Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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Working late

It's a pain in the neck.

Thanks to the internet I can now work late at home instead of having to stay all night in the office.
My kids fell asleep hours ago and my wife is ratty - she can't sleep without me ... and although I get paid well, I don't get paid overtime.

I'm not in charge of planning my work - I'm waiting on others to send me things.

Oh please let me sleep.

Re: Working late

You have my sympathy varsovian.

At least this way you can sit there in your cosy winnie the pooh pajamas and fluffy bunny slippers, drinking hot chocolate and eating toast and honey. (oops! am I giving too much away?)

Re: Working late

You have a mighty long telescope!
Or perhaps I have let slip aspects of my private life?

Re: Working late

What do you do so late at night? Translation? Proof-reading?

Re: Working late

taking things slightly sideways ...
does anyone have any experience of proof-reading? i'm been curious for years and never taken it any further ...

Re: Working late

Boring very boring, I did some, drives you mad.

Re: Working late

stuff boring - does it pay?
(fresh from 5 hours of math tuition at the weekend so i know what boring means )

Re: Working late

It pays :)
... though I don't know about freelancing.

Translation pays too, but for that I have to work together with my Polish wife, as I miss things even when translating into English. Into Polish I would be absolutely, laughably hopeless!

Hmmm. Perhaps, but I like playing with words on paper, so it's an ideal job for me.

Re: Working late

So how would one go about "not freelancing"?

and what skills do proofreaders actually need? what makes a good one? (i know, a high boredom-threshold .. but surely there are others ...)

and would there be a market for prs with a math/inf background ?

[overheating in gdansk]

Re: Working late

Work as an "employee". Freelancing wouldn't pay unless you translate as well. Also, the client needs to know you in order to trust you.

Proofing Poles writing in English is harder than you might think. For one thing, Polish law, for example, doesn't translate into Common Law concepts, for another, trying to re-phrase difficult texts so as to better express the author's intentions puts you at risk of perverting the original message.

Then there's the thorny problem of 'customer-resistance'. You might have put it into flowing, stylish English but if your client is unhappy with it and feels better with his usual appallingly-wooden prose then you've wasted your time.

What makes me chortle is when I've re-worked academic texts only to have Poles 'correct' my English by introducing mistakes!

Any intelligent, literate, educated speaker of English as a first language can proofread. Four things to bear in mind are:
(i) when you start off, move your lips as you read - that way you force yourself to read the whole word every time, and
(ii) always assume that your brilliant idea for an alternative expression is somehow wrong and double-check it!
(iii) make massive use of the internet, and
(iv) note the little differences between the various types of English (US, UK, Canadian etc).

Re: Working late

thanks for the info.
I was thinking more of proofreading text written by native speakers ... Doing what you describe is truly scary.
From time to time I've been asked to "help" translate some text (usually CVs) and I've always bottomed-out on the problem that the original was cr*p to start with. How on earth can you turn cr*p Polish into good English?
gah ....
So now, i wouldn't touch polish-written english with a long pointy stick ...

But I still dream of getting paid to point out spelling mistakes in other people's English ;)

Re: Working late

I made a mistake a moment ago on the "oral sex" thread ...

My knowledge of Polish English mistakes is almost encyclopaedic now, but I still get caught out at times.

I went to a restaurant recently and couldn't for the life of me work out why "pasztet" was translated as "nuisance". That was made clear to me only a few days later when I asked my wife.

Re: Working late

Do members really notice those little differences between different varieties of English?

Many users now mix British and US English.

Re: Working late

>Do members really notice those little differences between different varieties of English?


Re: Working late

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we got him!"
(US Army spokesman talking about the capture of Saddam Hussein)

No,no, no!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have got him!"

Present perfect for making dramatic announcements without stating when it happened.
Honestly ...

And as for zip code and "period", well ...
... my zip (not zipper) doesn't have a PIN number and I don't menstruate.

I'm completely in the firing line being a proof reader in a law firm with international clients in US-loving Poland. I accept whatever sounds good to English speakers worldwide and/or the individual client. Hence "czynny żal" in tax law is the neat US Eng. "voluntary disclosure", not the UK "statement of error or omission" (or whatever it is), and I use "post code" or "postal code" (UK/Can) with all but US clients.
Details matter, esp. in written English.

Re: Working late

and be careful when inviting a Canadian for supper

Re: Working late

Zip Code is from an anagram that overstayed its welcome. There had been earlier postal codes in the United States but they had been municipally oriented. By 1960 over 80% of all mail was commercial and business mail; this coupled with viable computer technology justified the new mail Zoning Improvement Plan (ZIP) codes introduced in 1963. All other codes were phased out and only the new codes were to be used after 1967. After that date “zip” was superfluous.

Feel free to use “postal code” for the U.S. as well. "Zip" is a historical anomaly comparable to “new” pence, but much more persistent.

Re: Working late

Yahoo hits:

zip code usa - 3,630,000
postal code usa - 20,200,000

ZIP for the USA

Re: Working late

Proofing Poles writing in English is harder than you might think.
Oh god yes!!

I also did a bit of voice over for some short films, I was forced to read a text full of mistakes, I explained it was wrong but was told it had been checked by profesor someone and he told them not to worry about articles as even English people don't use them. Hours later having problems reading something like:
Powerstation in huta is biggest in area I gave up and told him it REALLY needed changing. He found a polish person to read it instead.
Was also involved in a grammar book and a dictionary, Hell!!
Pays well but......

Re: Working late

Which gets back to what I was saying earlier - Poles won't trust a proofreader (or a translator for that matter) unless they have known them very well for quite some time.
Part of the problem is the starting point of the translating anti-culture which is so firmly embedded in Polish academia, which goes as follows:

(i) Polish is a language ill at ease with itself when expressed on paper, so English must be too;
(ii) We've always mistranslated this term, so we're not going to change now.

If you don't believe me, search for "amounts to" + polski and see how many times you could replace it with the simple, correct "is".

This is the scale of the problem - and the source of all my lovely fees! Long may Poles be taught appallingly-bad English. Long may Polish academia wallow in the backwaters with all their PhDs - I want my kids to follow in my footsteps ... and their kids too!