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NYU Translation Program - How difficult is the exam?
Thread poster: lgoldberg
lgoldberg
United States
Local time: 11:03
French to English
+ ...
Jul 19, 2007

I would like to get some feedback on the NYU Translation Program from current or former students, particularly on the entrance exam that is required before registering for the courses. How difficult is the exam?

I work in a translation agency but don't have much actual translation experience, although I have studied my particular language for many years and feel as though I am at a very high level. I'm hoping that these courses will serve as a good springboard for becoming a translator, but I'd like to get an idea about the difficulty of the entrance exam. What are the program directors/evaluators expecting?

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-07-19 20:35]


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Stephanie Martin  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:03
German to English
check previous posts? Jul 19, 2007

Hi, like you I'm hoping to take the NYU cert exam, German/English in my case. I did a search of previous forums and found a post from Kim Metzger (I think that's the name) that gives a basic description of the exam. If you search forums under "NYU translation certificate" or maybe "Kim Metzger" you should find it. Don't know if that helps? I was glad to know ahead of time that there will be two essay sections. I'm assuming you can use a dictionary, since the test is online. I wouldn't worry if you are already employed and feel confident in your target language. Sorry, I can't supply first-hand experience, hopefully someone else will provide more info.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
English to German
+ ...
NYU has a great reputation Jul 20, 2007

I am a student at NYU, provided I have the time to attend. Ahem.

I am studying G>E, my reversed language pair. I am a German native speaker, but my own language pair isn't offered.

Therefore the cert exam was quite a thrill. As I recall, you will have 90 minutes to write a translation, plus to write a short essay (why you want to be a translator, who would have guessed). Beware: they are checking out your writing skills rather than your dictionary skills.

During the first semester you will go through the full range of the art of translation: you will translate everything from personal documents, recipes, technical texts, commercial text, patents and literature. Then you have to decide where you want to go and pick your courses.

Your grades must be better than B+ at all times. The classes are expensive, sophisticated and require hard work.

This is not a Community College. It's a great university.

Edit:

More. During the first semester, besides having deadlines for your weekly translations, classes are held via online-conferences. The university will provide the software and headsets. Make sure, that your Internet-access is beyond stone age. Fun!!!
Later on, everything happens via 24/7 discussion forums. Attendance required, or it will impact your grades negatively. Of course, you have to meet your weekly deadlines for the translation projects, which will then be discussed by the group.



[Edited at 2007-07-20 01:12]


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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:03
Member (2007)
German to English
NYU G>E translation certificate program Jul 21, 2007

I passed the German to English translation entrance exam a while back (see http://www.proz.com/post/268797#268797) and have completed several courses since. As Nicole mentioned, it's a 90 minute exam during which you do a couple of sample translations and submit an essay about why you want to be a translator.

I hope NYU has improved its administration of the test since I took it. The administrators were supposed to email me a copy of the test at a specific time on a specific date. I had to call the NYU folks five minutes after I was supposed to have recieved the test, because it hadn't yet appeared in my mailbox. Someone somehow had not sent the message correctly. We finally got it straightened out and I was able to submit the completed exam.

The courses are indeed expensive, but the content and instructors are quite good. The detailed assignment corrections particularly impress me; they really read and comment on everything.

Getting the headset and microphone to work for the audible chat sessions was an exercise in frustration at first, but with patience I was finally able to make it happen. A 56K modem turned out to be sufficient for the task. I wouldn't advise anything slower.


[Edited at 2007-07-21 16:49]


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:03
English to French
+ ...
Nicole and Rich, Jul 23, 2007

May I ask you how many hours per week you need to approximately spend on a course, and how many weeks does a/each course last?
Thanks!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
English to German
+ ...
Hi Anne Jul 24, 2007

Each course has 10 classes, which equals 10 weeks.
In regard to the number of hours, I spent approximately 15-20 hours a week, which does not constitute the standard as I am taking those classes in my second language. The daily communication is time-consuming, though.


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:03
English to French
+ ...
Thanks for your answer Nicole Jul 24, 2007

I have been looking at the NYU program for a while, but with more feedback about it I'm feeling more confident (do you include the daily communication in those 15-20 hours?). I hope that once I put the kids "back to school" in September I can start with it. Thanks again.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
English to German
+ ...
Hello again, Anne! Jul 24, 2007

Yes, that included communication. The weekly assignments consist of 300 to 500 words. Of course you are going to craft and file them to perfection... hey, that's where you learn your standards.

Best regards,

Nicole


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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:03
Member (2007)
German to English
Hi Anne Jul 24, 2007

I'd estimate ten to fifteen hours per week all inclusive, but I didn't keep records. Some of the assignments require more time for formatting than for translation. If you happen to be facile with Microsoft Word, you can save yourself some time.

There is one 1 hour audio chat session per week. You download the assignments and lectures and either email or store your answers on the website. You can also visit the bulletin board any time you want.


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:03
English to French
+ ...
Thanks again Nicole and Rich Jul 27, 2007

It took me some time to answer, but I appreciate the information you're giving me/us. True, 300 to 500 words don't seem to be much, but if you want to get minimum B+'s...
So it really seems to be intense. But I understand you don't have to take the next course immediately after the previous one. I'd love to hear from you when you're through with the program. I'll tell you if/when I start with it.


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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:03
Member (2007)
German to English
Hi again Anne Jul 28, 2007

I think I remember reading somewhere that NYUs translation certificate courses are valid for five years. I took my first three courses consecutively, but I'm taking a year off to concentrate on improving my source language skills. I plan to complete the remaining courses after returning to the US.

The course work can be intense at times, but then you learn a lot too. Good Luck.


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:03
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Rich, Aug 17, 2007

Good luck to you too (and to Nicole)!

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Shannon Jimenez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
Spanish to English
Spanish > English Aug 27, 2007

I'm enrolled in the Spanish to English program now. I took the intro course this summer (required for all the following courses) and will be taking two more starting in October.

The test for Spanish wasn't hard, but there were several typos and it was obvious that they had cut and pasted paragraphs from a longer text, so the flow was off. The hardest part was making what was, in my opinion, a rather poorly written text into something wonderful for the graders!

It seems to me from previous posters' comments that the German classes had a lot more discussion on the boards than mine did. We had our chat session one hour a week (typed chat b/c our instructor had difficulty speaking due to an illness) and only brief Q&A on the boards between sessions. The instructor did give us exercises in addition to the 500-700 word weekly assignments, though.

I enjoyed the class and the exposure to types of translation I had never done before. I do think they are worth the $$.

~Shannon


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:03
English to French
+ ...
Thanks Shannon Aug 27, 2007

That's good to know.

Anne


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Noriko Hiraga
United States
Local time: 11:03
NYU translation program in Japanese Jul 19, 2010

Has anyone taken the Japanese/English Translation Certificate Program at NYU? I am thinking of taking the certificate program if it is worthwhile to increase work order flow. I would also like to know if the students are asked to choose a particular field after completion of some courses such as paralegal-related translation, book translation, business translation, etc. Please share your experience after getting the certificate as a translator/interpreter residing in US.

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