Today’s MA guest post is by David García Ruiz. You can find information on MAs in Europe and all the reviews on this blog here. And if you have completed an MA in translation or interpreting and would like to write about your experience for this series, you’ll find some basic guidelines and a full list of all the guest posts here.
I studied my MA in Translation with Language Technology at Swansea University and I would like to share my amazing experience with you.
The translation courses cover general, medical, technical and legal translation. You also have the opportunity to learn how to use CAT tools (Trados, Memo Q…) and if you want to, you can even have a go at dubbing or subtitling.
There are also two interpreting modules that cover sight translation, consecutive and whispering interpreting.
An all-around MA that will open many doors. You might not leave the master an expert legal translator or subtitler, but it will put you on the right path to start your professional career. I believe the only way to gain expertise in an area is through years of experience.
Teachers are committed native speakers. They work alongside each other, which means you may have two teachers running the same module. Each teacher concentrates on his/her area of expertise, so you learn more!
In one of our modules, we pretended to be a translation agency translating a website into five languages. The task involved having roleplaying a project manager, a terminology manager, translators and proofreaders. It was a great experience to learn how to work in a team, follow guidelines and discuss our approach, skills that are essential in your life as a professional translator.
I was lucky to have Patricia as my tutor for my Spanish modules. She is the best teacher I have ever had, not only because of her knowledge of translation and interpreting, but because she strives to do her best in every lesson.
Guest speakers frequently visit. In fact, I first heard about the benefits of becoming a volunteer translator in a seminar, and so I started translating for the Rosetta Foundation. I also joined Proz after listening to a talk given by of a translation agency based in Swansea; this website was the channel for my first clients as a freelance translator.
Internship or extended translation
As a compulsory part of the MA, students have the opportunity to do an internship or an extended translation.
Placements are available in several translation agencies and other language-related services.
I first went for the translation agencies, but my applications were unsuccessful. Consequently, I did my internship in the marketing department of an English School. I gained very valuable knowledge and insights, which became key to starting my career as a translator.
Remember that when you are a translator you need to wear multiple hats. Do not think that you only need to translate!
I finished my MA a year ago and I am now working as a full-time freelance translator. Surprisingly, I have managed to survive the first year and I encourage you to pursue your dream as a translator. It is easier than it seems!
David García Ruiz is now a professional Italian/English into Spanish translator. He specializes in marketing translation and multilingual SEO services, and enjoys giving advice to translators on his blog about good SEO practices.