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Discrimination based on national origin and native language in ProZ ads
Thread poster: lumierre

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Far too simplistic a statement, IMO Mar 26

lumierre wrote:
Requiring employees or applicants to be fluent in a certain language, blatantly and as a general, unspecific rule, violate European anti-discrimination legislation if the rule is adopted to exclude individuals of a particular national origin and is unspecifically applied to restrict access to jobs and freelance opportunities exclusively to members of a particular nation.

It's certainly (at least within the EU) illegal to exclude people SOLELY on the basis of their nationality, native language, country of residence, etc. But it isn't illegal to exclude people who clearly don't fall within the requirements of the job. Hence, if you want to employ a security officer specifically to perform body searches on women and girls then you can apply for a woman to do the job. You'll find millions of job vacancies where certain language skills are specified -- totally legally -- because speaking those languages is a requirement of the job. Likewise, of course it's important to employ/collaborate with a translator who is at the very least totally fluent in the language. And I think most people agree that total fluency in the target language isn't enough for many texts -- it's a more appropriate level for source languages.

As an ESL business trainer in France, I had several students during my 15 years in the job who were C2+ level in English, but not one of them spoke faultless, entirely natural English, and although I know there are native French speakers who do, they are relatively few and far between and I'm sure all can point to an Anglo-French childhood or early adulthood. The same would apply to all other language combinations, of course. But somehow, English seems to be the second language that's "native" for many, many people around the world, often just because they've studied it and speak it.

I really don't think you'll find a court of law that's prepared to rule that employers and clients have to settle for anyone who speaks the language at any level. Are you saying ProZ.com shouldn't allow clients to even specify that translators be able to speak the target language, or the source language for that matter? "If you can understand this advert, and you're cheap, you've got the job"? I would worry more about the possibility of a court finding in favour of an employer or client that claims that an employee or freelancer has misrepresented their skills when applying for jobs; or translators with only one native language suing those who claim to have more, on the basis of unfair competition. After all, where English is concerned, many of those who claim to have English as a second native language live in countries where they can afford to undercut the competition. I'd like to see that one tested in court.


Teresa Borges
Juno Bos
missdutch
Laura Kingdon
Roni_S
Kay Denney
Michele Fauble
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:19
Member
Italian to English
Not a personal attack Mar 26

lumierre wrote:

(I ignore that attacking my person is not even close to logical reasoning)


My post was not a personal attack, it was an observation of the grammatical correctness of your profile.

I understand your frustration, and I understand that being a native speaker does not guarantee translation proficiency, and that excellent translations are done by non-natives. Not disputing that at all.

At the same time, it is probably safe to assume that no agency would adopt such a rule for no reason, and that it is probably also safe to assume that they have had translations done in the past by non-natives, and that the work involved in making such texts fit for purpose showed that the practice was not financially viable.

I don't think there's anything sinister going on here. No-one would knowingly exclude a group of competent professionals (non-native translators going by your logic) without good reason.

I would also add that if you feel this restriction to be so unjustified, then seek out the many thousands of agencies happy to take on non-native translators. There's a whole world outside Proz, if you take the time to look.


Walter Landesman
Barbara Carrara
IT>EN Legal
Teresa Borges
Sarah Lewis-Morgan
writeaway
Dylan Jan Hartmann
 

lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
-Sheila Wilson Mar 26

[quote]Sheila Wilson wrote:

lumierre wrote:
I really don't think you'll find a court of law that's prepared to rule that employers and clients have to settle for anyone who speaks the language at any level.


Never said that. Any job involves specific skills. Many times, there is no person able to meet all these specific skills and an employer/agency will have to decide to what is best. But the ”native language” per se is not a ”specific” skill, is a general one.

Your perspective on Source Language skills is interesting.


 

lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do not take it to personal levels Mar 26

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

lumierre wrote:

(I ignore that attacking my person is not even close to logical reasoning)


My post was not a personal attack, it was an observation of the grammatical correctness of your profile.



Tks for your contribution. Just do not take it to personal levels. This is not about me, nor about my personal skills, my personal profile or my language mistakes, neither do make recc. on what I should or should not do, thanks, but no, tks... This is ALSO not about you, as an English speaker, most interested in preserving the privilege... I hope you understand.

I think none of us wants to let the discussion go down into such low, unproductive, levels. Tks.
I personally appreciate your contribution, for the rest of your text.


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
Member
English to French
+ ...
Agencies vs employers Mar 26

Could anti-discrimination provisions apply outside actual hiring in this context?

Except for their in-house staff, translation agencies are outsourcing projects to external collaborators.

I have never been hired by an agency in the traditional sense of the word, since I am a freelancer.


Walter Landesman
 

lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, it is about employment in larger sense Mar 26

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

Could anti-discrimination provisions apply outside actual hiring in this context?... since I am a freelancer.



All of the above mentions are applicable not only to hired employees but also to sub/contracted freelancers.

[Edited at 2019-03-26 15:55 GMT]


 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
Member
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Mar 26

Thank you. The quote in German in your second post points to article 15 AGG.

is that it? https://dejure.org/gesetze/AGG/15.html

I don't speak German, but it does seem to apply only to a strict employer/employee relationship.

Could you share a link or specific reference that confirms it is also applicable to freelancers (sub-contractors)?

[Edited at 2019
... See more
Thank you. The quote in German in your second post points to article 15 AGG.

is that it? https://dejure.org/gesetze/AGG/15.html

I don't speak German, but it does seem to apply only to a strict employer/employee relationship.

Could you share a link or specific reference that confirms it is also applicable to freelancers (sub-contractors)?

[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:18 GMT]
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lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
confirmed Mar 26

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

Could you share a link or specific reference that confirms it is also applicable to freelancers (sub-contractors)?

[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:18 GMT]



In my personal correspondence with the specific antidiscrimination body in Germany I named above , I also pointed out to them that the article 15 refers to employment relations, and their response was that also includes relations like that between a company and a freelancer.


 

Stephanie Bohnerth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
English translation of article 15 AGG Mar 26

For information see https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_agg/index.html

Jean Dimitriadis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Really? Mar 26

lumierre wrote:
This is not about me, nor about my personal skills, my personal profile or my language mistakes


If this isn’t to do with you feeling that you yourself have been discriminated against, why are you raising the issue at all?

I was going to make the same point that your own English being far from native quality undermines your whole argument, but I was beaten to it.


Teresa Borges
writeaway
Yvonne Gallagher
missdutch
Michele Fauble
Andy Barton
 

lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am not an expert, but I think this clarifies the coverage extension to freelancers, too Mar 26

Section 6
Persons Covered

(1) For the purposes of this Act, “employee” shall refer to

1. persons in dependent employment (salaried employees, workers);

2. persons employed for the purposes of their vocational training;

3. persons of similar status on account of their dependent economic status, including those engaged in home work and those equal in law to home workers. “Employee” shall here also refer to those applying for an e
... See more
Section 6
Persons Covered

(1) For the purposes of this Act, “employee” shall refer to

1. persons in dependent employment (salaried employees, workers);

2. persons employed for the purposes of their vocational training;

3. persons of similar status on account of their dependent economic status, including those engaged in home work and those equal in law to home workers. “Employee” shall here also refer to those applying for an employment relationship and persons whose employment relationship has ended.

(2) For the purposes of Part 2, “employer” shall refer to natural and legal persons as well as unincorporated firms with legal capacity employing persons referred to in Subsection (1). Where employees are transferred to a third party for the performance of work and services, the employer shall also be classified as such within the meaning of Part 2. The client or inter-mediary shall take the place of the employer in the case of employees engaged in home work and those equal in law to home workers.

(3) Insofar as the conditions for access to gainful employment and promotion are affected, the provisions under Part 2 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the self-employed and to members of an organ of an enterprise, in particular directors and board members.
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lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Because, Chriss Mar 26

[quote]Chris Schröder wrote:

wrote:
Wwhy are you raising the issue at all?



Consider that you are publishing a discriminatory advert and then someone will ask financial damages from you. Because U discriminate. Would you consider this discussion futile? That is only one point. Of course, raising this issue has more complex connotations for me, but I think this simple argument should be enough for you to get involved.

PS. I am not taking any side. I am just the topic starter.

[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:57 GMT]


 

Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Discrimination Mar 26

I tend to think that if I were Mexican I would have more work opportunities, since Mexican Spanish is always in high demand. In this sense, I feel discriminated against. Maybe I should move to Mexico!

 

lumierre
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
this simple argument should be enough for you Mar 26

[quote]lumierre wrote:

Chris Schröder wrote:

lumierre wrote:
Wwhy are you raising the issue at all?



Consider that you are publishing a discriminatory advert and then someone will ask financial damages from you. Because U discriminate. Would you consider this discussion futile? That is only one point. Of course, raising this issue has more complex connotations for me, but I think this simple argument should be enough for you to get involved.

PS. I am not taking any side. I am just the topic starter. And if I think it goes too much under the belt line, I reserve the right to remove it, as well.

PS2. There are also a lot of Germans annoyed of the style of German spoken by their neighbours. Everyone thinks s/he is the only one good native. A national sport.


[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:49 GMT]


[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-03-26 16:55 GMT]


 

Wilsonn Perez Reyes  Identity Verified
El Salvador
Local time: 09:19
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not futile Mar 26

This discussion is not futile at all, in my opinion.

 
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