Choosing "specialty"; sciences, bio, chem, anatomy, etc.
Thread poster: RowanF

RowanF
United States
Local time: 02:49
French to English
Mar 9, 2015

Hi, I was looking for some information regarding this focus. I'm interested in science, in particular medicine and the human body, and the study of the various chemical and biological phenomena that take place inside it. I was wondering what kinds of documents I would be translating if I were to get a B.S. degree in a field like biochemistry and attempt to establish this as my focus. My language combination is French --> English.

Thanks in advance for your help.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:49
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Good Luck Mar 9, 2015

I would say you are on the right track. You should definitely get a degree in a field that you really enjoy. Nobody can dictate what major you should choose. You are the one to do that. My recommendation is that you get a four-year degree rather than a two-year one. After you get your degree, you can pretty much determine the types of documents to translate. Since I am not an expert in that field, I cannot tell you exactly what kinds of documents you will be translating. They will most probably be in line with your education. However, what you should concentrate on should be your college education rather than what may come after that. Best of luck!

 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:49
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Medical translators: Is this specialty field for me? Mar 9, 2015

Hi Rowan,
Clients sort of expect a ‘Swiss army knife’: ideally, medical translators should be linguistically competent, have medical, pharmaceutical, pharmacological and technical knowledge, should also be aware of relevant regulatory requirements, regulations and standards, and have a mastery of the current CAT tools – and should also be certified for all possible standards.

There is a webinar coming up, https://alexandria-translation-resources.com/product/medical-translation-specialty-field-for-me/

where we will discuss a few basics, such as:

- How do I become a medical translator and what are the possibilities for training?
- Can I translate medical texts without a medical background?
- Where do I find help and resources for the necessary specialist knowledge?
- How big is the market for medical translation and the need for specialised translators?


 

RowanF
United States
Local time: 02:49
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 9, 2015

Thanks for your posts. Atil, I actually have the option between a 3 or a 5 year degree since I hope to do it in francophone Europe. But we'll see. Siegfried, thanks, I'll have a look at that webinar. Thanks, Betül. You bring up a point that I kind of suspected. It seems like too rigorous a field to be easy to specialize in without significant experience/formal education. Thanks for the post.

[Edited at 2015-03-09 20:49 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-03-09 21:11 GMT]


 

betül asiye karpuzcu  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:49
Member (2012)
Turkish to English
+ ...
I do have Bs in bioscience Mar 9, 2015

Hi Rowan,

I have a degree in molecular biology & genetics, sounds very specific, doesn't it? But actually, thanks to our comprehensive curriculum and my post-graduate education and wet-lab experience, and further sectoral experience I am familiar with a diverse range of topics from microbiology to clinical trials, laboratory equipment to (bio)informatics tools, research in cancer, development, neuroscience and of course in many other fields of life sciences etc. Here, I tried to name a few fields in which I translate a lot. On top of that, of course, the real medical/pharmaceutical translation itself is a very big market and I do work in that field, as well.
Biochemistry would not be very different from molecular biology, might be that you would be involved a little bit more in drug manufacturing and other similar process related documents.
Another option for science translations is the scientific articles, book chapters and similar publications, and of course, thesis, if you like.
On the other hand, I was not at all thinking about pursuing a career in translation and localization when I was a student. This faculty, at least here in Turkey and at the time I was matriculated, was a highly competitive position to study. Personally, I think that it is a very tough way to become specialized. I mean to study 4 years in science merely to become a scientific translator. Moreover, you cannot learn the "practice" only by studying in a college. You should definitely make practical studies for exp. in a laboratory or work in a biochemical company and surely it takes some time. Furthermore, please note that hardly ever you will translate texts that are directly in a topic that you learnt as a course in the school and managed to get an Aicon_smile.gif What is more likely to happen is that: you will be familiar with the basic concept, you will learn how to search for the further details and teach yourself, and you will have an idea about the scientific writing/methodology.
As a science graduate, I do not really recommend to study in the field -at least I would not say that it is a pre-requisite. But if one day, you are done with the scientific works then translation might be another option of career, why not?


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:49
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
It should be the other way round... Mar 9, 2015

betül asiye karpuzcu wrote:
Personally, I think that it is a very tough way to become specialized. I mean to study 4 years in science merely to become a scientific translator.

Agreed. With a good degree in a STEM subject like that I would think the OP's earnings potential would be higher than that of most translators.

So unless the translation lifestyle itself appeals to him it's probably not worth taking a specialised degree simply to be a better translator - especially if he has to go into debt to do so.

Regards
Dan


 

RowanF
United States
Local time: 02:49
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dan Mar 9, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

betül asiye karpuzcu wrote:
Personally, I think that it is a very tough way to become specialized. I mean to study 4 years in science merely to become a scientific translator.

Agreed. With a good degree in a STEM subject like that I would think the OP's earnings potential would be higher than that of most translators.

So unless the translation lifestyle itself appeals to him it's probably not worth taking a specialised degree simply to be a better translator - especially if he has to go into debt to do so.

Regards
Dan

Well, part of it is I would like to move to France for a significant period of time, and one of the only ways to do that is to get a student visa. I could choose a less rigorous field I suppose, but I am quite interested in medicine. In France the standard programs last 3 years, and their masters programs last another two on top of that. Their tuition is very cheap too. I'm not sure exactly how much experience/education in the field I would need to have a good chance of focusing on those fields with translation though.

[Edited at 2015-03-11 06:50 GMT]


 


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