In-house translation requirements in Mexico
Thread poster: Yolanda Bello

Yolanda Bello  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 12, 2008

Yesterday the most famous job search engine in Mexico ran an vacancy ad requiring a translator and it read more or less like:

Education: B.A degree in Business Administration (!!!)
Experience: As a translator. (?)
Job descripcion: Letter and manuals translation
Requirements: Proficiency of the 3 languages (not actually mentioning which languages(!?) )

etc..... and the contact email for applicants.

I have read this kind of ads for years and always thought of sending a mail to express my opinion on how wrong this job description and profile is.
Finally, this morning, I did.

Why is the ad so recklessly worded and does not even state which languages you're supposed to be proficient in?

Why do they expect a B.A. in Administration to work as a translator?

Do they know what a translator is?

Do they know what it took him/her to become one and how long does it take anyone to become proficient in a foreign language to be able to translate?

I actually urged the recruiter to call the Instituto Superior de Intérpretes y Traductores, so as to get his facts right regarding the translation and interpretation majors so that they could have a clear idea of the answer to all of the above questions and eventually be able to tell what a translator can't or can do for their company and what kind of educational background a translator has.

I also suggested that they forwarded my mail within their company or even other companies so that more recruiters read about this. I even let them know I copied my mail to several other translators I work with in Mexico City as it is truly ludicrous that professionals from the largest city in the world do not know what exactly translation and translators are in spite the important role they have in the city and the country dynamics at several levels.

I may sound like a nut but I think it was about time *I* said something.

Regards from the city that ignores what translators & interpreters are actually good for,


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:41
German to English
I would use a more diplomatic approach Mar 12, 2008

Hi Yolanda - I share your frustration, but it does seem they know almost nothing about translation. I wish something like this document

were available in Spanish.

Saludos, Kim

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
Did they... Mar 13, 2008

...say how much the pay was?

Best not to even ask.

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Local time: 09:41
French to English
+ ...
Sad sad Mar 13, 2008

Wow Yolanda, good for you!
I remember having paid a lot of money to a translation agency in Guadalajara for a certified translation of my diplomas (SP>FR) when I was younger. They advertised themselves as the best agency in the city. However, when the translation was delivered to me I had to correct it myself (I was not even remotely a translator at the time) given that it had unforgivable errors in it. I kept the "wrong translation" as a souvenir, got my money back, translated the documents myself and had them checked and certified by a French native translator. That was my first translation project!
Unfortunately, lack of knowledge about what being a translator actually means also exists in some of our beautiful country's translation agencies, or at least that is the way it used to be. I hope it has changed and that eventually professionals from other branches will also get around to knowing what a translator ought to be.
Muchos saludos,

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In-house translation requirements in Mexico

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