Please do not waste our time or yours (aka: the market can eat you alive)

I was happily juggling my tons of works and errands (in these: find a new flat in London, organise the move, and the likes, to say the least) when an LSP emailed me about a job.

I’ve never heard of them but I assume they must have found me on my website, or the usual database of ITI or IoL etc. (I won’t know, as they did not bother saying).

Well, I know the market is caught in a never-ending spiralling abyss, where the ‘so-called’ *top agencies* charge a lot to clients and pay translators peanuts, just to mention one scenario.

A market where niche clients can still be found (and trust me, quality still pays) but plenty of non-trained providers are out there desperate to accept even the lousiest of jobs (someone always does).

I mean, some of them are maybe rightfully desperate (we don’t really know what they have to put up with, do we?), and the sad thing is I am sure many will also be qualified and professional.

But let’s be true: translation is becoming more and more a profession people take up just because they ‘can speak a language’ or ‘their great-grandfather was an Italian living in Australia’. I do not mean to generalise, of course but again, the phenomenon includes the following:

a)  non-native speakers working into their B language saying they are ‘bilingual‘;

b)  unqualified, untrained people labelling themselves translators;

c)  CVs embellished with fake details;

d) candidates taking up work that’s beyond their skills, just because ‘you can’t say no to work’;

just to mention some. I could go on for ages!

Back to our beloved agency, their message is probably the most aggressive request for suppliers I’ve ever seen in my career.

But honestly, on a second thought, I realised it may be translators who (unvoluntarily?) caused this.

The message seems to be especially referring to point a), above:

<This is the last paragraph of the e-mail. I highlighted in red the best parts>

“WE REPEAT. ONLY NATIVES OF THE TARGET LANGUAGE WILL BE CONSIDERED. UNLESS YOU HAVE LIVED IN A TARGET LANGUAGE COUNTRY SINCE YOU WERE AT LEAST 10 YEARS OLD, YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU THINK YOU ARE RIGHT FOR IT.

PLEASE DO NOT WASTE OUR TIME OR YOURS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE 100% NATIVE FLUENCY IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE”.

Is this the new way to deal with providers? Or did our category naturally caused this?

Just a thought. And quite a scary one, as well.

Happy Friday.

Val

380---oct-5---11-2008---sick-of-work

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Back to basics

In Italian we say ‘si chiude il cerchio‘ ( = the circle has closed). That’s exactly how I feel now.

The first time I lived in London I was a younger me (hey, not much younger though!) and had plenty of hope and ideas. It was the 6th July 2005, just one day before the London bombing. I’d arrived in Greenwich, where I was going to spend my stay, on a rainy and rather foggy day so typical of the glorious and beloved English Summer. I was overloaded with luggage, had a lousy phone with me with a SIM card borrowed from a friend and was, well, pretty much broke. Nice plan uh?

My stay was not very long. I still had uni exams to take in Italy and my career (or my mind!) was not defined yet (of course not!).

In 2006, I thought that ‘repetita iuvant’ so there I went, again. I was as a work placement for 6 months in a Central London agency (to which I still owe most of my admin skills, thanks Atlas!) and there I started shaping my life a bit better.

So, what’s the ‘back to basics’ adagio about? Be patient (always a good tip, in life and work).

I moved to Exeter in 2008 and I have to say, I could not see myself here at first (too small, too far, low diversity…) but I never give in. So I ‘carved’ my life here and I have to say, folks: this place is the town with the highest quality of life I’ve ever lived in. Safe, nice, green, cosy.

But business is business (very much so these days) so, to cut a long story short: get ready for the Big Smoke and feel free to visit in the next months…

Rainy London is relocating to the real thing. We cannot ignore London Calling.

Si chiude il cerchio, as it should (and I am very excited about it).

See you there!

Val

 

ps.: my picture, below.

P1020664

pps. A nice video, a tune I love. Be louder!

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