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Off topic: Is this interpreting job?
Thread poster: Lenah Susianty

Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:15
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Sep 5, 2005

I;ve just read a job posted on this website. It is looking for an interpreter(s), but the requirements are 'funny'. This is what they posted:

"You are going to be attached to 2 to 8 guests of the manufacturer. Your job is to convey certain messages from the manufacturer to the guests and vice-versa . You will just interact with the guests and most importantly convey whatever messages that the guests wants to say. There will not be anything technical involved. What's more you will be informed on manufacturer's philosophy - a good way to know more about corporate culture!

To qualify, you must be native Indonesian female with excellent communication skills, good and decent looking, about 1.60m tall, good PR skills, able to mingle and communicate well with established Indonesian guests, able to commit long hours ( 10am to 11pm daily), able to speak fluent English, and must be punctual."

I've never heard before that an interpreter is chosen based on their gender! more over, she should be .160m tall and good looking!

I don't think a job like this should be advertised in this website...


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antje.s  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
French to German
+ ...
... Sep 5, 2005

Your posting should be published as a headline on the first page of this website... it's just unbelievable!!!

Antje


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:15
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Agree.. Sep 5, 2005

Lenah Susianty wrote:


I don't think a job like this should be advertised in this website...



I have squashed this job and requested the poster to contact the moderators. Certainly the requirements listed have been well beyond of what can be considered acceptable.

For future: please remember that moderators are NOT looking at each and every job posting. If you notice an inappropriate job post - please drop a line to any Jobs/BB moderator.

Thanks,
Magda

[Edited at 2005-09-05 16:13]


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 12:15
German to English
Employer can set arbitrary requirements for freelancers Sep 5, 2005

An employer can specify that independent contractors should be gay, left-handed, vegetarian, Roman Catholic or must meet any other arbitrary criterion. From the description, it appears that the potential employer wants to create an atmosphere that will appeal to a clientele made up of men. The working hours indicated, however, are unconscionable. Only a saint could be expected to be personable for 13 hours.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:15
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes and no :) Sep 5, 2005

Kevin Fulton wrote:

An employer can specify that independent contractors should be gay, left-handed, vegetarian, Roman Catholic or must meet any other arbitrary criterion. From the description, it appears that the potential employer wants to create an atmosphere that will appeal to a clientele made up of men. The working hours indicated, however, are unconscionable. Only a saint could be expected to be personable for 13 hours.


You're right that employer can specify requirements, however, ProZ.com Jobs Area is for *language related jobs* - only. I'm sure there are sites which help to recruit ladies who "can appeal to a clientele made up of men", but ProZ.com is not one of them.

Magda


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Tsu Dho Nimh
Local time: 10:15
English
What is local culture like? Sep 5, 2005

Lenah Susianty wrote:

"You are going to be attached to 2 to 8 guests of the manufacturer. Your job is to convey certain messages from the manufacturer to the guests and vice-versa . You will just interact with the guests and most importantly convey whatever messages that the guests wants to say. There will not be anything technical involved. What's more you will be informed on manufacturer's philosophy - a good way to know more about corporate culture!

To qualify, you must be native Indonesian female with excellent communication skills, good and decent looking, about 1.60m tall, good PR skills, able to mingle and communicate well with established Indonesian guests, able to commit long hours ( 10am to 11pm daily), able to speak fluent English, and must be punctual."

I've never heard before that an interpreter is chosen based on their gender! more over, she should be .160m tall and good looking!

I don't think a job like this should be advertised in this website...



It might be a real job, but consider the culture:

It is very common, during conventions, to hire attractive females (called "booth bunnies" for computer shows) to stand around the product and smile at the visitors and answer non-technical questions. They also hire "hostesses" to mingle with guests in the hospitality areas.

That said ... most American companies have a strict policy that their attractive females are not to be touched. They are not expected to tolerate any sexual advances from the customers. And American law enforces those policies.

What is the local culture like? If companies are known to hire prostitutes to entertain their customers, you would have to make it clear that you are an interpreter, not a prostitute. And to make it perfectly clear, don't drink, and dress very modestly.


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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:15
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It might be a real job, but consider the culture Sep 5, 2005

[quote]Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:
It is very common, during conventions, to hire attractive females (called "booth bunnies" for computer shows) to stand around the product and smile at the visitors and answer non-technical questions. They also hire "hostesses" to mingle with guests in the hospitality areas.


If it is so then the job should not be advertised here. It is not a job for an interpreter. I don't think Indonesian would call this job as 'interpreting' job either.


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 09:15
English to French
+ ...
It could be a trade show Sep 5, 2005

Who knows? They may need receptionists in a trade show, and the height requirement could even be justified.

Of course, this is not an interpreting job, we know that, but the outsourcer may not know the difference.


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craigs
Local time: 12:15
English to Portuguese
+ ...
One can be more discreet in presonal preferences Sep 5, 2005

Magda Dziadosz wrote:

Kevin Fulton wrote:

An employer can specify that independent contractors should be gay, left-handed, vegetarian, Roman Catholic or must meet any other arbitrary criterion. From the description, it appears that the potential employer wants to create an atmosphere that will appeal to a clientele made up of men. The working hours indicated, however, are unconscionable. Only a saint could be expected to be personable for 13 hours.


You're right that employer can specify requirements, however, ProZ.com Jobs Area is for *language related jobs* - only. I'm sure there are sites which help to recruit ladies who "can appeal to a clientele made up of men", but ProZ.com is not one of them.

Magda


It's quite appropriate for this site to have a certain code of ethics. This doesn't have to hinder the company from getting precisely the person they desire. They could forgo the demographic details in the public advertisement and simply weed out undesired applicants like any normal employer does for ordinary situations.


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MariaChiara
English to Italian
+ ...
interpreting and gender Sep 6, 2005

[quote]Lenah Susianty wrote:

Tsu Dho Nimh wrote:
It is very common, during conventions, to hire attractive females (called "booth bunnies" for computer shows) to stand around the product and smile at the visitors and answer non-technical questions. They also hire "hostesses" to mingle with guests in the hospitality areas.


If it is so then the job should not be advertised here. It is not a job for an interpreter. I don't think Indonesian would call this job as 'interpreting' job either.


Hi Lenah,
The job poster you are quoting certainly sounds clumsy to a European and is rather rude in reminding the interpreter that "Your job is to convey certain messages from the manufacturer to the guests and vice-versa" and that a "decent look" is required!). And it would be so even if there was no gender requirement. These people are probably not used to professional interpreting services. But this does not necessarily mean that they are offering a "funny" job.

As for the gender question, why are you all so ready to see the equivocal side to it? Liaison interpreting has often a P.R. side to it and a good liaison interpreter must have good relational and conversational skills, be capable of smoothing edges and making people feel at ease.
Women are usually better at that, and most customers in a foreign country, out of their "territory", unable to speak/understand the language and with a diminished control over what is going on around them, would find a female presence much less intimidating. Not all business meetings are strictly technical, sometimes it is all about establishing relations, and some times technical meetings are preceded/followed by informal ones, in order to create the best possible working climate. Again, all this is normal working practice, nothing "funny" about that. Most customers are perfectly aware that you are a professional linguist and you are not there to "appeal" to anyone, and if you behave like a professional, they will treat you as such.


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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:15
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
funny requirement, not funny job Sep 6, 2005

[quote]MariaChiara wrote:
But this does not necessarily mean that they are offering a "funny" job.

If you read again my posting earlier, it says funny requirements not funny job.

MariaChiara wrote:
As for the gender question, ...Women are usually better at that,...


If it is the case why this woman should be decent looking? 1.60m tall? why it did not just say 'professional and good in English, experiences in interpreting and communication?'


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 09:15
English to French
+ ...
Ignorance Sep 6, 2005

Lenah Susianty wrote:


If it is the case why this woman should be decent looking? 1.60m tall? why it did not just say 'professional and good in English, experiences in interpreting and communication?'


Well, customers don't always know about interpreters. You wouldn't believe the number of end-clients who called me before a conference to tell me I had to wear a business suit. Some of them also ask me if I spent a summer in London.

I think we have a lot of educating to do...


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:15
English
+ ...
Maybe the person who wrote the ad is not a native speaker of English. Sep 6, 2005

Maybe the person who wrote the ad has limited English skills. They are looking for a physically attractive person, of a certain minimum height. who happens to be female AND has the requisite social and linguistic skills. I think that trying to make a "gender" issue out of this is wrong and silly. Outsourcers often have specific and exact reasons for requesting what they request, they do have a right to do so and, just like KudoZ, the option is: If you don't like the job (question) you don't have to respond. Linguistic skills are only part of any arrangement and many, many other factors may very well enter into it. For example, in my case, if I am looking for someone who speaks Russian plus another two languages to help me while travelling in Georgia or the CIS countries does that mean that any old Russian speaker will do? Absolutely not. I may specifically need someone who is male because a woman, (especially a woman that i'm not married to) might draw continuous unnecessary or unwanted or undesirable attention. I might need someone who is male, Muslim, below a certain age, very physically fit, multilingual and proficient with weapons who can live under primitive conditions for an extended period of time while travelling. Do I have a right to specifically ask for and request this? Yes, I do because that's what meets my needs and that's what i'm paying for. Does that mean that if someone else (who doesn't meet ALL of my needs) comes along and I reject them that i'm discriminating against them? Absolutely not, it means that they don't fit my needs and are, therefore, not hired. Same thing in this case.

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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:15
English
+ ...
Because that's not what they're looking for Sep 6, 2005

[/quote] If it is the case why this woman should be decent looking? 1.60m tall? why it did not just say 'professional and good in English, experiences in interpreting and communication?'[/quote] Because they are not just looking for someone who is 'professional and good in English, experiences in interpreting and communication', they are looking for someone who is physically attractive and above a certain height, who also happens to be good in English. The original ad very, very clearly states that she must be a native Indonesian (and therefore, presumably, speak Indonesian) AND have English skills. If both the guests and the hosts spoke the same language her presence would be superfluous and unnecessary so there must be some degree of interpretation required. Directly or indirectly, she is obviously being hired to relay what her guests say /feel / think to someone else. This may happen in a very overt and "aboveboard" fashion or she may be a kind of a 'spy' but, either way, she's turning language "A" into language "B" somewhere along the line. Therefore, this is a job, she's an interpreter and all of the secondary "issues" that some of you seem to have (somehow) read into this are, at best, secondary. They are looking for a lady who speaks Indonesian and English. That's it.

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MariaChiara
English to Italian
+ ...
"funny"... misunderstanding? Sep 6, 2005

Lenah Susianty wrote:



If you read again my posting earlier, it says funny requirements not funny job.


If it is the case why this woman should be decent looking? 1.60m tall? why it did not just say 'professional and good in English, experiences in interpreting and communication?'


Dear Lenah, English is not my native language, so please bear with me if I don't make myself read very clearly: I never quoted YOU as having written "funny job".
I simply said that although the poster is clumsy (I agree with Sarahl, we certainly have a lot of educating to do!) she/he might be offering a perfectly serious job (i.e. not "a "funny" job", MY words). What prompted me to reply, however, was that I thought you were making a gender issue or implying that there was something shady in the post just because they preferred the interpreter to be a woman.
You did write: "I've never heard before that an interpreter is chosen based on their gender!". I simply don't think this requirement, in itself, is something to be shocked about and I just wanted to explain why.


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