Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Seeking insight and advice on where to study translation
Thread poster: grahamperra
grahamperra
Canada
Local time: 18:57
Jun 10, 2016

Hello all,

I am looking to get some advice on how to proceed.

A little background information on me.
I am a 24 year-old Canadian, my mother tongue is English; however I have an almost equal proficiency in French (most people think it's my first language). I also speak Spanish, albeit at a lower level of fluency (I am planning on studying Spanish to develop a much higher level of mastery over the next year).

Here is my educational background :
Elementary and high school (in English)
B.A. in international relations (in French)
1/2 of a law degree that I didn't finish (in French)

I would like to become a translator specializing in legal translation or translation for international organizations. Being that I already have a bachelor's degree, I would prefer to complete my translation training in a graduate program of some sort. I would also like to train for translation in English, French and Spanish (most likely from French/Spanish to English).

I would like to complete my education abroad, but prefer to avoid the UK or the USA because of the astronomical cost of tuition. I am interested in Dublin City University but am also looking at the Universidad de Salamanca and the Université catholique de Louvain, just to give a few examples. As a native English speaker, would it necessarily be unadvisable to study translation in a Francophone or Spanish-speaking university?

So far my plan is the following :
- Continue working at my current job (as an accounting secretary where I do some of proofreading in English and in French) until January or April 2017, in order to save money;
- Take advanced Spanish classes in the fall and winter in order to develop a better mastery of the language;
- Travel to South America in Spring/Summer 2017 for 4 to 6 months in order to immerse myself in Spanish and perfect my language skills;
- Start a master's program in a European University or elsewhere in Fall 2017.

I would appreciate any suggestions or insight you could give me!

Thanks!

Graham


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You seem to have it all mapped out Jun 10, 2016

Nice to hear someone planning their entry into the business so thoroughly. I must say I rather drifted into it, and it worked out, but planning is better.

It really boils down to a question of country for the Master, I believe? All I can contribute to that is the fact that we tried to converse in English with a Professor of English at our local uni in France. We gave up and switched to French. That was before I had a good enough level of French to translate from it. Maybe it was an extreme example, but the English teaching staff who hired me for conversation classes at the tech college refused to speak to me in English, even when teased (goaded?) by their students.

Another possibility would be a distance learning programme. I imagine the fees are still high but you could be working, and living in a French or Spanish speaking country.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
If I were in your shoes, Jun 10, 2016

I would go for Louvain, but I must say that I’m biased as I lived in Brussels for 30 years and though the climate is much nicer in Lisbon where I live now I do miss Belgium. Anyway, Université Catholique de Louvain has, as far as I know, a good ranking (35th in the world), offers not only a high-quality program but also the possibility of learning yet another language (Dutch)… Whatever the choice, good luck!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:57
German to English
+ ...
It's not necessarily unadvisable Jun 10, 2016

to do your MA in Translation Studies in a French or Spanish speaking country, because in these programs they employ native speakers of English for translations into English. But most of your classmates will be non-native speakers of English and there will only be one or two native speakers among the teaching staff. At least, this is the situation in Germany. The Université Catholique de Louvain does not offer an MA in Translation Studies. The best universities in French speaking countries are ESIT in Paris and the university of Geneva (expensive!). There are also the hautes écoles in Brussels but I don't know if they let you do an MA in Translation Studies after having obtained a BA in another subject.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Really? Jun 10, 2016

Maria S. Loose, LL.M. wrote:

The Université Catholique de Louvain does not offer an MA in Translation Studies.


Master en traduction

Le Master en traduction de l'Institut libre de Marie Haps devient une formation de l'Université catholique de Louvain.

Le programme s'enrichit considérablement, grâce à l'offre de nouvelles spécialisations et de nouveaux cours, tout en conservant les standards de qualité garantis par l'expérience et la tradition d’excellence de l’Institut libre Marie Haps.
Le label européen European Master in Translation de la Commission européenne atteste cette qualité.

A partir de septembre 2015, les cours seront donnés à Louvain-la-Neuve.

http://www.uclouvain.be/traduction-interpretation


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:57
German to English
+ ...
Sorry Jun 10, 2016

I didn't know that Marie Haps is now part of UCL, my old alma mater.

[Edited at 2016-06-10 10:17 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 01:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Perhaps you better study law or science Jun 10, 2016

The fluency in a foreign language is not so important for making a living in the translation business. You need to know something proper except language. Finance, insurance, natural science, engineering, what ever that qualifies you.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 23:57
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
I have an MA from DCU Jun 10, 2016

Hi Graham,

I have first-hand knowledge of DCU and can recommend the programme. I did this MA Sept 08-09 along with mostly Irish but also Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian and German students. The course is recognised by the EU if you were thinking of applying for one of the institutions. Many of the lecturers are well-known in the academic translation world and have written quite extensively.

I had been teaching (languages) for years and decided to change track and am glad I took this course as it helped me to do better translations, learn research methodology, terminology and management and understand the industry. There was a bit too much emphasis on theory for my liking but I expect that's common in academia. I also decided against taking the MPhil in translation in TCD (my original alma mater for my first BA) as that is focused on literary translation and I was advised there are very few openings in that sector in my pairs (seemingly true as I'm still trying to get my foot in the door for more literary work at a decent rate)

There are various translation modules from French and Spanish (and sometimes Japanese) > English. Along with other modules of course etc.
https://www.dcu.ie/prospective/deginfo.php?classname=MTS


It's tough and runs from Sept to June for the Graduate Diploma and then, once you fulfill the requirements, you are allowed write your MA dissertation over the summer and get result in Sept. So, you are really talking about a full year of full-time classes/research. (I took a year out of work and just did a few hours of teaching and private tuition to earn a bit of money so you do need to have savings. I really don't think you could work and be successful at this at the same time without killing yourself!).

With your background in law you have a ready-made specialism. You could, of course, finish the law degree but if you want to be a translator rather than lawyer I think it more important you polish your writing skills



[Edited at 2016-06-10 13:18 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
The Misha
Local time: 18:57
Russian to English
+ ...
Don't waste your life "studying translation" Jun 10, 2016

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

The fluency in a foreign language is not so important for making a living in the translation business. You need to know something proper except language. Finance, insurance, natural science, engineering, what ever that qualifies you.


Study law, or whatever else you want to specialize in, in whatever manner that suits you best. Translation isn't a science--it's half art and half craft. You learn it by doing, provided you have sufficient command of your languages. Everything you need to know about "translation" per se you will pick up on the go, doing your first couple of hundred thousand words. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

[Edited at 2016-06-10 13:27 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think.. Jun 10, 2016

... you would be better off to just finish your law degree (or get a Master's in Law). There isn't much you can get from a Master's in Translation that you cannot learn on your own through reading translation textbooks and journal articles and by practicing translation. Of course, the same could be said of almost any degree, so the value is not in the knowledge you would gain, but the value of the piece of paper. Therefore, a degree in law (especially since you are half way finished) will make you more valuable to a potential client than a master's in translation.

For example, here are two of my favorite books about translating law:

https://www.amazon.com/Translating-Law-Topics-Translation-Deborah/dp/1853599549
https://www.amazon.com/Legal-Translation-Explained-Practices/dp/1900650460


Direct link Reply with quote
 
grahamperra
Canada
Local time: 18:57
TOPIC STARTER
Unfortunately that's not an option Jun 10, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:

... you would be better off to just finish your law degree (or get a Master's in Law). There isn't much you can get from a Master's in Translation that you cannot learn on your own through reading translation textbooks and journal articles and by practicing translation. Of course, the same could be said of almost any degree, so the value is not in the knowledge you would gain, but the value of the piece of paper. Therefore, a degree in law (especially since you are half way finished) will make you more valuable to a potential client than a master's in translation.

For example, here are two of my favorite books about translating law:

https://www.amazon.com/Translating-Law-Topics-Translation-Deborah/dp/1853599549
https://www.amazon.com/Legal-Translation-Explained-Practices/dp/1900650460


Unfortunately, I couldn't go back to law school even if I wanted. I was going through an extremely difficult time in my personal life and ended up flunking out... It was also 100 % based on exams, which is really not my strong suit. However, between my bachelor's in international relations and the time I was in law, I have a pretty good grasp of legal concepts.

I think I could have better success in a translation program because languages, and writing have always passioned me. I remember receiving 100 percent in a few of my French and Spanish classes.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:57
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Good luck, Graham! Jun 10, 2016

Usually, I’m not the advice type person, but whatever you decide please don’t forget that as people are living longer and much healthier now than in decades past it’s important to do professionally what one loves to do…

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anne Raffolt  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:57
Member (2013)
English to French
+ ...
I know you said abroad was preferable Jun 12, 2016

but I will still mention that Concordia in Montreal offers a MA in translation studies for people who have graduated in a field other than translation. The student has to pick a professional or research track and whether they will translate from Fr to En or En to Fr. I don't know where you will live after you graduate and whether that is relevant to you but I have been told by a current student that this program has been recently accepted by the OTTIAQ to qualify as a certified translator in Quebec, although I wonder if that's accurate as they don't list it on their website and they usually require a BA in translation.

I have been considering it myself, as my academic background is in law and language but not specifically in translation.



Thanks for sharing those.

[Edited at 2016-06-12 03:52 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
grahamperra
Canada
Local time: 18:57
TOPIC STARTER
Graduate diploma Concordia Jun 12, 2016

Thanks for the suggestion. It's interesting, as it's a 1 year program and I could even start in January. I currently live in Montreal, so it is practical. The only thing is they don't offer Spanish, although I imagine I could do a certificate program abroad afterwards. I'm really itching to move abroad for a couple years

Thanks for the suggestion!




quote]Anne Raffolt wrote:

but I will still mention that Concordia in Montreal offers a MA in translation studies for people who have graduated in a field other than translation. The student has to pick a professional or research track and whether they will translate from Fr to En or En to Fr. I don't know where you will live after you graduate and whether that is relevant to you but I have been told by a current student that this program has been recently accepted by the OTTIAQ to qualify as a certified translator in Quebec, although I wonder if that's accurate as they don't list it on their website and they usually require a BA in translation.


I have been considering it myself, as my academic background is in law and language but not specifically in translation.



Thanks for sharing those.

[Edited at 2016-06-12 03:52 GMT] [/quote]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bruno Depascale  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:57
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Don't do it Jun 12, 2016

and the reason is simple: translation agencies.
Many of them are greedy and extremely unprofessional


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


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

Seeking insight and advice on where to study translation

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



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