Harold W. Vadney III is a wannabe translator who lies about his credentials. In August 2007, I exposed him on the now-defunct Network of Independent Linguists’ Discussion Forum. He has now set up a blog devoted to telling lies about me and others. This is my reply. To comment or for further information write to Richard_Benham_AU-StopVadneysLies[at]yahoo.com.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Anyone for Green Herring?

There are red herrings...

Well, for once the Vadney has said something I would agree with: “Watch for Red Herrings with Internet Scoundrels”. Well, the “scoundrels” sounds a bit quaintly anachronistic, but then the Vadney appears to have no ambitions to be taken seriously.

Examples of red herrings to watch for would be:

(1) After being exposed as not having the credentials one has claimed, turning around and attacking the exposers, but never addressing the issue of the truth or falsity of one’s own claims.

(2) Accusing one’s exposers of defamation, and persisting with this accusation for weeks on end, without ever saying what it is that they have said that is alleged to be defamatory, or presenting one’s arguments as to why it supposedly isn’t true.

(3) Making all sorts of innuendos about alleged sexual orientations of and relations between one’s opponents.

(4) Persistently accusing one’s opponents of criminality, without ever giving the details or evidence.

(5) Rather than addressing the issue of the (undeniable) truth of the revelations against oneself, blustering about the means by which the information was obtained.

(6) Dismissing information as “inaccurate” on the basis of trivial details (such as reference to a BS degree instead of a BA), while never addressing the glaring issue (e.g. that one has claimed a non-existent MA degree). “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”—Matthew 7:3.

(7) Trying to link a very simple issue—the fact that one has been caught falsely claiming credentials—with an unrelated extravagant and frivolous lawsuit one has taken, and accusing one’s exposers of being in some sort of (unefined) “conspiracy” with the defendants in that suit.

(8) Publishing wild speculations about one’s exposers’ nationality, whereabouts, sources of wealth, etc., and drawing or suggesting even wilder conclusions of criminality, rather than, again, addressing the issue of the truth or falsity of the original statements that started the dispute.

Of course the Vadney has done all this and more. He has treated us to countless new posts, greater or lesser edits to existing posts, and attempts to comment on my blog, since 12 December 2007, without once mentioning the substance of the so-called defamation.

...and there are green herrings!

But I think the term “red herring” is not the most accurate for Vadney’s efforts. What we are dealing with here are rather “green herrings”: they are born of envy.

How else does one explain the following meandering drivel?
[...] Benham also claims to be a professinal translator, having various degrees, various diplomas, etc. The usual. A professional [!] translator myself, it beggars the imagination to think that Mr Benham can move about so much and still be a credible translator. Perhaps also, with all this movement either his translating business is extraordinarily good or he's independently wealthy but to be in so many places in such a narrow period of time is a bit incredible and still be able to make a living.

I quote my rates in euros, because I target the European market, but a quick conversion on XE.com shows that my advertised rates are about double the Vadney’s advertised rates. Not only that, until I came here to study, I was working at full capacity, whereas the Vadney only manages to get a trickle of work, despite his bogus qualifications and claimed quarter-century of experience. A few months ago, the Vadney announced on TranslatorsCafe.com that he was planning a European tour at the end of 2007. Apparently it never eventuated (for lack of money? or was it just another green herring to start with?), while here I am in Europe, living in a hotel.... Oh, and of course, I actually do have a recognized translation diploma or two, earned the hard way (by passing exams, not just putting some fabrication in my CV...).

And by the way, the vast majority of translators get their assignments and deliver their work by email; so it makes no difference where they are located, as long as there is Internet connectivity. And it happens that the cost of living is very low in Indonesia, and there is no income tax. So is it any wonder that I, working full-time at about double the Vadney’s rates, can afford to go on a study tour of Europe when he can’t?

Mr Vadney, if you want to be able to afford that European vacation, take some advice from me. Improve your skills, starting with your English spelling and grammar and moving on to elementary German; stop wasting your time and (eventually) money on frivolous lawsuits you can’t win; stop spending your time defaming your betters (yes! the word is carefully chosen) and start trying to build a career the slow but steady way. You’ve still got 7 or 8 years before standard retirement age, and look at me: I have built a successful career in about 4 years.

Finally, a pink herring

When the Vadney first started his grubby little blog, he used the pseudonym “BG”...while at the same time berating me for my alleged use of a pseudonym. Maybe like you, I wondered what the letters stood for. Then I noticed the email address from which originated the Vadney’s infantile attempts to comment on my blog: beaugars@.... Beau gars?? “Handsome young man”?? (And that’s a charitable translation....)

Judge for yourself.


Scott Horne said...

Richard, I cannot advise Mr Vadney to pursue a career in translation: his English writing falls so far short of a professional standard that he would have very little hope of getting it up to snuff, even if he devoted years to the task. I would have a better shot at becoming a concert pianist than Mr Vadney would of becoming a translator of high calibre.

Although I don't really want to aid and abet the wicked, I would advise Mr Vadney to get into some other line of work. He is wasting his life on destructive nonsense. How can he expect to amount to anything when he spends his days telling lies, defaming respectable professionals, and suing those whom he perceives as standing in the way of his fraudulent behaviour?

Scott Horne said...

One other thing, Richard: don't bother responding to Mr Vadney's crazy speculations about your sources of income and such. He's just throwing heaps of shit in the hope that some of it will stick. I certainly don't intend to dignify Mr Vadney's gossip with an answer, though I may well deal with it through the courts.

Richard D. Benham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard D. Benham said...

Hello. Of course I don’t intend to be drawn on my financial affairs (or any other kind of affairs). However, my advertised rates are public knowledge anyway, and I don’t think my having been flat-out will surprise anybody. I haven’t responded about the detail of the speculations as to my whereabouts, but I might add the Vadney has, unsurprisingly, published as fact a lot of stuff that he pulled out of his arse—such as my alleged claim to have been somewhere near Paris.

Obviously the Vadney has no chance of making it as a translator, but he won’t make it as anything other than a laughing stock if he continues the way he is going. My suggestions were just a bit of a piss-take, a back-handed way of highlighting his poor English expression and grossly inadequate knowledge of what can only be his best foreign language (and which he claims as a “native” language).

Of course, the Vadney rose to the bait, at the same time proclaiming that he had successfully baited me.

Scott Horne said...

Yes, and I've heard that he is now accusing me of being in some town in Palestine that I have never visited. What wild accusation will he dream up next?

So the deleted comment was his response to your suggestion?

Richard D. Benham said...

Hello Scott. I don’t allow Vadney’s comments to be posted any more; so I can’t delete them. The deleted comment was mine: the same as the comment immediately after it, only with a typo. It’s not possible to edit comments; if you discover a typo you have to either leave it or delete the comment and submit it again.

About Me

I am a professional translator in the combinations French>English and German>English. I hold qualifications from the University of Adelaide (BA, DipCompSc), the Australian National University (LittB), the University of Geneva (Certificat de spécialisation en linguistique), and the the UK-based Institute of Linguists (Diploma in Translation for both my language combinations). I am an implacable opponent of bullshit in all its forms.