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Why do some outsourcers want to know my age?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Serbian to English
+ ...
Age as an indirect indicator of Mar 11, 2017

experience/quality of work and/or amenability (or lack thereof) to any silly request?

Maybe ... as a loose statistical correlation. But what counts is the specific case.

And that can be unpredictable. I know of few cases of exactly the opposite - "youngsters" far better than "old stars", and some other "youngsters" that are as tough negotiators as you will ever get!

For what is the practical use of it, asking for age is no more than bureaucratic habit!


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:52
Member (2018)
French to English
gender too Mar 12, 2017

How many forms have you filled in without specifying your gender? OK it further helps to identify you but only half the population will be eliminated (more if you're trans of course but these people don't even know which box to tick)
Both age and gender are pieces of information that are irrevelant most of the time. Again, people like to know how easily they can bully you over pricing and the like.

The argument that you don't want a senior working on a translation of a video
... See more
How many forms have you filled in without specifying your gender? OK it further helps to identify you but only half the population will be eliminated (more if you're trans of course but these people don't even know which box to tick)
Both age and gender are pieces of information that are irrevelant most of the time. Again, people like to know how easily they can bully you over pricing and the like.

The argument that you don't want a senior working on a translation of a video game? well I see your point but what are the chances that a senior would take on such a job? they have the experience to know when to say no. Unless they're desperate of course, being in reduced circumstances because of illness or whatever. But desperation is not exclusive to seniors.

My former boss, who I am still in contact with, was terribly excited about the possibilities of Internet in the 90s and wanted to get in on the act with a start-up. The bank manager told him outright that on paper, his application for a loan was brilliant, and had he been a young whizz kid they would have lent him oodles of money. However, since he was in his late fifties they felt it wouldn't work. Yet this guy was pioneering multimedia software and hardware back in the 80s (the most exciting job I have ever had) and still had a keen mind...
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Seniors Mar 12, 2017

AFAIK seniors can play video games too - on condition that they have reached the advanced stage of senility and mindlessness that is required to play video games, and are not distracted by the intelligent thoughts of a keen mind.

The presumption that younger = cooler, more alert, and more aware of what is going on in the world is an ageist prejudice of the young, who know nothing.

I'm sure we've all come across many a young fool. Fortunately not all young people are id
... See more
AFAIK seniors can play video games too - on condition that they have reached the advanced stage of senility and mindlessness that is required to play video games, and are not distracted by the intelligent thoughts of a keen mind.

The presumption that younger = cooler, more alert, and more aware of what is going on in the world is an ageist prejudice of the young, who know nothing.

I'm sure we've all come across many a young fool. Fortunately not all young people are idiots.

There's one person from a particular agency who has been asking for various bits of information before she starts giving me work (presumably). One of her questions is: how old am I?

Based on the posts so far, I think I'll say "you tell me your age first and depending on what it is, I might tell you mine, based on my prejudices about your age".



[Edited at 2017-03-12 16:18 GMT]
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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:52
Member (2018)
French to English
or... Mar 13, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

There's one person from a particular agency who has been asking for various bits of information before she starts giving me work (presumably). One of her questions is: how old am I?

Based on the posts so far, I think I'll say "you tell me your age first and depending on what it is, I might tell you mine, based on my prejudices about your age".



[Edited at 2017-03-12 16:18 GMT]


I think I would be tempted to say "I'm old enough". Then I'd follow up (after letting that answer sink in) "and young enough too".


 

Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
English to French
... Mar 13, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

AFAIK seniors can play video games too - on condition that they have reached the advanced stage of senility and mindlessness that is required to play video games, and are not distracted by the intelligent thoughts of a keen mind.


What a stupid thing to say...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Lots more Mar 13, 2017

You haven't seen anything.

[Edited at 2017-03-13 16:00 GMT]


 

Adrien Esparron
Local time: 08:52
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Asking for age... Mar 13, 2017

is not asking the birth date, gender, etc. and has nothing to do with privacy or discrimination. So, what for? Don't know, just ask them why. Could be interesting to have an idea.

Regards


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Miss Marple said... Mar 13, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

The presumption that younger = cooler, more alert, and more aware of what is going on in the world is an ageist prejudice of the young, who know nothing.



“The young people think the old people are fools -- but the old people know the young people are fools.”
[Murder at the vicarage]



[Edited at 2017-03-13 17:39 GMT]


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You can reply Mar 13, 2017

that you are "middle-aged" and let them guess the rest.

Now, seriously. I think it's just to tick a box, unless, as the OP righly pointed out, you are 18 or so.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Daft questions Mar 13, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
Another big difference is that in France, it is very common to find profession as a required field, even "father's profession". A throw-back to the patricarchal nature of French society. ...


I recall taking great offence at that "father's profession" question, as it didn't ask a similar question about my mother, who worked all her life. And anyway, what has my father's job got to do with my suitability for a post?

However, I do understand that when asking about the age of a potential applicant, agencies or other employers may expect to pay less to a younger translator, and, as someone else mentioned earlier, also be able to push them about a bit more easily. Having said that, I sometimes subtract ten years from my age when information is for websites or other online stuff, just for a laugh.

[Edited at 2017-03-13 19:36 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
A test Mar 13, 2017

Maybe it's just a test of curmudgeonliness so they can see how easy you'll be to work with later on?

Why are people so cagey about their age/gender? It'll probably be obvious from your CV/name anyway.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No agency has ever asked my age Mar 13, 2017

My age is none of their business, but I guess anyone can do the maths from my CV...

 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:52
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Simply lie ... Mar 14, 2017

... and tell them whatever age works for you. Then, or before you do so, immediately ask their age too, as more than one person, including Tom, has logically insinuated. I think 40 is a good number. Old enough and young enough, as Texte Style says.

Somebody asked me my age not long ago, and I said that when I'm asked that, I always tell them I'm 40. "But how old are you really?", she asked. "40", I said.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
:-o Mar 14, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Somebody asked me my age not long ago, and I said that when I'm asked that, I always tell them I'm 40. "But how old are you really?", she asked. "40", I said.


Surely that only works if you habitually walk around town with a paper bag over your head? And super-baggy clothing lest someone might divine your gender from your body shape?

I'm almost scared to go out at all now.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:52
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
I wear ... Mar 14, 2017

Chris S wrote:


Surely that only works if you habitually walk around town with a paper bag over your head? And super-baggy clothing lest someone might divine your gender from your body shape?

I'm almost scared to go out at all now.



... a mask. We all wear a mask, really, one way or another.


 
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