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My job is taking care of the baby.
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Sentence #250930

My job is taking care of the baby.

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Aug 25th 2010, 18:20
what does that mean?
Aug 25th 2010, 18:24
It means exactly what it says.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:27
well, does that mean that my job consists in taking care of one baby, or that my job/my employer's organisation is taking care of MY baby while I'm on the job ?
Aug 25th 2010, 18:27
Que la personne est surement une nounou ou une babysitter
Aug 25th 2010, 18:28
ce n'est pas si clair...
Aug 25th 2010, 18:28
en tout cas c'est dans ce sens que la phrase chinoise l'entend.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:31
entend quoi ? Que mon employeur à une nurserie pour s'occuper de mon enfant pendant que je boulotte ou bien que c'est moi la nounou ?
Aug 25th 2010, 18:32
Que c'est moi la nounou
Aug 25th 2010, 18:34
ben je trouve la version anglaise plus qu'ambigüe, parce que ça devrait plutôt être "My job is TO TAKE care of the baby"...
Aug 25th 2010, 18:36
Pour moi c'est très très clair qu'il s'agit d'une babysitter/nounou, comme sysko a dit. Il peut être, en même temps, un membre de la famille qui s'en occupe. Si on regarde la phrase entière, il n'y aucun doute que ce n'est pas "job" dans le sens d'un emploi.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:36
@sysko:alors tu peux faire la traduction française à partir du chinois, mais laisse l'anglaise en plan en attendant une confirmation d'un expert anglophone. Pour moi, c'est ambigu.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:38
@FeuDRenais: admit that the fact that the form is "taking" makes it ambiguous...
A normal phrase when I describe my job (I just translated about a hundred...) is to write "My job is to...." not "my job is ...ing"
Aug 25th 2010, 18:44
Dear sacredceltic:

I would admit it if it were true, but the expression to me is very natural and extremely common. I don't find it ambiguous. "My job is ...ing" can be used for official/unofficial, but for something like this, it's pretty clear that it's unofficial. I know that if I actually had a job that I was paid for that involved taking care of a baby, I'd probably say "I'm paid to..." to make it clear that it was a real job (otherwise, it's assumed as a household responsibility or something of the like).

You don't like Google, so I'll search after posting this comment, but I'm sure that there'd be a good number of results for this, with this meaning.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:48
"job to take care of the baby" and "job is taking care of the baby" yield nearly identical numbers chez Google...

Anyway, IMO, this is completely natural and something you'd hear very often (whether with babies or whatever else). Others should voice their opinions, though.
Aug 25th 2010, 18:50
OK, so if I say "My job is killing me", according to your rule, that means that my job consists in killing myself, right?
What about: "My job is pissing you off"?
Aug 25th 2010, 18:55
Oh, the Google challenge, again...yawn...
"job is taking care of the baby" might yield results that mean that my employer's organisation is taking care of the baby when I need it...
Aug 25th 2010, 18:57
I made a rule?

No, I just mean that it's very clear from the context which meaning it is. There's a fine line between "grammatically ambiguous" and "(real) ambiguous".

I could argue that "give me a ring" is ambiguous too (donnez-moi un anneau, as I translated earlier for fun), and grammatically it is, but not practically. Same goes for this. It's very clear that it's more of a chore than a paid job, and thus not (practically) ambiguous.

Regarding "to take" vs. "taking", it doesn't seem to matter to me. Both have the same meaning (to my ears, at least).
Aug 25th 2010, 18:58
(Ball's in your court. I'll turn on the automatic comment-->sentence converter right now...)
Aug 25th 2010, 19:04
I think you missed the point from the start.
I explain again:

Many companies, especially in China and Japan (and also Scandinavia), have nursery services for their employees while the latter are at work.
Thus, an employee of such company might perfectly be entitled to state: "My job (ie my employer) is taking care of the baby (my baby, while I am at work)".

Get it ?
Aug 25th 2010, 19:18
Ah! So that's what you were getting all worked up about! Very sorry, I really did miss the point from the start...

However, I don't think it's standard to use "job" in that context. I think it'd be more natural to say "my employer" or "my company", or - to be completely clear (my company's nursery service).

- Who's looking after your kid?
- My job.
- Huh?

It doesn't really work... You can keep arguing, of course, but I return to my last comment. This phrase is grammatically ambiguous, but not practically so.
Aug 25th 2010, 19:21
I am still unconvinced. This phrase is wrongly turned and thus opens to ambiguity.
Aug 25th 2010, 19:53
Your (very open-minded) interpretation is valid. Just add an alternate translation and tag it "rare meaning". I think we can at least agree that this is not a 50-50 split. Not even 10-90, IMO...
Aug 25th 2010, 20:06
ambiguous is ambiguous, even in 1% of the cases...
Aug 25th 2010, 21:10
Wrong. By that argument, everything could be judged ambiguous.

By that same argument, as soon as a certain use pops up on Google, a new meaning is formed, and the original becomes ambiguous. You could go on forever. I could find you an excuse to label almost any sentence as "ambiguous".

Maybe in some small town, "baby" is what men call their cars. If one of them goes on here and says "This is ambiguous. As all 500 of us use this term, we feel that the sentence is poorly constructed", do we label it "ambiguous"?

Long story short, I think you should remove the tag.
Aug 25th 2010, 21:19
I still disagree and ask for the arbitration of a native English professional who knows what they say at job places about nursing children.
Aug 25th 2010, 21:23
As do I. As such, I don't think it's appropriate to tag anything until we get the professional opinion of a real expert.
Aug 25th 2010, 21:30
I am a native English speaker, and I agree with FeuDRenais.

I would never say "My job is taking of the baby" if I were say speaking to a friend who asked who was watching my newborn child or something.

I would say something like, "My company provides a daycare service or something".

Otherwise if I were a babysitter/nanny/au pair by profession I would say "My job is to take care of babies/children" most commonly.

I can only imagine a situation in which someone like a police officer or someone who doesn't know what is going on coming into a house and asking what I'm doing there or what my purpose is (which I can't ever imagine happening) in which I'd say "My job is taking care of the baby" lol.
Aug 25th 2010, 21:32
And the ambiguous tag should definitely come off of this. No one would ever say "The baby is being taken care of by _my job_". For one it sounds strangely impersonal to talk about your own child like that, and you wouldn't use "My job" in that kind of context.
Aug 25th 2010, 21:55
@dalanmiller: How many jobs did you hold at companies already?
Aug 25th 2010, 22:12

Thank you for removing the tag. On a completely different note, people generally seem to resort to bringing personal details into an argument when they don't have anything logical to say. If you question dalanmiller's personal experience, people can also question yours. I know you have it, but the last thing we want (and here you would agree) is a paranoid society.

On a side note, this sentence had to go through a lot for an orphan. I think I'm going to give it a home.
Aug 25th 2010, 22:16
Yes, I do question dalanmiller expertise in this field since he is 23 and has probably never set foot in any company. So I duly doubt very much that he knows what kind of vocabulary employees use within such organisations to refer to baby nursing...
I also doubt, see from his foirst remark, that he does understand the issue, the same way you missed the point the first time.
I ca
Aug 25th 2010, 22:19
(comment overflow)
Aug 25th 2010, 22:20
* I could as well ask people to connect to Tatoeba to support my shoddy positions. But I don't.
I maintain this phrase is ambiguous, and I still want to have the opinion of a native with a real experience of working places and of the vocabulary that applies to nursing services provided by them.
I insist anyway that this phrase is at least "unnatural" since the correct form should be "My job is TO TAKE care of the baby" it it is the translation from the Chinese, as sysko asserted.
Aug 25th 2010, 22:21
* I don't know why my post has been posted so many times...
Aug 25th 2010, 22:24
Who put this "OK" tag on a sentence that is being debated ??
Aug 25th 2010, 22:32
"I could *as well* ask"... I'll ignore your implication.

I said this already. Your viewpoint is fine. The phrase can be read that way, but don't be so tied up to it so as not to recognize that most people wouldn't see it this way. Add your translation, label it "rare", and call it a day. The current phrase is a perfectly fine translation of the Chinese, and it is perfectly natural.

Regarding the other thing, questioning a person's experience on a site isn't valid, IMO. You have nothing to prove that he's really 23, that I'm really 25, and that you really wear glasses on a string. If you bring personal details into this, you open up a whole new can of worms, since anyone can say anything without real repercussions on these forums. There's also no reason why a 23-year-old wouldn't have a lot of experience in any random field.

Anyway, this is my last post. I find it entertaining to debate with you these days, but too much of it is... too much.
Aug 25th 2010, 22:41
No, I do not call it a day, because I detected an ambiguity and you cannot just ignore it -especially since you hadn't even noticed the issue at the start - and tag it "OK " when it is not.
I request moderation and expertise.
And yes, I am perfectly entitled to debate would-be professional expertise by 23-years-olds, because I am 48 and I see problems that they don't, thanks to experience, as I just demonstrated.
Aug 26th 2010, 00:21
I think that's reasonable to ask SacredCeltic but I'm going to refute you and your "ageist" judgement and tell you that in my 23 years as a *native English speaker* no one within my language circle would ever say what you are proposing. I have graduated from a University and live in a city where I work at the University I've graduated from.

So trust me when I say, no one I know would ever say this sentence with the intention that their company takes care of their child.

That doesn't mean it doesn't make sense, it definitely does with the meaning you are suggesting. Yet only in a very specific specific situation I could see it even being plausible. Most native speakers would describe the situation in another way, and would never say "my job" or "the baby" when referring to their own child.

So by all means call it ambiguous you're entitled to your debate, but from a native speaking standpoint which undoubtedly gives me a significant amount of perspective, perhaps equal to your 25 years of acquired "professionalism", that this ambiguity would never exist in communicated English in 99.999% of situations.
Aug 26th 2010, 00:30

Your comment here is also incorrect:

@FeuDRenais: admit that the fact that the form is "taking" makes it ambiguous...
A normal phrase when I describe my job (I just translated about a hundred...) is to write "My job is to...." not "my job is ...ing"

It is totally acceptable to be describing your job and say "My job is putting up shelving" as well as "My job is to put up shelving". The former is just a little more casual and less proper but they are pretty much equivalent.

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