I would like to echo the sentiment of Colleen in, I assume, her answer to another question.
We don't want the site to become a free translation and/or writing service.
I heartily concur and I as much voiced that opinion to a frequent user here whose profile says he/she is a "freelance translator". Six weeks ago I engaged this person in a short convo about the ethics of a freelance translator using this site for assistance in his/her translation work, which convo I include below with the germane remarks bolded.
My question is not, per se, about this particular user's questions, though I reserve the right not to answer those of any user if I feel they originate from a translation project any user is working on, which might be manifest, for example, in a series of questions about a technical document (or even a difficult poem) that any user might be in the process of translating.
My question is about the ethics of a professional translator using ELL as a free proofreading service. Is it allowable? What should SE: ELL do when encountering this issue? What should individual users do, when they feel they might be encountering this situation?
I include the exchange below as an indication of how my brain was stimulated to eventually ask what I thought would be a good meta-question.
These questions are bordering on (or are actually) proofreading. It's similar to "which adjective is better here?" You could also use the. It seems you'll have to get exposure to skads more English for a better grasp of article usage. Telling us why you think it should be a might steer it away from being proofreading. – Alan Carmack Jun 18 at 15:36
@AlanCarmack - I was attending translation courses at a university, and teachers with 20 to 30 years of experience there make article errors now and then. It's not something you ever perfectly grasp when your native language lacks the very concept. I'll try to provide some reasoning behind the use of "a". – CowperKettle Jun 18 at 15:53
Yeah, I know. But still, imho, there's a point when asking about article usage stops being a general question and starts being proofreading. That's just the way it is. And I would say that to those folks with 20 to 30 years of experience. At that point they need to be paying a native proofreader. – Alan Carmack Jun 18 at 16:01
@AlanCarmack - when we should just wipe all the article questions. – CowperKettle Jun 18 at 16:07
Are you getting paid for the translation work you do? – Alan Carmack Jun 18 at 16:14
@AlanCarmack - Should I answer? If my question is against the rules, feel free to closevote. I'm not forcing you to answer my questions. I've answered some four hundred questions free of charge. (0: – CowperKettle Jun 18 at 16:21
If you are getting paid for translating, you might think about the ethics of using ELL for helping you provide an improved product. No I'm certainly not compelled to answer your questions especially if you are getting paid for translating and rely on people on ELL to help you in your translating service, without receiving any remuneration. I don't know if it's against the rules. Might make a great meta question. – Alan Carmack Jun 18 at 16:27