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Be on Your Best Manners

Okay, I have to admit that the title isn't aimed directly, but rather indirectly at you. Otherwise I would run the risk of sounding like your mom. Nevertheless, I find it a good policy to always be nice to everyone on the internet. That doesn't mean that you can't couch some sort of complaint or assertion behind nice words. (In case you're wondering, I'm not trying to turn you into Barney).

Why am I even saying this? Most of you are freelancers, so if you've posted mean things on social media or, no one is going to do anything to you as long as you follow the essential rules. But I believe that what goes around comes around.

Communicating with other people via the internet can be a bit like driving a large SUV: you are quite removed from the sights, sounds, and I daresay smells coming from the other person on the street, who, in the case of online forums, may be thousands of miles away. It is easy to be insensitive and misleading about the information we convey.

So, you could post something

like: "Machine translation is rubbish. I always have to edit every single sentence." In doing so, you could cause me to whip my fingers out and rattle off a reply saying: "You don't know what you're talking about. Machine translation has changed my life and even made me a better translator." Or, perhaps you could be new on the scene and respect this translator/poster and if you actually took heed, your career could go in quite a different direction.

Actually, I don't like posting anything anywhere. I guess you could call me a "lurker" (if you really must! I think the most responsible statement that would benefit both the poster and the reader

would be something like: "I'm not that well versed on machine translation, but in my own experience, it hasn't met the mark because I find the output somewhat artificial, and I have had to make several corrections. That said, I'm speaking from my own experience, and I know that it has become an essential part of modern translation tools and techniques."

This way, you say what you want to without closing doors for you, as slight as that possibility may be. You never know who is going to read what you wrote, as so much data ProZ from is indexed. So, my advice to you is to be kind, welcoming and most of all, informative.

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