Someone like yourself – AKA the vast number of non-trained interpreters out there

While browsing online (in a very quiet and rainy Monday) again I found an interesting page to look at. This time it was on Proz.com and it definitely engaged my attention.

It doesn’t seem to be very common to find job posts for interpreting assignments, so as soon as I read ‘speaker’ and ‘Italian’ in the same line, I thought I would spend a few mins of my time to have a look.

This is the post – pasted below – from a UK-based agency. And it wouldn’t be strong enough if I said that it made me cringe.

(Post faithfully reproduced here. No punctuation or grammar has been amended from the original. In short, I DIDN’T WRITE so awfully!

I just added the RED FONT, to put some emphasis…)

 

<< An ITALIAN speaking person has an appointment. (INTERESTING. MAYBE IT WOULD BE MORE INTERESTING FOR A POTENTIAL INTERPRETER TO KNOW THE TOPIC OF THE APPOINTMENT…)

They cannot speak English and the officer (SO IT SEEMS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE SOCIAL SERVICES… OR SIMILAR) cannot speak their language. (THIS MUST BE ITALIAN… ‘THEIR LANGUAGE’ :S)

We need someone like yourself ( ie WHICH JOB PROFILE, EXACTLY?) who speaks both languages fluently so you can help them  to communicate with each other.

This appointment will be on:

Date dd/mm/yyyy

Time: 00:00:00

Place Sample City SP2 5SP

If available please email back with your telephone number.

Also letting us know how far u r from the venue and how much the ticket will cost and if you drive the mileage and time it will take you (NICE GRAMMAR HERE)

If you are not available or you cannot do this for some reason please pass it on to a friend/family or someone else who might be interested (SURE, ANYBODY CAN DO IT. WHY NOT THE NEIGHBOUR, WHO HAS ONCE HEARD A SONG IN ITALIAN ON THE RADIO 15 YRS AGO AND KNOWS A LITTLE VOCABULARY…) or please let us have their contact details >>

Obviously no fee or salary is mentioned in the job post and no other details are explained.

 

Now, I am 100% sure I won’t need to explain any of you why I decided to write this post, nor why I am so disgusted at reading the original job offer.

Translation and interpreting is not something trivial any ‘someone-like-yourself’ should do. The term ‘professional‘ has been coined for a reason – or at least we assume so.

I felt the urge to post this and share it with you, and of course to classify this agency (and those they are trying to target, the ‘someones-like-yourself’ out there) as INDECENT – and also a bit cheeky.

 

Have a nice day – and be patient!

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About Val

London-based Rainy London Translations is offering a full range of top quality interpreting, localisation, translation, consultancy and voice-overservices for both businesses and individuals. Need something else? Just ask! It may sound like a cliché, but just get in touch: what you need can be done, at a reasonable price. Valeria is also offering a 'branding' clinic service, to help freelancers find their perfect business name or polish the existing identity by finding a logo, a tagline with sound creative consultancy. Based in the City of Westminster area, the heart of London, UK, since August 2011.

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