Expertise - no expterise

Academic Book Stack
Academic Book Stack (Photo credit: phonono)
Crimson Interactive (also known as Edisense, India based translation agency)

This company CONSTANTLY posts "job offers" on various sites, always offering hundreds of thousands of words = large volumes. Whether this is true or not is not really interesting here. (I have worked for them before. there were never any "large volume jobs". NATURALLY, after I started to work it did not take long before they started asking me to lower my rates - which I already DID set a little lower than the Japanese rates.)

The interesting thing is, the posts ALWAYS state at their top:
"Expertise:     No special expertise"

but a little further down it then ALWAYS (this text is ALWAYS IDENTICAL):

Description: ... This makes the position challenging ...
Eligibility Criteria:
• Should have minimum 2 to 3 years of experience in Academic Translation
• Should hold at least a bachelor's degree in any field
• Expertise in academic subjects
• Certifications in translation and/or academic translation would be preferred

Well, to me THAT looks definitely like "special expertise"!

Or am I missing something important here? Do not understand the text maybe?

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Common sense not applicable to translators

Yesterday I got a mail from a coordinator I have not heard from before from a translation company for which I work more than 20 years ->
<<URGENT>> Request for translation work on U-STAR project
The localization project is a request from NICT, an Independent Administrative Institution in Japan. We ask you to translate common text which applies to speech translation system (U-STAR).
The target text is general, not specific, meanwhile the translations should be precise and easy-to-understand for anyone.
Wordcount: 477
Target document: Word file (doc)

Due to the budget from the clinet, we desire to define unit price for the operations below: Translation - 10 yen/w
Could you give me feedback ASAP?

It starts out with <<URGENT>> and closes with ASAP.
Yet, there is (naturally?) no mentioning of surplus fees for rush jobs.
Instead that person asks me to work for a rate which is LESS THAN HALF of the "usual rate" that very company has been paying me for over 20 years!
If I were to accept this job for this rate, it would be very hard to justify my "usual" rate for any future jobs ...

And ... this is something that keeps me always wondering ... if you go to a post office to mail a letter, that incurs a certain fee. If you ask for express delivery, that will AS A MATTER OF COURSE cost more.
If you call for a taxi in the middle of the night it will be more expensive than during the day.
If you order (a) certain product(s) AND ask for a gift wrapping or anything else "special", it goes without saying, that those extras will be billed IN ADDITION to the product price.
This is called "common sense"

How come then, that asking translators for "special delivery", "express delivery", "DTP finishing", "editing of the text" etc. IN ADDITION to the translation, seems always to be considered a "free service"???

I think, this would never happen in any other sort of business.
Apparently common sense is not applied to the work of translators ...

Offering "starvation wages (rates)" will NATURALLY put be out of business due to death by starvation. Then the company will have maybe lost an important service provider, who can give them services/products elsewhere maybe not so readily available .....

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certified PRO status

Good evening from Japan
A while ago I obtained the "certified pro" status of Proz.com for the language pair Japanese-German.
I do not really know how this thing works, but today I was playing around with my profile and all the funny links found there. One said, "show me my peer PRO".
Clicking on that link is supposed to show me "ALL" other people working in the same language pair, who are also certified PROs.

Well, it seems I am the one and only of my kind on that network.
That makes me feel both lonely AND proud:

I am the one and only professional in this pair.
If that were true, it would be really amazing! (It isn't, of course)

Yet, I would not complain, if this outstanding position would bring in some work .....
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Trial(s) ...

This is Swampyank's copy of "The Jury&quo...
This is Swampyank's copy of "The Jury" by John Morgan, painted in 1861, and now in the Bucks County Museum in England. More information about the painting can be found here: [http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/museum/ea_The_Jury.page|inline= (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Again this subject. But there is something, I would like to "put into words".

Definition of TRIAL according to Meriam Webster:
1a:    the action or process of trying or putting to the proof; TEST
b:    a preliminary contest (as in a sport)
2:    the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue
3:    a test of faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation; broadly : a source of vexation or annoyance
4a:    a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness - compare clinical trial
b:    one of a number of repetitions of an experiment
5:    attempt
Related to TRIAL
Synonyms: cross, crucible, fire, gauntlet (also gantlet), ordeal, baptism of fire

Well, let's assume, that the translation "trials" are supposed "4a: a tryout or experiment to test quality, value, or usefulness" and NOT what the majority of synonyms suggest: cross, crucible, fire, gauntlet (also gantlet), ordeal, baptism of fire - thereby presuming the "good intentions" of the company requesting the trial.
But, as can be seen from the dictionary definitions, the meaning of the word itself suggests more strongly the notion of "ordeal" instead of a simple test of skills.

That aside there is also the second definition: "the formal examination before a competent tribunal of the matter in issue in a civil or criminal cause in order to determine such issue".
In that case I am the "accused" and the company the prosecutor.
I have to "stand trial", or "face a trial".
As the accused I produce evidence to show my innocence - openly visible for the judge, jury and everybody else.
The prosecution (represented by the jury) however hides its evidence against me.
It just delivers its verdict: you are guilty ("of not being good enough at translation").
Once the verdict has been reached, the accused gets NO CHANCE to defend him/herself, since the evidence against him/her must be for some reason kept secret.
While I laid open my evidence,
the prosecution "covers up" its evidence.
The need to "cover up" = hide, keep secret, itself is VEEERY SUSPICIOUS!
The accused is simply sentenced to death without any evidence and without chance of defending himself.

So much for a "fair trial".

I am sure the people on the prosecution side would LOVE to be treated this way, if they were "in my shoes" ...

The other day I did a trial for a certain company, where it took THREE MONTHS!!! to reach the verdict = "you are not good enough".
Naturally, when I asked whether I may see the actual evaluation indicating all my mistakes, I was told, that information cannot be disclosed.
Below I take the liberty of quoting from a mail correspondence with the coordinator in charge.

Well - no offense, but ... - if it takes them THREE MONTHS to evaluate something like 2 pages of text AND the results much be "covered up" allows me ONLY to conclude, that "they" are neither confident about their work, not competent.
Otherwise they would/should be proud showing their evidence against me.

"Not only do I understand, but from a personal standpoint, I more than agree. It is indeed my personal opinion that the amount of time it took on the reviews, regardless of the reasons, is outright ridiculous, and I will say, from a freelancer's perspective, that your evlauation is correct, no matter what company is conducting the trial/review.

As for your results, as you might have guessed, I'm not actually allowed to give out information regarding the review. Unfortunately, they seemed quite adamant about not giving out any information ..."

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トライアル - お互いが見える



because of this situation) 依頼された時電話でも申し上げたように「トライアル」をやりたくない。
こうして私の仕事を判定しようとする会社の仕事振りを見せてもらっているから、その会社の信頼性(又は判定する能力)も此方に見せてもらった。翻訳者としてそのような無責任の対応する会社 - 翻訳会社であれ、クライアントであれ - に信用しないほうが無難でしょう。
山口千尋 (靴職人)