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Tired of so called professionals in my community
Thread poster: Eva T
Eva T
English to Albanian
+ ...
Apr 4, 2007

who do not even write their own language correct.

Sorry, first, I hope I am in the right forum.

Second, most of you would probably guess that "Ve have tvo vindovs in our vhite cabin" most likely mean "We have two windows in our white cabin" (sorry for such a lousy example.)

But hey, this is an example of how some members write their own language (Albanian) when they answer KudoZ. I think this is and should not be acceptable. I have raised my voice several times about the growing phenomena, but it seems that nobody cares.

Does this ever happen in the other languages? What is happening is that these so-called translators, who even get paid to deliver these type of translations, replace some special characters with some other ones. They replace for example "ë" with "e" or "ç" with "c" and then we have the following example of our "tvo vindovs in our vhite cabin." Of course, you can imagine what they are trying to say, but it hurts your eyes and above all, it hurts the language they write and it is very unprofessional. At times (not often I must confess however, by replacing the wrong letters, they change the meaning of a word. For example, the word "Lumë" (River) becomes "Lume" (a proper female name.)

Am I the only one thinking this way? I am frustrated with this. From my observation, I have noticed that these people claim they are professional, undertake a lot of jobs (can see that from their own KudoZ questions) and then even though they do translation as a side job (pocket money for them, which is still dishonest in my opinion, because they do not it right) they totally mislead others, especially those who are not native of Albanian when they answer questions.

Varm regards and peace to the vorld,
Eva




[Edited at 2007-04-04 16:52]


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Rui de Carvalho  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You are right Apr 4, 2007

Indeed you are, that's the main reason I long ago decided to ignore Kudoz.
Translators, or the so-called, are no longer what they used to be. And things will be worst in the future. The European Commission will assure that quicker than anyone would think most translators will be analphabets.


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:27
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
My humble opinion on this matter Apr 4, 2007

Eva,
I appreciate your comments and I agree with most of them. However, I would also like to add that not all the translators in our SC omit/replace these special characters. I can say that most of the full-time translators in our SC use them correctly. Yes, there are still some full-time translators (TBH, I do not know how they have survived doing this so far) who do not write proper Albanian (not just the omission/replacing of these characters, but some also have serious spelling & grammar issues when they write or express themselves, I would say.) You are right when you say that most of the part-time translators in our SC do not use these special characters correctly. I guess it is their choice to do that; however, our language does not have to suffer that either.

There is still hope in our SC. I always enjoy some of our colleagues KudoZ answers; I learn something new from them always.

Monika





[Edited at 2007-04-04 17:54]


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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:27
English to German
+ ...
In the English - German KudoZ Apr 4, 2007

there are sometimes people who write ß as ss and ä as ae etc. Most times they are instantly corrected by their fellow translators and sometimes they then clarify that they are not at their usual working place right now, so they have a different keyboard or the like. This does not happen very often and the overall quality, in my opinion, is quite good.

I do not know how serious this matter is in other languages, but I think it is fine that everyone can show her or his expertise or lack thereof in KudoZ and all over ProZ so we can get an impression that helps us in our decision when we are looking for fellow translators to cooperate with...

[Bearbeitet am 2007-04-04 21:05]

[Bearbeitet am 2007-04-04 21:06]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:27
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Not talking about an occasion or exception, unfortunately Apr 4, 2007

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:

there are sometimes people who write ß as ss and ä as ae etc.



Hello Claudia,
Eva is not talking about an occasion or exceptions. Her voice has been raised other times in the KudoZ area, but same people continue (all the time) to do these unacceptable replacements.

IMO, this is the way these people really write, since I think it would be extremely difficult to write one language in two different spelling forms. Personally, I would be confuse to set up my mind for two different spellings. Or maybe they are genius and can write it correctly some times, but write it wrong when they answer KudoZ questions.

I too have been frustrated and a few other colleagues have too. Again, it would have have been nothing if this was just the exception to the rule, but unfortunately it is not.

Before I went to translating full time, I worked as an Albanian language school teacher (for 6 years in Albania) and if one of my students would do the same thing, they would fail the class right away, no question about it. This was not just my standard, but our Department of Education's standard.

Often, these people here benefit from the fact that the asker does not know Albanian and they can get away with it. Thanks to Eva who has raised her voice a few other times about this issue, I have noticed that some people (recently) have begun to use them correctly.

It is a big problem in Albanian and it is sad.

Monika







[Edited at 2007-04-04 23:01]


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Richard Benham  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:27
German to English
+ ...
That’s not exactly wrong.... Apr 5, 2007

Claudia Krysztofiak wrote:
there are sometimes people who write ß as ss and ä as ae etc.


This looks amateurish, but it is not entirely wrong. Historically, the umlaut abbreviates an e after the vowel, and ß is another way of writing ss. It even used to be used in other languages; I have seen it in English, for example. The origin of it is as follows: there was an alternative form of s that looked like an f without the crossbar (or only the left half), and if, in handwriting, you do one of these s-characters running on to a normal one, you end up with something that looks a lot like an ß....

Anyway, if you look up the name Müller in a German phone book, it will be alphabetized as though spelt Mueller, and similarly Weißmann will be listed as though spelt Weissmann. The former convention is a little confusing for us foreigners, because it is different from the arrangement of dictionaries, where, for instance, drücken comes immediately after drucken, and not somewhere after drudeln.

So replacing umlauted vowels with the corresponding plain vowel followed by an e and ß by ss when you don’t have the normal German characters available is the professional thing to do, as opposed to ignoring umlauts or using a capital B for an ß. That really grates. Although I do not know any Albanian, I agree that ignoring diacritics (as far too many KudoZ askers do in FR>EN) is a pain in the bum, and shows a complete lack of respect and appreciation for those trying to help.

PS: As far as I am aware, the Swiss avoid the ß like the plague, preferring...ss!


[Edited at 2007-04-05 04:44]


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 14:27
Italian to English
+ ...
High Numbers, Diffused Mediocrity Apr 5, 2007

Going back to the thrust of Eva's original argument and Rui's response, I observe that the barriers to entry in the translation field are very low (some experience in two languages and telecommunications capability), and nowadays this applies to a lot of people around the globe, so almost anyone can join the fray and add their two cents, and often that, literally, is what their input is worth, or less, but there are also providers and customers willing to deal at that level, so be it.

While instruments such as Kudoz may be useful, it is 50/50 at best and, like Rui, I ignore it after having seen some of the amateurish responses that are offered and accepted.

Your best bet, Eva, is to concentrate on your own practice and to build your own set of customers, commensurate with your skills and availability, their need and expectations, and price on both sides, and use instruments such as Kudoz selectively when you judge, based on your own experience, that some of the input is useful.

I hope this helps.

[Edited at 2007-04-05 10:09]


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Carolin Haase  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:27
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
German keyboard, the web and "foreign" characters Apr 5, 2007

Hi all,

I also have this problem whenever I try to post a question in Portuguese or Spanish, let alone a real forum posting (which, because of that, I never do!). I simply don't know how to write the "c" with the little tail underneath or the "n" with the little wave on top in my German keyboard. In Word, no problem, but on the web? Do I need to learn html?

Does anyone know how to do this?

(This might be a problem that others have, too, maybe even including Albanian translators with non-Albanian keyboards...)

Thanks,
Carolin


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
The worst thing is not just writing badly... Apr 5, 2007

The worst thing is... finding people who are asking for help to translate a whole bunch of phrases THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY IDEA OF WHAT THEY MEAN ...

... after they got a job you also applied for !!

That's really disgusting. Asking for help here and there is alright, but quietly asking for help on the whole technical wording in a single translation is not the same.

Most probably many of the other 50-60 applicants for the same jobs were just better prepared for them.

Harrrgggh...

Ruth @ MW


[Edited at 2007-04-05 09:56]


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:27
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
The professional thing... Apr 5, 2007

Richard Benham wrote:
...So replacing umlauted vowels with the corresponding plain vowel followed by an e and ß by ss when you don’t have the normal German characters available is the professional thing to do...

The professional thing to do is to enable oneself to use umlauts.


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xxxGabi Ancarol
Italy
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
what do you mean by "web"? Apr 5, 2007

Carolin Haase wrote:

Hi all,

I also have this problem whenever I try to post a question in Portuguese or Spanish, let alone a real forum posting (which, because of that, I never do!). I simply don't know how to write the "c" with the little tail underneath or the "n" with the little wave on top in my German keyboard. In Word, no problem, but on the web? Do I need to learn html?

Does anyone know how to do this?


If by "web" you mean posting here, let me tell you it's just the same:
ñ = alt+164
Ñ = alt+165
This works fine for kudoz area

For ç, you'll have to ask someone in the Portuguese comunity... I have it on the keyboard, so I don't know what the shortcut is..

Regards,
Gabi


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Richard Benham  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:27
German to English
+ ...
Fair go, Klaus! Apr 5, 2007

Klaus Herrmann wrote:

Richard Benham wrote:
...So replacing umlauted vowels with the corresponding plain vowel followed by an e and ß by ss when you don’t have the normal German characters available is the professional thing to do...

The professional thing to do is to enable oneself to use umlauts.


Klaus, you have ignored my qualification when you don’t have the normal German characters available. I also went on to releativise the statement by adding “as opposed to ignoring umlauts or using a capital B for an ß”.

I once did a job in an Internet café in Casablanca, because the client twisted my arm despite my being on holidays. I don’t recall having any problem asking KudoZ questions, but I think some less technically minded people may have. The unicode combinations for all those odd letters are hard to remember. I remember the one for ß, because I have no idea how to do it with dead keys, but the diacritics (umlaut in German, acute, grave, circumflex and cedilla in French) would be a problem to me without dead keys, short of copying and pasting them out of other people’s posts or writing my post in Word and pasting it in (both of which I have done in the past). It is easy enough to enter umlauted vowels in HTML, but it doesn’t seem to work on KudoZ.

I would much rather see someone ask about Stueckliste (sure in the knowledge that Steffen will intervene sooner or later) than Stuckliste. (The girl who did the latter ignored my question about whether there was supposed to be an umlaut over the u and then, when I gave the (quite correct, if somewhat nonsensical) answer “plaster list”, had the cheek to reject it....)


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:27
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Teileliste ;) Apr 5, 2007

Wooops. I ca¦¦'t fi¦¦d my ¦¦ key. Surely ¦¦obody will mi¦¦d if I use the ¦¦ i¦¦stead? We all k¦¦ow what's mea¦¦t, a¦¦yway. (Does this come anywhere close to being legible or ressembling professional work)?

Richard Benham wrote:
Klaus, you have ignored my qualification...

That's because it's true only for mechanical typewriters and computers running Windows 2.1.

Richard Benham wrote:
I would much rather see someone ask about Stueckliste (sure in the knowledge that Steffen will intervene sooner or later) than Stuckliste. (The girl who did the latter ignored my question about whether there was supposed to be an umlaut over the u and then, when I gave the (quite correct, if somewhat nonsensical) answer “plaster list”, had the cheek to reject it....)

The asker had two better options than Stuckliste or Stueckliste: Ask for Teileliste instead of Stückliste, thus avoiding the alledged non-availability of umlauts or go to the control panel, add a German keyboard and never be umlaut-challenged again. Adding another keyboard layout is a matter of seconds on any Windows XP-based computer. (Control panel/region setting/language tab -> add any foreign language keyboard layout. Once set up, use Alt-Shift to switch back and forth between layouts.)

The whole point of my little -less than subtle- substitution exercise above is that umlauts should be treated as any other character in the German alphabet. The ß has its roots in the long-s/s ligature as you explained, but has become a character in its own right. As opposed to other ligatures like ff (or ch or ck in fraktur fonts), - replacing the ß by ss changes the meaning of words, so in DE-DE this not a good idea. (As opposed to DE-CH, where the ß isn't used anymore).


[Bearbeitet am 2007-04-05 14:00]


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:27
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Eva is right Apr 5, 2007

Hello all,

I really want to support Eva's post. It is not about the fact that these linguists probaly are sitting at someone's computer and do not want to change any thing there. No, they write like that every where and they believe that it is not a big deal. That is so unprofessional!

Now my questions is: what to really do to stop it. One cannot oblige the site users to use the correct language, it is up to them and one only hopes the "process" will discard these "linguists" little by little. Eva is also right about the fact that this is not such a fast process, as not all the agencies employ proof readers, besides the translator. So what do you think is to be done about this?

Regards to all,

Fabiana


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:27
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Back to the original (Albanian) issue Apr 5, 2007

We are talking about two different pronunciations and about totally different letters.

Albanian is a phonetic language and it has 36 letters (where "e" is a separate letter and "ë" is another letter and they have different pronunciations too.

Same case for "c" and "ç". These are different, independent letters, with different sounds too.

Again, we are not talking about the exception, but for what has become "the norm" for some. Unfortunately, these some are the ones IMO at least, who give irresponsible answers too.

P.S. Adding some more thoughts:

Maybe in German, by writing "ß" as "ss" and "ä" as "ae" you still get the same sound and/or effect. This does not apply in Albanian. You change the structure of a word completely if you replace an "ë" with an "e", not just its visual part, but its sound effect too. These people who replace these two letters with two other ones, IMO are irresponsible, have taken upon themselves (without being asked!) the duty of changing an Alphabet, changing the spelling and the pronunciation of a whole language (in Albanian, almost every single word requires an "ë") and sell themselves as professionals here. Sorry to be bold, but I think I need to tell here a bit more how serious this is in Albanian.


P.S.2 I no longer take editing projects, translated by those who do not use these two letters when they translate. I did it a couple of times (long time ago) and I regretted it. It is easier and faster to start the translation from scratch, than edit it. Believe it or not, after billing one client for all the hours I spent to correct the spelling of a translation, they wished I had done the translation from the beginning. It is always sad to hear the excuses of those translators who are faced by the company, regarding their translation: "Oh, everyone does it. BTW, you do not need to use them!" And which Linguistic Authority decided that? Because last time I heard, the latest language changes and development that were accepted and approved in Albanian were in 1978. Since then, our language still has 36 letters, 7 vocals and 29 consonants.


Ok, back to work now.


Monika




[Edited at 2007-04-05 18:39]


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