What is the purpose of the ProZ.com Native Language Verification Program?

To provide ProZ.com members with the option of having their native language(s) verified by native-speaking peers.

Why would a ProZ.com member want to have his or her native language(s) verified by peers?

When hiring translators or interpreters, some clients have preferences or requirements pertaining to native language. Obtaining verification of one's native language(s) from peers is a way to increase confidence in one's services among some such clients.

Is the existence of this program meant to suggest that being a native speaker of a given language qualifies one to translate or interpret into that language?

No. Native language is only one factor that a client might consider when hiring a translator or interpreter. This program narrowly addresses that one factor. (For other screening programs, see the ProZ.com Certified PRO Network and ProZ.com Pools.)

Who is eligible to get their native language(s) verified through this program?

ProZ.com members who are Plus subscribers, or who have participated in the program by verifying the native languages of three or more peers.

I have declared a single native language in my profile, so it is shown in the same color as verified languages. Should I apply for verification?

It is up to you. Declaring a single native language (which can not easily be changed) is regarded by some as similar in effect to verification -- that is why the same color is used -- so the benefit of applying may be moderate for you. That said, there is no harm in applying and you are not prevented from doing so.

Who gets access to the verification results?

By default, ProZ.com paying members (both business and professional) can access and search by this information. In addition, the verified status of Plus subscribers is shown, to all visitors, in the profiles of Plus subscribers.

What does the process of getting one's native language verified consist of?

A person who wishes to have his or her native language verified is asked to create a recording, using an internet browser or the ProZ.com mobile app (planned), of his or her spoken responses to certain conversation prompts. The recording is made available to reviewers, who may express opinions on whether or not the speaker is native. If consensus exists among reviewers that the person is a native speaker, the applicant is considered to be a verified native speaker for the purposes of this program.

What sort of "conversation prompts" are there?

Applicants are invited to tell stories, jokes, riddles, etc. Try to make the recordings fun for reviewers!

How long does it take to apply?

A few minutes.

Who can review applications?

A person can serve as a reviewer in a given language if (i) he or she is a verified native speaker of that language, or (ii) he or she has declared that language as his or her only native language.

What guidance is given to reviewers?

Reviewers are asked to decide whether or not a person is a native speaker based solely on their review of the recordings. They are asked to use their own personal definition of "native speaker". Access is not given to the name, location, or other characteristics of the applicant.

How to deal with unusual accents?

Whenever possible, recordings are submitted to review by peers who not only speak the language in question, but also the variant that the applicant has declared.

As a reviewer, what should I be basing my determination on? (In other words, what does it mean to be “native”?)

The program relies on consensus, so simply use your own instincts. If the speaker sounds native to you, select that. (And vice versa.)

What if I’m unsure whether the speaker is native or not?

Select the “Not sure” option. Comments are helpful when selecting this option.

What if I have trouble evaluating the application due to the poor audio quality?

There is a response provided for that, too.

What incentives are there to act as a reviewer?

People tend to participate in programs such as this for differing reasons. Some wish to contribute according to the overall goals of the program. Others may simply find it interesting to listen to the stories or jokes shared. Those who submit a review will be awarded 100 BrowniZ points for their participation.

Do applicants and reviewers meet each other?

Reviewers do not know the identity of the people they are reviewing. However, a reviewer can opt to have his or her identity disclosed to an applicant upon positive completion of an application. In this way, there is the potential in the program for a bit of networking.

How long does it take to do reviews?

A few minutes.

How is quality controlled? How is it clear which reviewers to trust?

Reviews are sought from multiple parties. Control applications (i.e., applications from known-native and known-non-native speakers) may also be used. Reviewers whose judgments tend not to be supported by either facts or consensus may be removed from the reviewer pool.

Can an applicant view reviews?

No, reviews are not revealed to the applicant. Applicants are simply told the result of their verification request.

Is there an appeals process?

Yes. To appeal a decision, enter a support ticket.

Is language variant (dialect) considered in the program?

Yes. Applicants are asked to indicate which variant of the language most closely characterizes their own speech. Reviewers are drawn from among speakers of that variant.

Why evaluate someone's spoken language? Translators write.

In this program, a determination is made as to whether or not a given person is a native speaker of a given language. The program does not address writing ability or other skills important in translation.

Are there any "control" applications?

Yes, there will be applications submitted by non-native speakers for the explicit purposes of monitoring and controlling quality.

Why are applicants and reviewers required to specify language variants (dialects)?

Preliminary program experience suggests that verification confidence is lower when the variant of the applicant and the reviewer differs.

Does the variant I select in the application screen affect the variant listed in my ProZ.com profile?

No, the variant you select when requesting native language verification will not affect the variant you have listed in your profile (nor will it add a variant to your profile if you have not listed one).

In what languages and variants is verification available?

Verification can be requested in any language and variant. However, because the program relies on peer review, verification will be completed only when a sufficient number of reviewers has been accessed. For this reason there is no guarantee with regard to the length of the review process.

I am a ProZ.com member but I am not interested in applying for verification. What do I need to do?

Nothing. Your language will not be subject to review. The program will have no direct effect on you or your profile.

I don't want to be invited to review applications. Can I express that somewhere?

Yes. Go to http://www.proz.com/settings/languages.

I am a ProZ.com member and would like to have my native language verified. How do I do that?

Go to http://www.proz.com/native-language-verification/applications.

I am a ProZ.com member and would like to review applications for others. How do I do that?

First, make sure that you have declared not only your native language, but also the applicable variant. Then go to http://www.proz.com/native-language-verification/reviews to see if there are any applications in that variant.

I have feedback/suggestions for this program. How can I share?

Thank you. Please either share your feedback/suggestion publicly in the dedicated forum thread, or privately to ProZ.com staff members via a support ticket: http://www.proz.com/support.

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