Master Degree in Translating and Interpreting from UK Unis
Thread poster: xxxanastasia t
xxxanastasia t
Local time: 15:42
Chinese to English
Apr 13, 2006

Hi,
I've been offered places by these 4 unis, but I'm at a loss which one to choose. For master degree in translating & interpreting, please help to rank the unis in terms of (1) which is the most coveted by the industry (2) which is the most established? These two factors will go towards part of my decision making process.
(1) University of Edinburgh
(2) University of Salford
(3) Unviersity of Portsmouth
(4) University of Westminister
Any other comments would be very greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for your help in advance!


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Judith Schmid
France
Local time: 09:42
English to German
Translating or Interpreting? Apr 13, 2006

Dear Anastasia,
will you be doing mainly Translation or Interpreting?

I did an MA at Salford in 1997/1998 and back then I thought the Interpreting part of the course was excellent - mainly due to our highly competent Interpreting teacher. I didn't find the Translation part of the course that good and would have been disappointed if I'd gone there for the Translation MA.

I have never heard of the course at Portsmouth, so it must be fairly new. Edinburgh and Westminster are the well-known established ones of course.

I'm sure other people have more recent and more relevant experiences. I hope you do enjoy the course, whichever one you choose in the end.

Best wishes
Judith


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:42
French to English
+ ...
Edinburgh Apr 13, 2006

Hi Anastasia,

I haven't been myself, but I have heard nothing but good things about the U of Edinburgh from former profs and colleagues at the University of Ottawa where I did my MA in Translation Studies.
HTH Mara

anastasia t wrote:

Hi,
I've been offered places by these 4 unis, but I'm at a loss which one to choose. For master degree in translating & interpreting, please help to rank the unis in terms of (1) which is the most coveted by the industry (2) which is the most established? These two factors will go towards part of my decision making process.
(1) University of Edinburgh
(2) University of Salford
(3) Unviersity of Portsmouth
(4) University of Westminister
Any other comments would be very greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for your help in advance!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:42
Flemish to English
+ ...
MA Westminster Apr 13, 2006

I would choose the European Masters in Conference Interpreting training at Westminster...
This degree is organised by a consortium of European Schools and SCIC (the conference services of the E.U.) meaning that this service has set the standards.
Chinese is also offered as an A-language.



[Edited at 2006-04-13 13:04]


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xxxEmmanuelleAn  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:42
English to French
+ ...
Edimburgh and Westminster Apr 13, 2006

I would choose Edimburgh or Westminster if I were you. When I was preparing my Diploma in Conference Interpreting in DCU (Ireland), we had one lecture by someone from Herriot Watt. She was a professional conference interpreter and her lecture was excellent. I happened to work with people who graduated from HW. They were very good interpreters

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xxxEmmanuelleAn  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:42
English to French
+ ...
The Weather Factor Apr 13, 2006

Just be prepared for cold and rainy days in Scotland!

Good luck!


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Rita Bilancio  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:42
English to Italian
+ ...
Salford Apr 13, 2006

We had a partnership with the University of Salford when
I was a student at Scuola Interpreti e Traduttori. They were very well prepared.


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 02:42
German to English
Heriot-Watt (and a couple of points to look for) Apr 13, 2006

Just wanted to say that I highly recommend the Heriot-Watt course - I did it myself 9 years ago and really enjoyed it. It's quite a tough course with equal emphasis on translating and interpreting, and it seems to be a well-regarded qualification. But that might not really help you, as it's not on your list. I'd make sure that the one you choose covers all 3 kinds of interpreting (simultaneous, consecutive and liaison) and is taught in a "hands-on" environment (with booths for practise) by professors with interpreting experience. I'd also look for one with classes in translation theory, as I've found that some of the techniques we were taught have proved extremely useful - I use them on a daily basis in my work!

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Elisa Vinci
Local time: 09:42
English to Italian
+ ...
I wouldn't do it again.... Apr 14, 2006

Hi,
I did a MA in Applied Translation Studies (English/Italian) at the London Metropolitan University 2 years ago and it was a complete waste of time and money. Well, I already had a 5 year-university degree in Languages, so that is why the MA didn't seem to me of high level. Honestly, it was ridicolous. Didnt' learn A thing.
I had friends doing the same course at Westminster and weren't satisfied at all.
After spending/wasting a year in London for the MA, I worked as in-house translator...that is when I really learned to translate...
As far as I know, MA courses in Translation are based mainly on translation theory and linguistics, and, trust me, you don't need these thing at all when translating.
I was also taught to use DejaVù, and later I've found out that normally the most required is Trados...
Don't know if it's the same for interpreting.
Good luck and be careful


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Gacela20  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
M.A. in Wales Apr 15, 2006

Slightly off topic, but has anyone done the M.A. in Translation and Language Technology offered at the University of Wales, Swansea? I came across it in my search for an M.A. programme and it sounded quite interesting.

http://www.swan.ac.uk


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
A bit of bias... Apr 20, 2006

Hello,
I graduated from the MSc in Translation Studies programme at Edinburgh University in 2002 and I absolutely loved it. The course was exactly what I wanted to study - mostly translation theory and linguistics. It was quite a theoretical course and most of the students focused more on literary translation (as did I). There was no interpreting offered then and I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed. Also the focus is on translation INTO English, which can be annoying for students whose mother-tongue is not English or bilingual students who want to concentrate on translating into another language. The support for non-European languages (Arabic/Chinese/Japanese/Persian) was pretty good too. I would recommend it if you are interested in the theory behind translation and language.
I cannot speak at all about the course offered by Portsmouth but I have heard good things about the courses in Salford and Westminster. They are far more practical, with a more applied approach. The courses offered at Westminster are particularly well-known here in London by companies and translation agencies, but I cannot comment on the teaching itself.
I think the main thing to focus on is what you want to achieve out of the course - are you more interested in theory or practice? - what kind of support can the university offer for your language pair? - are you interested in specialising in a particular field? - what are the research interests of staff, etc.? - what is the focus on practical problems faced by translators (getting jobs, etc.)? - what are the library/research facilities like?
You would be better off if you contacted each of the universities, perhaps by email, and asked them specific questions about the courses they offer and what their Chinese department is like - having teachers who can teach Chinese as a foreign language does not equate to having teachers who can teach/specialise in ChineseEnglish translation.
Good luck!
Aisha


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xxxanastasia t
Local time: 15:42
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aisha. More or Less Made up My Mind on Edinburgh... Apr 20, 2006

... and your advice has sealed my decision.

A theoretical course is what I'm looking for, for my first degree is a BBA and I've got no formal language training.
And I am also trying to avoid translating into another language as far as possible for I only translate into English. I'm not exactly after an interpreting degree, though it would be a bonus if the course can touch on it just a wee bit.

However, I am concerned that the focus is on literary translation. Is the focus for you to choose? I don't want too technical stuff like medical either, and I would welcome some bit of literary translation too, but are there commercial translations? Also, it being theoretical, do you think that students who have no prior language degree are likely to loose out in the sense that they are unable to catch up with the lessons? Especially since it is such a short course of only 1 year duration.

Just a bit off-topic, is the course very demanding? Do you have time to tour the city and its neighbouring cities? How large is the class size? And which building do you usually have lessons? David Hume Tower?

Once again, thank you to all of you who have taken time to give me your invaluable advice. Any more comments are welcome!

Aisha Maniar wrote:

Hello,
I graduated from the MSc in Translation Studies programme at Edinburgh University in 2002 and I absolutely loved it. The course was exactly what I wanted to study - mostly translation theory and linguistics. It was quite a theoretical course and most of the students focused more on literary translation (as did I). There was no interpreting offered then and I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed. Also the focus is on translation INTO English, which can be annoying for students whose mother-tongue is not English or bilingual students who want to concentrate on translating into another language. The support for non-European languages (Arabic/Chinese/Japanese/Persian) was pretty good too. I would recommend it if you are interested in the theory behind translation and language.
I cannot speak at all about the course offered by Portsmouth but I have heard good things about the courses in Salford and Westminster. They are far more practical, with a more applied approach. The courses offered at Westminster are particularly well-known here in London by companies and translation agencies, but I cannot comment on the teaching itself.
I think the main thing to focus on is what you want to achieve out of the course - are you more interested in theory or practice? - what kind of support can the university offer for your language pair? - are you interested in specialising in a particular field? - what are the research interests of staff, etc.? - what is the focus on practical problems faced by translators (getting jobs, etc.)? - what are the library/research facilities like?
You would be better off if you contacted each of the universities, perhaps by email, and asked them specific questions about the courses they offer and what their Chinese department is like - having teachers who can teach Chinese as a foreign language does not equate to having teachers who can teach/specialise in ChineseEnglish translation.
Good luck!
Aisha


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Paula James  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:42
French to English
+ ...
Heriot-Watt/Uni of Edinburgh Jul 13, 2006

The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt are completely separate, interpreting is offered only at Heriot-Watt I believe, where the courses are supposed to be more vocational rather than theoretical.

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