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beth-raps
Member

precision in translation job searches

Hi there! The Upwork Help Desk encourages me to submit this as they note they can only be of limited help so far.

 

Translators typically translate only from one language (the one they grew up speaking) into another (the one they are bilingually fluent in but not quite to the same extent). A few translators grow up in truly bi- and even multi-lingual environments, and I am awed by them--but I'm not one of them.

 

So ethically, when I go on Upwork, I only seek translation jobs FROM French (my second language) INTO English (my home language). I'm a professional, multiply published translator in this language pair but always into English from French.

 

The Upwork algorithm doesn't allow me  specify this kind of search, however, no matter what I've tried. I've tried searching on the term "French to English." I've tried that plus asking for jobs to be ordered in order of Relevance. And at the suggestion of the Help Desk, I've tried inserting in the search bar this phrase: "title: French to English" which helped some but still turned up results that were patently English to French, which I ethically won't even consider.

 

OK--go at it! This is my question, and it's my hope that this little bit of awareness-raising on the ethics of translation will help your search designers realize the importance of the order of the words in the search string!

Beth

16 REPLIES 16
jmlaidlaw
Member

Also would be nice if the fact that one's skills happen to include "translation" (generally) didn't bring up language pairs completely irrelevant to oneself, such as "Hindustani-to-Mandarin" when one speaks French, English, and a smattering of German and Russian.

I have exactly the same problem, and there is no specific for French to English. I rarely, if ever, get the  appropriate translation pair in my job feed. I have to search in the general translation.

Whoops! I didn't mean to accept this as a solution, only as a response!

I always go to French>English translation. At this moment, there is one French to English translation out of ten jobs.

 

If you want to undo the best reply/solution, I think you can edit it out from the "post options" button at the top of that post. 😉

Nichola, I looked and didn't see it in that dropdown. C'est la vie!

Does that happen even when you search on your language pair? I found it helped to at least include the language pair, although it didn't completely make the problem go away.

versailles
Member


@Beth R wrote:

 

Translators typically translate only from one language (the one they grew up speaking) into another (the one they are bilingually fluent in but not quite to the same extent).


 Actually it's the other way around.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Right! I misspoke! Or mis-wrote 🙂 You're so right! That's exactly what I mean, I translate from the language I did NOT grow up speaking into the one I did.

Thank you for pointing this out!


@Beth R wrote:

I translate from the language I did NOT grow up speaking into the one I did.


That was my intention too when I started upworking. And then my first job here began with an interview request from someone who asked me to translate from Flemish into English. I refused politely, but he insisted. So I shrugged and did the translation job to the best of my ability. He was immensely satisfied and guess how many stars he gave Woman Very Happy

 

Though I prefer translating into my mother tongue, I do occasionally accept other languages too. Much depends on the difficulty of the text. But what I don't know yet, I learn.

 

Plus est en vous! Woman Wink

 

Concerning your question though. Since I feel confident translating English, French or German into Flemish or Dutch, I have three searches saved.

First one's keywords: Flemish, Vlaams, Dutch and Nederlands

Second set of keywords: French and Français

Third set: German and Deutsch.

 

So I do end up with a lot of jobs which don't suit me, but it's a simple matter of separating the wheat from the chaff. A bit of work, true, but on the other hand, this is how I sometimes grab opportunities which I'd never have had with simply "English to Dutch".

 

 

Also, our posts here are editable. Since Upwork now displays the original post at the head of every thread, it might be worth correcting.

Expanding the edit menu gives us options like strikethrough, when we want our corrections to be transparent.

 

[or we can flag them: edited for clarity]

So here we are in a sea of posts that seem to go back 2017 and 2017 has nothing to do with the problems we are having at the end of 2021 (seemingly uncovid related) due to a few crazed  Upwork staff who like playing mind games with the freelancers they depend upon to boost the forums and to flag inappropriate jobs (the latter now being impossible as all jobs seem to be inappropriate). 

 

Hi Nichola,

 

While we are going to work on closing or archiving threads that are too large or have information that may be outdated and irrelevant, some older threads may still have discussions and content that some Community members may find useful.
This thread, for example, was bumped up yesterday by a Community member who found the information here still relevant. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

And one of my posts in this thread agreed that I was not seeing appropriate language pairs. 

 

It is still not ideal, but recently, until the job feed and everything else about that page went pearshaped, the job feed was much, much improved, "best match"was generally more relevant and so was" recent jobs", but that was just for a brief few weeks before Upwork decided to shoot a few freelancers down and render their job feed unviable. 

Hi Michael,

 

Community members have always been able to edit their own posts. Are you saying that you'd rather Community members didn't have the option to edit? I'm not sure how having the original post sticky at the top would affect that?

~ Valeria
Upwork


Valeria K wrote:

Hi Michael,

 

Community members have always been able to edit their own posts. Are you saying that you'd rather Community members didn't have the option to edit? I'm not sure how having the original post sticky at the top would affect that?


No, I'm not saying anything of the sort. The point of the original post being sticky is that it be prominent, right? Whatever the point, it's always there. I was suggesting to the OP that she might want to correct the fundamentally erroneous statement about translation that she acknowledges later in the thread—an acknowledgement to which I was directly responding. It seems that relying on the new threading function may not be as clear as continuing to use the (now-buried) quote function.

lucyrgay
Member

I absolutely agree! I have the same language pair (French to native English) and have found up to now that a search using "French to English" (including the quotation marks) has filtered out jobs requiring this language pair and this way round, ie from French to English.

 

The problem I see now is that clients are tending to tick every language pair. There's currently a job requiring the translation of Portuguese poetry into Italian and yet the client has obviously ticked the French to English translation box too so it's appearing in my very specific search! And the same goes for jobs requiring translation from English to French, even though my search is the other way round.

 

This only started happening around September this year, to my knowledge. Has anyone else seen it in their searches too and - Upwork elves - is there any way of improving it?