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Serious Help Needed!

Active Member
Youssef S Member Since: Jan 16, 2017
21 of 32

True, yellow ribbons do look terrible, but 5/5 looks nice Cat Very Happy

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
22 of 32

Youssef, don't try Arabic -> English. Stick to English -> Arabic.


Don't undersell yourself (it will stick on your profile if you do and it's PITA to climb out of the bottom once you're there), but start modest and raise your rates.


Expand your services with Arabic content writing. Even if it doesn't sell it will positively impact the way clients perceive your Arabic skills.


If you don't already have a portfolio, just make yourself some (just pick some English content and translate it into Arabic).


5000 words a day? If you use a CAT and there are many repeated segments, maybe. Otherwise you're just making junk. Yes, you can work 20 hours in a row, but you don't want to read what you translated the next day.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
23 of 32

Rene K wrote: Yes, you can work 20 hours in a row, but you don't want to read what you translated the next day.

 I don't see a problem if Youssef reads the translation the next day. The problem occurs when the client reads the translation the next day.


Active Member
Youssef S Member Since: Jan 16, 2017
24 of 32

Thank you very much, Rene.

I will take your advice seriously.

Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
25 of 32

Youssef --


You are, indeed, over-selling yourself. That is most unfortunate. You possess English-language skills that should be the envy of many, many non-native speakers. However, you clearly, manifestly, quite obviously DO NOT speak English at a native level of fluency. You may receive many compliments from your tourist clients. You likely speak English better than anyone else you know. You probably speak, read, and write English better than do your former English teachers. However, all of that, plus a-wishin' and a-hopin', plus correcting the errors that have been pointed out to you by persons who actually ARE native speakers of English -- all of that simply does not make you a Native/Bilingual SPEAKER OF ENGLISH !


I would suggest to you that it is counter-productive for you to advertise yourself as a Native English speaker, and it is even worse to promise (as you do in this line from your Profile):  "I have perfect grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and readability."  (By the way, this sentence itself is not correctly written. You have chosen the wrong verb/predicate combination in "have... readability." Your own writing gives the lie to your very claim! A person does not "possess" "readability.")  Go ahead and fix this sentence if you like. Your Profile nevertheless will continue to contain other errors and other "tells" that give you away as a non-native speaker.


I am an excellent home baker. A really good one. I create exceptionally good yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls, walnut sticky buns, cherry criss-cross pies, Anadama bread, and the like. However, I am not--and do not pretend to be--a professional pastry chef. When people eat my baked goods, they do not expect professional quality. I tell them that I am an amateur. (This is the "under-promise" part. I AM an amateur, but in truth I'm a very good amateur, a 4H-trained, midwestern-farm-girl, baking maven.) When folks see and eat my double-butter crescent rolls, or my Christmas creme wafers, they are delighted. (This is the "over-deliver" part.) Yet, if I attempt a complicated bûche de Nœl at Christmas, I am likely to produce only "meh" results, because I rarely try these, and they involve both tricky baking and specialized decorating--that is, a good bûche requires a true professional (the equivalent of a PROFESSIONAL "NATIVE SPEAKER," in this analogy).  No one objects to my mediocre attempts at professional baking, because I have not misrepresented my skills. But everyone is thrilled when I show up at the annual holiday cookie swap: my cookies are the first to go, every year.


Why advertise yourself as the "Native Speaker" and "perfect" grammarian and English writer that you so obviously are NOT, when you could offer clients the very happy surprise of your being as excellent and fluent in English as you so obviously ARE?

Ace Contributor
Vibhor G Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
26 of 32

Very well explained!

Active Member
Youssef S Member Since: Jan 16, 2017
27 of 32

Thank you, Janean, you're right.

I really appreciate it 

Active Member
Hajar J Member Since: Jan 16, 2017
28 of 32

same here Smiley Sad

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
29 of 32

Youssef, I'm a translation client, and I'd like to give you some advice in addition to the excellent advice you've already received.


I definitely understand that you don't want to translate offensive/adult/alcohol/tobacco content - that is very common for Arabic speakers. But having it right up the top of your profile is a little off putting. It makes you sound fussy and like you'd be difficult to work with, which I'm sure is NOT the case. I'd suggest you move that whole second part of that sentence (from "except...") to a footnote at the bottom of your profile. A good client will expect that anyway and would ask you about it.


I also think that your sentence about proofreading three times is a little odd, and it sticks out because of the shouty capitals. Changing this to a basic statement of "I proofread all translations three times at minimum" or something would be fine, but I also think you could omit it altogether. It's expected that you proofread your own work. Unless you are doing something special here (using some special method or tool), I think you could omit it.


Otherwise, honestly, your profile is very good. If you continue to submit great proposals to jobs that meet your skill-set I'm sure you'll start building up your work history here.

Active Member
Youssef S Member Since: Jan 16, 2017
30 of 32

I  understand and thank you very much, I corrected those.

but what if I told you that I have submitted over 58 proposals and not one candidacy so far! I mean something must be terribly wrong, right?