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Suggestion of a PhD dissertation topic
Thread poster: Milena Čkripeska

Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Dec 28, 2012

Dear ProZians,

I am writing to you regarding the research proposal that I have to prepare in order to apply to a PhD programme in Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies. For more information, feel free to visit my ProZ.com profile.

Could you please kindly suggest some relevant PhD topics that might be of interest to the PhD programme? I would really appreciate it. If you could come up with some ideas, please take into consideration that I prefer the topic to be ProZ.com related.

Thank you in advance for your time!

Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

Best wishes,
Milena


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:31
Chinese to English
Surely better if the topic is of interest to you Dec 29, 2012

Milena, you have to tell us something about what you're interested in. Do you want to study translating or interpreting? Theoretical or empirical work? Are you interested in literature? Do you want to look at the history of translating? Are you interested in technology?

You could start by telling us what you did for your masters dissertation and whether you liked it.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Draw from your toolbox Dec 29, 2012

Milena,

You invited us to check your profile for suggestions. I didn't find much text there, however I saw something remarkable: you have 52 WWAs! Meanwhile many reputable translation agencies don't have half that many LWAs.

Bottom line is that your clients love you dearly as a translator. Many movie actresses in the US have been successively labeled "America's sweetheart". You are probably "Macedonia's dream translator".

In our present days we see an overwhelming quantity of translation outsourcers who love just one thing: low rates, regardless of who provides the service. You probably found the key to differentiate them from those who still value the service itself, and consequently its provider.

Maybe you could do some research on "values in translation". There should be plenty of factual data about that available on Proz.

My 2¢. Good luck!


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:31
English to French
+ ...
intercultural Dec 29, 2012

Prozcom is a global, multicultural "venue" and there are lot of fascinating examples in the forum of the very different ways to apprehend various subjetcts. This could be a source for multicultural studies.

For instance, see the various approaches to such concepts like "mother tongue", "native language", "political correctness" etc.

ProZcom could surely not be the unique source for your research material but it could be a good way to start with.


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Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a million for your replies! Dec 30, 2012

Dear coleagues,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your contribution.

@ Phil: First, in a nutshell about my Master thesis. I hold a master's degree in EU Studies, and my thesis was in the domain of economics - "Economic integration through the multilateral free trade agreements CEFTA and CEFTA 2006". Therefore, it has nothing to do with my prospective PhD studies.
Honestly, I want to study both translation and interpreting although I am aware that I have to choose one area only. Moreover, I am definitely more interested in empirical than in theoretical work. So, definitely not a topic concerning the history of translation. I may take into consideration the field of literature, and as regards the technology - my first choise was machine translation as a component to be combined with existing resources such as terminology data bases, translation memories and corpora, but I believe there are much more topics that would suit my interests better than this one. And what's more important, I don't think I possess the neccessary IT knowledge.

I was thinking about these topics as well:
1. Working memory and simultaneous interpreting
2. Translation processes (keylogging and eytracking)
3. Machine translation vs. human translation
4. Comprehension and text production in sight translation

However, I doubt their feasibility, especially of the second and of the fourth one, mainly due to the extremely expensive laboratory equipment.

@ José: Thanks a lot for your lovely words! I really appreciate it. Actually, "Values in Translation" sound like an extremely relevant topic to me and its my favourite one at the moment! I would like to express my enormous gratitude again!

Moreover, bearing in mind that KudoZ arena is my passion, I may incorporate KudoZ and GBK in my thesis.

@ nordiste: I like the concept of multiculturalism a lot and since I have already written some papers regarding globalization, I will probably think in this direction as well. I was thinking about something like "Globalization vs. localization through the prism of translation", but I also wonder whether it is feasible or not.

Happy New Year!

Best wishes,
Milena


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:31
English to German
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I am always amazed by the choice of topics Dec 30, 2012

Milena Čkripeska wrote:

I was thinking about these topics as well:
1. Working memory and simultaneous interpreting
2. Translation processes (keylogging and eytracking)
3. Machine translation vs. human translation
4. Comprehension and text production in sight translation

However, I doubt their feasibility, especially of the second and of the fourth one, mainly due to the extremely expensive laboratory equipment.



Yawn.

If your field is economics, why don't you simply start a trailblazing study on the incredible economic impact of translation on world markets, based on case studies (world market leaders, Fortune 500, fastest growing companies, EU, etc.)?

MT vs. human translation and similar yawn-inducing stuff as a topic is about as thrilling as writing a dissertation about how to boil eggs properly.


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Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
@ Nicole Dec 30, 2012

Thanks for your assistance! As for the economics, I was asked about my Master thesis topic. However, I hold a BA in Interpreting and Translation, so please take into consideration that I would like to apply to a PhD programme in Translation and Interpreting. Thus, I don't believe I would be allowed to choose some economic topic. However, I will certainly check, as your suggestion about a study on the incredible economic impact of translation on world markets seems to be very appropriate, taking into account my educational background and point of interests.


Best,
Milena


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:31
English to German
+ ...
If you want to impress anyone Dec 30, 2012

Milena Čkripeska wrote:

Thanks for your assistance! As for the economics, I was asked about my Master thesis topic. However, I hold a BA in Interpreting and Translation, so please take into consideration that I would like to apply to a PhD programme in Translation and Interpreting. Thus, I don't believe I would be allowed to choose some economic topic. However, I will certainly check, as your suggestion about a study on the incredible economic impact of translation on world markets seems to be very appropriate, taking into account my educational background and point of interests.



...be it your professor or the rest of the world:

Don't give a summary of what you have learned. Give an example of how it will be deployed, employed and put to use. Don't be mediocre.


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Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
@ Nicole: Thanks for the advice Dec 30, 2012

I didn't intend to impress anyone, but I just wanted to provide more info regarding my educational background, i.e. to point out that I am a translator and interpreter, not an economist (according to your first post, I got an impression that you thought I was an economist). Thus my explanation.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:31
English to German
+ ...
Masters, PhD - you must impress! That's what this ordeal is all about. Dec 30, 2012

Milena Čkripeska wrote:

I didn't intend to impress anyone, but I just wanted to provide more info regarding my educational background, i.e. to point out that I am a translator and interpreter, not an economist (according to your first post, I got an impression that you thought I was an economist). Thus my explanation.




To not get lost in the mainstream. Please pick some interesting topic. I am worried that you are consulting a public forum in this regard in the first place. You want outstanding grades at the university, right? You will not achieve them by repeating any pea-brain topic for the gazillionth (is that a proper word?) time. When I chose my topic for my university degree, I picked a topic that was never taught or even mentioned during all those years, yet my work was based on what they had taught me. My profs were baffled, and it was a full success.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:31
Russian to English
+ ...
Textuality in Non-Literary Translation Dec 31, 2012

This might be a very interesting subject for a PhD. You could choose just one type of non-literary translation, or more. A lot has been written about textuality in literary translation, but not that much about non-literary, I think.

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Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
@ Nicole: Jan 2, 2013

Thanks, Nicole! I fully understand what you mean.

@ LilianBoland: Thanks a lot for your contribution!


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:31
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I have been thinking about doing a PHD for years Jan 2, 2013

But i'm too old to even think of it now (I'm 49).

When thinking about a topic, the major headache is how you link your topic to the available literature. If you work on a topic that no one else has ever worked on, you could be in trouble. The reason is that a substantial portion of your dissertation will be literature review. You will be evaluated about how well you can use literature in a meaningful way afer 3 years' study.

So it will make it much easier if you choose a topic that abundent literature is available.

Another point is that you should have something very narrow. You will lose focus if you have a topic that is very broad. A topic as narrow as "the mis-treatment of "the" in the XXX language translation of English" should do for an in-depth study.


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Milena Čkripeska  Identity Verified
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 00:31
Member (2009)
English to Macedonian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
@ jyuan_us Jan 4, 2013

Thanks a lot for your opinion! Yes, you are right, and I absolutely agree that I should choose a topic for which there is an abundant literature available.

As your interest in PhD studies: It is never too late, i.e. you are never too old to learn


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SAJohnston
United States
Local time: 15:31
Japanese to English
Find the faculty you may want to work with Jan 5, 2013

I work at a university in the U.S., so I don't know if this would apply elsewhere as much, but the PhD students where I work are there because their research goals fit with a specific professor who mentors them throughout the degree program. My advice would be to look at the research of the faculty in the program and see what you can come up with from that. You could have the most interesting research topic on the planet, but if the program doesn't have any faculty in that area who can adequately mentor you, it won't necessarily help you get into the program because you won't look like a good fit.

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