Confused would be Translator seeks professional opinion...
Thread poster: Alice Bertinotti

Alice Bertinotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 13, 2009

Hi everyone!

I am most glad to have found this amazing website and to be able to ask for opinions of official translators! I do hope you will help me to make up my mind.
I am an Italian student and I have just completed my BA in Foreign Languages (English, Russian) with first class honours. I obviously want to further my education, possibly studying in an environment that would help me to develop the skills (softwares,etc) I will need to work for a company or freelance.
I have considered to attend an Ma in Translation Studies and Interpreting in the Uk, taking up Italian into English and Spanish into English (leaving aside Russian). Now, I have just passed the entry test and I am already packing but I am still wondering:

Would it be a plus to study in a very good English Uni and get a Master degree even if that would mean translating into English and not into my mother toungue?

Would it be better on my Cv an Italian "Laurea Specialistica" from Trieste or Forli?

Please I am translation!!

Kind regards,



Alessandra Martelli  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
I'd rather go with Russian to Italian... Sep 13, 2009

Welcome Aly86icon_smile.gif

I'm afraid I cannot give you any University advices, but I can tell you that English to Italian and Spanish to Italian are really "crowded" language pairs, so I think it would be wiser to consider working in the Russian to Italian language pair.

This is not the Holy Grail, just my two cents based on my personal experience.

Good luck,


Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:17
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Yes and no Sep 13, 2009

Aly86 wrote:
Would it be a plus to study in a very good English Uni and get a Master degree even if that would mean translating into English and not into my mother toungue?

First: the universal advice is to translate into your mother tongue (your strongest language); more specifically, into the language in which you can express yourself best in writing.

Second: You are wrong to assume that studying at a good English Uni means translating into English. Do some research, for example at:


B D Finch  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Studying translation is not enough Sep 13, 2009

Congratulations on your results and on being accepted onto an MA course. I endorse Peter Linton's advice that you should always, in your professional work, translate into your mother tongue. One of the reasons for this is that however well you learn another language, the language you learned as a child and were educated in as a child is the one that expresses the culture you know most deeply. That means that you can pick up nuances and references in that language that you will miss in your second and third languages. This will include familiarity with catch phrases and characters from children's TV, playground games, history, political and social events, youth culture, slang, the different way you would speak or write in different contexts or to people of different ages (who grew up with different TV and youth culture) etc. It is about the things that you know without having to think about or analyse them. Translation might make you think about and analyse them, but you would have had to recognise them in the first place.

Closely linked to this is the reason why studying translation is not enough; because if you want to specialise in a particular subject area other than studying and teaching, you need to spend some time working in that field, or at least in an organisation that specialises in it. Ideally, you would do this both in Italy, so that you aquire the linguistic and sub-cultural knowledge in your mother tongue, which you are going to be writing in, and in your source language country. The first is the most important one; the second would just be a bonus.


Alice Bertinotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:17
English to Italian
+ ...
Thank you! Sep 14, 2009

Thank you very much for yours answers icon_smile.gif
I can see there are lots of pros and cons in taking up an Ma in Translation studies and Interpreting in Uk (University of Leeds).
I know my language limits (sorry for the mistakes) and I think it will be the best thing for me right now to go and live in England for a while, because I never had the chance to do a full immersion in my favourite foreign language. Then, it seems from your answer that after my year in UK I should keep studying translation in Italy before trying to find a job in a company, because my Ma would be regarded as inferior than an Italian Laurea Specialistica...have I got the message right? Please tell me about the courses you took or what you think are the most competitive Univesity in the field...
Sorry to bother you again but I am really passionate towards this job, and I want to be as much prepared as possible to become a serious professional translator in the future, no matter the pay or the hardships.

All the best!!!!


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Confused would be Translator seeks professional opinion...

Advanced search

Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search