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AATII (no, not argentinian legit AATI)
Thread poster: Susana E. Cano Méndez

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 8, 2016

Dear colleagues,

Yesterday I saw in Twitter an account in which they prompted translators to participate in a translators contest.

The account was @AATIICOM ant their tweet included this link https://aatii.com/iamatranslator-therefore-i-am with the hashtag #IAmATranslator (the hashtag was not created by them, had but a few tweets, only two pertaining to this "contest").

I bookmarked the webpage and I have just read what's all about.

1. I had troubles determining which kind of organization it was: AATII stands for Alliance of Applied Translators and Interpreters International. It seems like an association, doesn't it? But... they have a tab called "My cart". Yes, another translators "platform".
2. They organize a contest under this terms:

"To find the most talented translators, we’ve prepared an English essay of 500 words as the original text to start with. Think you’re skilled? Show us what makes you excellent!

We’ll soon announce one champion for each language—a prize of USD$1,000, which equals to $2 per word.

The winning translation will be published on the above mentioned website for translators to view and learn. What’s more, the winner will be offered an “AAA” professional rating by AATII (Alliance of Applied Translators and Interpreters International) (degree certificates and professional qualification required for the assessment), as well as the same benefits of the Honorable Mentions as below."

3. Do you think it's all they have to offer? NO.

"Honorable Mentions will enjoy benefits as follows:

Free professional assessment by AATII at a market price of USD$260!
Free entry to the professional translation e-commerce platform (AATII), with access to international market at zero-cost!
Opportunity to sign a contract with our company as a part-time translator to provide professional service for customers overseas!
Opportunity to obtain learning materials for both oral and written translation as well as high-quality bilingual corpus worth of USD$300 (language pairs could be limted). No need to search around aimlessly for materials to improve your translation skills!
10% off for the tuition fee of AATII Training Program in Vancouver which is worth USD$450!
You think that’s all? No, no, no! You will have better opportunities to join an exciting new program which we will roll out soon, a global trip sponsored with USD$100,000!!"

If you have read until here, maybe yo want to share your thoughts about this.

Greetings.

Oh, I forgot, you can find here the text to be translated into several languages https://www.aatii.com/do-you-have-a-customer-who-doesnt-speak-english


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
English to Czech
+ ...
Most likely a scam Apr 8, 2016

Try to make a random search for a translator and then click on some profiles. They certainly don't look like they've been created by the translators - just name and the rate. Though if you make a google search (I did just 2), these are real people. So one question is where did they get those names (the 2 people I checked aren't on Proz).
Secondly, if you try to buy "services", it doesn't seem to work. So the purpose imho is to lure the money out of translators, rather then clients.
Interestingly, they have quite a few articles in their "blog". But to me, it's almost certainly a scam.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agree Apr 8, 2016

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

So one question is where did they get those names (the 2 people I checked aren't on Proz).
Secondly, if you try to buy "services", it doesn't seem to work. So the purpose imho is to lure the money out of translators, rather then clients.
Interestingly, they have quite a few articles in their "blog". But to me, it's almost certainly a scam.


This company is not on Proz either. Maybe they want the money of the translators, but certainly too their work, as the proposed text for translating in the "contest" is a marketing text from their own webpage.

It looks like a scam and smells like a scam.


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Clare Bentley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
German to English
They emailed me Apr 13, 2016

I've just had an email from them, inviting me to take part in this 'competition.' It sounded odd, so I googled, and the first link brought me here!

So it seems I was right to think it sounds like a scam, but I'm wondering where they got my details from. Here perhaps?


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Fishy Apr 14, 2016

Clare Bentley wrote:

I've just had an email from them, inviting me to take part in this 'competition.' It sounded odd, so I googled, and the first link brought me here!

So it seems I was right to think it sounds like a scam, but I'm wondering where they got my details from. Here perhaps?


Who knows. I followed a link in Twitter and never got an email from them. These scammers may have friends here and there O_O.


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
English to Czech
+ ...
IMHO not from Proz Apr 14, 2016

Susana E. Cano Méndez wrote:

Clare Bentley wrote:

I've just had an email from them, inviting me to take part in this 'competition.' It sounded odd, so I googled, and the first link brought me here!

So it seems I was right to think it sounds like a scam, but I'm wondering where they got my details from. Here perhaps?


Who knows. I followed a link in Twitter and never got an email from them. These scammers may have friends here and there O_O.


My bet it they have the data from elsewhere.
Firstly because the "members" I googled were not on Proz and secondly because of lack of participation in this thread - maybe because very little Proz members got this.
Ask yourself where else you've registered as a translator, with your email.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
True Apr 14, 2016

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

Ask yourself where else you've registered as a translator, with your email.


True, Katarzyna.


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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 07:01
Portuguese to English
+ ...
AATII and its contest listed as SCAM in Translation Scammers Directory Apr 14, 2016

Alerted by this thread to the questionable nature of this contest and the "Alliance" (elsewhere called itself "Association") of Applied Translators and Interpreters International, the folks at Translation Scammers Directory looked into AATII and dug up revealing information. It falsely claims to be a nonprofit organization; it is nothing but a commercial enterprise. It does not have 100,000 accredited T&Is, nor is its accreditation program "internationally recognized" -- in fact, it's nowhere to be found: there are only instructions about it... only in Chinese. I also saw on a trademark website also shows that its application for an international trademark was turned down by the Madrid Protocol, which governs such matters. The $1,000 "prizes" for the winning translations of the text (which, as Susana pointed out, is marketing copy) consist of discounts applicable to its invisible accreditation and training programs and the "opportunity" to sign up with the "company" to do freelance translating.

Here's the full exposé in the Translation Scammers Directory: http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-notes.htm#n123

Caveat emptor!


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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 07:01
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Phone conversation with AATII Apr 14, 2016

Here's a follow-up: members of the regional association to which I belong, New England Translators Association (NETA), have been discussing the AATII scam. One of the members, Isabel Leonard, decided to follow up the link in the Translation Scammers Directory and gave the AATII owners a call. Here's what she reported, which I'm copying here with her permission:

"I looked up the address in Google Maps (tiny building in Richmond BC’s Chinatown, apparently), talked to [name withheld] (the registrant, according to the scammers directory), asked for details about the AATII, was told it has been going for six months, and has about 20,000 translators in its database, more joining all the time, asked about its bylaws, board of directors, voting procedures, etc., and was put on hold. A man with better English pronunciation came on the line, I asked these questions again, he asked for my number so he could call me back, I refused and kept asking; finally he referred me to their website www.aatii.com, which has nothing at all about association bylaws in it; it’s just your regular ol’ 'platform.'

"Hmmph."



[Edited at 2016-04-15 01:19 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
WOW Apr 14, 2016

Catherine V. Howard wrote:

Alerted by this thread to the questionable nature of this contest and the "Alliance" (elsewhere called itself "Association") of Applied Translators and Interpreters International, the folks at Translation Scammers Directory looked into AATII and dug up revealing information. It falsely claims to be a nonprofit organization; it is nothing but a commercial enterprise. It does not have 100,000 accredited T&Is, nor is its accreditation program "internationally recognized" -- in fact, it's nowhere to be found: there are only instructions about it... only in Chinese. I also saw on a trademark website also shows that its application for an international trademark was turned down by the Madrid Protocol, which governs such matters. The $1,000 "prizes" for the winning translations of the text (which, as Susana pointed out, is marketing copy) consist of discounts applicable to its invisible accreditation and training programs and the "opportunity" to sign up with the "company" to do freelance translating.

Here's the full exposé in the Translation Scammers Directory: http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-notes.htm#n123

Caveat emptor!


Thanks a lot, Catherine!


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AATII
Canada
Clarification Apr 14, 2016

Hi everyone,

We'd like to thank everyone for your interest in AATII and our contest. We are a young company who soft-launched a few months ago, and #IAmATranslator was created to announce our presence with a splash.

Regarding this contest, many companies leverage social media for user-generated content (UGC), including:

  1. Marc Jacobs: #CastMeMarc
  2. Infiniti: #Q30Challenge
  3. Mint: #MintMyMoment


UGC social media contests are great. They get users (and partners) excited about products, services or platforms. More importantly, they create buzz and recognition for contest entrants.

As for why we would create this contest? Very simple. As stated, we're a young company, and we want to build conversation amongst translators. Giving a prize of USD$1,000 for eight champion translations is a great way to build goodwill—and we hope when the winners are announced that we accomplish our goal.

Regarding AATII itself, we want to be very clear. AATII is an early stage translation platform built so freelancers can negotiate and collaborate with their clients. We are also a continuous work in progress that earnestly believes the art of translation can do incredible things. This is why on Twitter and elsewhere we do our darnedest to promote incredible translators even if they have yet to use our platform.

This is an industry in which freelancers work very hard, and get very little recognition. One of our goals with this contest was to showcase superstar talent that would otherwise go unheralded.

Our deep pardons if there's been any confusion whatsoever about the intent of our contest. We hope this post resolves questions on the nature of its purpose.

EDIT: For further clarification, there's two entities known as AATII:

  • Alliance of Applied Translators and Interpreters International: This is a commercial company that runs the platform, and is offering the contest.
  • Association of Applied Translators and Interpreters Internationa This is a registered non-profit devoted to translation advocacy and education. Its registered non-profit number is 907450-3.



    [Edited at 2016-04-14 21:09 GMT]

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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 07:01
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Where did you get our names?!? Apr 15, 2016

To AATII:

I don't know who you are or what kind of outfit you're running, but I see you have ILLEGALLY appropriated my name and listed it as having signed up with your company. I NEVER JOINED YOUR OUTFIT AND I NEVER GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO USE MY NAME!!! Moreover, you have FABRICATED my rates and specialties. Colleagues of mine have also discovered your illegal and fraudulent use of their names and information. We are discussing what to do about it right now through our professional association.

I DEMAND that you remove my name and any trace of my presence from your website IMMEDIATELY! You have committed identity fraud and this is against the law.

** I urge other Proz.com members to check if their identity has been stolen by this outfit as well. **



[Edited at 2016-04-15 03:08 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-04-15 03:09 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My name Apr 15, 2016

Catherine V. Howard wrote:


** I urge other Proz.com members to check if their identity has been stolen by this outfit as well. **


I have just checked, my name is not there, but it's a bit hard to tell, because names are not in alphabetical order inside each letter and search by name is not possible, or am I wrong?


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Blogs Apr 15, 2016

K
Interestingly, they have quite a few articles in their "blog".


I see in Twitter that they are sharing other translators posts. Hm.


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Adam Jarczyk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 13:01
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Seems that a number of proZ.com profiles may have been used after all ... Apr 15, 2016

Catherine V. Howard wrote:

To AATII:

... you have ILLEGALLY appropriated my name and listed it as having signed up with your company. I NEVER JOINED YOUR OUTFIT AND I NEVER GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO USE MY NAME!!! Moreover, you have FABRICATED my rates and specialties. Colleagues of mine have also discovered your illegal and fraudulent use of their names and information. We are discussing what to do about it right now through our professional association.

I DEMAND that you remove my name and any trace of my presence from your website IMMEDIATELY! You have committed identity fraud and this is against the law.

...



I agree with the above and demand the same for my false representation there.

Adam Jarczyk


[Edited at 2016-04-15 10:15 GMT]


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