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Poll: Has becoming a translator affected your social life?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 11:56
Mar 12, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Has becoming a translator affected your social life?".

This poll was originally submitted by Nathalie Bendavid

View the poll here

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Venkatesh Sundaram  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
German to English
Mine has become much better Mar 12, 2009

I used to work in a factory which was about 50 KM away - leaving home at 7.15 in the morning and returning (thanks to the chaotic traffic) around 7.30 in the evening, quite tired and wary of social contact. I also had to travel on work quite often. Now I work from a place much closer to home - and have saved about three hours a day in commuting time. I don't have to travel so much on business either. The result - I interact with much fewer people at the workplace - but have more 'quality' time for my family and friends! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif


Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:56
Russian to English
+ ...
A bit "less active", but just in the traditional meaning of "social life" Mar 12, 2009

I used to do a lot of work for companies and occasionally serve as interpreter at conferences and negotiations.
Now I am as busy with translations as I want to be, but I rarely go out for business, as I work in my own office and manage an in-house team of translators, proofreaders and copyeditors. However, old contacts still work from time to time.
But there is much more free time left, but not necessarily for “social activity” in its traditional meaning.
Unfortunately, “social activity” increasingly often occurs in the online dimension… In other words, the very question is rather an ill-defined problem…


Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, for the better. Mar 12, 2009

Managing my own working schedule lets me make use of my spare time in a better way, thus improving my social and family life.

Years ago I worked for an engineering company, and I had to travel a lot, work late hours and sometimes miss weekends or holidays in the field because of some delayed work.
But now I know I will be able to confirm in advance that I'll atend a meeting, have dinner next month with my wife or friends, etc. Also, I play with my daughter everyday, no matter how busy I am. That is priceless to me.

Socially speaking, becoming a freelancer is one of the best things that ever happened to me.



Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not really Mar 12, 2009

I worked hard as a lawyer too.


Khrystene (X)
Polish to English
+ ...
They call me... NO LIFE NELLY! Mar 12, 2009

My social life is ruined! Even this weekend, which was supposed to be free so I could show my vistor from abroad around. Now some fool from Germany decides he wants something for Friday next week which means it has to go to the printer's this Sunday and so we have to work over the weekend.... WAHHHHHHHHH!!!

(The delay was directly related to his inability to provide us with the material we needed... *rolls eyes*)

Some people have no respect for other people's weekends!icon_razz.gif


Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
English to Spanish
Yes Mar 12, 2009

I've met lots of colleagues, some of whom are now close friends, when I took the plunge into freelancing, so my social life has improved considerably.



neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
Non sequitur Mar 12, 2009

I was about to answer yes because obviously any lifestyle change affects your "social life", however, I don't understand the "more/less active" bit, so answered "Other".
I get more exercise now than before, so in that sense I am "more active". I still don't get the "social life" bit though. I now have more translator friends and acquaintances if that's what is meant...


United States
Local time: 13:56
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, in interesting ways Mar 12, 2009

First, because I have no co-workers, I seek out alternative means of socializing during the day: MySpace and Facebook.

Second, and most important, because of the virtual absence of human contact during the day, I'm much more motivated to seek out social opportunities in the evenings: clubs, organizations and activities.


Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
Member (2007)
German to Spanish
+ ...
No Mar 12, 2009

I don´t know, what would have happened if I would have chosen for another profession. But I am very happy about all people I met...



Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
I've got a husband, 4 children and 2 dogs. What's a social life? Mar 12, 2009

I am juggling a part-time teaching post, a family and 2 dogs with trying to start out in translation work. I don't really have a 'social life' in the way it is generally understood!

I do have friends who I see and spend time with, but rarely 'go out'. My husband and I try to go out on a Friday evening for a little while, as our children are old enough to be left at home for a while. Last time we went out by ourselves he got called back to work!

On the plus side, I love my family, dogs and my work. Just as well, I suppose!


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Member (2007)
+ ...
in terms of quantity or quality? Mar 12, 2009

When I worked in an office, I very often spent evenings in nearby pubs with colleagues, getting the last train home to the suburbs. Now I don't.

But was that "quality socialising"?

I don't really think so - I had nothing in common with most of my colleagues, apart from working in the same type of job for the same company, and it kept me away from my family. I often had the feeling that we were all stuck in the same rut, going through the motions, pretending we were enjoying life.

Now I only socialise with personal friends and family (apart from the odd ProZ Powwow and conference). My husband's retired so, if he wants to do something special on, say, a Tuesday afternoon, very often I'm able to say "yes, let's go!"

That's "quality socialising".

On the other hand, maybe I'm not the one to ask - I'm sure you can deduce from this posting that I never was a great socialite - always hiding in the corner of the kitchen at parties, preferring an evening in front of the fire to getting dressed up for the theatre.


Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm at choice! Mar 12, 2009

It's 2:45 p.m. in California. As I started to write this comment, a neighbor called and asked if I would join her for a free Feldenkrais class. She was leaving in 10 minutes. The good news is that I had the option of joining her. The down side is that I know that if I take the time off I will have to pay for it later.

I'm blessed to be living in a wonderful community where a lot of people are semiretired or work from home. Also, my schedule allows me to volunteer and to take courses at local universities. Both these activities put me in touch with people who share the same interests and/or values. Life was not nearly as rich when I had a full-time job in an office.


Deborah do Carmo  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:56
Dutch to English
+ ...
Some fool? Mar 12, 2009

Khrystene wrote:

Now some fool from Germany decides he wants something for Friday next week which means it has to go to the printer's this Sunday and so we have to work over the weekend.... WAHHHHHHHHH!!!

Would that be the same 'fool' that is paying your invoice and so helping to put food on your table?

You can always say no.

Alternatively, you could negotiate a surcharge for weekend work.

Nobody is going to 'show respect' for your weekends, it's up to you and you alone whether you are going to work them.

Easier said than done sometimes, I admit, but nobody is holding a gun to your head.


Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:56
French to English
+ ...
No, or at least not much Mar 13, 2009

I try to work regular office hours and so would not say that translation has affected my social life in any significant way as I socialise much as I did before.

When I started freelancing, I worked the occasional weekend and evening, but once my business was up and running smoothly, I opted to set myself limits in order to avoid working 24/7 to the detriment of my personal life.

As a few others have mentioned, I suppose that I now have the option to go out at all hours of the day, but in all honesty I rarely leave my office during the day for non business-related matters. This is probably due to the fact that my partner and most of my friends are at work all day (and those who aren't know that they're not allowed to ring unless it's an emergency!).

That said, it's Friday morning and if I want to enjoy the weekend, I better get back to work...


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