Profile: general

Why are certain fields classified as 'required' or 'encouraged'?

The classification of a profile field as 'required' or 'encouraged' (as opposed to simply 'available') corresponds to the possible contribution of that field to the goal of helping to ensure that a profile owner gets the most out of

* 'Required' fields are those that are important enough that the failure to supply data for the field (or alternatively, to explicitly decline to enter data) results in the profile being regarded as 'incomplete'.

* 'Encouraged' fields are those that may help a profile owner to get more out of, though are not necessarily as critical as the 'required' fields.

Note that in classifying a given field as 'required' or 'encouraged', is not endorsing the use of that field either for qualifying translators or for any other purpose. It is one of the guiding principles of the site that users are given the tools to help them work in the ways they choose to do so. In other words, a profile field tends to exist when there are enough people who want to use it (either to share information or to search by it.) Therefore, the classification of a field as 'required' or 'encouraged' tends to correspond to the relative frequency with which that field is used.