I'm nervous about NYU's translation admissions test and worried about the cost
Thread poster: Marita La Palm

Marita La Palm
United States
Local time: 02:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 1, 2008

Hi All,
This is my first time posting. I am trying to get started as a Spanish-English translator. I am also currently enrolled in a Master's in Creative Writing.

I would like to take the admissions test for NYU's certificate program, but I am wondering about its difficulty. Since it has been several years since I have been in Mexico, I am nervous about whether the 300 words will be at a literary/technical level or just basic fluent Spanish. The other thing is, since I by and large speak Mexican Spanish and can get by with Spanish Spanish, I am wondering what dialect the exam will be in. For example, I picked up a Cuban book recently and some of the vocabulary/ phrasing was new to me. I am taking a trip to Mexico to refresh my Spanish. Therefore, my options are to take the test before my trip or after it. I would rather know if I am accepted to the program before my chance to get into another certificate runs out, but I am not sure if my Spanish is good enough to pass.

What would you recommend?

Also, I was wondering if anyone was able to obtain financial aid for this program. I know it sounds silly, but I don't make that much in my current job, and I am in the middle of paying for my master's as well.


nordiste  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
English to French
+ ...
find a way to know more about the test May 3, 2008

I dont know this particular exam, but are a few things you could do.

Ask to see the texts given last year or previous, to get an idea of the level required to pass it.
I suppose there are some courses to prepare the test. Even if you don't mean to enroll in one of them, you can get information from the teachers.

Exam usually use standard language, the kind of thing you can hear when you listen to the news on the national TV or radio. (think BBC or CNN for instance).

As for financial support, I suppose that NYU has a programm to help students with grants or scholarship. The best thing to do is to ask them what are the conditions.


Heather Chinchilla
United States
Local time: 02:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
My experience May 7, 2008

I passed the NYU entrance exam the 2nd time.

Besides the translation, you have to write an essay. It's basically about your relevant experience, background, and why they should let you into the program. The first time I spent too much time on the essay and ran out of time to finish the translation. The second time I wrote a basic draft of the essay ahead of time and was able to use virtually all of my time on the exam.

The first exam I took was of historical nature and to be honest, I don't remember the subject matter of the second one. Neither one was very technical, as I recall, and both of them were a "standardized" or "international" Spanish.

I would suggest spending some time getting ready before you take the exam. I gathered dictionaries and other resources and sorted them by category on my desk. I also looked up ProZ.com term search and a few online glossaries and dictionaries as well.

When I asked about financial aid, I was told it wasn't available for the translation program because it is a continuing education certificatate and not a degree program. I actually found the tuition to be pretty reasonable, at $695 for most of the classes.

I hope this information is helpful! Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Local time: 02:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
just brush up on your Spanish May 13, 2008

My languages include SpanishEnglish and German. I passed all my exams on the first go and I went through the NYU program in early 2000s. You must really know your languages, but from what I recall the subject matter is not so difficult.

Still prepare, watch the news in Spanish-Univision, Telemundo and read up in Spanish. Mexican dialect should not be a problem. The test is not dialect specific but it seems more geared for Latin America than for Spain. If your Spanish is very good-regardless of country you should do well.

As to money, it was less costly when I attended. There is not really any financial aid, but the SCPS program does have a loan program with several banks in the NYC area. You can obtain that information once you pay and register for your first course. But definately ask about the information when you take the exam, whoever proctors can at least point you to the office.

Should you need further information send me an e-mail (it's on Proz) and I can direct you or contact the head of the program, I know her quite well.



Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
Member (2007)
German to English
My experience with the NYU translation certificate program May 13, 2008

I've completed three of the six courses that NYU requires for its German to English translation certificate. You can read more about it under

http://www.proz.com/forum/professional_development/37533-nyu_vs_toronto_certification_programs-268797.html#268797 ,

Briefly, the text to be translated was representative of what you get to translate
from the agencies. Mine was a text about nutritional supplements, although I don't
recall the exact topic. I wouldn't be overly concerned if I had a solid C1 level command
of the source language and an educated layman's proficiency in the target language.

For the "Why I want to enroll in NYU's translation certificate program" essay, I
basically just explained, well, why I wanted to enroll in the program. It helps
considerably if you already know why before starting the essay.

As for the expense, yes, it's expensive compared to what you can get in subsidized
programs like those offered in Germany's Volkshochschulen (community-college-like institutions). But then, from my experience, most things are more expensive in the
Big Apple than elsewhere in the USA.

Finally, unless NYU has improved its administration of the program, get ready for the
run around when you try to register, or to do anything administrative actually. The
courses and instructors are first rate, but the administration is not.


jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
Admissions test Jan 6, 2011

Does anybody know if the admissions test is still the same (300 word translation + essay about "Why I want to get into NYU")?

How long does the essay need to be?

Is this certificate ATA approved?

And I read somewhere that it is only valid for 5 years....can anyone comment on this?

[Modifié le 2011-01-06 15:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-01-06 15:44 GMT]


Daniel Weston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:09
French to English
+ ...
Check with NYU Jan 6, 2011

You should check with NYU about the entrance requriements. They will tell you what they are (except probably the subject of the essay and exam). As far as the certificate only being valid for five years, that is false. I believe there is a requirement to finish the program witihin a four year period. Perhaps that is where the confusion came from.

The ATA program has nothing to do with the NYU program. If you want to become ATA certified, you have to take their exam. The NYU program may help you in getting prepared for the ATA exam. ATA has their own practice exams which you can purchase and then have graded so you can get an idea how you might fare.

Good luck.


LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:09
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
NYU and ATA Jan 7, 2011

Daniel, what Jen is probably asking is whether the NYU certificate is an approved T&I program if completion of one is used to establish eligibility for sitting the ATA exam.

Jen, on its website, ATA does list NYU under its of approved T&I schools. There is a link on the ATA website certification page to e-mail the certification program manager if you have any questions that the general information there does not answer.


jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
Got it. Apr 4, 2011

Thanks Rudolph and Daniel!


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