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Off topic: How does being a translator affects your married life?
Thread poster: jelly_gill

jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Jan 12, 2007

Hi all... would you please share your experience about how being a translator affects your married life? I am all set to marry later this year (but I have yet to find someone) so your valuable views might help me later on.

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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Member (2004)
English to Italian
wow! Jan 12, 2007

You want to get married later this year and you haven't found anybody yet? Are you talking about an arranged marriage?

No effect on my married life whatsoever, BTW...

G


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:30
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
you are kidding us, right? Jan 12, 2007

What about your dream of marrying another translator from the other part of the world....

Except for the fact that you do not have a regular income when you are a freelancer, I think you should get a reality check first.

If this is just funny (which I doubt seeing your other reactions to your earlier posting) hahaha, I'm sure there are some support groups you can inscribe your future wife to.

And for :"How does being a transaltor affect having children" I can say it's good to be around the house when your kids are growing up, but make sure you set boundaries : " sometimes you have to work, sometimes you are free to play"

Ed


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Best suited to a long-distance relationship Jan 12, 2007

A long-distance relationship is the best solution for a free-lance translator for the following reasons:

- you can work on after midnight without having to explain yourself and then crawl into bed and out again in the morning without having to worry about looking exhausted or not your best. You can even read books in bed or listen to music to unwind without disturbing anyone else.
- No-one will complain about your untidy work area, littered with empty coffee cups, papers, dictionaries, files, invoices, etc.
- When you go to visit your partner, you can take your work with you on your laptop. (Handy for checking the newspapers if they live in a remote area, too.) But you can have some quality time together, anyway.
- While you drive there, you can listen to the radio and catch up on 'new' terminology.
- After you come back on Sunday night, you can dive straight back into work to your heart's content until longer after midnight.

Have done it for several years now and I can vouch for it.


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:30
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Profession-neutral Jan 12, 2007

Anne Lee wrote:

A long-distance relationship is the best solution for a free-lance translator for the following reasons:



I would say a long-distance relationship is the best solution for any workaholic, free-lance translator or else.

I would wish everybody the kind of support and encouragement that my wife's given me during the nearly five years of our marriage.

And being able to take a short break to play with my son is simply beautiful.

Regards,
Maciek


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jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 03:00
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
HI Edward Jan 12, 2007

Dear Edward... I am sorry to know that you think you are being taken for a ride. And about that 'ha ha ha..' reaction, I would say that it was really funny to get advance congratulations when you have not even found your better half yet. Coming to the point now; being a freelance translator is different than a regular job as you all are aware. Here are the difficulties I face:

1. very tight deadlines and large volumes of work often give me sleepless nights.

2. clients often call at weird hours to know if I could take a fresh assignment.

3. sometimes I have to postpone my morning bath and even skip my breakfast to meet a very very tight deadline.

4. when you think that you have done everything alright and submitted all the files via email and you start to go for an evening walk, suddenly client calls you and asks for clarifications regarding files sent by you.


It was in the light of these observations that I wanted to know how married couples were affected with these nuances and how they coped with them.


I hope it helps to clarify my intentions.


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:30
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
It's a matter of priorities Jan 12, 2007

jelly_gill wrote:
Here are the difficulties I face:
1. very tight deadlines and large volumes of work often give me sleepless nights.
2. clients often call at weird hours to know if I could take a fresh assignment.
3. sometimes I have to postpone my morning bath and even skip my breakfast to meet a very very tight deadline.


To me, it's a matter of priorities to a large extent.

When I met my future wife, I knew I had to adjust my schedule (which was no schedule at all at the time, to be honest) and some of my habits. I knew I would even have to learn to say 'no' to clients. But the woman was worth it, and still is.

Setting limits to how much I work and how much work I accept has really benefited our married life. Of course, it's far from automatic and we have to readjust with changing realities, but remembering that my wife and children are no. 1 priority makes things a LOT easier.

Not sure this helps.

Maciek

[Edited at 2007-01-12 14:35]


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:30
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
A very good question. Jan 12, 2007

Yes, your question is very pertinent and worth discussing seriously. My answer wasn't flippant: I am a workaholic and I have often wondered what will happen when my partner and I will eventually live together because evenings tend to be my most productive time. What I didn't mention is that I work hard because I'm a single mum for my 3 children and this wonderful job enables me to be with them whenever they need me. Since I am contacted by so many different agencies nowadays, I can pick and choose & stick to work that makes it worth my while, so it does get easier eventually, when you learn to say 'no' to unreasonable requests. Agencies soon learn which translators WILL work through the weekend for no extra-charge and if you don't learn to say 'no', they will keep coming back expecting the same.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 17:30
English to French
+ ...
Sounds like you're taking on too much work Jan 12, 2007

I know what you are talking about - skipped baths, skipped meals, sleepless nights, forgotten appointments, skipping THE party, working on Christmas day, I've done it all, as most of us here surely have

I have, with time, adjusted certain things, because I realized that not only my boyfriend didn't like it and that it was ruining our relationship, it was even bad for me alone without even considering the people around me. Not showering and not eating? How can one stay productive in those conditions? Underslept? Maybe that is precisely why you have to keep from sleeping - when you are tired, you work at an unbelievably lower pace, and that makes you stay up even later. It's a vicious circle. If you find this annoying for you as a single, imagine what it would be like if you were not alone.

I have noticed from your description of your situation that you are probably taking up too much work at once. I don't know if this is because you are accepting work when you already have work to do from fear of not having a contract after the one you are already working on, or if it's simply because you are workaholic. But you are being too hard on yourself and you take up more work than you can handle. This is something you will have to deal with before you find that special someone. You will have to learn to say no. You will have to learn to coordinate things and take into account time needed for sleeping, showering, eating and even just hanging out BEFORE you sign a contract. Also, take matters in hand - do tell your client that the deadline is too tight. Speak up! You always have the argument that by having such a tight deadline, the client is sacrificing the quality - tell them that when you sit in front of the computer for 14 hours straight, you are not translating anymore but rather producing errors that will just add to your work and add to the risk of being late.

I think in your case, you simply need to establish schedules and learn to negotiate. When you have mastered those two skills, you will be much closer to metting someone, getting married and actually having a marriage in balance and harmony.

Good luck!


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Daniele Martoglio  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:30
Polish to Italian
+ ...
I too... Jan 12, 2007

jelly_gill wrote:

.... I am all set to marry later this year (but I have yet to find someone) ...


Also I am all set to marry, but I have yet to find someone.

Hej, where are you, Miss Someone? I'm waiting for you..

Daniele




[Edited at 2007-01-12 23:14]


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:30
Member
French to English
+ ...
Idea Jan 13, 2007

We'll have to set up a Proz lonely hearts column!

No, not really...


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Yolanda Bello  Identity Verified
Mexico
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Re: Idea Jan 13, 2007

We'll have to set up a ProZ.com lonely hearts column!

It would be so distressing to see something like this happen)))))


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DBG  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:30
Member (2002)
French to English
Check the "Being Independent" Forum Jan 14, 2007

Hello jelly_gill,

I agree with Viktoria that most or all of us have experienced the kind of work life you describe. Also, as she says, it sounds as though you may be taking on too much and letting yourself live most of the time in a crisis-to-crisis way. Perhaps you're working extra- hard to build up your client base and think of this as temporary, hoping have a more balanced life later. On the other hand, it can be difficult to cut loose from an adrenalin-fueled, "never say no" approach to work if/when you find it's taking too much of a toll.

Whether you get married in the near future or not (and best wishes for that goal), I suggest you take a look at the
"Being Independent Forum, the discussion of "Time management tips for fulltime freelancing mums".
There are many good, practical tips there about ways to set boundaries between work and the rest of one's life,including ways to keep clients' calls, faxes, and e-mail messages from being too intrusive.
If you're a full-time freelancer, plenty of the tips apply, whether you're a man or woman, living alone or with someone, with kids at home or not.
Best Regards, Diantha



ote]jelly_gill wrote:

Dear Edward... I am sorry to know that you think you are being taken for a ride. And about that 'ha ha ha..' reaction, I would say that it was really funny to get advance congratulations when you have not even found your better half yet. Coming to the point now; being a freelance translator is different than a regular job as you all are aware. Here are the difficulties I face:

1. very tight deadlines and large volumes of work often give me sleepless nights.

2. clients often call at weird hours to know if I could take a fresh assignment.

3. sometimes I have to postpone my morning bath and even skip my breakfast to meet a very very tight deadline.

4. when you think that you have done everything alright and submitted all the files via email and you start to go for an evening walk, suddenly client calls you and asks for clarifications regarding files sent by you.


It was in the light of these observations that I wanted to know how married couples were affected with these nuances and how they coped with them.


I hope it helps to clarify my intentions. [/quote]

[Edited at 2007-01-14 10:56]


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
I am really amazed... Jan 15, 2007

I mean I thought freelancing is a more family - friendly way of working, as you can plan your own activities and make your own working schedule and times.
Why should it be more dificult for translators to have a family?
Working in-house, at least in private companies is hard enough. Even in state institutions there is an encreasing trend to work after the normal working hours. This is a result of bad managing and work planing.
People do often come very late home, tired and sometimes have to travel a lot, so the family life is almost null. Many people also only meet, due to working schedules only on weekends, or only 1-2 hours a day, especially if working in shifts or with special working hours (gastronomy and hotels, hospitals, police, backery aso.). Children almost raise without their mother and the father is a rarely viewed face in the house.
Freelance means:
1. Ýou are always home, so are visible and reachable for your family
2. You are there for your children
3. You can make yourself a normal working schedule.
4. You can plan holidays whenever you want.

Now there is a problem: the income.
Freelance is, unlike in-house work, very much dependent on the clients.
Some people, for some language pairs, who have stable clients and as a result a stable volume of work and thus income, have no problems. Those who do not have them, due to the market and not needed languages, must unfortunately hunt every job/client, no matter at what time of the day, or day of the week.
According to the messages on this site, it seems that Indian translators have enough to work.
So why worry about having a family and being a translator?
Just plan your work and obey your own schedule. Make your own schedule so that you can have 1-2 free days in the weeks and free hours every day, for your family. During these hours/days never work, nevery accept any job, unless it is not very important one and even then you may negociate the terms.
Consider an average monthly aimed income and calculate the work volume you would need for it. A higher volume is against family life and personal health.

Good luck


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Anthony Baldwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:30
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
common Jan 15, 2007

Wow...It´s kind of reassuring to see that everyone else lives the same chaotic existence I do.
I have to agree on the advantages: My availability for my children and wife due to the, sometimes, flexible schedule.
And the disadvantages: the late, late nights and weekend pushes, etc.
On the whole, it mostly works out pretty well.
It´s nice to take an afternoon lunch date with the Mrs., be able to attend events or volunteer at my daughter´s school, etc., and then make up work at night. The Mrs often sits in the office with me and fiddles with Yahoo! games, watches TV, listens to music and sips coffee and chats with me (slows work down a bit, but the company is nice).
She´s as much a workaholic as I am, if not worse....so, for two workaholics together, it´s a seroius advantage that I (sometimes) have more control over my schedule to accomodate hers.


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