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Discrimination based on national origin and native language in ProZ ads
Thread poster: lumierre
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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Yep? Apr 6

While it still goes about the definition of "qualification" vs "discrimination", the statement
Any accent that says you aren't a native speaker
implies you are both competent and eligible to assess others.

Let's assume there're no official dialects or individual characteristics whatever, in BrE the official is The Queen's/Royal/BBC variant, which represents... some 3% of the speakers. How about the rest? And what exactly makes very your accent the only true native speaker's? Perhaps, you're competent enough, yet for me (and many others!) a beautiful blue-eyed blondy is surely speaking more natively than you)

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Meanwhile, it also goes beyond the point, because according to the contract law ANY party may agree, disagree, or re/negotiate the terms, if any: before signing a contract, both translators and agencies/clients may just say "No!" and go away. Simple as that.


P.S. Lincoln, do you really feel somehow offended or just prefer to chat with Chris?


Kaspars Melkis
 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:10
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
. Apr 6

Maybe this obsession with accents is characteristic in anglosphere only.

In Latvian it is sometimes difficult to know by accent alone if the person is a native Latvian speaker or not. There are dialects that sound similar to a native Russian speaker. In those cases I just ask people directly if they are native speakers or not. At school I had a classmate who couldn't even pronounce a Latvian phoneme [ķ] and yet she couldn't be considered anything else than a native Latvian speaker
... See more
Maybe this obsession with accents is characteristic in anglosphere only.

In Latvian it is sometimes difficult to know by accent alone if the person is a native Latvian speaker or not. There are dialects that sound similar to a native Russian speaker. In those cases I just ask people directly if they are native speakers or not. At school I had a classmate who couldn't even pronounce a Latvian phoneme [ķ] and yet she couldn't be considered anything else than a native Latvian speaker. And I won't even get started about a large number of people in Latvia who can legitimately claim to be native in both Latvian and Russian.

Even in the UK I had a situation when I talked on phone with customer and then than customer arrived and claimed that he had talked not to me but to my co-worker because clearly that was a foreign person whom she had talked. That was me but my co-worker was born in Manchester. So, regular people are not able reliably tell the difference between foreign and regional UK accents. Maybe someone well trained in accents or a forensic linguist could do it more reliably but who knows how reliable is this science.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not about English Apr 7

Kaspars Melkis wrote:
Maybe this obsession with accents is characteristic in anglosphere only

Don’t forget this part of the discussion is not about whether non-natives can be good translators (they can) but about how you can tell somebody is a non-native. How somebody speaks is not foolproof but it’s a better test than how they write.
I can write grammatically perfect Swedish and could probably translate into it adequately if I wanted to, but I speak it with a clear foreign accent because I am not a native speaker.
It’s a pretty safe bet that anyone with a non-Swedish/Finnish accent is not a native speaker of Swedish.
Why is this controversial?


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same impression Apr 7

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

Lumierre, in your profile you claim to be a native English speaker, yet your posts here and your own profile contain grammar mistakes that a native speaker would not make. Forgive my bluntness. But your writing here shows exactly why agencies ask for native speakers only.
.

May I be frank? A quick glance at your (in my opinion clunky and stilted, with occasional mistakes) written posts here tells me that I would not consider you for translating into English. Whatever might transpire in the rest of the native versus non-native translators debate, I'm afraid I would simply go with my first impression and gut feeling as usual and rule you out as a candidate.


Andy Watkinson
 

Kaspars Melkis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:10
Member (2005)
English to Latvian
+ ...
. Apr 7

Chris S wrote:
How somebody speaks is not foolproof but it’s a better test than how they write.
...
Why is this controversial?


The test that is better than nothing may still not be fit for purpose. Sometimes it may be even worse to put trust in a faulty test than not test at all.


 
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