https://wiki.proz.com/forum/site_forums/262450-can_we_make_an_effort_to_be_nice_to_newcomers-page3.html

Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4] >
Can we make an effort to be nice to newcomers?
Thread poster: Christine Andersen

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Russian to English
+ ...
I'm sorry you feel this way Elizabeth Jan 12, 2014

Elizabeth T wrote:

It's slightly worrying that it takes "an effort to be nice" - isn't politeness the default?

I have to say, I'm quite disappointed, as a relative newbie to the translation industry, at the levels of impoliteness I've so far encountered.

I mean, of all professions, wouldn't you say that translation is all about the intricacies of communication? Isn't that what we're all about?

Yet, time and time again, people fail to be polite, fail to reply to polite enquiries.

Even the ProZ mentors fail to reply to enquiries from prospective apprentices.

What does it cost to send a quick email? Heck, I remember a time when people would answer every enquiry, in the days when you had to type a letter on real paper, put it in a real envelope, put a stamp on it and place it in a letterbox.

Rant over.


I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way Elizabeth. I tried to help you with your e-mail problems. I hope that you can get all those issues resolved smoothly.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To the topic-starter:

I always strive to be nice to everyone who posts. I must admit, however, that some of the posts have been irritating, especially those asking absurd questions like "how do you enter 0 as a rate on your profile?" It's hard not to send off a quick, hot-headed reply when you see these types of things. Since I don't want to start trouble, my typical response is not to respond at all.

I also think it would be a good idea to have a Frequently Asked Questions section for newcomers to refer to. It seems like the same type of questions about rates, how to get established, how to contact clients, etc. get asked A LOT so instead of people asking the same things time after time, they could refer to a list of common questions. In fact, I think that some FAQ already exists. If it doesn't, a basic search of the forums would reveal the same information.

I hope everyone has a productive start to 2014.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:32
Member (2012)
French to English
Sarah Jan 12, 2014

You did help me - thank you again. I'm still not getting emails via ProZ, though, so people will have to contact me via my direct email address: elizabeth@tamblin.net.

 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:32
Hebrew to English
I find newcomers relatively inoffensive Jan 12, 2014

Yes some of their questions and behaviour can be irksome, I tend to save my time and energy only engaging with those who ask more interesting questions or who seem in dire need (I have lost patience with certain tax questions though, and I'm thoroughly sick of seeing new threads about VAT numbers & Spanish clients - but I just tend to ignore rather than engage and be nasty).

The only sub-class of newcomers that really get on my nerves are the ones who breeze in acting like th
... See more
Yes some of their questions and behaviour can be irksome, I tend to save my time and energy only engaging with those who ask more interesting questions or who seem in dire need (I have lost patience with certain tax questions though, and I'm thoroughly sick of seeing new threads about VAT numbers & Spanish clients - but I just tend to ignore rather than engage and be nasty).

The only sub-class of newcomers that really get on my nerves are the ones who breeze in acting like they own the site, who often are amazingly rude themselves and feign ignorance when called out for it.

Personally, I have no trouble keeping my cool with the majority of newcomers, the old-timers however.... *reaches for the blood-pressure medication*.
Collapse


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
It is by default Jan 12, 2014

Elizabeth T wrote:
However, on your mentoring page, you state that you offer mentoring services from Italian to English and French to English. Is this a mistake? Perhaps your mentor profile should be amended, so that people do not mistakenly think that you might be able to help them? I know quite a few people who are considering paying for membership to ProZ, so that they can avail themselves of the mentoring service. It would be a shame to mislead them.


It is not me stating the pairs in which I offer mentoring, it depends on the certifications and I have certifications in that pair, also mentoring is not only a matter of correcting translations, one can also provide pieces of advice regarding marketing and the industry, I can be wrong but I am under the impression that in your case an English native is better.

I acted as a mentor in your pair last year as she just needed marketing and financial input about the industry.

I certainly have no interest to mislead people for free.


Kindest regards


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:32
Member
Italian to English
Worrying more than bothersome Jan 12, 2014

I find it worrying rather than bothersome that many newcomers post questions that have already been asked ad nauseam in the forums. There is a ton of information already out there, and none of it difficult to find. Since good research skills are necessary for translation, these people are really not getting off on the best foot. Another thing that irks me is the unprofessional tone a lot of the younger posters use. I know I am going to sound like a grumpy old woman, but this is not Facebook, nor... See more
I find it worrying rather than bothersome that many newcomers post questions that have already been asked ad nauseam in the forums. There is a ton of information already out there, and none of it difficult to find. Since good research skills are necessary for translation, these people are really not getting off on the best foot. Another thing that irks me is the unprofessional tone a lot of the younger posters use. I know I am going to sound like a grumpy old woman, but this is not Facebook, nor an exchange of text messages between friends. It is a professional forum.

I have come to the point where I just don't reply, as doing so would repeat forum posts I've made in the past that people can't be bothered to look for, or are unable to.
Collapse


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:32
Member (2012)
French to English
Angie Jan 12, 2014

Angie Garbarino wrote:

Elizabeth T wrote:
However, on your mentoring page, you state that you offer mentoring services from Italian to English and French to English. Is this a mistake? Perhaps your mentor profile should be amended, so that people do not mistakenly think that you might be able to help them? I know quite a few people who are considering paying for membership to ProZ, so that they can avail themselves of the mentoring service. It would be a shame to mislead them.


It is not me stating the pairs in which I offer mentoring, it depends on the certifications and I have certifications in that pair, also mentoring is not only a matter of correcting translations, one can also provide pieces of advice regarding marketing and the industry, I can be wrong but I am under the impression that in your case an English native is better.

I acted as a mentor in your pair last year as she just needed marketing and financial input about the industry.

I certainly have no interest to mislead people for free.


Kindest regards


Thank you for the explanation. That makes perfect sense.

I am only concerned about the mentoring situation, because I've recommended it to some of the students on the MA translation course I did, and have noticed that there is a severe shortage of mentors in some language pairs. The info needs to be amended from time to time, when people's details change, as I saw happen a few weeks ago.

Best regards.


 

Tiffany Hardy  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:32
Spanish to English
I can see both sides Jan 13, 2014

The help I received in my early days with Proz was invaluable in helping me develop a plan of action to become a full time translator. I would say that 95% of this help was from searching the archives of forum posts. I'm sure a lot of the guidance I got was from people asking "silly" questions, so I will be forever grateful to their naivety.

I did, on occasion ask questions myself but I always had two things in mind
... See more
The help I received in my early days with Proz was invaluable in helping me develop a plan of action to become a full time translator. I would say that 95% of this help was from searching the archives of forum posts. I'm sure a lot of the guidance I got was from people asking "silly" questions, so I will be forever grateful to their naivety.

I did, on occasion ask questions myself but I always had two things in mind that I feel are based on common sense: 1). Proz is crawling with potential collaborators. 2). Any client in the future may be able to find my past questions and replies. With these things in mind, I have certainly held back in asking questions I was unsure of asking, preferring to do a bit more research before throwing myself out there, just as I would probably hold back from asking certain questions, were we all sitting around a luncheon table at a conference. Many people think of forums on the internet as random, anonymous places where they can say anything they like and behave in any way they like. I see it as a real room full of real people, many of whom I look up to as a newer translator.

So I certainly think there is room in the case of some newcomers to think things through a bit more, do a bit more research, and in some rare cases to take thoughtful advice--however hard it is to swallow--with a bit more gratitude. On the other hand, there is certainly room for some veteran translators to be kinder to newcomers, particularly in kudoz. I recently posted a question in kudoz that was re-qualified as non-pro and snide remarks were made about how elementary the question was. Well, it turns out the ones quick to pass judgment were not really reading my question carefully at all and in fact missed the whole point. They were too busy with their noses in the air.



[Edited at 2014-01-13 09:21 GMT]
Collapse


 

Anna Sarah Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 04:32
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Real room full of real people Jan 13, 2014

Tiffany Hardy wrote:

Any client in the future may be able to find my past questions and replies. With these things in mind, I have certainly held back in asking questions I was unsure of asking, preferring to do a bit more research before throwing myself out there, just as I would probably hold back from asking certain questions, were we all sitting around a luncheon table at a conference. Many people think of forums on the internet as random, anonymous places where they can say anything they like and behave in any way they like. I see it as a real room full of real people, many of whom I look up to as a newer translator.


This is very well said. Unfortunately, some newcomers (and even some experienced translators) seem to be unaware of this. In a professional field that deals with communication we have to communicate well and to find the right tone and register - even here in the forum. And that is valid for the silly/repeated question of the newcomer as much as for the snarky remark of the established translator.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Well said, Tiffany! Jan 13, 2014

Tiffany's post certainly gets my "Like!".

Even if we can cope with looking a little silly (as most of us must from time to time), research skills are one of the major requirements of a translator. If we can't (or can't be bothered to) find most of the answers here and elsewhere on the Internet, then will we have a hope of doing well as a freelance translator? I doubt it.

But setting up a business is fraugh
... See more
Tiffany's post certainly gets my "Like!".

Even if we can cope with looking a little silly (as most of us must from time to time), research skills are one of the major requirements of a translator. If we can't (or can't be bothered to) find most of the answers here and elsewhere on the Internet, then will we have a hope of doing well as a freelance translator? I doubt it.

But setting up a business is fraught with problems, and for a young person it must be very hard. I didn't tackle it until I was 40 and I can't imagine how hard it would have been without those 20 years of adult life experience behind me. Personally, I'm quite happy to address any specific questions new translators have, no matter how naïve I find those questions. But I do expect them to have done the groundwork first. In other words:
"What do translators charge?" ===> "Go and find out!" (but phrased more politely);
"I know translators in my part of the world charge between x and y, but my specific circumstances are a, b and c so should I charge nearer to x or y?" ===> deserves as full an answer as I can give.

Laziness is certainly becoming an ever-increasing problem, thanks to the Internet. I'm a "Destination Expert" on Trip Advisor and I'm amazed when people post to ask, with absolutely no details of their requirements, "Can you recommend a good restaurant/hotel?". I mean, how many reviews are there on TA for a top holiday destination? And what are they there for if not to be read?
Collapse


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:32
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Everybody loves ... Feb 26, 2014

... a good maul, apparently. I'm between jobs this morning, and filling in time with a look at the forums, and sadly I've got to admit that the "How to get my first customer" posts are always the ones I look at first. Always the same setup. Newcomers pondering aloud whether they should advertise rock-bottom prices, creating an avalanche of !!!!???%$&!****&&&%%!!!!!!!!! posts. Or they get mugged for having a virtually empty profile, or for not writing proficiently in the language they claim to wa... See more
... a good maul, apparently. I'm between jobs this morning, and filling in time with a look at the forums, and sadly I've got to admit that the "How to get my first customer" posts are always the ones I look at first. Always the same setup. Newcomers pondering aloud whether they should advertise rock-bottom prices, creating an avalanche of !!!!???%$&!****&&&%%!!!!!!!!! posts. Or they get mugged for having a virtually empty profile, or for not writing proficiently in the language they claim to want to translate into. Or for wearing sunglasses and a cap (God, how I laughed at that one!!).

Like a few of the posters here, I rarely reply. But if it annoys me it's difficult to keep the rage down.


Mervyn
Collapse


 

Mark Benson (X)  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
+ ...
Something is wrong Feb 26, 2014

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... a good maul, apparently. I'm between jobs this morning, and filling in time with a look at the forums, and sadly I've got to admit that the "How to get my first customer" posts are always the ones I look at first. Always the same setup. Newcomers pondering aloud whether they should advertise rock-bottom prices, creating an avalanche of !!!!???%$&!****&&&%%!!!!!!!!! posts. Or they get mugged for having a virtually empty profile, or for not writing proficiently in the language they claim to want to translate into. Or for wearing sunglasses and a cap (God, how I laughed at that one!!).

Like a few of the posters here, I rarely reply. But if it annoys me it's difficult to keep the rage down.


Mervyn


If in 2014 on an internet forum dedicated to freelance linguists we get to read as advice to a beginner 'get rid of the cap and sunglasses' there is reason to worry, not to laugh.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:32
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
It IS good advice, Mark Feb 26, 2014

I won't embarrass/extol the "sunglasses and cap" poster by saying who it was, that's not my remit, and you can all find out anyway, but I must say I'm with that poster all the way. Image is important too, and that's the sound advice the poster was giving, albeit rather tersely.

Sure, something is wrong, Mark. Look around you in that 2014, and lots of things need a lot of fixing. But better that newcomers know they're getting to grips with coachloads of us touchy, tetchy, suspicious,
... See more
I won't embarrass/extol the "sunglasses and cap" poster by saying who it was, that's not my remit, and you can all find out anyway, but I must say I'm with that poster all the way. Image is important too, and that's the sound advice the poster was giving, albeit rather tersely.

Sure, something is wrong, Mark. Look around you in that 2014, and lots of things need a lot of fixing. But better that newcomers know they're getting to grips with coachloads of us touchy, tetchy, suspicious, snappy, whingeing translators, frequently helpful too, but with an inferiority complex bigger than Sydney Opera House (for very good reasons, too, which I won't go into here, because it's all been said before, and so often). That way they can decide at the outset whether they really want to be part of this happy little band.

Best,


Mervyn
Collapse


 

TranslateThis  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
What is really worrying Feb 26, 2014

Mark Benson wrote:


If in 2014 on an internet forum dedicated to freelance linguists we get to read as advice to a beginner 'get rid of the cap and sunglasses' there is reason to worry, not to laugh.



is that instead of being a site for professionals proz.com has become a place where outsourcers can find people claiming to be translators willing to accept the lowest rates on the planet, a place that is dominated by inexperienced, clueless wannabes. Why? Because they are the most desperate and the most likely to pay the membership fee in hopes of getting a job, ANY job. At least that’s my impression as I do not see hordes of experienced translators joining in. In the meantime, many experienced, knowledgeable translators have left and we are encouraged to help all newbies, regardless of whether they have any skills or potential.

This is what I would call troubling and that’s why I usually refrain from posting. I am all for helping those who show some promise, but could we please at least try to educate them a little and steer them gently in the right direction BEFORE they post? Could they please do some basic research first?

Maybe there already is something like this in place for new posters, I really wouldn’t know (if there is, it is clearly not very effective in its current shape and form). How about some sticky topics that would appear when a person makes his/her first post ever? Could they include some basic information: why they should complete their profile, links to average rates, rate calculator, some general information about forum searches, etc.? Do you think this would help?

Re: cap and sunglasses. I don’t find this comment rude or mean. Image is certainly something to think about. Yes, it was rather direct, but do we really need to sugar coat everything here? While Mark’s opinion is (perhaps) that the sunglasses could help land some jobs, others (myself included) might not agree.


 

Mark Benson (X)  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
+ ...
With what authority? Feb 26, 2014

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

I won't embarrass/extol the "sunglasses and cap" poster by saying who it was, that's not my remit, and you can all find out anyway, but I must say I'm with that poster all the way. Image is important too, and that's the sound advice the poster was giving, albeit rather tersely.

Sure, something is wrong, Mark. Look around you in that 2014, and lots of things need a lot of fixing. But better that newcomers know they're getting to grips with coachloads of us touchy, tetchy, suspicious, snappy, whingeing translators, frequently helpful too, but with an inferiority complex bigger than Sydney Opera House (for very good reasons, too, which I won't go into here, because it's all been said before, and so often). That way they can decide at the outset whether they really want to be part of this happy little band.

Best,


Mervyn


Mervyn, nothing personal, but please don't emphasize to me what is and isn't good advice! First of all, I didn't ask for advice in the first place. Second, I didn't ask for any opinions about what is and isn't good advice.

I have been using a profile pic with sunglasses for 6 months on ProZ.com and didn't have any problems finding jobs. I use an informal picture now too, because this is the way I chose to present myself on the site now. I'm really not interested in any opinions as long as I'm allowed by staff to use the pictures I upload (which I own and otherwise find suitable myself.)

Also - why can't you speak for yourself when you say 'us translators?' You talk about a 'happy little band' - who is that? I suppose I'm not a translator then, or what?

Please just let me end by sharing my understanding of the fundamental idea behind ProZ.com: The user of the site sets the parameters every step of the way and the rest of us are here to help. Does that tell you anything about the nature of the kind of comments we were discussing?

Very best/
Mark


 
Pages in topic:   < [1 2 3 4] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Lucia Leszinsky[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Can we make an effort to be nice to newcomers?

Advanced search






TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »