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Poll: What are your qualifications (highest achieved)?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 14:15
Sep 30, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What are your qualifications (highest achieved)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Rachel Mackay

View the poll here

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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
None Sep 30, 2008

Just 10 years translating.


Reed James
Local time: 18:15
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
There is an apostrophe missing Sep 30, 2008

Master's degree has an apostrophe. Otherwise the word is virtually meaningless in this context.


Hendarto Setiadi  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:15
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Other Sep 30, 2008

20+ years of translating and clients coming back for more...


Theo Bernards (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
English to Dutch
+ ...
Unusual aptitude to languages Sep 30, 2008

It said "Please discuss" if toy say other, so here we go:

When I moved from The Netherlands to Ireland it was said by my 'new' environment that my command of English was exceptional, even for a Dutch guy. My environment was not only the beloved one, who is now my wife, but also business acquiantances I picked up over the years. Someone said I displayed an 'unusual aptitude' for English and mentioned her 'wouldn't be surprised if my Dutch was 'equaly versatile", referring to my speaking and thinking like a local. Mind you, this was said after a good few Guinness, so I didn't hold much stock in it, but since I lived in Ireland for over five years I have seen an enormous amount of spelling, grammar and style errors in all kinds of printed material. Subtitles are the worst, by the way, as translators seem to struggle with the fine line between political correctness and factual translations. A small investigation showed me that many translations of printed materials are handled by agencies and if you combine these things, you may come, as I did, to the conclusion that there is a market for someone who can translate properly. So, when I decided to set up shop, I chose my native language and my second 'native' language and started a one-man-show that fills a niche in the translation business very nicely.

This, in short, is my highest achieved qualification, obtained the university of life experiences.


Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:15
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
two degrees Oct 1, 2008

english BA, Journalism (graduate)...


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other? Oct 1, 2008

Where are you supposed to go with a PhD in your specialist field and a master's in T&I?

Not that that could mean anything other than one was curious enough to go through the exercise.

20 years translating (and interpreting) Oct 1, 2008

Question: What are the qualifications needed for good and excellent translator?
Answer: Experience

I started money earning bilingual activities in 1985 as an escort interpreter.
It's more than 20 years ago.
I quit that to devote myself to writing activities but all my writings are based on interviewing and researching from English source.
So in essence I was interpreting and translating on these 5 some years just as much, as my books are all written in Japanese.

I have a Master of Arts degree but that is not T&I degree per se. Is my Master's degree in this industry useless because it is not of T&I ? I contradict and say "Hell no!"

Personally I do not think much of T&I degree, nor ATA accreditation. Knowledge without experience is a useless piece of XXXX, and a piece of paper by itself means very little to me. That's something I've learned in and after these high-education-institution days.

I am proud of my 20 years of translating more than my MA title.

[Edited at 2008-10-01 05:16]


Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 14:15
English to Russian
+ ...
Self-study plus experience Oct 1, 2008

I strongly disagree with the way the question is posed. Formal training does not necessarily equal qualifications!

There are many ways to enter a profession. Going to university is only one of them.

Greetings to all fellow self-taught interpreters and translators!


Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
I answered "other" Oct 1, 2008

Because there's no master in conference interpreting in the list.
However, I've also a degree in languages and a master in another field.


Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 15:15
English to Dutch
+ ...
other as well Oct 1, 2008

I have a master's degree in conference interpreting and a master's degree in international business & management.


Brandis (X)
Local time: 23:15
English to German
+ ...
just an engineering master degree. Oct 1, 2008

Hi! and grew up translating tech.transfer documents and training company´s personnel on job for many years. BR Brandis


Dr. Jill Buckenham  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
"other" too... Oct 1, 2008

Like Parrot, I have a PhD in my specialist field (Catalan theatre), but I also hold a degree and an MA in Spanish and Latin American studies. Interesting poll, but the questions are somewhat limiting and therefore the results of a poll such as this are questionable / not very useful...


silviantonia  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translating for 40 years plus J.D. and law practice for close to 30 Oct 1, 2008

In addition to being a practicing attorney in a multilingual setting for close to 30 years (mixed clientele/ Spanish/French/Portuguese), I am a published writer, had my own newspaper column (bilingual), and did a great amount of litigation/appellate work which required the writing of briefs (i.e. legal arguments). I bring all of this to the work of translation, which I now do on a full-time basis.

As a writer, I wish I could do more literary translations... I have translated several books of poetry, but it is hard to get these published... Unfortunately, what I am sought after is to translate legal documents, as that is my field, my forté...

When I was younger (I will be 60 on my next birthday) I don't remember there being a subject at university called translation, but in my family it is an honored profession. My grandfather, who spoke six languages fluently, was the official translator for the Swiss Embassy in La Habana after the US closed its embassy... he taught me a love of language, for le mot juste, which I have in turn passed to my five children, all of whom are at the very least trilingual (some speak 4 languages). All of them have translated and interpreted at some point or another, but only the 3rd one, Alessandro David Marcello, now works interpreting in New Jersey...

It is a wonderful field, and I love the new disciplines. AS for me, I am thinking of returning to college, and getting a degree in linguistics... I don't want to practice law anymore, and I would love to add a couple of more languages to my belt... Farsi, perhaps, or Mandarin, or both. Russian has always fascinated me...

Happy translator's day, which is almost over here in the California Bay area.


Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:15
Flemish to English
+ ...
Masters. Oct 1, 2008

Masters. Although if I do it all over again, my degree would have been Masters in Law/
or Applied Economic Sciences-Languages combined with an ATPL, the Masters being a kind of insurance, the ATPL the license to practice my passion.

At one particular university you can now choose a combination of applied economics languages for business use. Obligatory languages : French, German, Spanish. Ideal for translation?

For those who do not think high of such a programme, I have mixed feelings about it. Besides native language and two foreign languages (one starting from 0), you got 20 other courses ranging from economics, economic geography and economic thinking over sociolinguistics to the institutions of the UK/USA as well as international institutions. In the foreign languages, you had to be able to make a thorough syntactical and semantic analysis of those languages i.e. how natives of those languages use it and how those languages are structured in their head.
All those things come handy, but times and technology have changed as well as the programme.

[Edited at 2008-10-01 10:07]

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