What graduate studies would you mix with your current translation/interpreting undergraduate studies
Thread poster: Paola Leaño
Paola Leaño  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 8, 2011

Dear Friends,

I'm thinking about getting a Master's degree but I would like to make it both interesting and profitable, since I have to pay a considerable amount of money (about US$ 15,000 for a 2 year program) If I want to study again.

I'm really touched by the topic of international affairs, especially when it relates to human rights. I know this will be something interesting for me, but I'm not sure if it will be profitable as well. That's why I'm also considering other choices, which may support my current translation studies.

I will appreciate your opinion on this matter. I don't speak for every translator in my country (Chile), but I think we are having hard times as professionals.

What studies other than translation do you have? Does it pay to have postgraduate studies when you work as a translator/interpreter?


Thanks for your advise

Paola~


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:50
Chinese to English
The hard-headed choice Sep 8, 2011

Accounting
International Finance
Law

This question's pretty easy, really. Who are the rich people in the world? Who's willing to pay a lot of money for services? Bankers and lawyers. For bonus points, get yourself not just an MA but IFRS certification or similar.

Human rights is a lovely idea, but be realistic, don't pretend it's going to be immediately profitable.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Grinks

Local time: 12:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
International Law Sep 8, 2011

I am an International Relations undergrad with a minor in English. Human rights is a wonderful/sad part of what you will learn but like Phil said, nothing of immediate return, if any at all. Of course it is an interesting area, but people (except NGO's) are not very interested in it. Law is always renovating and having that to add to your curriculum is exceptional and rare, which is what companies want - something few have.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:50
Member (2004)
German to English
MBA Sep 8, 2011

In January I start an MBA - part-time over 2 years.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Paola Leaño  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is it too expensive? Sep 8, 2011

MBAs in my country are very expensive. Is the same in your country?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:50
Member (2004)
German to English
Sure it is Sep 8, 2011

Really expensive! Probably the most expensive Masters you can study. I hope it will be value for money though!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:50
Flemish to English
+ ...
How to combine studies and translation? Sep 8, 2011

Although I've a master in translation, looking back on it now and looking back on my life, it was a waste of time/perdida de tiempo.
Money can "buy" you a language.
It is better to have a solid basis in law, economics, finance and the like, earn and invest your money in a six months intensive course of a couple of thousands pounds/euros in the country itself than to lose time at a School for Translators.
Too many doors in the normal business world remain closed if you are a Master in Translation.

With regard to costly: In the Belgian/French/German/Swiss educational system, a "normal" biz.education is not that costly and you get good money for your time and investment.
Of course, you have to know French or German.

To combine? How are you going to combine regular course-work with customer's demands: So much words/lines/pages, so much time, so much money? Once you become entangled in translation and you want to make a living with it, you have to be there for your customers, not to study biz.courses. I found combining the two rather difficult. If a credit is budgeted at 150 hours of study and your course load comprises 10 courses, where are you going to find 1500 hours per annum to combine translation, study, make all kinds of assignments and write a master's thesis?

When I was in Switzerland, I have known people working at NGOs.
Only those who set-up the NGOs earned a decent salary. The others did not earn that much (900 euros per month for a programmer).





[Edited at 2011-09-08 09:26 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:50
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
If I understand right... Sep 8, 2011

You're graduating/have graduated from a T&I degree and want an MA not in T&I but as a sort of complement.

A lot of us did it the other way round (and maybe that's what T&I masters are all about). But I'd agree with Williamson in that two T&I courses are perhaps overboard.

I'm more concerned about your interest for international affairs and human rights. There are so many sides to any question that a biased approach can even negatively affect one's work in T&I, where one tends to learn about it. (I will always remember my father's dictum that "what's moral is not necessarily legal and vice-versa").

That said, why not? An academic perspective of the whole thing could be healthy. My favourite project managers are those who ended up in international affairs, getting detailed insights into what we normally just see as news -- whether human rights, health, cultural heritage or other matters. (I'm one of those who prefer career satisfaction to the money, but that doesn't exactly mean I get peanuts) Follow your instincts about what you want to dedicate more time to. And yes, I personally think postgraduate studies help.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Paola Leaño  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Law - Difficult to get... Sep 9, 2011

Thank you all for your replies.

In Chile, you have to study at least 6 years to become a lawyer and you can't enroll into a Law related postgraduate program if you are not a Bachelor in Law. I'm an undergraduate in Translation and Interpreting and Bachelor in Communications, so I will have to study an undergraduate degree again in Law if I want to follow that line of studies. It will be very difficult for me to study full time and work, because I can't afford not to work for 6 years, sadly.

It seems posgraduate studies in International Finances are more welcoming to all professionals, I'm kind of good with numbers, but I don't have many insights in this topic.

I'm also thinking about an MBA, but I don't know what is this job world like. I mean, I still want to work as a translator/interpreter, not as an MBA with an advance level of English... I still want translating/interpreting as the main focus of my career, but to achieve some personal projects I will need more money... so I'm confused.

What can I do?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:50
Chinese to English
Don't study in Chile! Sep 9, 2011

In the UK, law is a conversion MA course done after your undergrad degree. I'm not sure if there are distance MAs in law, but you can certainly look around. And doing the MA in English would only enhance your skills. Plus, studying part time allows you to work as well.

Of course, independent study is tough, and might not be for you. But look for other options. What about MAs offered in English by American universities in Chile? There's a big wave of "university franchinsing" going on. If you can find a campus of some American uni near you, study whatever they've got on offer that relates to business/finance/law.

I personally can't see that much value to an MBA for a translator/interpreter. You learn a lot, but it's not jargon-heavy in the way that law and finance are. When you're marketing your services later, there's a direct value to saying, "I have an accountancy degree, and I can understand and translate every item in your financial reports"; an MBA would allow you to say, "I can look at your financial reports and analyse what's going on in your company," but that's not what they're hiring a translator for.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:50
Flemish to English
+ ...
Lost in translation. Sep 9, 2011

Paola Leaño wrote:

Thank you all for your replies.

In Chile, you have to study at least 6 years to become a lawyer and you can't enroll into a Law related postgraduate program if you are not a Bachelor in Law. I'm an undergraduate in Translation and Interpreting and Bachelor in Communications, so I will have to study an undergraduate degree again in Law if I want to follow that line of studies. It will be very difficult for me to study full time and work, because I can't afford not to work for 6 years, sadly.

It seems posgraduate studies in International Finances are more welcoming to all professionals, I'm kind of good with numbers, but I don't have many insights in this topic.

I'm also thinking about an MBA, but I don't know what is this job world like. I mean, I still want to work as a translator/interpreter, not as an MBA with an advance level of English... I still want translating/interpreting as the main focus of my career, but to achieve some personal projects I will need more money... so I'm confused.

What can I do?



Where do you want to be in 10 years from now? Lost in translation for Chilean peanuts or in a well-paid position with a lot of legal extras. No translator will ever get a bonus.

MBA's rule the corporate world. In most corporations, when there is a vacancy, you will see degree in economics/finance required, with a small line underneath: MBA-preferred. If there are 10 candidates and one has an MBA, who has most chances to get the job? An MBA makes you part of an old-boy/old-girl network. The members of that network are usually in middle and top-managerial positions.

MBA is a postgraduate degree and it is hard work. Usually a couple of years work-experience (abroad) is required). It does not come cheap. In the range from say $30000 to 160.000$(Harvard)

The job world: depending upon your specialisation an MBA will get you a foot between the door of many recruiters. Depending on your preferences, you will end up in middle and upper management positions in marketing, finance, logistics, training department, ....
Despite the crisis, many graduates of top-schools want to go into finance.

I stick to my guns: translation studies are a waste of time. Interpreting studies aren't.
Why? When you are an interpreter, there is no discussion about rates, no penny-pinching for the use of CAT-tools, little chance of late payments.... The offer side of that market is much smaller

Staying in Chile is a waste of time too. The world is bigger than Chile and if you have a global view of the world that is most certainly an advantage when pursuing an MBA.

Personnally, I am interested in quantative courses and finance courses (accounting, corporate finance, the money-markets, asset-management).



[Edited at 2011-09-09 07:34 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lyandra
United States
Local time: 11:50
French to English
+ ...
I agree with Phil, don't do the MBA! Sep 13, 2011

Phil Hand wrote:

In the UK, law is a conversion MA course done after your undergrad degree. I'm not sure if there are distance MAs in law, but you can certainly look around. And doing the MA in English would only enhance your skills. Plus, studying part time allows you to work as well.

Of course, independent study is tough, and might not be for you. But look for other options. What about MAs offered in English by American universities in Chile? There's a big wave of "university franchinsing" going on. If you can find a campus of some American uni near you, study whatever they've got on offer that relates to business/finance/law.

I personally can't see that much value to an MBA for a translator/interpreter. You learn a lot, but it's not jargon-heavy in the way that law and finance are. When you're marketing your services later, there's a direct value to saying, "I have an accountancy degree, and I can understand and translate every item in your financial reports"; an MBA would allow you to say, "I can look at your financial reports and analyse what's going on in your company," but that's not what they're hiring a translator for.


Take my opinion with a grain of salt as I am not yet a translator. I'm actually in a similar position with you, deciding if I should add an additional Master's degree to my future Master's in Interpretation.

From what I've gathered from my own personal research, if you're looking for a degree to complement your translation degree, rather than looking for a new line of work, then an MBA program is the wrong way to go. You should study something that interests you. Human Rights and International Relations will definitely be useful and steady, especially if you work for a large international organization or NGO. However, these subjects are more common and, consequently, not the most profitable.

If you want to make money, you need to: 1) concentrate on a fields that have low supply/high demand, and 2) do translations for people that can afford to pay you big bucks. So, I suggest you focus on the math, science, and law fields because they will be willing to pay premium for specialty vocab and a nuanced understanding that other translators my not be able to provide with the speed and naturalness that you will as a result of your studies.

Also, it is solid advice to consider studying in another country if you can't find the program you want, or afford to study in your home country. I, for one, and considering schools in France and Mexico as grad school in the U.S. is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!! Plus, living in another country, will improve your language skills, and intimate knowledge of that country's culture will help you to better market yourself in the future.

[Edited at 2011-09-13 03:00 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What graduate studies would you mix with your current translation/interpreting undergraduate studies

Advanced search






PDF Translation - the Easy Way
TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation.

TransPDF converts your PDFs to XLIFF ready for professional translation. It also puts your translations back into the PDF to make new PDFs. Quicker and more accurate than hand-editing PDF. Includes free use of Infix PDF Editor with your translated PDFs.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search