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Poll: Have you ever been told that yours is not a "real job"?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:12
SITE STAFF
Oct 7, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been told that yours is not a "real job"?".

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Patricia Prevost  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
No, never Oct 7, 2011

I don't think anyone has ever said to me that being a translator is not a real job. On the contrary, they seem to admire translators and especially interpreters. That said, of course there are people who think anyone who has studied a foreign language can translate. Oh, well, that's their problem.

[Edited at 2011-10-07 08:17 GMT]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:12
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'd be more interested in knowing Oct 7, 2011

where.

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Siobhan Schoonhoff-Reilly  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:12
Dutch to English
Never been told to my face, but .... Oct 7, 2011

It took a long time to sink in with friends & family that just because I work from home it doesn't mean that I can just drop my work if they pop by for a coffee, etc. Some noses were knocked out of joint in the early days when someone would pop by only to be told 'sorry, no time right now, I'm working'. I'm happy to say that after 9 years, everyone now appreciates the fact that I have a 'real' job.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
French to English
+ ...
Just "typing" Oct 7, 2011

Yes, my ex-father-in-law used to talk about my "typing" and when we'd moved from Scotland to England (for his son's job) and I'd had two weeks without a telephone or internet, no mobile connection in the wilds we'd moved to, and was struggling to get work, he suggested I go and do some volunteer work in a charity shop instead to keep me busy! Grrrr..... I'm now divorced and my father-in-law died last year but it still makes me cross just thinking about it!

And yes, like Siobhan, when I moved to the village where I now live, I did initially find that friends and relatives would just pop in for coffee and expect me to drop everything and entertain them. I think I've now succeeded in training them all!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
Flemish to English
+ ...
Yes Oct 7, 2011

Yes, more than once. "It is a job you do because you are not able to do anything better" are words that I've heard more than once.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
No Oct 7, 2011

But who wants a real job? My work clothes are my pyjamas, my boss is me and my only real concern is how to outwit the differences between two wonderful languages.

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Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Classic Oct 7, 2011

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?"


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
French to English
+ ...
Yes but... 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?"


Yes, but they're usually the same people whose jaws drop when you neatly resolve a dispute over their restaurant bill in France or whisk them right to the front of the Eurostar queue thanks to your impeccable knowledge of the language... We usually do have the last laugh!


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Alison Sabedoria  Identity Verified
France
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
Not now I'm a translator... Oct 7, 2011

...but regularly in my previous career as a musician: "But surely, you sing because you love it!?" Yeh, right, so that would be why you have no intention of paying for a whole week's hard work...

I dreaded going to parties, weddings, etc. because I was often expected to provide free entertainment!

A while back, a local chap who fancied himself as an entertainer managed to get a couple of bookings. When I saw him shortly afterwards, he waxed lyrical on how surprised he was that it involved so much hard work: organising the event, learning material, performing it well and holding an audience's attention for a whole evening. Hmm...


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Caroline Lakey  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:12
French to English
Not as such, but... Oct 7, 2011

other parents at the school gates are very surprised that my son has lunch at the school canteen (which many children in France don't).
Obviously, as I'm at home, I should go and pick him up at 11.30am, cook him lunch and deliver him back to school for 1.20pm.
Hmmmmm...!


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:12
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes, Exactly... Oct 7, 2011

Claire Cox wrote:
Yes, but they're usually the same people whose jaws drop when you neatly resolve a dispute over their restaurant bill in France or whisk them right to the front of the Eurostar queue thanks to your impeccable knowledge of the language... We usually do have the last laugh!


Your words makes me to remember that about 10 years ago, in a very small railway station near my town (I was just buying cigarettes), a desperate American woman told me "God bless you" after I helped her to find a taxi and to pay the barman.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:12
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not as such...same here Oct 7, 2011

But it did take a while for my family members to realize that I work just as much as anyone else, even though I work from home.
And I've also had the experience of people thinking I can just take off and hang out in the afternoon. Recently, one woman got all offended because she said I kept 'rebuffing' her invitations to hang out. She's got all kinds of spare time and doesn't seem to understand things like deadlines. I straightened it out and she still whines on Facebook because she can't find friends....probably because they have jobs and she's idle rich!

However, my editor/writer/translator friends all understand.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:12
German to English
+ ...
Actually the opposite Oct 7, 2011

I taught at a university for many years, with a timetable that gave me many hours of freetime (10 hours a week, 28 weeks a year), and my mother regualryl asked when I was going to get a "proper job". This only stoped once I started translating professionally!

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Karolina Olga  Identity Verified

Local time: 14:12
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
What do you wanna do when you grow up? Oct 7, 2011

I've been freelancing for few years when my friend asked me: So, what do you wanna do when you grow up?

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