Translation certificate in non-native language (NYU)
Thread poster: Adam26
Adam26
United States
Dec 28, 2014

Hello,

I am very interested in the program offered by NYU for a translation certificate. The language pair I currently work with is Portuguese -> English (American English being my native tongue). My question is: The NYU program is only offering English -> Portuguese classes right now and I know it is a generally accepted procedure to mainly only translate into your native tongue. I am proficient in Portuguese and feel comfortable translating into it, but would it be a bad idea to go with that translation pair with Portuguese not being my native tongue?

I know I am over thinking this whole thing, I just like to get feedback from others in the same profession. Thank you in advance for the advice.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:31
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Go for it! Dec 28, 2014

I did something similar. I took a diploma in translating, basically both ways, but it was designed for native speakers of Danish. They are not as fussy as the Anglo-Saxon world about only translating into your native language - there are simply not enough English natives who understand Danish to meet the need.

Whether you translate into your non-native language afterwards is a separate issue. Even if you only do it as an exercise, translating the other way is very good training. I found the general comparison of the two languages, the searches for background information and the general principles of translation I learned were highly relevant - and much of it applied regardless of which language pair you were working in.

Professionally, I only translate into my native English, but my language of habitual usage is Danish, and I translate into Danish for friends on occasions.

It sharpens my awareness of both languages, and that has to be good for my professional work too.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:31
Chinese to English
I would go for it Dec 28, 2014

I've found that translating into my source language is a very, very good way to learn. Many aspects of translation technique apply across language pairs, so you will learn them equally whichever way you go. And the value of a qualification lies more in the fact that you did it, showing your commitment, than in the details of what you studied.

But it's not my pair or my market, so I don't know.


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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:31
Russian to English
+ ...
In the US no one is fussy about such things either--I do not think Dec 29, 2014

Christine Andersen wrote:

I did something similar. I took a diploma in translating, basically both ways, but it was designed for native speakers of Danish. They are not as fussy as the Anglo-Saxon world about only translating into your native language - there are simply not enough English natives who understand Danish to meet the need.

Whether you translate into your non-native language afterwards is a separate issue. Even if you only do it as an exercise, translating the other way is very good training. I found the general comparison of the two languages, the searches for background information and the general principles of translation I learned were highly relevant - and much of it applied regardless of which language pair you were working in.

Professionally, I only translate into my native English, but my language of habitual usage is Danish, and I translate into Danish for friends on occasions.

It sharpens my awareness of both languages, and that has to be good for my professional work too.

too many prestigious schools use the term"native language'. If you feel comfortable translating into Portuguese, do it, but you Portuguese has to be at a top level, if you think about translating into it. If you don't feel comfortable translating into Portuguese, don't do it. The NYU program is quite expensive--about $12,000 a year at least, so do not waste your time and money. (A certificate not a degree-- a degree would be more like $50,000 --a two semester post-graduate degree program)

[Edited at 2014-12-29 13:40 GMT]


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YvHa
Belgium
Local time: 16:31
German to English
+ ...
Do it! Jan 14, 2015

Adam,

I just finished the NYU translation program D>E, with German being my native language. It was challenging at times (and time consuming) but I never had any serious trouble.
If you feel confident in Portuguese, you should do it. Just like you, I am constantly worried about the 'general acceptance' to only translate into your native language. However, for some of the texts we translated it was necessary to understand the source (and it's background) 100%.

Good luck!


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Translation certificate in non-native language (NYU)

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