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Myth or Fact ~ Translators Have No Life June 23, 2008

Posted by Fantastic Four in Uncategorized.

Why don’t we go get pampered today? It’s been a while. Manicure, pedicure, hair…
I am so sorry we can’t. I have to finish a translation. Deadline tonight.
Ok, not to worry. How about tomorrow night? Out with friends…
Sorry no can do. I have a proofreading to do, which I need to submit the next morning.
Seriously, you have no life!!!
Hmmm. Better save this before something goes wrong. *pause* Sorry, what were you saying?
… Nothing… I rest my case.
Are you practicing being an ugrateful self again?

This is my first post on my new blog. I want my first post to talk about what I do for work, the theme for this blog.

Every profession has its very own pros and cons. I have always been a translator, full-time, part-time, freelance; You name it – I have done it. I worked as a consecutive interpreter also, but that’s been pretty much on and off over the years.

I love my job! For starters, if I want to, I can work in my pyjamas (I say pyjamas, you say pajamas). I don’t even have to get out of bed thanks to the laptop and mobile internet technology. Or I can sit outside and enjoy a bit of sunny Sydney winter. Even the printer is connected wirelessly. Don’t you just love technology? Wouldn’t you want to be in my shoes? Or should I say, in my slippers?

And then there is the flexible work hours. Unless it’s an urgent translation I can choose when I want to work. If I want to be a night owl I can sleep during the day and work at night. I can get up early and work in the quiet hours of the day.

A special mention has to go to the low cost of maintenance. No office so no pressure to get dressed up to impress the boss and the colleagues. No transportation costs, no waiting in traffic, no road rages, no petrol consumption.

Last but least, I learn so much while I translate. I get to experience the joy of brain overload with information on plants, cars, internet, games, finance world, a whole variety of topics. Even in the areas I have specialised, I continue to add new terms to and expand my vocabulary. I learn specific terms in a broad spectrum of topics. It’s just brilliant!

How much longer will you be on that thing?
That thing? You mean the computer? I am writing in my blog.
Which one? Ah, the new one. The translation one.
Bingo! Ok, now if you just leave me to it for a few more minutes *voice trails off*
Actually, Helen sent an e-mail, she’d like to catch up this weekend.

This weekend? Impossible, I am expecting a new project. It’s on sustainable living. How cool is that?
Someone needs to talk to YOU about “living” though…

So where was I? Ah yes, the pros of being a freelance translator. The list is not a short one, believe you me.

The cons? I seriously can’t think of one. I guess eyes could be strained for looking at the screen for many hours at a time. There is a simple remedy for that; take frequent breaks and rest your eyes. Drink plenty of water and hydrate. Easy stuff.

Ok, how about “life”?
What do you mean “life”?
You know what I mean. You don’t have a life.
Now that’s a myth.
No, it isn’t. When did you last go out with your boyfriend?
When was it last that you went out to see a movie; enjoyed it over a popcorn and a drink of your choice?
You were planning to go to the pool and swim regularly. How’s that going?
It’s winter, too cold. Ok, can I finish this post? I have to get back to translating.
Sure. Just ignore me why don’t you? I know you know I am right.
What’s up with you? Is it pre menstrual? I am just going to write the end of the post. Hang on.
… *sulk*

Geebus, that short self-rant just reminded me of a single-handedly crucial disadvantage of working as a freelance translator from home. Your best friend, the one with whom you share your life 24/7, happens to be yourself. Don’t ask why. It just happens that way, you become a translator and one day you start having conversations with self. It’s actually quite a rewarding relationship. But on a fateful day, when yourself turns against you; starts complaining and back-chatting, that’s when the going gets tough. Freelance translator’s life can prove to be difficult if the relationship with self is strained due to work load. There isn’t really much that can be done about it though. My suggestion to anyone else experiencing it, is to basically just put up with it, ignore if need be and threaten if nothing else works. And one day self might just stop complaining and claiming that you have no life.

Peh! “Translators have no life,” says self. That’s an utter and complete myth. Truth couldn’t be any further from it. I’ll prove it to you by simply putting forward myself as an example. I have a life! I have my computer, my internet connection, my blog, my blogmates, and *drum rolls* my very own virtual real-friends database. I even have a green patch, which my real-friends look after for me on my virtual real-friends database. I have just watered my purple lilly and saved two centimetersquare rain forest about half an hour ago. Thanks to my virtual real-friends database, my bad memory problem is no more a problem. They all get a virtual real-friends database message from me on their birthdays. What ever else can I ask for? I have everything I need. I am far from being greedy; the wanting to go out on picnics, to cinemas, to meet and hang out with friends, the need for pampering… None of that thanks. Unlike my.. self… I am quite self-sufficient (ha!) and happy with my life.

That will do for today. Now that a myth is completely destroyed, I’d better go back to my translation.

Tomorrow will you write about self-denial?
Hmm? *mumbles* No I told you. Have a proofreading job. Oh, and I need to hit Ebay for a bit, too.
Why, what are you buying online now?
I will check out the auctions for a new self-best-friend.
You wouldn’t! … *whimpers* would you?
Try me…



1. Primal Sneeze - June 25, 2008

Whey hey! That’s it. I can comment now.

Ready? Here I come …


2. Gayé Terzioglu - June 25, 2008

Woo Hoo! It did work.

Well hi there!

Thank you Primal.

3. Conan Drumm - June 26, 2008

Great post Gaye, hence the social networking from so many individual pyjamalands around the world.

4. Nick - June 26, 2008

You make working from home sound really brilliant. But come on, there must be some downsides, it can’t be a bed of roses all the way. Like, don’t you sometimes spend far too long on something because you have the time and there’s nobody saying “Oi, haven’t you got a home to go to?”

5. Gayé Terzioglu - June 27, 2008

Conan (I always chuckle a bit when I type this, imagining a huge sword and warriors drinking from giant goblets sitting around a spit fire) ~ Thanks for visiting and the comment. I think there are many people nowadays giving preference to low cost of running their businesses from home, family life, the flexibility etc. I love working in my pyjamas. It does require discipline though because there is always the risk of being distracted by a million things to do in and around the house.

6. Gayé Terzioglu - June 27, 2008

Nick ~ To be brutally honest… No, there are no “downsides” hehe. But certain “challenges” perhaps. These challenges have to do with self-discipline. There is the TV, the kitchen, the garden, the cleaning, the cooking, the blogging, the googling. You know, distractions. With a bit of discipline none of it matters. I usually know – give or take half an hour – when I can expect to finish a translation assignment by looking at the source document. I make a plan, to take a break at a certain time etc. Once you finish and e-mail and if there is nothing urgent lined up it’s a great sense of achievement and freedom (that’s when a little dance in pyjamas happens)… 🙂

7. Baino - June 27, 2008

Hey, I can always do lunch, dinner, supper, breakfast . . .I would LURVE to work in my slippers (if I had any) Let’s face it I always blog in my PJ’s. Call me when you have time. There’s always a brie and chardy in the fridge! No pressure!


8. Gayé Terzioglu - June 27, 2008

Ooo I wasn’t going to reveal who “Helen” was to unsuspecting readers!

Breakfast! I have next Saturday off, let’s have breakfast!!!! If it suits you, I will write it on my calendar. I can cook you breakfast here (i AM a good cook), we can go out, or I can bring some fruits and cheese and drive over to your place. I will make sure not to take on any assignments for first half of Saturday at least.
What say you? 🙂

9. Jess - July 12, 2008


10. Gayé Terzioglu - July 12, 2008

Woo Hoo It worked!
Hi and welcome Jess. 🙂

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