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Translator Scams

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b2ap3_thumbnail_scams.pngAmong the various spam I reap in my inbox every day is one variety that particularly annoys me: bloody translators.

Because they are not translators. What happens is this: they sign into legitimate translation sites, hunt out CVs which they then download. Using the translator’s name and CV as template, with an added combination of cooked-up details, they change the address and delete the telephone number, inject a specious email copying the essence of the translator’s name and send it off. Sometimes the switch is laughable, such as the one where the guy was unable to change his keyboard language and the Swedish address displayed in Arabic, for example:copy of fake Swedish address with Arabic numerals

It seems to work both ways: either “agencies” offering jobs then cheating on payment or, and this is what I see most, translators offering, for example, their aircraft-engineering skills in horse-breeding and “Voice-over talent with an educated trained alto voice” to my “esteemed company”…

Generally, the email is laughable. They understand the basics of deliverability (max 80 chars/line for text-only) but get everything else wrong. They promise perfect translations in utterly imperfect English and combinations that make the mind boggle: Swedish-Danish-Indonesian, or Finnish-Urdu-Japanese… They seem to be under the belief that including a Scandinavian language will automatically trigger a sense of trust, as may well it might. They often have more degrees than a thermometer – from harp-playing to nuclear physics – and specialize in everything from – this just in: “Technical, Law, Marketing, Engineering, Computer, Media, finance , cooking , Literature and Novels , legal, etc.” (notice the judicious use of spaces before the commas, both Law and legal, and the rest…) – which makes one wonder why they’re hawking their multiple skills instead of lecturing at Harvard.

Sometimes it can be quite sick, for example, the recent proposal by a Dutch translator called Anne Frank.

If ever the bait is taken, there are various tactics such as the overpayment scam or corporate impersonation if they’re “buying” or, if “selling”, they simply paste your job into Google Translate (which ain’t actually that bad, but still needs serious revising which they’d never do), then bill you and get paid before your relevant counterpart gets round to querying you about the meaningless drivel he’s been sent. For a fuller exposé from the viewpoint of actual translators who get cheated, read this article by Carola F. Berger writing for the American Translators Association, which you can find on a website that one time-courageous person has put up about them: www.translator-scammers.com.

As they say, it might cost a bit having it done by a professional, but not half as much as by an amateur, or worse…

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Guest mercredi, 22 janvier 2020
Vous êtes ici : Home Frogologoblog Simon Translator Scams