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To be a translator - being isolated?
Thread poster: Ali Bayraktar
Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Aug 23, 2008

After graduating from University I began my career in a company. I loved (and still loving) my profession and I loved working among collectives too (workmates). But in the process of time I have noticed that this love to my profession has began to close myself into the world of meanings. Began isolating me from collective life, by giving me more and more interest and love in it. Accordingly, when I understood that I couldn't work anymore together with collectives and that I am more productive and happy when I work alone, I decided to carry out my profession as a freelancer. Now I am happier than before and never regret my decision.

I am not suffering or afraid of this, but just want to know opinions of the translators who have already experienced such process (within the long time)

Or may be I can present this subject in other words;

Are we sentenced to be isolated?








[Edited at 2008-08-23 15:41]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:35
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
In previous decades translators were isolated Aug 23, 2008

However, it was (and is) Proz.com's specific aim to break that isolation. The aim of Proz.com was to create a community, where we can all help each other with terminology and also discuss topics related to translation in the forums, precisely so that we can pool our knowledge and resources and not be isolated any more. To take this one step further, there are also conferences, and I recommend that you go to a conference when you can.

Astrid


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the suggestion Aug 23, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

However, it was (and is) Proz.com's specific aim to break that isolation. The aim of Proz.com was to create a community, where we can all help each other with terminology and also discuss topics related to translation in the forums, precisely so that we can pool our knowledge and resources and not be isolated any more. To take this one step further, there are also conferences, and I recommend that you go to a conference when you can.

Astrid


I think this is already a part of this isolation, because all activities (except conferences) remain in the virtual world. So we are not isolated here, but what about the other life around us - the real life?



[Edited at 2008-08-23 15:41]


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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:35
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
You decide how much there is. Aug 23, 2008

My translation activities are usually carried out primarily by me. I might talk to a client about issues such as "I think you forgot to send me page 7" or "When is this due?" but mostly I'm on my own.

That said, there are professional meetings with other translators and continuing education with other organizations. For example, I go to legal seminars and found out about DWI, filing probate documents and other legal issues. Tht's not because I plan to defend people charged with DWI or to probate an estate, but it does help me figure out what's going on when I get documents on these subjects.

Even when I worked in a translation agency, I did a lot of work on my own with the other people in the office doing a lot of work on their own on the other side of the room. We still do some socializing, even though I no longer work there.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
Breaking physical isolation Aug 23, 2008

I've mentioned this before, but maybe you'll find it helpful:

One wonderful aspect of being a translator is that, if you have a laptop computer, you can work pretty much anyplace that has an internet connection.

A couple of days a week I do my work in a local coffeehouse that has free wireless internet. Every hour or so I'll buy something to support the shop -- a sandwich at lunchtime, decaf coffees or small snacks at other times. Many of the other regulars also work in professions like ours, or are students who are writing papers, so there's a nice social environment even though a lot of us are working. The shop is located in a neighborhood where I used to live, so I sometimes see old friends during the course of the day.

The main trick is to find a seat that's positioned so no one can look over my shoulder at my clients' confidential documents. I try not to send the documents to clients till I get home (I trust the security of my own computer network more than I trust the shop's), but at least I can look up terminology and answer e-mails from there.

[Edited at 2008-08-23 15:15]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:35
Flemish to English
+ ...
A splendid isolation... Aug 23, 2008

M. Ali Bayraktar wrote:

After graduating from University I began my career in a company. I loved (and still loving) my profession and I loved working among collectives too (workmates). But in the process of time I have noticed that this love to my profession has began to close myself into the world of meanings. Began isolating me from collective life, by giving me more and more interest and love in it. Accordingly, when I understood that I couldn't work anymore together with collectives and that I am more productive and happy when I work alone, I decided to carry out my profession as a freelancer. Now I am happier than before and never regret my decision.

I am not suffering or afraid of this, but just want to know opinions of the translators who have already experienced such process (within the long time)

Or may be I can present this subject in other words;

Are we sentenced to be isolated?



[Edited at 2008-08-23 15:41]


Yes. It is one of the main reasons which I am a bit lost in translation. You become egocentric without a real feeling with the "normal" world of work and its rules.
It is also one of the main reasons why I intend to participate in admissions tests of a number of interpreter schools. I rolled into interpreting with formal training (into my native language) many moons ago. I consider translation as a preparations for interpreter schools' admission tests. There is no demand for interpreting into Dutch, so translating into a non-native language is a practical paid exercise.

What would you prefer: Working long hours against a deadline before a computer screen or interpreting intensively for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes your colleague takes over and so on. At 10 a.m. coffee-break for 15 minutes and then until 12 noon.
Sit at the table of highly skilled professionals, business leaders or even a minister in a ***** hotel, where the "nouvelle cuisine française" is served.
Start again at 1.15 or 1.30 p.m. until 5 p.m. and that is it. Go home to write your invoice or be invited for a night on the town (which you can refuse). Be paid in most cases a fortnight to 30 days end of month without little nitpicking. If you are tired of being a freelancer and have the necessary qualifications, give that CEO, CFO or other high level company officer a call with the request if (s)he does not mind that you send him/her your application.
Mind you, I don't underestimate interpreting: it is the stress of the moment.
-*-*-*-*-
There are websites with +60000 K jobs: have a look at what background is required: IT, economic background, .... Some people stay on this website for a couple of years and when they get a well-paid job in the normal world, they give up freelance translation.

I consider it as a preparation to a yearly returning E.U.-open competition or the UN-competition (I never participated in the latter), but I intend to. Chances of succeeding are small, but those who pass, don't stay freelancer.

When Turkey joins the E.U. in 2015, you may be lucky enough to pass the test for translators with Turkish as A-language. With Romanian some here present passed and are no longer freelancers. Usually such exams for the less frequent languages such exams take place every 10 or 15 years. Or you could try at an interpreter school. I know of at least on multilingual person of Turkish origin who will be attending interpreter training with Turkish as "A" language and French and English as C.


[Edited at 2008-08-23 17:11]

[Edited at 2008-08-23 17:18]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Years Ago Aug 23, 2008

I've been in business for 37 years, so for a good part of my time I worked in almost total isolation, with only occasional contacts with clients and a few other colleagues. The fact is, I like working in isolation, being independent, doing things my way, when I want to and having the freedom to operate from anywhere, which I do.

I also enjoy the community here and the fact that our contacts have sometimes been personal as well as virtual. An interpreting assinment now and then also gives me human contact, as well as other activities in the community. So as a person I do not remain isolated.

But I am egocentric, and when I'm working the world revolves around me. I'm no team player. Just leave me alone and let me work, and when I'm done you will have exactly what you need, on time.


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My intention Aug 23, 2008

Williamson wrote:
I consider it as a preparation to a yearly returning E.U.-open competition or the UN-competition (I never participated in the latter), but I intend to. Chances of succeeding are small, but those who pass, don't stay freelancer.

When Turkey joins the E.U. in 2015, you may be lucky enough to pass the test for translators with Turkish as A-language. With Romanian some here present passed and are no longer freelancers. Usually such exams for the less frequent languages such exams take place every 10 or 15 years. Or you could try at an interpreter school. I know of at least on multilingual person of Turkish origin who will be attending interpreter training with Turkish as "A" language and French and English as C.


Honestly, I am proud of being a freelancer; And the possibility of thinking the above mentioned option for me is 0%. (I mean all in-house works, not only above mentioned institutions)

I see that you have not completely understand what I mean, so with your permission I would like to bring another example:

Imagine that you love a girl (your profession) and you like doing everything as she wants.
But by the time you notice that she isolates you from some of routine social activities. (but you are not complaining of this isolation) then a question mark lights in your mind, loving her really needs such isolation?
So I decided to ask this question to the other lovers of the same girl (translation) In order to understand similar points or the differences

I hope my intention is more clear now.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Maybe Aug 23, 2008

It's perhaps a bit hard for me to understand what you are trying to say, there is a language barrier. But there are many dimensions to life.

Work is only one of them. There is a lot more. Find it and enjoy it.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:35
English to German
+ ...
I miss my friends. Aug 23, 2008

Phone calls and emails can never replace a smile and a hug.

Whenever I get to meet them, they greet me with "Welcome to the outer world!". Hm, this makes me think...

Working in translation, we are communicating ourselves to death. Emails, skype, and what not. For whatever reason I have to read a local paper to know what is going on in my own city and community.


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Ali Bayraktar  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2007)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Understanding Aug 23, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

It's perhaps a bit hard for me to understand what you are trying to say, there is a language barrier. But there are many dimensions to life.


As I see in your post
Henry Hinds wrote: But I am egocentric, and when I'm working the world revolves around me. I'm no team player. Just leave me alone and let me work, and when I'm done you will have exactly what you need, on time.

I can say that you understand me quite well.

I had to provide more explanation for Williamson, because in his post he says:
Williamson wrote:
I consider it as a preparation to a yearly returning E.U.-open competition or the UN-competition (I never participated in the latter), but I intend to. Chances of succeeding are small, but those who pass, don't stay freelancer.
When Turkey joins the E.U. in 2015, you may be lucky enough to pass the test for translators with Turkish as A-language. With Romanian some here present passed and are no longer freelancers. Usually such exams for the less frequent languages such exams take place every 10 or 15 years. Or you could try at an interpreter school. I know of at least on multilingual person of Turkish origin who will be attending interpreter training with Turkish as "A" language and French and English as C.


This topic suggests another option which 100% opposite to mine, especially
Chances of succeeding are small, but those who pass, don't stay freelancer.





[Edited at 2008-08-24 06:33]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quite well Aug 24, 2008

It's "quite well". Don't worry about it, like I say, there is more to life than work. That's all you need to understand.

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Marianela Melleda  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 02:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Work to live not live to work Aug 24, 2008

The heading of my comment reflects what I think.

That you work on your own does not mean that you should remain like that the entire day long. I don't mind working alone, I concentrate better, I set my own schedule, but I also leave time to take care of my family, friends, and the rest of the world outside.


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redred  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:35
English to Chinese
+ ...
not lonely Aug 24, 2008

I found that in the in-house job, people fewer communicate with the actual colleagues, insteade, they spend more time to chat via MSN or similiar online chatting tools.

[Edited at 2008-08-24 02:29]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Not lonely Aug 24, 2008

I have worked for several organisations in many different fields and I think that what you call "isolation" is actually part of the growing-up process. It also happens when you work in an organisation but in a very different way.

When I started working I was very young. I used to work in an NGO and it was really nice. I still have some friends from that period. Slowly, I moved on and changed jobs. I started working with business groups and this meant a complete change in terms of type of people etc. As my skills and responsibilities grew, I was more and more lonely (not alone but lonely). There were more people who were jealous, more office politics... believe me it was really lonely. Of course, I had friends but they were not from my office. I had some friendly colleagues at office but they never became friends. Why? Simply because there was a conflict of interests (quite often).

In fact, once I quit my job and became a freelancer, quite a few of my ex-colleagues actually became my friends. Also, I have gained several friends thanks to powwows, conferences etc. All in all, personally, I feel less lonely than I used to be earlier.

Of course, as a freelancer I work alone but I am rarely lonely.


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