Good MA in Translation Studies in London
Thread poster: Cristina Mazzucchelli

Cristina Mazzucchelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
English to Italian
+ ...
May 18, 2005

Dear all,

I would like to know if anybody has attented a MA in Translation Studies in London.

I found a couple and applied for them (one is @ London Metropolitan University and the other one is @ Westminster University). It doesn't have to be e-learning, on the contrary I am willing to move to the City!

I would like to have your advice about it, since I would like to try to choose the one that really fits my needs. In fact I'm pretty much specialized in Translation Theory and History and what I need now is a course that helps me getting the "real&tangible" tools ex. localization and CAT tools courses.

Thank you in advance!

Cristina


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:43
French to English
+ ...
Imperial College London May 18, 2005

I haven't done it myself, but I have heard good things about Imperial College's MA in Technical Translation (I don't think that is the exact title - there are lots of options on this course). It would be a nice complement to the theory you have already done.

Note added 19/5 - I knew it was an MSc, sorry...

[Edited at 2005-05-19 07:23]


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:43
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Imperial M.Sc May 18, 2005

I second Angela Dickson's suggestion of the Imperial College degree (actually an M.Sc (Master of Science), not an MA, because Imperial is very much a Scince and Technology university).
I completed the course last year, and it has certainly enabled me to get translation work. The emphasis is on practical things such as the wide range of electronic tools, particularly CAT tools, available these days, also localisation tools and techniques. We learned about HTML and XML, and we had to create a small web site. The actual translation sessions were run by working translators with a great deal of specialist experience. In my year there were a number of students from Italy, translating from English to Italian. Take a look at:
http://www.hu.ic.ac.uk/translation/


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I heard about Imperial College from the ITI May 18, 2005

and seeing its course offerings, it seems to me they come closer to what you say you want to learn than the Translation Studies programme, which is highly research-oriented. It won't do harm to have a look and make the comparison, anyway.

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LuciaC
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:43
English to Italian
+ ...
Specializing May 18, 2005

Just a suggestion: I can see from you profile that you are well qualified as a translator. Why not specialize instead with a Master's degree in a specific field, like law, finance, business, science, literature, etc.? The cost of an MA can be exorbitant (considering the high fees, the loss of income, the cost of living abroad), so I think that this would be a better investment and would make your CV more attractive to potential clients (if this is your purpose) than another translation degree.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Ciao
Lucia


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Cristina Mazzucchelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 19:43
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your suggestions... May 19, 2005

I would like to thank you all for your suggestions!

I visited the London Imperial College (Thank you Angela and Peter!) Internet Site and I saw that the application process for the Technical Translation Course ended on 4th May. Anyway I sent them an email to see whether I still have chances for a late application. In fact, this course was just what I was looking for!

But just as Parrot said, I will forward the other applications for the other courses and in the end I will decide what course to take.

Lucia is also right, probably I shouldn't take yet another translation course, I should maybe specialize in something else, but I don't have any idea in the field I'm more interested in. In the translation agency I work in right now, we translate all kinds of text and, of course, there are text that I like to translate and some others that I hate...but I saw that if you want to work extensively you must be able to do a little bit of everything...Anyway, since all of you guys are living in the UK do you have other suggestions about other specialization courses I could eventually take?

Thanks again for your precious help!

Cristina


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:43
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Picking up another point of yours (unsolicited) May 19, 2005

Cristina Mazzucchelli wrote:

Lucia is also right, probably I shouldn't take yet another translation course, I should maybe specialize in something else, but I don't have any idea in the field I'm more interested in. In the translation agency I work in right now, we translate all kinds of text and, of course, there are text that I like to translate and some others that I hate...but I saw that if you want to work extensively you must be able to do a little bit of everything.


What you are planning to do would seem the most logical next step in your growth curve.

In an agency, the work is always a little of everything - an agency rarely says "no" on grounds of specialization (rather, it looks for specialists). Among congress organizers, the interpreters are specialists, but not all translators chosen on a team/project may be (there is a ratio, and the specialist usually lands on the editing team). But determining specialization for a freelancer can be a long process, aided and abetted by a pattern of natural/latent interests, successful ventures and a certain touch of overload (observe what assignments you are bound to refuse, since these also show you the way you may unconsciously want to go). The specialization thus profiles itself. This is in the event that you still cannot profile it clearly with sufficient determination.


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Elizabeth Sumner
Local time: 18:43
Russian to English
+ ...
University of Westminster May 20, 2005

Hi, I completed the University of Westminster's MA in 2002. It was definitely worth the time (and money - London is not cheap, alas) I spent. It has a good split between the practical and theory sides and you can choose to take more lectures in one or the other.

The final thesis/dissertation is either an extended, annotated translation or a thesis on translation theory if that's more your thing. They are a helpful lot, I had quite some problems finding a published text in Russian but not in English of the correct length and difficulty in my chosen subject so they helped me to get a British Library reader's card, which are like gold dust. I had assumed that as it was a national institution it would be open to anyone who wanted to use it - in fact they try and make you prove you can't get the text anywhere else in the country but that's another story!

The library has a very good stock of dictionaries and you can take other lessons in editing, learn passive languages, extra science lessons and so on. It does have some drawbacks of course - always check whether the courses offered are suitable for your language, the extra-curricula facilities are not as good as some other universities, etc.

They encourage you to find work experience translating during the course - it was a requirement for the modules I chose - and again they will help you with this.

Hope this is of help. In the interests of objectivity, the man who set up the Imperial course was my tutor at Leeds University (Mark - I can't remember his surname but he has published various translation theory books) and was a real nice guy, although a bit of a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan!

Kind regards,

Elizabeth
PS - I better get a cheque from Westminster for this review!


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 12:43
German to English
Practical experience may be better... Jul 28, 2005

Hiya! I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this! I think that your best bet would be to get a job as an in-house translator with a company (NOT a translation agency) specialising in a specific field. You already have all the theory you need; now you need the specialisation to move forward with your translation work. If you can find a job with a company that has its own in-house translators, they will teach you all you need to know about CAT tools (they will use them), and you will gain experience in a specialised area to boot!

After I graduated (like you, with a degree in translation), I went to work for SAP in Germany. I spent 2 years there, working as one of 150 (!) in-house translators. We all used translation tools on a daily basis and underwent intensive SAP user training (3-6 months initially, with ongoing training thereafter). I'm now a qualified translator specialising in SAP and software localisation, and my experience and contacts with a company like that have proved invaluable since I started freelancing.


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Good MA in Translation Studies in London

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