Possible/common to start translating before Masters degree?
Thread poster: S_89
S_89
United Kingdom
Jun 9

Is it possible to start translating before having obtained a Masters degree in translation?

If one has, say, a bachelors' degree and 5 years working experience in the source language? Or are further credentials more important for seeking/obtaining work?

Any advice much appreciated.

[Edited at 2017-06-09 11:32 GMT]


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:48
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Yes Jun 9

S_89 wrote:

Is it possible to start translating before having obtained a Masters degree in translation?



Yes, it is possible.


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philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
Credentials don't matter in this job. Jun 9

It's about how well you know the source and target languages, and whether you have the knack of turning one into the other. Most of us don't have master's degrees in translation, and I started doing it even before I had my BA.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:48
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Jun 9

philgoddard wrote:
...I started doing it even before I had my BA.

Same here. The routes to the industry have been traditionally multifold, especially decades ago when Translation Studies were in nappies, as we say in Spain, and with only a few universities offering degrees in Translation twenty years ago.

Although you can actually get work and become successful in translation without higher education, a degree and/or MA in Translation does actually help making the most of your work and your profession, not only in terms of being selected by potential customers, but also because of all there is to learn about translation itself and how such knowledge can help you produce better pieces.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 01:48
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Your potential Jun 9

I find that master degree does noting in this domain.
Your brevity and service mind do.
Do not hesitate to start translation right now.
You will find that you need to learn more and more everyday.

Dr. Soonthon Lupkitaro
Bangkok


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Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 15:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course it's possible! Jun 9

The last time I got any kind of formal qualification in languages was an O-level in Latin at the age of 16. That hasn’t stopped me making a very decent living from translation for the past 45 or more years, both in-house and as a freelancer, and across a quite wide variety of specialist fields.

Formal language study – especially of the kind dished up in BAs and MAs in Translation – is largely irrelevant to our core business: communication.

Rather than wasting time on an MA in translation you’d probably do better – especially if you plan to enter the freelance translation market, or set up an agency – to invest in some business studies.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Maybe they don't matter to some Jun 9

philgoddard wrote:

It's about how well you know the source and target languages, and whether you have the knack of turning one into the other. Most of us don't have master's degrees in translation, and I started doing it even before I had my BA.


I cannot endorse such a sweeping generalization. For the clients I have had and I now have, credentials have mattered. The companies that hired me as a translator trusted my credentials and my expertise.


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