Off topic: Upcoming webinar - a little biased?
Thread poster: Lorraine Bathurst

Lorraine Bathurst
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 19, 2014

I know that I haven't taken part in it yet (it being upcoming and all), but isn't this description posted by The ProZ.com training team a tad biased in its description?

"This webinar puts the MA and DipTrans qualifications under the microscope. It will take a critical look at what is involved in obtaining these expensive and time-consuming post-graduate qualifications, with the aim of helping attendees to select the right qualification for their professional needs."

Surely the terms 'expensive' and 'time-consuming' are somewhat subjective and in this context appear to me quite negative.

Although I will be the first to agree that just having a qualification doesn't make you a good translator....




[Edited at 2014-02-19 21:56 GMT]


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:42
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
A Degree or Not Feb 19, 2014

Let me start by introducing myself a little. I am a mechanical engineer turned translator. After working as a mechanical engineer for a long time, I am now a freelance Turkish-English and English-Turkish translator.

I do not know much about the MA and DipTrans qualifications. Nevertheless, I can tell you that they are invaluable for a translator. One of the objectives of ProZ should be (it probably is) to increase the education level of the translators. In that respect, I see a webinar about the MA and DipTrans qualifications pretty useful. We all know that not everything in life is expressed objectively. A great deal about the life itself is expressed subjectively. However, that fact does not diminish the importance of life and everything associated with it.

I certainly belong to the group who believe that having a degree is invaluble. Otherwise, we all should burn our paper degrees, and expect life to treat us fairly from that point on. It sure will be a long wait.


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Mark Benson  Identity Verified

English to Swedish
+ ...
Yes, you are right Feb 19, 2014

Lorraine Bathurst wrote:


I know that I haven't taken part in it yet (it being upcoming and all), but isn't his description posted by The ProZ.com training team a tad biased in its description?

"This webinar puts the MA and DipTrans qualifications under the microscope. It will take a critical look at what is involved in obtaining these expensive and time-consuming post-graduate qualifications, with the aim of helping attendees to select the right qualification for their professional needs."

Surely the terms 'expensive' and 'time-consuming' are somewhat subjective and in this context appear to me quite negative.

Although I will be the first to agree that just having a qualification doesn't make you a good translator....




I find the descriptions of this webinar unattractive. 'Prestigious' or 'respectable' would be more appropriate words when describing the DipTrans, if not 'elite,' 'high profile' or 'premium.'

I also strongly disagree with the idea that any one translator is capable of helping other ones, indiscriminately, in deciding which qualifications are 'right' or even relevant to them.

These will depend largely on your country and source language, and usually it's difficult enough to cover all you need to know about your own, so this is definitely a 'no-go' for me, in that it sounds too confusing.

I might mention ProZ.com as an example. Out of the Swedish translators who are 'authorized' ('auktoriserad translator',) I don't think there are more than 1 or 2 who are paying members here. I think there are relatively few who are even present on the site at all. Some translators I personally know to make what I would call a respectable living are even known to resist the site. This is based on research I have done in order to assess the value of a ProZ.com membership to me.

Also, when it comes to university studies, calling a degree 'expensive' or 'time-consuming' is inappropriate if you ask me. 'Investment' or 'preparation for professional life' seem like better options.


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
English to Polish
Not the point Feb 19, 2014

Atil, while I agree with you about value of qualifications, I think you're missing the point of the OP. If you read the quoted description again, you'll see that it sounds like diminishing the value of MA and DipTrans. It sounds like the webinar is going to discourage people from taking them, as not worthy time and money.

I also can't help but disagree with calling MA as a "post-graduate" qualification. This really depends on a country.


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Joanna Carroll  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Polish to English
+ ...
ovewhelming trend Feb 20, 2014

I rarely contribute to Proz fora but I feel rather strongly about higher education in general. What worries me is this new trend, quite evident in the UK, to downgrade the value of university education and qualifications. This is in no way limited to languages, the same goes for medicine, teaching, psychology and many other professions which see the scope of their practices being slowly eroded as the government after government is trying to achieve the same quality of service at a fraction of the costs by getting professions not requiring a degree to do the work of those who do, e.g. classroom assistants expected to take on more and more teaching tasks, nurses taking on more and more responsibilities previously reserved for doctors, etc. We translators have never been very highly regarded, we're barely a profession in some people's eyes and these attempts to rubbish Masters and DipTrans (if that's what it is - perhaps we're just being paranoid) I suspect may be a covert attempt to drive down translation rates.

Phew, OK, I'm done, rant over. Happy translating everyone


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:42
Chinese to English
Reading too much into it? Feb 20, 2014

Lorraine, I think you might be reading too much into the two adjectives, and missing the importance of the "helping attendees to select the right qualification" part. I do agree that those two words are rather striking, but having read the whole description, I think the presenter is just trying to emphasise how important it is to get the choice right and not waste your time and money.
It's a sentiment that I have a lot of sympathy with, as I did an MA that I didn't enjoy much.
You could always email the presenter and ask her!


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Lorraine Bathurst
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Perhaps Feb 20, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

Lorraine, I think you might be reading too much into the two adjectives, and missing the importance of the "helping attendees to select the right qualification" part. I do agree that those two words are rather striking, but having read the whole description, I think the presenter is just trying to emphasise how important it is to get the choice right and not waste your time and money.
It's a sentiment that I have a lot of sympathy with, as I did an MA that I didn't enjoy much.
You could always email the presenter and ask her!


You may be right - perhaps I did read too much into the initial phrasing Phil.
But all education in the UK is expensive and - personally - I find everything time-consuming !
I don't think the MA courses available are more so.

I also wonder how she is able to provide an objective view on the DipTrans and the huge range of MA courses available in the UK.

I have completed an MA and the opinions held about this course were massively different depending on the student's experience, expectations, country of origin and even age.

The same goes for the DipTrans - two of my colleagues, both excellent translators in their fields have completely different viewpoints on this and they do have similar levels of experience and are the same age and nationality. I guess they had different expectations though....








[go grammar girl....]



[Edited at 2014-02-20 15:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-02-20 15:45 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Could definitely have been phrased better IMHO... Feb 20, 2014

If they had said something about investing time and money instead, they could have said what I hope they mean in a more positive way.

There is no getting around the fact that you have to spend time and money on qualifications, but you can assume they will prove worthwhile if you chose the right ones...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
DipTrans is not expensive! Feb 20, 2014

Lorraine Bathurst wrote:
"This webinar puts the MA and DipTrans qualifications under the microscope. It will take a critical look at what is involved in obtaining these expensive and time-consuming post-graduate qualifications, with the aim of helping attendees to select the right qualification for their professional needs."

I agree with the original poster. The DipTrans is not expensive at all if you think that it is a postgraduate level certificate and the prestige it can lend to your profile. Right now you can take the exam for 638 pounds (including the examination centre fees), so it is most reasonable.

The exact prices can be seen here in the IOL's website. Also in my opinion it is a biased description.


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2003)
French to English
Relative costs Feb 22, 2014

The problem, I think, is tarring both the Dip Trans and an MA with the same "expensive and time-consuming" brush. Tomás has already mentioned the fee for the Dip Trans - compare that with around £5500 to £8000 for an MA/MSc in translation at a UK university (or £11,500 to £18,500 for international students), not to mention the time commitment. Even if you add course fees for the Dip Trans (and having taught it, I'd definitely recommend some form of course or one-to-one tuition to prepare for it), there's an enormous gap in the relative costs.

[Edited at 2014-02-22 10:51 GMT]


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2012)
French to English
Puzzled Feb 23, 2014

When I chose my MA translation course, I found that all the information I needed regarding the different courses was available on the individual universities' websites. I don't quite understand why it is necessary to pay a substantial amount of money to have someone tell you what the courses involve.

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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
French to English
+ ...
Tend to agree, and Feb 23, 2014

there are a lot of them about:

Joanna Carroll wrote:

a covert attempt to drive down translation rates.



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Gwenydd Jones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:42
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
I had no idea my description would be so controversial! Jul 5, 2016

Hello everyone!

The aim of the description of this webinar is simply to show attendees that I'm not going to preach at them and tell them that they should do the DipTrans or MA, as the only two options. Rather than being biased, I try to give a balanced view and discuss both sides of the coin. That they are both expensive and time-consuming is a fact, and the reason why one of the main points I make in that webinar is not to rush into anything and spend thousands of euros, only to find you've made the wrong decision.

The DipTrans is of course "cheaper" than the MA, but with preparation courses and candidates often having to resit, it can still end up costing a fairly significant sum (much more than just the exam fee).

A lot of translators weigh up the two options and end up selecting one, which is the motivation for comparing them. Given that I hold two MAs and the DipTrans and am a member of the CIoL, I certainly have no intention of rubbishing qualifications as one contributor has suggested. In fact, my intention is the opposite, and the main message of this webinar is to think carefully and choose the right qualification for your career goals.

The content is based on my own experiences, and I share information that I would have liked to have known before I embarked on the two qualifications. It is not about specific course content available on the providers' websites. The description also highlights that the webinar is specifically about UK-based qualifications, so it's for people interested in that.

Please feel free to contact me with any doubts or questions you may have. Or have a look at the numerous blogs I've written on this subject at www.letraduct.com.

Kind regards,
Gwenydd Jones

[Edited at 2016-07-05 10:12 GMT]


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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:42
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
neither is an MA Jul 5, 2016

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Lorraine Bathurst wrote:
"This webinar puts the MA and DipTrans qualifications under the microscope. It will take a critical look at what is involved in obtaining these expensive and time-consuming post-graduate qualifications, with the aim of helping attendees to select the right qualification for their professional needs."

I agree with the original poster. The DipTrans is not expensive at all if you think that it is a postgraduate level certificate and the prestige it can lend to your profile. Right now you can take the exam for 638 pounds (including the examination centre fees), so it is most reasonable.

The exact prices can be seen here in the IOL's website. Also in my opinion it is a biased description.


I paid about €300 for my Master, here in France.

And it involved taking three classes a week for one year so it wasn't exactly time-consuming either. It was tough fitting it in, because I had a job, kids, partner, house, garden, volunteer work, hobbies, friends and all needing my attention.

(I didn't do the full course because I was dispensed, given my previous experience as a translator, but plenty of translators are in the same situation, especially here)


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