Beijer for bringing this to our attention. He has clearly missed his vocation as a detective.


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katerina turevich  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:10
Member (2007)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yes, indeed Feb 11, 2014

As I belong to this group of people, whose samples were smuggled in such a stupidly obvious way, and when I received the notification about it from Michael, my first initial reaction was amazement. Amazement at the stupidity of the action. And then on so many websites and various portals, leaving just so many more traces. I have a an invoice issued and paid in March 13, 2009 for this job from an Italian agency. I hadn’t changed one word in that sample before I put it up on ProZ. But the sheer arrogance of it is enlightening. Perhaps, it is enlightening and testifying to the blissful ignorance of this person, or maybe to the arrogance of anonymity (in which case it raises the issue of further illegal activities: how does he get paid? Or else, you need to have a network either of mobile numbers or of people, all with the same name). We don’t know. It is fascinating to me to think about the various situational factors implied in this action of stealing someone else’s sample, which on top of it accessible on the web. Google has become quite limiting for some time already. They come up with just what they think you need. Unfortunately, geographical location is the primary criteria there. If you stay on top of it, if you know the tricks to find your way in a google search, then it’s not so frustrating any more, of course. In general, though, one can’t deny its excellence. Congratulations, Michael! I note, too, that this "Ëdward" removed the texts from his website. in fact, the entire page with the three Dutch samples has been deleted.
And about ProZ, maybe the samples provided by all users could be provided with a safe code? Or perhaps, a simple pop up "ät you own risk" or "public domain"will do as a warning?


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:10
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Some translators steal information from your profile page Feb 11, 2014

The description on my profile page has been frequently stolen by translators in China, if I didn't revise my own profile from time to time, it will be hard to tell who is the thief.

You may use some phrases on your profile page to do Google search to see what has happened.

Indeed very annoying.


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Edward Mahana, the translation thief

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