Career advice

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Career advice

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:01 pm

Perhaps I should handle this via private message, but I'm already spending too much time on wordwizard to add private messengering to the list.
I'm thinking of taking a quickie course in proof reading. They say one can make pretty good wages at it, and one can do it part-time. I'm considering it as a resource for additional income, as I'm looking forward to the joys of college tuition and expenses in a (very) few years.
Since a few of you have experience in this area, would you be willing to talk about this? For example, I'm interested in what the major pitfalls are in trying to proof read for a living. I already work full time -- is it reasonable to expect to do proof reading 8 or 10 hours per week? What are the average wages after one gets to be pretty good at it? Are there any hidden costs to it? I realize these are questions I can have answered in the two-day course I'm contemplating, but the course costs money: if the general opinion is, for example, that proof reading is definitely NOT a part-time gig, then it will help me to decide.
Let me know if you have time.
Thanks, all!

P.S. Why is it "messAge", but "messEnger"?
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Career advice

Post by Miia » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:02 pm

I'm thinking of taking a quickie course in proof reading.

I did one of those (course at the uni, Finnish not English), and found it very useful - it was fun, and my own intuition on language developed a great deal. If you do plan a career dealing with languages - not necessarily proofreading, than I would definitely recommend it.

They say one can make pretty good wages at it

I wouldn't say that. If compared to a translator's salary, the wages are very small. In that case, compare rookie - professional translator, and you'll get some idea. Usually translators do proofreading (always in their native language), and charge about a half of their translation fees for that. I'm currently working as a freelancer for a US based subtitling firm, and they pay 0,05 dollars per subtitle for proofreading and 0.15 dollars per subtitle for translating. If an average film includes something like 1 000 - 1 500 subtitles, you can easily count the difference (and what you get from one movie). And, at least for me, I can't count the hours I do beforehand, 'cause so much depends on the quality of the original translation. Sometimes it takes a couple of hours to proof read one movie (if the original text is good, and the timing is correct), and sometimes it can take up to 8 hours...

is it reasonable to expect to do proof reading 8 or 10 hours per week?

Yes. Usually you can't get a full-time job even if you tried.

Are there any hidden costs to it?

I don't know about the US, but in Finland, if I was doing this as a part-time job in the same situation as you, I would have to pay higher taxes (about 40%) for the jobs that I do "on the side," than on the one that I do full-time. Of course, you'll have to remember, in Finland, we pay HUGE taxes when compared to US and any other country ;)

I would say that proof reading definitely IS a part-time gig, and a great way to gain experience and confidence if you are considering a career dealing with languages. However, I would not expect huge salaries...

Hope this helped!

[dollars, not cents, the pay is small but not THAT small...]
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Career advice

Post by Shelley » Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:56 am

Miia, this is VERY helpful! The fact that you said the course you took was fun speaks volumes. For some reason, I think I'd enjoy this and it was great to hear you confirm that it can be fun. Since this course is only a couple of days' commitment, I don't have that much to lose and a lot to gain if things click.
By the way, it never occurred to me that movie subtitles would part of a proofreader's . . . hm -- metier? Repertoire? How cool.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions.
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Career advice

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:42 pm

.. Shelley you asked
P.S. Why is it "messAge", but "messEnger"?
.. all I could find, and it is not all that satisfactory is ..
messenger
c.1225, messager, from O.Fr. messagier, from message (see message). With parasitic -n- inserted by c.1300 for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (cf. passenger, harbinger, scavenger).

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary
WoZ of Aus 13/02/06
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Career advice

Post by Shelley » Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:41 pm

Y'know, WoZ, I was questioning the E for A substitution, but you've shown me there's more to this than meets my eye: the parasitic N! Egad!
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Career advice

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:35 pm

Shelley, just to let you know that I sent you an email in response to your posting. I assume that it went to the address you used when you registered. :-)
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