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Master's Degree for translators in US and UK
Thread poster: femmy

femmy
Local time: 00:57
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Dec 24, 2008

Hi everyone,

I've been translating since 1995, mostly literary, but I also do documents and subtitles. I don't have any formal education in translation. Most of what I know about this field comes from practice, from my mentor/mother (who was an editor at a publisher and is now a freelance translator herself), and from my work experience as an editor at a publisher. Now I would like to study translation in a formal environment.

My language pair is English-Indonesian, so I've only been looking at translation master programs at universities in Indonesia and Australia, which are more likely to offer this language pair, and I've found some potential programs. But I don't want to limit myself to only these two countries.

So my questions are:

1. Are there any translation master programs in the US or UK that offer English-Indonesian pair?

2. Also, a friend told me that it is possible to study translation studies (not practical translation) in the US or UK without studying a specific language pair. Is this true?

2. If it is not possible to study translation at all in the US or UK, what do you suggest I study in the US/UK other than translation itself? Should I study literature? This is my specialty and I love literature, but I'm not sure how much it would contribute to my translation skills. Should I study English or linguistics?

Thanks.

[Edited at 2008-12-24 07:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-12-24 07:53 GMT]


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only a likely answer to one question Dec 24, 2008

femmy wrote:

2. Also, a friend told me that it is possible to study translation studies (not practical translation) in the US or UK without studying a specific language pair. Is this true?


To the extent that only theory is involved, the "specific language pair" may not necessarily come into the study package. However, considering that most concerns are corpora-based, knowledge and experience of a specific language pair will eventually come into the picture over the long term (theses and related research). I don't see how that part can be avoided.

If it's any comfort, your problem is shared by many languages in the world that don't belong to the combinations in the dominant translation volume (90% of published literary work is translated to and from 14 languages, if I am to believe a French study dating from some years ago). In this, it is correct to assume that the countries speaking the languages at a relative disadvantage are those mainly considered responsible for developing and defending their place in the exchange.

With respect to your third question, it's completely up to you, I believe. But the study of literature from the point of view of a translator is only valid in the original, where the resources of a language are seen to their full extent. As for linguistics, it takes a certain type of mind to enjoy it.

Just giving you some food for thought. Hope it helps, and I hope some colleagues can specifically help resolve your problem.


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Member (2004)
Italian to English
UK unlikely Dec 24, 2008

Hi Femmy

A quick look at the most obvious sources leads me to think you are unlikely to find anything very specific in the UK; a couple of sites are listed below in case you want to search them more thoroughly.
The British are poor, or at least unenthusiastic, linguists I'm afraid and what courses there are tend to concentrate on European languages or, very occasionally, the languages of the major immigrant communities from the former British Empire.
If you decide on a more general study course, I would suggest you opt for subjects that interest you - they all help to improve language skills - and more specifically subjects you hope to specialise in as a translator. Most degree courses are module based and something like English (EFL) and Intercultural Studies would give you a range of optional subjects.
Before settling for literature, I would suggest you explore the market in EN to Indonesian literary translation. If I had focused on literature in my pair, I doubt I would have found enough work to make it a success.

http://www.cilt.org.uk/langservices/pdf/courses.pdf
http://www.hotcourses.com/uk-courses/Translation-courses-in-England/hc2_search.adv_col_do/16180339/0/search_category/FJ.4/qualification/Z,Y,Q,R,T,U,V,C/town_city/ENGLAND/page.htm


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Craig Macdonald
United States
Local time: 12:57
French to English
+ ...
Kent State University has a Master's Program in Translation Dec 24, 2008

... but I don't know if it can involve chosen language pairs. I have a colleague that did the program for Spansih>English.

http://appling.kent.edu/IAL-Programs.htm

http://www.universities.com/edu/Masters_degree_in_Language_Interpretation_and_Translation_at_Kent_State_University_Kent_Campus.html

You could enroll in something like this and take all the theory classes that don't deal in certain language pairs, then drop out. That and your professional experience should take you a long way.

Good Luck.


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
English to Arabic
+ ...
In the UK Dec 24, 2008

There are certainly a few MA in Translation degrees you can obtain in the UK. Check out the following list from http://www.lexicool.com/courses_uk.asp (check the list on the site for hyperlinks to the individual websites:

MA in Translation in a European Context
Aston University

MA in Translation Studies
Aston University

MA in TESOL and Translation Studies
Aston University

MA Theory and Practice of Translation
Birkbeck, University of London

Legal Translation Diploma/MA
City University (London)

Postgraduate Certificate in Translation Skills
City University (London)

European Master in Translation
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip in Translating And Conference Interpreting
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Arabic-English Translating & Conference Interpreting
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Chinese-English Translating & Conference Interpreting
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Translation & Computer-Assisted Translation Tools
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Arabic-English Translation & Computer-Assisted
Translation Tools
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Chinese-English Translation & Computer-Assisted
Translation Tools
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/PGDip Translation & European Studies
Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh)

MSc/Dip Taught in Translation Studies
The University of Edinburgh

MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation
with Translation Technology
Imperial College London

MA Applied Translation Studies
London Metropolitan University

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MA Interpreting
London Metropolitan University

MA Interpreting
Middlesex University (London)

MA in the Theory and Practice of Translation
Middlesex University (London)

MA/PGDip Audiovisual Translation
Roehampton University (London)

MA/PGDip Translation: Specialised
Roehampton University (London)

MA Translation Theory and Practice
University College London

PhD/MPhil in Translation Studies
University College London

MA in Interpreting and Translating
University of Bath

MA in Translation and Professional Language Skills
University of Bath

MA in Translation Studies
University of Birmingham

MA Translation Studies Open Distance Learning
University of Birmingham

MA/Diploma in Translation
University of Bristol

MA in Applied Translation Studies
University of East Anglia

MA in Literary Translation
University of East Anglia

MA in Translation and Comparative Literature
University of Essex

MA in Translation Studies
University of Hull

MA in TESOL with Translation Studies
University of Hull

MA in Translation Studies with TESOL
University of Hull

Conference Interpreting Postgrad. Dip
University of Leeds

MA in Applied Translation Studies
University of Leeds

MA in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies
University of Leeds

MA in Translation Studies and Interpreting
University of Leeds

MA in Screen Translation Studies
University of Leeds

MA in Interpreting: British Sign Language-English
University of Leeds

MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies
University of Manchester

Postgraduate Programmes in Translating and Interpreting
University of Newcastle

MA in Professional Translating for European Languages
University of Newcastle

MA/PgD Translation Studies
University of Portsmouth

MA Translation Studies (Distance Learning)
University of Portsmouth

MA Translation And Technical Communication
University of Portsmouth

MA/PgDip in Translating
University of Salford

MA/PgDip in Interpreting and Translating
University of Salford

MA/PgDip in Arabic/English Translation with Interpreting
University of Salford

MA/PgDip in Chinese/English Translation with Interpreting
University of Salford

MA/PgDip Translating for International Business
University of Salford

MA in Translation Studies
University of Sheffield

MA in Screen Translation
University of Sheffield

MA in Translation
University of Surrey

MA in Audiovisual Translation
University of Surrey

MSc in Specialist Translation and Translation Technology
University of Surrey

Distance Learning MA/Diploma In Translation
University of the West of England (Bristol)

MA in Translation with Language Technology
University of Wales Swansea

MA in Literary Translation
University of Wales Swansea

PhD in Translation
University of Wales Swansea

MA/Diploma in Translation, Media and Cultural Transfer
University of Warwick

MA/Diploma in Translation, Writing and Cultural Difference
University of Warwick

10 Week Postgraduate Certificate in Translation Studies
University of Warwick

MA in Bilingual Translation
University of Westminster, London

MA Interpreting, Translation and Diplomacy
University of Westminster, London

MA Technical and Specialised Translation
University of Westminster, London

MA Translation and Interpreting
University of Westminster, London

MA Translation and Linguistics
University of Westminster, London

Postgraduate Diploma Conference Interpreting Techniques
University of Westminster, London


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
English to Arabic
+ ...
Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), California Dec 24, 2008

Greetings... salaamaat...

While I don't know if their degree programs (BA and MA) in translation and interpreting include your language pair, you might query the good people at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California. You might ask their assistance in designing a customized degree program for you, as I understand that MIIS can do that for various language pairs beyond those now established and offered.

The institute's website is at URL: www.miis.edu.

Hope this helps.

Khair, in shaa' Allah.

Regards,


Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California (Los Angeles Harbor Area)

[Edited at 2008-12-24 23:46 GMT]


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femmy
Local time: 00:57
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Dec 26, 2008

Thank you, everyone, for your information, links, and opinions. They've all been very helpful!

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The Misha
Local time: 13:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Has the world really changed that much? Dec 27, 2008

Some 25 years ago, when I was just starting in this business, the word translator/interpreter (there is only one word for both in Russian) was almost a complete taboo in my home country. The only two schools in the country that even had those words in their names drilled military and diplomatic interpreters - and a guy off the street had a snowball's chance in hell of getting in. The closest you could come to it would be studying a foreign language (English, in my case) at a local equivalent of a teachers college. Yet most of us did become translators, some even good. Nowadays, everyone is talking of translation studies, corpora, concordance, Trados, you name it - yet the general level of translation quality remains as lousy as ever. Whether we like it or not, translation is a craft first and foremost, and becoming a decent craftsman requires tons of practice, not theory. From my own experience, for what it's worse, formal translation studies are fairly useless - except in self-feeding and self-serving academia, of course. Go for English or ESL studies instead with a double major in a subject area that you think you like or can at the minimum tolerate. If you really plan to make a living in this trade and given your country of residence, I'd say that would be oil and engineering. That's what I would have done, given a chance those 25 years ago. Good luck.

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Deborah Hoffman  Identity Verified

Local time: 13:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Kent State Dec 31, 2008

At Kent generally people have to select from Spanish, Russian, Japanese, German, or French into English. However if you happen to have a third language besides English and Indonesian, there are plenty of people who are studying from second language into second language. In other words, someone whose native language is, say, Kazakh or Arabic could be on the French>English track.

Craig Macdonald wrote:

... but I don't know if it can involve chosen language pairs. I have a colleague that did the program for Spansih>English.

http://appling.kent.edu/IAL-Programs.htm

http://www.universities.com/edu/Masters_degree_in_Language_Interpretation_and_Translation_at_Kent_State_University_Kent_Campus.html

You could enroll in something like this and take all the theory classes that don't deal in certain language pairs, then drop out. That and your professional experience should take you a long way.

Good Luck.


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Lenah Susianty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Member (2004)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
no English-Indonesian Jan 1, 2009

Hi Femmy, as an Indonesian living in London, I have myself looked and researched for a master degree in translation, but until today I haven't found any university which has English-Indonesian pair. The School of African and Oriental studies (SOAS) has started now to offer translation studies: http://www.soas.ac.uk/programmes/prog14047.php, but it still hasn't offered Indonesian as one of its languages (which is I think strange considering SOAS is one of the centers in UK where you can study Indonesian and other Asian languages, they also have seminars on translation regularly). However I think you can try to contact them, and who knows they might offer it soon. Good luck! If I have joy in finding more information I will let you know

Lenah

[Edited at 2009-01-01 23:09 GMT]


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