Distance postgrads/courses in the UK
Thread poster: Louise Souter
Louise Souter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 20, 2009

I have just sat the Iol DipTrans but cannot get over the low pass rate and would like some practical training in translation. Can anyone recommend a distance postgrad/course in the UK for French/Spanish into English?

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:29
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I studied with the City University, London Jan 20, 2009

http://www.city.ac.uk/languages/courses/dt.html

I very much recommend their courses. I had an extremely conscientious tutor, who made extensive comments and corrections to my work.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
French to English
+ ...
Cardiff Jan 20, 2009

I did a course a few years ago with Cardiff - at the time they only offered French, but they now offer Spanish as well. I recommended the course to a PM at an agency I work for. She has just taken the exam, and enjoyed the course.

Details here: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/translate/index.php

When I did the course the online aspects were managed quite well, though I thought it was a shame that the online forum ended when the course did, leaving no way to catch up with people later.


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
Member (2003)
French to English
Cardiff too Jan 21, 2009

I also did a module of the Cardiff course - specifically for preparing for the IoL Dip Trans - and agree it was very good indeed. Lots of practice and very detailed feedback from the tutor.

Good luck!

Karen


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:29
German to English
+ ...
City U Jan 21, 2009

I also wholeheartedly recommend the program at the City University of London. In fact I think Astrid and I had the same tutor There was extensive feedback via email and postal mail, plus several phone sessions. I'm sure Cardiff is similar, but City U appears slightly less expensive? I liked the modularity there too - you can choose between 10 or 20 credits in Modules 1-3.

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Louise Souter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Misunderstanding Jan 22, 2009

I do not know if you have misread my post or I did not make my request clear: I am not looking for a course to prepare for the IoL DipTrans but a general (practical) distance translation postgrad/course.

[Edited at 2009-01-22 00:05 GMT]


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Paul Skidmore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:29
German to English
Is further training necessary? Jan 22, 2009

Louise, from your first post it is not clear whether you think you have passed the IoL's Dip Trans exam.

However, if you have passed and given your comment on the low pass rate (i.e. this exam may be considered "to separate the sheep from the goats") what do you think you will gain from a further translation course?

What are the areas in which you think you need further training? The answer to this question should help you decide which course (if any) to follow.


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Poisson rouge
Germany
Local time: 17:29
German to French
+ ...
University of Bristol Jan 22, 2009

I am actually starting an MA in translation with the University of Bristol on Monday. This is the first year they are offering it. They have a very vocational approach, with a unit on CAT-tools, on the translation industry and semi-specialised translation for example. It is possible to have two foreign languages (they do French and Spanish amongst other languages). They are starting late this year but the next university year should begin in October. As I said, I don't know yet what it is going to be like, but the staff is extremely nice and I am very much looking forward to beginning this course. According to the number of units passed, you can get an MA or a postgraduate diploma in translation.

There are other distance learning courses in the UK such as Birmingham (very academic), Bristol (UWE - University of the West of England - the other uni in Bristol) and Plymouth (starting in February - applications ended in December but perhaps you can contact them if you are interested).

I believe that having an MA in translation can help me get more work and improve my skills. Good luck with your choice!


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Serena Dorey
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
German to English
University of Birmingham Jan 22, 2009

I am in the final two months of my distance learning MA in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham. Fiona is right, the focus at Birmingham is much more on academic study and does not have many vocational elements. There is, however, an opportunity to do an annotated translation project in the second year of the course. Personally, I would advise you to decide what you want to get out of a postgraduate course before looking at the various universities that offer them: Birmingham worked for me because I was interested in gaining theoretical knowledge to complement my practical translation skills. If you want to gain experience with CAT tools, etc. then one of the more vocational MAs might be more suitable.

Good luck!


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
French to English
+ ...
.. Jan 22, 2009

Your original question wasn't particularly clear. Whether you want to take the DipTrans again (if you think you haven't passed it) or not, though, the Cardiff course offers in-depth feedback on your translations, a.k.a. practical training.

I've found that the technology has been easy enough to pick up on my own (though I did attend one course about Trados), with the help of the manual and user groups.


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Louise Souter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do not think I have passed and also want training on the business side Jan 22, 2009

I do not think I have passed the IoL DipTrans. The preparatory course I did purely consisted of past papers and theory and I feel I need more practical/business training. Also, although I know experience counts for more in this field, I cannot help thinking that someone with a postgraduate qualification is more likely to get work than I am, especially at the beginning.

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Serena Dorey
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:29
German to English
Professional development courses Jan 23, 2009

There are plenty of professional development courses that you could take to help improve your business skills. I attended an ITI business skills course when I first started freelancing and it really helped me. They also offer a language skills and a subject skills module. Why not investigate what courses the translators' associations in your language combination offer?

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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:29
German to English
+ ...
practical training vs. university Jan 23, 2009

Louise Souter wrote:

I do not think I have passed the IoL DipTrans. The preparatory course I did purely consisted of past papers and theory and I feel I need more practical/business training. Also, although I know experience counts for more in this field, I cannot help thinking that someone with a postgraduate qualification is more likely to get work than I am, especially at the beginning.


Hmmm, I'm still not 100% sure what it is you're looking for. Only one module of the City U course I did was specifically exam prep, but the rest was quite similar: basically translate a text (whether past paper or not), send it to the tutor, get a ton of feedback. It was very nitty-gritty, practical translation stuff and almost zero theory, which is why I'm surprised to hear you say your course was so theoretical.

People may disagree with me, but if you're looking for practical/business training, honestly the last place you want to go to is a university IMO, and certainly not for a masters degree. I really don't think you're going to be getting a lot of business training there. The Dip. Trans. is bound to be a feather in your cap, and I wouldn't worry too much about what you don't have (degree in translation); you should sell yourself based on what you do have (good degree, applicable skills, experience in translation). Your MA gives you a breadth that a lot of university-trained translators are missing. As an aside: have a look at your English CV, I noticed a few mistakes/typos.

I also agree with Serena: for practical issues, look into courses/training from translation institutes in your country, your local chamber of commerce, continuing ed programs, etc., and think about attending a proz.com powwow or conference - they often have good lectures and sessions regarding practical/business training.


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