Applied Linguistics: Italian or Portuguese?
Thread poster: thomasl
thomasl
Local time: 18:04
French to Dutch
+ ...
Mar 16, 2008

I'm currently studying Dutch, French and Spanish (Applied Linguistics) in Antwerp, Belgium. I'm in the first bachelor, but next year we'll be able to choose a 4th language. I would really like to do this, but I'm not sure which language to choose. I'm still hesitating between Italian and Portuguese. Both languages interest me, but maybe there are a few things which make it more interesting to learn Italian rather than Portuguese (or contrary)? Can you help me find pro's and contra's for Italian and Portuguese?

Thanks in advance,
Thomas


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 11:04
German to English
For what purpose? Mar 16, 2008

Hi Thomas - what do you intend to do with your applied linguistics studies? If you'd like to be a translator, I don't think it's a good idea to add another language at this point if you're not required to do so. I would concentrate on no more than two source languages. Translating requires mastery of the source languages. Most professional translators translate only from one source language into their mother tongue.

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thomasl
Local time: 18:04
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Translator Mar 16, 2008

Hi Kim,
I would like to be a translator. I don't know yet in which sector I want to work, but I'm interested in Literature Translation and Subtitling. I study at the HIVT (Higher Institute for Translators and Interpreters) in Antwerp. The school is known for its high difficulty level and some students work for the European Union after their studies. If I choose a 4th language, I'll have 4 hours of Dutch, 7 of French, 7 of Spanish and 6 of Portuguese or Italian per week. Maybe I have to say that I'm a native speaker of Dutch and French (although some people claim it isn't possible to speak two native languages), and studied for one year in Peru, which gave me more than the basic knowledge of Spanish. So it won't be easy, but I think I can do it. I'm not the only student which learns 4 languages...
Greetings,
Thomas


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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 09:04
English to Russian
+ ...
I had the same dilemma Mar 17, 2008

Hello, Thomas,

Curiously, I had the same dilemma three years ago, except the reason I wanted to learn one of these languages is for my own pleasure, not for translating. And I was going to learn it on my own, not in university.

I just love the way both of this languages sound. I also love the music and the culture associated with it. The music... oh, the music... it carries my soul to the dreamland.

I opted for Portuguese first, leaving Italian for later. Risking to sound immodest, I dare to say that I did a fairly good job. I went to Brazil after a year of study, and I could communicate in Portuguese there without any problem. I discovered the poetry of Carlos Drummond de Andrade and fell in love with it. If all things go as I planned, I'll go to Brazil again at the end of this year.

And, even though I did not look for it, a few translating jobs from Portuguese to English fell on my desk... I did them. My clients were happy.

As to Italian - I started to flirt with it about a year ago... but I have to save it for later, as I cannot do all at once.

Good luck to you, whichever language you choose.

Alexandra


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:04
Dutch to English
+ ...
If your mind is set on a 4th language ... Mar 17, 2008

... then given your workload, and the two options you mention, I'd opt for Portuguese.

As you already have some grounding in Spanish, Portuguese will be the easier transition.

I'm busy studying Spanish in what limited time I have - not for translation purposes, but just so that I can follow the workshops on a particular legal course I'm interested in - and the transition from Portuguese to Spanish (passively, for reading purposes at least) has not proved too difficult.

Hope this helps and good luck with your studies
Debs



[Edited at 2008-03-17 09:57]


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thomasl
Local time: 18:04
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Mar 17, 2008

Thank you for your reactions! I'm still hesitating but I have a small preference for Portuguese. I'm still comparing both languages. They both have pros and cons, but maybe the most important thing is to like the language?

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 09:04
English to Russian
+ ...
To like the language is essential! Mar 18, 2008

thomasl wrote:

Thank you for your reactions! I'm still hesitating but I have a small preference for Portuguese. I'm still comparing both languages. They both have pros and cons, but maybe the most important thing is to like the language?


Now you are on the right track, Thomas! To like the language - or, preferably, to LOVE it - is the key to success.


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