Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Community of Practice for Translators and Interpreters
= interesting, promising
Online Community
FREE and paid options is a very active community of translator, language specialists and interpreters who collaborate, work and exchange in a very synergistic fashion on this site.

The site is set up so that members are encouraged to help and support others. Through this mechanism credibility and a reputation value is built around each member of the community. The community works well also as a clearinghouse exchange for job requests, assignments and vacancies in the language sector.

This web site clever use of community-building strategies, motivational and reward methods, and specialized focus make it a positive breakthrough example of how technology and good ideas can be utilized to create an online service of value to many. is managed and coordinated by a small group of programmers and devoted language enthusiasts based in Oakland, California, who are in turn supported by many volunteers moderators around the world.

Proz members can create a personal profile page stating their language talents and skills. Through the community many language experts and translators can find opportunities for work and paid assignments. I guess you will need to show how you are first, but that should a be a built-in requisite for any job I suppose.

Proz members are rewarded/paid through Brownies and Kudoz. What are BrowniZ? BrowniZ are points earned by contributing something to the community or the site, such as site translations, introduction of new members, organization or attendance of powwows, etc. BrowniZ measure of 'helpfulness' or 'activity level', as opposed to KudoZ points, which relate to 'expertise'. Unlike KudoZ points, BrowniZ points can be spent. Having browniz points means you have done something for the community, and the community "owes you one".

Among the services and facilities made available to the public Proz I have noted the following very useful services:

1) Proz Forums where useful exchanges, questions and answers, expert advice and more is provided among a large community of free and paid members. A nice policy they have adopted is the one where Forum postings from Platinum members appear immediately. Postings from non-platinum members are checked before being made visible.

2) The Blue Board is used by members to rate agencies they have experience working with. Factors taken into consideration by people rating agencies include: overall quality, promptness of the payment, quality of project management, etc. Agencies have an opportunity to respond to ratings posted by individuals rating them. Everyone can rate and inquire about agencies. The Blue Board is also a comprehensive list of Translating Agencies all around the world! Agencies have an opportunity to advertise their services and link their Blue Board listing to their profile.

3) Translation Teams. This feature allows Proz members to ally together in teams to provide specialty and complex translation jobs that they would not be able to carry out otherwise. translation teams allow a group of translators to act as a single entity, taking job bids, setting rates, collaborating on projects, and more. Teams also get a short URL in the form of Any member can be part of a team. However, only Platinum members can create a new team, invite other translators, and have control over the team's settings.

4) Proz Wallet. Members can receive electronic payments for their work directly through Proz. who provides facilities linked to each professoional members to provide Clients with credit card/paypal or other form of electronic payment.

5) Proz Glossaries. Members can upload professional glossaries and access them. There are over 1500 glossaries at present.

6) CAT Tools Center

Of very high interest to those of you interested in the technology tools available today to language translators and interpreters Proz has put together a valuable resource bringing together comments and experiences of real users of the different products and tools available on the market.

While the interface is not immediately clear, through a set of menu links placed on the left side of the center text box one can access three valuable resource areas to evaluate major CAT tools.

At the different levels of membership include various benefits and options. The cost for Premium Membership is USD $ 60 and for Platinum Membership is USD $ 120.

In both cases it provides for key advantages including higher levels of exposure and access to Proz services.

Basic membership is free.

The activity level on the site forums is very high and it is easy to see that it is productive and useful as well. Real kudos to Henry Dotterer and the great guys behind Proz.

If you are in the field, highly recommended.

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posted by Robin Good on Wednesday, July 31 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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