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Poll: Would you want to work as an in-house translator?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 04:57
SITE STAFF
Feb 5, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Would you want to work as an in-house translator?".

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:57
Member
German to English
+ ...
No! Feb 5, 2014

All the work and none of the perks of self-employment, why would I want to do that!

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not any more Feb 5, 2014

In my full-time jobs, 1973-1987, part of my assignment was translation. It was a major part until 1980, and then tapered off gradually.

No grudges at all, but for me it's history. Now I enjoy variety in my assignments and the freedom to choose.


 

Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:57
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Other Feb 5, 2014

Not now. I did it already, many years ago.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 5, 2014

I spent half my career as an in-house translator. I loved the work and having colleagues around to talk with, but at this stage in my life I'm loving the flexibility of a freelance life even more.

 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not really Feb 5, 2014

I'm sure I'd learn a lot, but I'd miss my pyjamas.icon_frown.gif

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Couldn't say it better myself! Feb 5, 2014

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

I spent half my career as an in-house translator. I loved the work and having colleagues around to talk with, but at this stage in my life I'm loving the flexibility of a freelance life even more.


 

DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:57
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not today ... Feb 5, 2014

Every job has its pros and cons, freelancing suits me, my family and our needs perfectly right now, for lots of reasons, plus I like where I live and I'd have to move or commute to work for someone else and I don't think I'd like that ...

 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 20:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Agree with John completely Feb 5, 2014

John Cutler wrote:

I'm sure I'd learn a lot, but I'd miss my pyjamas.icon_frown.gif


Yes, fluffy wabbit slippers probably wouldn't make it past the security guard. icon_biggrin.gif


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 11:57
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
If I could walk there Feb 5, 2014

If a translation company opened up five minutes down the road, I'd think about it. Otherwise the lack of a commute is one of the most attractive things about freelancing for me, so I'd be loath to give it up.

 

Cristiana Sima  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 14:57
English to Romanian
+ ...
with Mary, John, Julian Feb 5, 2014

and everybody else who appreciates the benefits of freelancing (after being employed)

I think it's like "once you go black, you never go back" kinda..


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Of course Feb 5, 2014

It makes life a lot easier when it's raining

 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:57
German to English
+ ...
No, not really Feb 5, 2014

I have worked in a company where I was the only translator, and in a multilingual organisation where I was not employed as a translator, so I have never really been under the microscope, as it were, while in the process of translation.

Sometimes, I wriggle around a lot, and stretch and pull faces, and laugh (at the text), and occasionally make slurping noises when I drink my coffee, or sing arbitrary bits of songs to keep me motivated, or say two possible versions of a translated sentence aloud*. None of these delightful habits would really be accepted in an office environment.icon_smile.gif

I never was a particular fan of office chatter. I would hate it now if an office mate interrupted my translation thought processes to tell me about the latest cool colour of nail varnish, or something.


* Forgot to mention the swearing on account of the typos, dammit.

[Edited at 2014-02-05 16:48 GMT]


 

Damien Poussier  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:57
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
In-house? Feb 5, 2014

Depends. Could I still get up at one in the afternoon?

 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Been there, done that Feb 5, 2014

Allison Wright wrote:

Sometimes, I wriggle around a lot, and stretch and pull faces, and laugh (at the text), and occasionally make slurping noises when I drink my coffee, or sing arbitrary bits of songs to keep me motivated, or say two possible versions of a translated sentence aloud*. None of these delightful habits would really be accepted in an office environment.icon_smile.gif

I never was a particular fan of office chatter. I would hate it now if an office mate interrupted my translation thought processes to tell me about the latest cool colour of nail varnish, or something.


When I finished my BA in translation, I wanted to be an in-house translator really, really bad. I fulfilled my wish more than once, but I learned some lessons along the way:

- Translation is serious work that requires a lot of concentration. I disliked being interrupted or having my manager ask me to drop everything for some urgent request.
- The focus required for translation requires your own space: so, I ended up hating those bullpens and open office environments, as well as the office noise, the random cellphone beeps and such.
- I loved having colleagues and like-minded people to talk and spar on ideas, but I really disliked the office politics, the American way to be corporate nice but personally offended.
- I never quite understood the American way of corporate culture in the sense that they encourage you to be sincere, offer solutions and think outside the box...as long as they like what you have to say.
- Perhaps when expecting a manager to act like a mentor was asking too much. I've worked with some challenging managers, but the last one was a waste of human skin: no self confidence, no initiative, below-average intelligence and only looking for number one (herself). Sometimes I wondered how she got a degree in software development in the first place.

Right now, I live the best of both worlds. I'm on a renewable contract that equals a full-time job, I attend teleconference meetings once or twice a week (but they only last 30 minutes), I collaborate with my team peers, but I don't have to deal with the micromanaging of projects or the ungodly interruptions.


 
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