Announcement

Collapse

The GaijinPot Forum Is Closed

Please join us on our new Facebook Group.
See more
See less

Top

Collapse

Editing/proofing jobs?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Editing/proofing jobs?

    Got a mate in Korea who wants to change from teaching to editing/proofreading but as usual Korea won't let him. He'd have to change his visa entirely and it's difficult because the rules require 5 years of continuous experience plus letters from every place worked at.

    Many foreigners don't have letters from yonks back and their employers are gone or changed numbers etc. Koreans don't understand work mobility and their visa laws want foreigners on leashes to make the Ks feel less inferior.

    I suggested Japan to him? Could he send his good cv cold to newspapers etc? Ms Triphop - any ideas? I think it's gonna be hard for him. Korea has pubishers etc in Seoul but the whole visa change will screw up his chances, he thinks.

  • #2
    Hey, CMC,

    Well, things in the translation field seem to be getting rather competitive and cutthroat (esp. for freelancers and newbies), and since editors and proofreaders are effectively the unskilled cousins of translators (how many English teachers can't sort of claim to be able to do that, after all), I would think he would have a hellish time moving to Japan, getting set up with a visa and such, and getting enough work to make a living, and make the whole move worth the effort.

    Mind you, he wouldn't have to live in Korea any more, so there is that.................

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't recommend Japan for anyone trying to start on the ground floor, unless they specialize in health care. Does your friend realize the economy here is actually smaller than it was 15 years ago?

      Comment


      • #4
        If he's interested in editing/proofreading and sending his application to publishers, there are darned few who handle English-only publications here. Does he have any experience to speak of, or is that as cold as the call he'd make? Bigger enterprise would be in J-E E-J translation.

        General English editing/proofreading/copyediting is very competitive here, and tons of people do it as a side business. I wouldn't advise cold-calling especially with no experience.

        Look up SWET and touch base. Read some of the online Japan Times ads; you might find an occasional opportunity there.

        Comment


        • #5
          True to form and despite their detractors, Kurogane and Glenski give good advice.

          Nope, he's not inexperienced. I'd never go back to Japan when my housing's paid for and I get a good pension deal but for some people Korea just sucks a huge stinky ___ regardless of what you get paid and what benefits are in the job.

          Trouble with Korea is that people with good work experience back home or elsewhere are being wasted. People talk about Japan wasting your talents but at least you can freelance, get privates, branch off into other things, do voice work etc if you're lucky enough to hear about it. In Korea on the standard E-2 teaching visa you cannot under any circumstances branch out, freelance etc.

          All that keeping you on a leash does is severely limit your opportunities to network and move on to better things. A vindictive employer can refuse to give you a letter of release even if you finish your contract and there's never been a complaint against you. Then when you try to get another job and you need that letter they will do anything to f%% up your chances by withholding it, badmouthing you to Immigration etc. I'd almost feel sorry for Koreans because they are clearly obsessed by feelings of inferiority.

          When you've done good jobs elsewhere it's a continual slap in the face by Koreans who fundamentally are very insecure and incredibly resentful of anybody with white skin, incredibly hateful towards Japanese, unbelievably patronising towards other Asians whose cultures and histories actually have genuine achievements unlike Korea, and incredibly racist towards anybody with dark skin, African, Indian etc.

          Why am I still there? I'll keep on making the moola. Koreans are _____es towards non Ks but you have the last laugh if you concentrate on the money.

          Comment


          • #6
            Been doing mainly editing/proofreading for a number of years, and it's a good, flexible, largely stress-free job. Probably I've been very lucky but the job openings were easy to find - Japan Times ad (major Japanese corporation) and community poster ad (national university). Three essential elements at the application stage were (1) being able to prove - through qualifications and previous employment outcomes - that I could be relied on to write correct English, (2) already having a visa to work in Japan, and (3) being able to effectively use the Japanese versions of the Microsoft Office programs. Two other elements have been abiity to communicate with workmates in written and spoken Japanese, and preparedness to take on haken shain (dispatch worker) conditions. It's my impression that in Tokyo there is a pool of talent of proofreaders and potential proofreaders in the form of university-educated gaijin spouses (especially females).

            Comment


            • #7
              The kind of jobs where companies only want a random native speaker to rewrite Japanese people's sh!tty English (erroneously termed "proofreading" for some bizarre reason) suck, as the supply of people tired of teaching English greatly outstrips demand. If your friend is a real editor, though, it's possible to find work in Japan, though he will be competing against other real editors who also have Japanese ability. A real editor, however, would never take on one of those "proofreading" jobs.

              Just for the sake of accuracy, what "proofreading" actually entails is reading galley proofs (hence the name) before a publication goes to print in order to ensure that words and sentences haven't been dropped and/or moved to strange places on the page when the printer (or DTP person these days) puts a text into the page layout together with photos and illustrations.

              What an editor does is work with authors on manuscripts, doing things like fact-checking, dealing with copyright and other legal issues, cutting overly verbose prose, and working with a printer to get the final product printed.

              The so-called editing/proofreading jobs in Japan are usually neither, involving a foreigner who is not fluent in Japanese attempting to fix the mangled grammar and odd syntax in passages that by all rights should never have been written in English in the first place.
              Last edited by PanicInducingGaijin; 2010-01-31, 02:45 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kurogane View Post
                Hey, CMC,

                Well, things in the translation field seem to be getting rather competitive and cutthroat (esp. for freelancers and newbies), and since editors and proofreaders are effectively the unskilled cousins of translators...
                I resent that, you f*cker.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice, will relay it. I think that what's gonna hurt him is the fact he did the editing stuff too long ago and has darkened it by his relatively long stints teaching Engrish in Japan and Engrishee in Korea.

                  The cold truth is he should have stayed put in Japan. I told him that before. The visa system in Korea is meant to discourage us from even attempting to be around for any longer than a few years. What really sucks is the way you can't open up doors for yourself like you can in Japan. I'll always defend Japan because once you've experienced the relative freedom there to make a living and go to Korea, Japan's resemblance of an open society becomes even more obvious.

                  And it's interesting how the Japanese don't whine about how the world should recognise them and pay homage. When you live in Korea you realise how f%%% it is to be surrounded by this pathological Korean need for admiration while at the same time they do nothing to earn it and make a habit of alienating non Koreans. Honestly, no Korean I've met and talked to has ever been able to figure out just why the place doesn't appeal to most non Ks apart from for making money and they can't accept that the dishonest business culture and layers and layers of xenophobia covering the most basic of practises here make Korea somewhat of a pariah.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PanicInducingGaijin View Post
                    The kind of jobs where companies only want a random native speaker to rewrite Japanese people's sh!tty English (erroneously termed "proofreading" for some bizarre reason) suck, as the supply of people tired of teaching English greatly outstrips demand. If your friend is a real editor, though, it's possible to find work in Japan, though he will be competing against other real editors who also have Japanese ability. A real editor, however, would never take on one of those "proofreading" jobs.

                    Just for the sake of accuracy, what "proofreading" actually entails is reading galley proofs (hence the name) before a publication goes to print in order to ensure that words and sentences haven't been dropped and/or moved to strange places on the page when the printer (or DTP person these days) puts a text into the page layout together with photos and illustrations.

                    What an editor does is work with authors on manuscripts, doing things like fact-checking, dealing with copyright and other legal issues, cutting overly verbose prose, and working with a printer to get the final product printed.

                    The so-called editing/proofreading jobs in Japan are usually neither, involving a foreigner who is not fluent in Japanese attempting to fix the mangled grammar and odd syntax in passages that by all rights should never have been written in English in the first place.
                    Some of the stuff I translate fully from Japanese. Some is in very good English. But indeed a lot of it is poorly written, and requires a good familiarity with Japanese language and interchange with the drafter in order to understand the meaning. My completed product is sent to heads of client companies around the world, people who are household names, to the heads of our own subsidiaries including in places like India and Russia where they need to be carefully controlled, and in the form of media releases etc. Precision of meaning is often vital, and when it's done properly it is worth a good deal to my employer. Your characterisation of the job is unfair. I should add that any paying job has at least some intrinsic merit and deserves respect in these columns.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X