Masters in Translation Bristol - rejection from French/second language?
Thread poster: camlinguist

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
Aug 11, 2017

Hello!

This is mainly a question for people who studied this Masters or know about the course and teaching staff and other applicants, but any input would be appreciated!

I applied for French and Spanish and was accepted for French only. When I asked them why I was rejected from French the response was that my French was deemed not to be of a sufficient standard. I don't wish to sound sour or indignant, but I really find this baffling. My conversational Spanish is very fluent because I lived there for 17 months very recently, but I only ever studied Spanish as a GCSE (about A2 level). My only exposure to formal Spanish was when I had to see a doctor or go to the bank or if I read a newspaper article (which I didn't do habitually). French on the other hand, I studied for 10 years, took grammar classes at C1 level for three months in France and studied French for 2 years at Cambridge. I also lived in France for 8 months. My impression is that I understand spoken and written formal French much better. When I did my test translations, the Spanish text was significantly harder for me and took me about three times as long to complete. The French text was a piece of travel writing, written in a very Literary style and my main struggle was that I lacked the vocabulary in English. The Spanish text on the other hand was very straight-forward report relating to the environment and industry (very difficult but stylistically not at all specialist). I have translated several texts from Spanish from a range of genres and I always find them a lot more challenging than French texts.


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Please clarify Aug 15, 2017

camlinguist wrote:


I applied for French and Spanish and was accepted for French only.


Were you accepted for French or not?

[Edited at 2017-08-15 13:16 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I imagine this is what they were getting at Aug 15, 2017

camlinguist wrote:
The French text was a piece of travel writing, written in a very Literary style and my main struggle was that I lacked the vocabulary in English.

Your style of writing is 99% of the challenge in texts of that nature, although there can be challenging terms in just about any subject area that creep in to trip you up (a nearby archaeological dig, some extreme sporting event, the architecture of its churches, the geology of the landscape...). I suspect they were testing for exactly what you had difficulties with - your English style.

But I know nothing about the text, you, or the school so take the above with a big pinch of salt. It's just how it appears to me icon_smile.gif.


 

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
correction Aug 15, 2017

Angie Garbarino wrote:

camlinguist wrote:


I applied for French and Spanish and was accepted for French only.


Were you accepted for French or not?

[Edited at 2017-08-15 13:16 GMT]


For Spanish only! Sorry, that was a typo.


 

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
reply Aug 15, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

camlinguist wrote:
The French text was a piece of travel writing, written in a very Literary style and my main struggle was that I lacked the vocabulary in English.

Your style of writing is 99% of the challenge in texts of that nature, although there can be challenging terms in just about any subject area that creep in to trip you up (a nearby archaeological dig, some extreme sporting event, the architecture of its churches, the geology of the landscape...). I suspect they were testing for exactly what you had difficulties with - your English style.

But I know nothing about the text, you, or the school so take the above with a big pinch of salt. It's just how it appears to me icon_smile.gif.


Thank you for the reply. I see your point. what doesn't make sense to me is why they would accept me for Spanish if that were the case. The person who replied said explicitly that my level of French was not deemed sufficient.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:49
French to English
Suggestions Aug 15, 2017

camlinguist wrote:

Hello!

This is mainly a question for people who studied this Masters or know about the course and teaching staff and other applicants, but any input would be appreciated!

I applied for French and Spanish and was accepted for French only. When I asked them why I was rejected from French the response was that my French was deemed not to be of a sufficient standard.


Hello,

I suggest you try contacting Bristol, in writing, to ask for a more detailed explanation. They are in the best position to provide that information. Some institutions are hapy to provide more info, others not. You can try and see, although you will just have to drop it if they don't wish to oblige.

I don't know the Bristol course, the teaching staff or any other applicants. There may be a Facebook page so you might get some joy there.

I admit that I have a little trouble understanding what in fact happened. You applied for French and Spanish and were accepted for French only. You then go on to say that you were rejected from French. From what follows, I suppose you mean that you werer rejected for French and accepted for Spanish and, globally, you feel much more qualified for French than for Spanish. Is that it?

[Edited at 2017-08-15 16:13 GMT]


 

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
reply Aug 15, 2017

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

camlinguist wrote:

Hello!

This is mainly a question for people who studied this Masters or know about the course and teaching staff and other applicants, but any input would be appreciated!

I applied for French and Spanish and was accepted for French only. When I asked them why I was rejected from French the response was that my French was deemed not to be of a sufficient standard.


Hello,

I suggest you try contacting Bristol, in writing, to ask for a more detailed explanation. They are in the best position to provide that information. Some institutions are hapy to provide more info, others not. You can try and see, although you will just have to drop it if they don't wish to oblige.

I don't know the Bristol course, the teaching staff or any other applicants. There may be a Facebook page so you might get some joy there.

I admit that I have a little trouble understanding what in fact happened. You applied for French and Spanish and were accepted for French only. You then go on to say that you were rejected from French. From what follows, I suppose you mean that you werer rejected for French and accepted for Spanish and, globally, you feel much more qualified for French than for Spanish. Is that it?

[Edited at 2017-08-15 16:13 GMT]


thanks for your reply. yes it was a typo sorry. I'll see if I can edit the original post.
Yes globally I feel my level of French is better, and as I have a grounding in French but not in Spanish, it should be better.

I have contacted Bristol as you suggested. I was hoping someone would have insight into how they run the course which might shed light on their admissions policy.


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
The purpose of testing Aug 16, 2017

Guy or girl using the nickname camlinguist:

Sorry, I have trouble addressing people I never met by their nicknames.

You said (twice) that you feel that your level of French is better. However, that's a subjective assessment. The purpose of any language testing done at any level (for work, for college admission, for a particular position, etc.) is to assess language levels as objectively as possible. The moment you agreed to be tested you also agreed and hopefully understood this purpose and committed to accept the results.

As Nikki has pointed out, only the Bristol people are in any position to answer your questions.

Good luck.

icon_smile.gif


 

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Aug 16, 2017

thank you for all your replies!

 

eyepod  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Failed a translation test? Aug 16, 2017

In Europe is it normal to be tested for translation skill if your objective is Translation Studies? That just seems odd since you want to go to school to learn those skills?

And why did they say that your French was not good enough when the exam was translation into English and not speaking or writing French? (If I understand correctly, seems odd).

[Edited at 2017-08-17 00:12 GMT]


 

Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
MA in Translation, not Translation Studies Aug 17, 2017

James Musselman wrote:

In Europe is it normal to be tested for translation skill if your objective is Translation Studies? That just seems odd since you want to go to school to learn those skills?

And why did they say that your French was not good enough when the exam was translation into English and not speaking or writing French? (If I understand correctly, seems odd).

[Edited at 2017-08-17 00:12 GMT]


I also found the initial comments a bit confusing. I dug for information and here it is (MA in Translation, University of Bristol): http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2017/arts/ma-translation/

For a MA degree in translation (not Translation Studies as this is a different discipline altogether), it is customary to offer the courses in a given set of languages. I am assuming that it is up to the university to set admission standards for the languages involved, however. When I did my online MA in Audiovisual Translation years ago, the MA was offered in English and Spanish (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain), but there was no language test as part of the admission.


 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:49
Member (2012)
French to English
I'm a graduate of Bristol University Aug 17, 2017

I did my MA in translation at Bristol from 2010 to 2012, and I'm pretty sure I didn't have to do a translation test before being admitted to the course. Things must have changed since then.

 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I did two translation tests Aug 17, 2017

And that was for my PGDip in Conference Interpreting!

It is a minimum requirement to show that you understand your passive languages. If you failed a test, I'd assume your understanding of the source language was not at the level required for a Masters degree.


 

camlinguist
United Kingdom
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
resolved! Aug 17, 2017

Thanks for your input. It's been sorted with Bristol now. Thanks for all your help.

 


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