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Poll: Have you ever been told that yours is not a "real job"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

Ahmed Dahman  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:32
English to Arabic
+ ...
I will never forget that time... Oct 7, 2011

Ok, that was unforgettable. One day I got a phone call from a person that I don't know in response to a newspaper advertisement that I placed earlier offering my translation services. He asked me what I do and where my office is. My answer was very short, simple and to the point, "I'm a freelance translator, Sir" and that was enough to trigger a non-stoppable wave of crazy "huahahahaha" laughing. I felt very bad and couldn't even ask him why he is laughing.
I'm a freelance translator for a
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Ok, that was unforgettable. One day I got a phone call from a person that I don't know in response to a newspaper advertisement that I placed earlier offering my translation services. He asked me what I do and where my office is. My answer was very short, simple and to the point, "I'm a freelance translator, Sir" and that was enough to trigger a non-stoppable wave of crazy "huahahahaha" laughing. I felt very bad and couldn't even ask him why he is laughing.
I'm a freelance translator for about six years now and people around me still asking me if I really get paid for the work I do.
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Miriam Neidhardt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:32
English to German
+ ...
Housewife with a hobby Oct 7, 2011

One client once said to me on the phone: So you're a housewife taking care of your children and doing translations in your spare time?
I wonder if he would have asked that a man too.

Miriam


 

Blanka Salkova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:32
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
yes Oct 7, 2011

Yes, but in connection with teaching. With translation I was told that "anybody could translate video games, right?" .. which is not really the case (meaning non translators).

[Edited at 2011-10-07 13:36 GMT]


 

Rodion Shein  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:32
Member
English to Russian
+ ...
Never Oct 7, 2011

On the contrary, people often tell me that they feel envy, when they find out that I'm a freelancer — they would be happy to leave their office jobs, but cannot for many reasons.

 

Ligia Dias Costa  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:32
Member (2008)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Yes and they are right. Oct 7, 2011

I do not have a job. I run a business..

Have a gret weekend!


 

Kahli Bree Adams, M.A.
Australia
Local time: 06:32
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Still freelancing? Oct 7, 2011

When a former (in-house) colleague spotted my profile on LinkedIn he contacted me and said 'Oh, it seems you're having difficulty finding a job as you're STILL freelancing.'

People usually only start taking an interest when I tell them my husband has been a stay-at-home dad looking after the kids for several years now so I can work full-time. (I guess that means it must be a 'real' job after all!) Having said that, there are also those who keep asking me whether my husband has found
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When a former (in-house) colleague spotted my profile on LinkedIn he contacted me and said 'Oh, it seems you're having difficulty finding a job as you're STILL freelancing.'

People usually only start taking an interest when I tell them my husband has been a stay-at-home dad looking after the kids for several years now so I can work full-time. (I guess that means it must be a 'real' job after all!) Having said that, there are also those who keep asking me whether my husband has found a job yet each time I meet them - they just cannot seem to grasp that he's not looking for one.
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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:32
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No. Oct 7, 2011

Simon Bruni wrote:

Claire Cox wrote:

Yes, my ex-father-in-law used to talk about my "typing"


Pah! That's a new one. The usual one for me is "but you can just use Google now can't you?"


Thank you for the smile, Simon. You must admit that Google's translations (attempts) are quite entertaining.


 

Federica P.
Local time: 22:32
Italian to Russian
+ ...
Yes, but... Oct 7, 2011

It happens, but a few years ago my nephew, who was 6 years old at the time, told me I do a "kind" job, because I help people who speak different languages to understand each other, and that should make them happy. It was nice to hear such a description of my job from a little boy.

 

Katharine Ridgard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:32
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
I voted no... Oct 7, 2011

But actually, my Italian father-in-law took a long time to get his head around the fact that I wasn't free to do housework all day, and also asked why I didn't just use Google translate! Like a previous poster I think it's the fact that I'm the main breadwinner in the household that made him realise it's a proper job. Now he wants my sister-in-law to do it too... because of course, anyone can be a translator!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Oct 7, 2011

... and pity the fool...

(In Mr. T-glish, a rhetoric comment equivalent to the English "I'd best not find out who it was.")


[Edited at 2011-10-07 14:14 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
He who laughs last Oct 7, 2011

Ahmed Dahman wrote:

He asked me what I do and where my office is. My answer was very short, simple and to the point, "I'm a freelance translator, Sir" and that was enough to trigger a non-stoppable wave of crazy "huahahahaha" laughing.


Well, the laugh's on him - he can keep on paying overheads on his business premises/offices etc if he likes - while you put the cash you save to better use!


 

Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:32
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
not so much in relation to the work itself Oct 7, 2011

Most of my friends and relatives realize that it's a job, that I get paid, and that it involves a great deal of work.

The "not a real job" references come in relation to the hours, as in, I don't work a job requiring me to be in an office cubicle from 9-5. A "real" job apparently has scheduled hours. Since I can skive off at various times during the day (then completing the work in the evening), my job isn't as "real" as someone who gets stuck in traffic.

That said, my
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Most of my friends and relatives realize that it's a job, that I get paid, and that it involves a great deal of work.

The "not a real job" references come in relation to the hours, as in, I don't work a job requiring me to be in an office cubicle from 9-5. A "real" job apparently has scheduled hours. Since I can skive off at various times during the day (then completing the work in the evening), my job isn't as "real" as someone who gets stuck in traffic.

That said, my friends use this definition tongue firmly planted in cheek. And most of them have confessed to an inability to work from home, even on their real jobs, so I actually get a lot of respect for making my very-real, but unscheduled job work.

Also, most of my friends and family can't speak a second language to save their respective lives; however, they read a lot and speak very well (and have seen what machine translation does to things), so I don't get a lot of the "just use google".
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Kate Major  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:32
Spanish to English
Yes - by a fellow translator! Oct 7, 2011

While at a lecture for a course I'm doing (for the IoL DipTrans) I was talking to a fellow student who asked me what I did. I answered that I was a freelance translator. Quick as a flash, she said that oh, she was thinking about doing some freelancing but was really looking to get a "proper job", snooty little *****!

Turns out she has an excellent degree from one of the top two (where she had evidently learned no manners) and seemed to see freelance translation as below her. Where
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While at a lecture for a course I'm doing (for the IoL DipTrans) I was talking to a fellow student who asked me what I did. I answered that I was a freelance translator. Quick as a flash, she said that oh, she was thinking about doing some freelancing but was really looking to get a "proper job", snooty little *****!

Turns out she has an excellent degree from one of the top two (where she had evidently learned no manners) and seemed to see freelance translation as below her. Where she got the idea that freelance translation was not a valid career path for someone with translation qualifications I couldn't say... As they'd say in my home town, it really did my head in. Many translators I know have great qualifications - I had no idea I was supposed to be doing some other kind of job for reasons of prestige (or I don't know what reasons).

Anyway, I like working in my pyjamas and not leaving my dog alone all day.

Oh yes, and I love my work.
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Maha Arara  Identity Verified
Qatar
Local time: 23:32
English to Arabic
+ ...
No... but Oct 7, 2011

Nobody has ever said this to me and they realize that I am extremely busy at times, including holidays... However, I have this feeling that they don't see what I do as a real job- I could be wrong though. For many years, some years ago, I used to be a radio newsreader (I worked around 10 hours a week)- in addition to freelancing as translator. At that time too, I felt they didn't think I had real jobs. So it seems that most people- including freelancers themselves- consciously or subconsciously ... See more
Nobody has ever said this to me and they realize that I am extremely busy at times, including holidays... However, I have this feeling that they don't see what I do as a real job- I could be wrong though. For many years, some years ago, I used to be a radio newsreader (I worked around 10 hours a week)- in addition to freelancing as translator. At that time too, I felt they didn't think I had real jobs. So it seems that most people- including freelancers themselves- consciously or subconsciously believe that only a 9 to 5, in-house job is a real job.Collapse


 

Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:32
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
It happens every now and then Oct 7, 2011

I first had to convince my parents that this is a real job and that it generates income. I won't exaggerate if I say that last month I earned 10 times more than my mom does, with her 20+ years working experience in accounting.

But I've been asked several times by some family friends to babysit their 2 years old daughter, because they have important things to do at work. Telling them I have a deadline or an important project doesn't really help, which makes me think they don't take
... See more
I first had to convince my parents that this is a real job and that it generates income. I won't exaggerate if I say that last month I earned 10 times more than my mom does, with her 20+ years working experience in accounting.

But I've been asked several times by some family friends to babysit their 2 years old daughter, because they have important things to do at work. Telling them I have a deadline or an important project doesn't really help, which makes me think they don't take my profession seriously.
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