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Poll: Are you a translator by education?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:40
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Aug 5, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you a translator by education?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mihaela Buruiana. View the poll results »



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:40
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Hmm, perplexed Aug 5, 2014

What exactly does this mean?

I studied Japanese for 4 years at the University of London, a fair part of which involved translating from classical up to modern Japanese into English, and translating into Japanese. However, translation was essentially only part of the curriculum and not the chief aim of the course. Should I answer 'Yes' to the poll?

Should the question be "Do you have a degree in translation studies or did you study translation as part of a higher education course?'

Maybe some definition would help here?


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:40
English to Polish
Similar to Julian Aug 5, 2014

My university curriculum included translation courses, but it wasn't the aim of the studies.

I replied "Other".


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Rudolf Frans Maulany  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:40
English to Indonesian
+ ...
No, only by experience Aug 5, 2014

No, only by 30 years experience both as a medical translator & medical doctor

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Laurens Sipahelut  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 20:40
Dutch to Indonesian
+ ...
No Aug 5, 2014

I hold a BS in a field completely unrelated to languages and you could say that I stumbled upon translation as I never planned to be a translator.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 5, 2014

If the poll means "do you have a specific educational qualification in translation", then nay, nay and thrice nay.

Apart from the university of life, my formal education involved languages. I studied French from primary school, then Russian, French and German in secondary school, and finally took a degree course in Russian and French, with a basic Spanish module in my finally year as a "filler" subject. Being language oriented, some of the classroom activities involved translation, both into and out of the target languages, but this was only a small part of the curriculum. As I see it, most translation courses nowadays tend to focus more on the technical aspects, such as CAT, MT, TMs, and networking, etc., the side of the profession that I am least interested in as a jobbing wordsmith.


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same here Aug 5, 2014

Laurens Sipahelut wrote:

I hold a BS in a field completely unrelated to languages and you could say that I stumbled upon translation as I never planned to be a translator.


Same here, and in my experience that's helped me in my areas of specialization.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 16:40
Turkish to English
+ ...
No Aug 5, 2014

I said no, although my first experiences of translation were in the 1970's when I was at secondary school and preparing for my Scottish Certificate of Education ordinary and higher grade examinations in French, German and Latin, exams that were very much translation based in those days, so I did start out being taught how to do it. However, that is as far as my formal training in translation goes.

I was able to pass the Institute of Linguist's Diploma in Translation examination, so I must be able to do it despite my lack of formal advanced education in translation.


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Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:40
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sort of... Aug 5, 2014

... in that I do have the Diploma in Translation, although my formal university education is in an unrelated field (biotechnology/virology) and actually more useful to my translation business.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:40
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Bingo Aug 5, 2014

Tim Drayton wrote:

... my first experiences of translation were in ... in French, German and Latin, exams that were very much translation based in those days...



7 years of Latin, 4 years of Greek and 1 year of Russian do come in handy don't they. As Tim says, language study at the time was very much 'read and translate' based - which I have very pleasant memories of. My teachers, bar one particular individual, were wonderful. They knew their stuff and were passionate about it.

Does even this still make me a 'translator by education.' I'm still perplexed, but nicely, since I have lots of fond memories of language learning at grammar school and Uni.


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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Not exactly Aug 5, 2014

I have a university degree in English Language. Translation/interpretation was not the gist of my studies, but rather a sub-skill. It was more focused on linguistics and language teaching.
However, I've always had a passion for translation and, fortunately, I had a young professor (who is now one of my closest friends) who was engaged in translation projects and he took me under his wing and taught me many of the things I know now.

So translation is part of my education informally.

[Edited at 2014-08-05 13:46 GMT]


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njweatherdon
Canada
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
No, but yes Aug 5, 2014

I learned my second language as part of my public education and also by studying in a region where the second language is commonly spoken.

My "in" for translation also followed directly from my educational background, as it provided the expertise which is useful in my work as a translator.

However, I have not formally studied translation, per se.

To be honest, it's not clear to me what one specifically gains from studying translation as an academic discipline. It seems to me that language skills and subject knowledge would be more important, but if translation firms demand people with translation degrees, then clearly they are worth something. Is it signalling value or is there significant real substance to the value of a translation degree?


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
Maybe... Aug 5, 2014

I took a semester of Spanish in high school...

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oxygen4u
Portugal
Local time: 14:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Aug 5, 2014

I have a university degree (four years) in Translation (English and German).

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ventnai  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:40
Member
German to English
+ ...
hmm ... concur with Julian Aug 5, 2014

Translation was part of my O' levels and A' levels in French, German and Russian at school and undergraduate studies in French and German in the UK. Undergraduate studies also touched on interpreting.

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