When I first moved to Korea, I wasn’t sure what kind of jobs I would be able to do. As I am not from an English-speaking country, the chances of getting a teaching job were slight. However, there were some translation positions that I was able to find, or in my case, found me. I would like to share my work routine in Korea as well as some of my personal experiences as a worker here.
One day I received a text message offering me a translation job. The job was for translating from English to my native language. At first, I was skeptical about it, I had never gotten a job offer out of the blue like that before. You know, usually, people have to try really hard to look for a job. However, I thought – why not? I accepted the invitation and went for the interview. When I arrived, they asked about my writing and English skills. After that, I took a test that was about 10-15 min long – and that’s it! The following day I got a message saying that I could start working. Now, let’s fast forward to the work part.
For my work routine in Korea, I translate text files that are used for home appliances. From time to time I check to see if there are any language problems and if there are I point them out. Working in an office was something that was new to me. I don’t have to deal with clients face to face and to be honest it is kind of comfortable.
The following is how my workday in Korea normally goes. I take the subway to work. Trust me – if you don’t know about rush hour in Korea you are really lucky! It is horrible! Work starts at 9 AM and of course, first things first, I stop to buy some coffee. Now here is a fun fact about me, I always prefer warm coffee over cold. In summer, well, that coconut latte tastes even better warm.
Then, I start translating files. The number of sentences that we have to translate is about 800 per day. If I get it all done early, then I can rest for a while, unless there is something urgent.
At around 12 we have a 1-hour break. All morning I wait with anticipation for my lunch break. It is the best time of the day. I have to say, I made good friends at my job. So, after eating, like a good European (I don’t know if all countries do so) my work friends and I all go to our usual cafe, to drink something and chat.
After the break, we go back to the company. I love how on special occasions we would do something to celebrate. For example, on Halloween, we dressed up and gave candies to each other. As well as on Pepero Day. And near Christmas, we did a secret Santa event. Usually, westerns think people in Asia are not that warm in the workplace, but that’s not the case. out of all the jobs I have done, working in Korea is fun.
WHAT THIS JOB TAUGHT ME
I think I learned a lot from this job. First of all, this was my first job as a translator in Korea. I had no experience before. So from this job, I found out how to better use my own language abilities. Translating might sound easy, but you have to do research on what words to use and how to structure the sentences. It was really challenging. Also, I was able to meet people from different countries and learn about their cultures and languages. In conclusion, for any foreigners that reside in Korea and want to do a part-time job, I recommend doing something translation-related. It is going to be fun, you’ll learn a lot, and there won’t be too much pressure!
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