Saturday, November 7, 2009

US/ Uk Native Writers

Today I blog about something that I come across everyday in my line of work, mind you, I'm not an established writer, no degree in journalism or some great assignments to my credit but I manage to make two ends meet and that is enough for me at this point in time. I keep seeing threads posted in forums where either the buyer says US/ UK native writers only? Or service providers post a thread stating we are a team of US/ UK native writers. What I wish to ask from these buyers is, why do they seek native writers? Would an American write an article for $1? How much would it mean to him or her? I had even asked a lady who claimed to be a native of CA and was haggling over $15, how far would $15 go? She did not reply to my question, instead she counter-questioned me, " have you ever been to USA?" I replied," No." but All I want to know is how far would $15 go in America?
If the job posters are genuinely Americans or Britishers then, I want to ask why do they ask for US/UK native writers? Is it because they feel an Indian or any other third world country citizen would not know the local idiom? I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this US/UK writer thing no hard feelings for those posing as US/UK natives, I guess they think this is the best way out. For writers who claim to be US/UK native I want to know they are a native of which country THE USA or THE UK? I guess enough for today ...more musings later.


  1. I liked your blog,I was reminded which i had experienced, I feel it is also a another mode of discrimination,I am no writer,i am a teacher ..Once i was called for an interview for an american school ....I was told u will have to spend Rs.five lacks to go to America and 5000 for giving interview...I aksed the agent ..Why do the American schools need Indian teachers...His reply was Indian teachers are excellent and charge less than the American teacher....I was disappointed but asked him and excellent people have to pay Rs. 5lakhs to get a job and Rs.5000 to merely be able to give an interview :(

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your experience Shephali but in your case I think it was pure economics or commerce that influenced the agents decision and not discrimination. Most of these people know that Indians go abroad to work for money as the dollar exchange rate is high. So, I think what he meant to say was if you are going to earn dollars why not share some of your goodluck with me.

  3. Laya,

    Here is a thought to consider, I often do so myself given that I am in a line which has both benefited and suffered from the effects of globalization.

    Could it be that the adverse effects of globalization are starting to germinate more local efforts? Will globalization become the platform for strong local economies that will find ways to interact in mutually beneficial manner with others?

    And, in conclusion, I have to ask this of you: would you hire a writer from US/UK to write on an Indian subject in an Indian context for Indian readers? Asking simply out of curiosity!

    More Indian than Indians but out of India on a global footing,

  4. I think shefali's got a point there (her case could also be a fraud of some kind)... But I reckon, it all amounts to the image of 'Brand India' that we have managed to carve.

    We're been looked at as an emerging ecomony but associated with values like 'Cheap Labour', 'Corruption', 'Poverty lines'. Such values dont allow our people to be treated at par with other practioners.

    The more stereotype buster personalities we create, the better it will eventually get for us. Global Indian Personalities do this well on getting us re-branded. Similarly if we brand our professionalism and acheivements on the Internet, it'd only do us all good with our remuneration rates.

  5. Hi Anu,
    I would definitely hire professionals to write on Indian subjects as long as they have the right sensibility and do not look at things from an outsiders point of view. As long as people can understand the subject, the writer's geographical loaction is of no consequence.
    Well to answer your question on the effects of globalization causing local efforts to germinate, I'd welcome that, as an Indian who believes in being rational about things, I can clearly say that prior to globalization, the consumer had no choice,we as the Indian media would put it had the government raj but post globalization the Indian businessman knows that the consumer has more choices s he better deliver the best.

  6. I did not state that Shephali did not have a point, she is right, but the fact is that unless you have degree from IIT, IIM or the numerous other accredited institutes one has little option but to pay to the middlemen if one wants to work abroad. If India is seen as a corrupt society, or as people who can provide cheap labor, I still think it is economics and nothing else.I do agree that Indians are capable of making a mark for themselves in any sphere, but what about the unfortunate many who have not had the chance even to earn their daily bread, are they not Indians, and if anybody views India from that perspective, why complain, when we actually do not want to do anything about changing that.

  7. Hi Laya,

    I feel that we should not be irked but reading US / UK native writers adverts. Why think that indians are not welcome. i put forth my perception to this

    It could also mean russians, germans, slovakians, or italian or any person apart from india who barely manages to speak english.

    for Uk and US their native language is "English" not hindi, or urdu or german or russian.

    By native could also mean that they could write with shared sentiment of the geographic zone.

    You or US or me being an indian if asked about varanasi or lets say kanyakumari, can easily manage to speak about it.. but the same if we ask this to a local german or even an argentenian guy would not be able to even pronounce the name properly.

    there could be topics which might share the same understanding of the locals living there..

    like for example if i ask you about the food habits of gujarati's or south indians. i guess you dont have to think twice to atleast list me two or three of the favourite local cuisines by gujju's or south indians.

    lets not take this thing onto a different plane altogether..

    US has a complex living standard, each state has its own version of law or even way of living.. the same with UK.. in UK itself there are more than 3 countries..

    scotish, ireland and GB itself.. but if you pay close attention all have different accents of english itself..

    lets not crucify the poor guy who had posted and asked for UK or US locals for writing. He / she could have meant to ask for a local guy who can write as per the understanding and temperament of locals living in UK or US.

    Its not india alone taking away jobs from us. on the complete side.. NO ONE is taking jobs away from US.. they are capitalist and like to hire variety. Its what the capitalists do.. pay and hire.. the person who made the atomic bomb for them to win over japanese was a german (Alber Einstein).

    we i feel should not be either irked or mused by this advert. instead we could be looking at the wrong place itself.

    if you can write what a local american would feel after reading or if you know what the local american (remember by local american i mean the guy who sells hotdogs, remember even he speaks english and at times you can find that he could have had minimal schooling) or a counter clerk for example. if you can match your writing with their sentiments then i think you have their job.

    but until then.. i think we should not at all feel bothered by this ad..

    or we should develop our writing or even read their articles by established writers.

    There are two scenarios to even this.

    1. whats the requirement for.. i.e. what is the topic or agenda for which the writing services are called for. it could be either writing for local news paper or writing for schools etc.

    2. which type of established writer matches near to this requirement, so that we can learn from the writers abilities and start mixing with our own talent and make it a bit more interesting to read.

    Till then,



    (loved your blog by the way.. it has many topics to talk on, i am not a literati myself but, its good)

  8. Hi Bhargav,
    Thanks for appreciating my blog. If you read carefully I'm not complaining that somebody wants a writer from their native country( I have mentioned the local idiom) what confuses me is the logic behind it!! Harldy any American or Britisher would write for $1..frankly that amount is peanuts even from an Indian's point of view. I just want people to use their intelligence and analyze that they actually are not getting any other kind of writer but a third world writer who either is a budding writer or is just writing for money. Just want people to respond intelligently and not think that I'm attacking any geographical boundary. I love people from all parts of the world and I actually do not believe in narrow boundaries and frankly if people were not hiring from other countries we would very much be like the frog in the well, just not know what is happening outside and there would be no cross cultural communication.