dimanche 16 mars 2008

Ex-Staff Sergeant Harold William Vadney III is totally unqualified as a translator!

Ex-Staff Sergeant Vadney III, who bravely risked his life for his country as a Clerk Typist in Germany in the 1970s, now claims to be a professional translator. But by his own admission, he is totally unqualified!

Recently, on one of his shitty blogs, he claimed I had “only the merest qualifications (unverified)1 as a translator”. However, since his qualifications are demonstrably lower than mine, it follows that, since mine are the “merest qualifications”, then his are no qualifications at all.

For some time now, the brave (and apparently cashiered) Clerk Typist has been claiming to have a “diploma” from the IoL (Institute of Linguists—now the Chartered Institute of Linguists). He hasn’t specified which diploma, quite possibly because he hasn’t got around to making that bit up yet. But it doesn’t matter, because the IoL’s Diploma in Translation (DipTransIoL), of which I have two, is the highest-level qualification ever offered by the IoL. It is the only IoL qualification that the IoL itself regards as being of postgraduate level.

To see this, check out the following extracts from the membership criteria.

First the criteria for membership of the IoL (MIL, now MCIL), the level ex-Staff Sergeant Vadney falsely claimed to hold for many years:

Member is the main professional grade of Institute membership and is intended for those whose professional skill as a linguist is a primary requirement for the work in which they are engaged.

The minimum age for Membership is 21.

To become a Member you must have:

a. a proven degree-level qualification (see Appendix A) and
b. at least three years’ professional experience, one of which must have been immediately prior to application, where foreign language skill is a requirement.

a. a proven post-graduate qualification (see Appendix A) and
b. at least one year’s professional experience (normally immediately prior to the date of application), where foreign language skill is a requirement.

So far so good; so you either need a degree-level language qualification plus three years’ experience or a postgraduate-level language qualification plus one year’s experience. As you would expect, Appendix A clarifies exactly what are considered degree-level and postgraduate-level qualifications. It’s a bit long; so I’ll leave it down the bottom2. The important thing is that, while several IoL diplomas are mentioned as sufficient for membership when combined with three years’ experience, there is only one among the postgraduate-level qualifications qualifying for membership when combined with only one year’s experience: the DipTransIoL. And yes, they do mention proof of oral competence, but I should think my Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom with the grade of sehr gut (the maximum possible grade) both overall and in the oral would meet that requirement easily3.

Note that, despite all his extravagant (and lying) claims, ex-Clerk Typist Vadney has never claimed any specific translation qualification other than his “diploma” or “Membership” of the IoL—and then only for German (into English, I presume, although even his English is bad enough). He doesn’t even bother to claim to be qualified for any other languages, although he claims to be professionally active in French, Italian and Spanish, too.

For the ultimate in Vadneyoid bullshit, we have the following:
It appear [sic] that Benham simply took the examinations (anyone can do that).

Not quite, ex-Clerk Typist Vadney. I didn’t just take the examinations; I also passed them. And not everybody can do that. In fact, one of those who would have less than a snowball’s chance in hell of passing the DipTrans exams is one ex-Clerk Typist Harold William Vadney III himself. In fact, ex-Staff Sergeant Vadney, I will make a little bet. You attempt to repeat my achievement, DipTransIoL in both French>English and German>English in a single examination session, at next year’s exams (January 2009), and if you are successful in all papers (as I was), I’ll refund your examination fees. I’ll even accept it if you make a different choice of languages, say Italian and Spanish, just so long as you pass all six papers in two language pairs in January 2009. Don’t chicken out! With your 25 years of experience you must be pretty confident of passing. It’s your chance of upgrading your qualifications to my level free of charge!! Of course you will have to send me a copy of your examination entry cards for subsequent verification—a scanned copy to my Vadney-accessible email address Richard_Benham_AU-StopVadneysLies[at]yahoo.com (yes, that’s right: the one you claimed I “forged”, you lying little worm) will do.

What have you got to lose?


1. If ex-Clerk Typist Vadney wants to verify my qualifications, he only need contact the institutions concerned. The IoL for one is sure to give a different answer from the one I got when I enquired about ex-Clerk Typist Vadney’s alleged qualifications.

2. Here’s that Appendix A I promised earlier:




One of the following qualifications (in addition to three years’ professional experience, as detailed on page 5):

  1. The IoL Final Diploma examination
  2. From 1994, the IoL Grade V Diploma of the Alternative Syllabus for Contemporary Languages
  3. From 1990, the IoL Diploma in Languages for International Communication (ELIC)
  4. The IoL Diploma in English for International Communication (subject to proven degree-level evidence of competence in another language)
  5. The IoL Final Diploma in English and Chinese
  6. The IoL Diploma in Public Service Interpreting
  7. International Diploma in Bilingual Communication (IDBC) Modules 1-4
  8. The Diplomatic Service Language Allowance examination at the Extensive Level
  9. The Ministry of Defence Interpreter examination
  10. The Civil Service Commission Interpretership
  11. The Joint Services Language Examinations Board Diploma examination (if taken between January 1992 and March 1996)
  12. The Ministry of Defence Languages Examinations Board Diploma (if taken before March 1996)
  13. A 1st or 2nd class Honours degree of a recognised British or overseas University or awarded by the Council for National Academic Awards in:

    • a modern language or languages.
    • a modern language or languages combined with another subject or subjects,
      provided that in the final year of the degree course at least 40% of the course
      content was devoted to foreign language work and that this was examined at
      Finals level and provided that the degree course included residency for study
      or employment of not less than five months duration in a country of the
      language in which admission is sought, or that the residency requirement was
      met within a year of graduation, or that evidence of oral competence is

  14. Other certificates and diplomas to be considered on their merits and the extent to
    which they cover the syllabus of the Diploma in Languages for International

One of the following qualifications (in addition to one year’s professional experience, as detailed on page 6):

  1. The IoL Diploma in Translation (subject to evidence of oral competence being provided)
  2. A recognised post-graduate degree of a British or overseas University in a modern language or languages, or in bi-lingual translation/translation studies.
  3. Other post-graduate certificates and diplomas to be considered on their merits.

3. For those not familiar with this certification, awarded by the Goethe-Institut on behalf of the University of Munich, it is the only certification in any language recognized as being above the maximum level (C2) on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. The required level of competence is described as nahezu muttersprachlich (near-native). Ex-Clerk Typist Vadney has repeatedly claimed to be a native speaker of German, but this is just another one of his lies.

vendredi 14 mars 2008

Vadney’s distinguished military career

Let me start by saying that I believe that nobody should be a prisoner of their background. If you have the misfortune, like Harold William Vadney III, to have been born into a trailer-trash family, then it is not only understandable but also commendable to try to rise above your humble beginnings through talent and hard work.

Of course, if you have no talent, there’s always the military. Not only is the military chronically short of new recruits—so they’ll accept just about anybody—but it also offers its employees dumbed-down “college-level” courses, so that even people whose prospects are so dim that they need to join the military in the first place can hope to exit with a degree. So it must have looked like the natural career choice for the young Harold William Vadney III. In a way, it’s a wonder he didn’t think of it earlier, but then again, perhaps not.

Of course, there is a minor disadvantage to a military career: you may be posted to a war zone, where other soldiers, wearing different-coloured uniforms, may actually shoot at you and otherwise try to kill you. At the time, the US was engaged in an undeclared war in South-East Asia; so the risk was more than theoretical. But somehow, young Harold managed to swing it so he got posted to the war zone of the past, Europe, and never had to face the unpleasantness of physical danger.

So far, so good. But now have a look at Vadney’s military record, kindly supplied by Mr Scott Horne. It seems young Harold left the military in something of a hurry. He didn’t wait to finish his degree, and, surprisingly, he was discharged while still in Germany. And if we look at page 3 of the PDF file, on the last non-blank line (about 12 lines down the page), we see that something has been blacked out before the word “discharge” (by the military, not by either me or my colleague). Normally, you’d expect the word “honorable” to appear there, and the blacked-out section is the right length for that. Could it be that the brass were going to give Vadney an honourable discharge, but thought better of it?

Then there’s the question of the Vadney’s rank. On the covering document (page 2 of the PDF file), it is given as “Specialist 4 / E4” (E4 corresponds to Corporal), but shortly before being discharged, he seems to have made it to “TRANSLATOR / INTPR (E6)” (E6=Staff Sergeant). So why does the covering document (p. 2) give his rank as E4? Why did he apparently not even get an honourable discharge? Why did he leave so abruptly? And why does he never mention this highly relevant “professional” experience on his CVs? (See for example this one, taken from his ProZ.com profile before he became such a liability that they had to kick him off.) Could it be that Vadney got into some kind of trouble, and was demoted and bundled out?

We note from the covering letter to Mr Horne that the records provided to him constitute all information “releaseable” under Freedom of Information legislation, and that the Vadney’s permission is required for further details. In view of the Vadney’s oft-stated commitment to openness, and the obvious pride (and understandable pride too, when you consider his subsequent career) with which he regards his military career and his “Big Red One” (the question he never answers is: big red what?), we are sure that the relevant permission will be forthcoming. And pigs might fly.

lundi 10 mars 2008

Watch this space!

I have far too much work to do right now; so this blog is just a place-holder right now. I have plans for it, but right now, if you want to get the low-down on a low-down liar of a wannabe translator by the name of Harold William Vadney III (!), check my other blog.

You may be wondering why I even bothered to create this blog under the circumstances. Well, the Harold William Vadney III has a blog devoted to defaming me, a professional colleague (of mine—by definition he, being totally unprofessional, can’t have professional colleagues), a couple of newspaper publishers, most of his neighbours.... A few hours ago, he posted a link to a new blog he had created at this address. This was mainly devoted to defaming translators (myself and my colleague), and was taken down shortly after being put up. So I grabbed the name to stop him from putting it back up. It didn’t help much; he started a new blog with almost identical content (but more of it) with a slightly different name.