Ukrainian dating interview: my job as an interpreter at an International marriage agency
Thousands of men from all over the world are looking for a wife from Ukraine and Russia. Numerous International marriage agencies offer them their services. An employee of one dating agency in Kiev tells about the details of her job as an interpreter, about writing hundreds of love letters and about Ukrainian dating.
About the interpreter:
- Name: Marina Levchenko
- Age: 21 y.o.
- Job: Interpreter at an International marriage agency in Kiev
- Work experience: 2 years
Question: How did you find this job?
Marina: Two years ago, I decided to check my English; thus I filled up my resume with a new job, namely: a translator at a marriage agency. I saw a job role on the internet and then called this agency. After that I was invited to an interview. During the interview, I was briefly told what I had to do.
At first sight, the job sounds very nice. Requirements for candidates are following: a good knowledge of English as well as communication skills. Theoretically, that’s all. But in fact, the job is not as easy as it may seem. It’s very serious because you are responsible for people’s happiness.
Question: What are your responsibilities? What is your schedule?
Marina: You may choose the working hours as you wish. During my working hours, I have to work on the computer and be online because the agency staff has to discuss all the moments of the dating business collectively. For example, we discuss how to find a Western man for a new Ukrainian girl as soon as possible. My responsibilities are following:
- Writing personal letters (on behalf of the women) on the online dating site of this marriage agency
- Interpreting communication during meetings in person
The fact is that I wrote personal letters not a long time because I wanted to work only as an interpreter at meetings.
The online dating site has numerous profiles of Ukrainian women for marriage with their photos and personal information. The agency’s clients are foreigners who look for a possible life partner online. When the men make their choice, they pay a certain amount and start their correspondence with the girl. They believe that, but in fact, our female clients do not speak foreign languages. As a result, we, agency translators, are actually communicating with the men.
Question: Do you have love letter templates, or does the female client tell you what you need to write to a potential husband from the Western world?
Marina: I am writing letters by myself, there are no standards. I use my fantasy and write whatever comes to my mind. There is a plan of correspondence. If you want to earn your “pennies”, you have to write half a hundred love letters to potential “princes” daily. Sometimes, the number of letters might be much less because the most important thing is not quantity but quality.
The main thing in the dating & marriage business is to attract and keep the attention of the male client (roughly speaking, to “sell” the bride to him). The female clients do not participate in the correspondence with foreigners. They do not care about that you are writing to the man. The important thing to them is that they would be invited to the date with the man.
Question: How much does a translator earn for using their fantasy?
Marina: A translator earns about 50 hryvna (about $5 USD) for writing one love letter. If you write 50 letters a day, you can earn good money. But it is almost impossible because it is thorny and not productive. As a general rule, you choose a few male customers and correspondent with them regularly.
Question: You said that now you are not writing love letters anymore. Why not?
Marina: I do not like it because it’s very boring and wrong. In my opinion, this is just a perversion because you give the men something that does not exist. They believe that they correspond with the potential bride from Ukraine; however, the letters are actually sent as on the conveyor. Thus I decided to translate only at meetings.
Question: How do these meetings run?
Marina: The meetings take place in the restaurants. Sometimes we go to some other places such as museums. This is a huge surprise for me. But this happens very rarely, mostly still in expensive restaurants. All meetings are standard. The questions are the same, namely: “Hi, how are you?”, “Where were you born?”, “Who are your parents?”, and “What do you do?”, “Where do you live?” or “Why are you looking for a man online?”
It is clear that the people do not talk about the intimate things with me. So they talk about everything and nothing. The meetings run always easy. Of course, it is a bit uncomfortable because two people do not know each other, and you’re a stranger to them, as well. That means that two strangers try to get into contact (and very often without any success). 🙁
Question: How much do you earn per date?
Marina: The Western man pays cash directly to the interpreter. The average fee per hour is about $20 USD. I have to give 5% commission to the marriage agency. The meeting lasts about two or three hours. If everything is fine, you can earn up to $100 USD per date.
Question: Have the male customers ever invite you to a date?
Marina: Only once! I had a meeting with an elderly foreigner and a young and very beautiful Ukrainian girl. She was pretty arrogant and rich. And the man was quite unpretentious. It became clear that he had no money for such a lady. We talked a little bit together and the date was quickly over.
After that he told me that tomorrow he was going to go somewhere and asked me whether I would like to accompany him. Moreover, he asked for my phone number. It was understandable that he decided to try his luck with another woman because he had no success with the first lady. But I refused because I was not interested.
Question: Have you experienced any success story?
Marina: In my experience, there was one love story. The woman was about 50 years old and came from the Lugansk region. She particularly came to Kiev for meeting Western men. Once upon a time, she met an American Japanese. He was pretty polite but boring. She did not like him (even a 50-year-old woman from Ukraine makes her choice and does not take any man without any feelings).
After that she found an Englishman. He was very successful and had a property in the UK and Spain. They liked each other. Then I knew nothing about their further communication. But after a while I got a call from this woman because she needed my services for translation of some documents. She told me that she was going to marry to John, that Englishman. This is the only love story with happy end! 🙂
(Translated and adapted by Krystyna)
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