“Minutes are worth more than money. Spend them wisely.” ~Thomas P. Murphy
An award-winning, qualified personal performance coach and experienced English-to-French translator, Christelle Maignan is passionate about coaching fellow freelance translators, whether they are new to the profession or have decades of experience under their linguistic belt. With a keen interest in personal development, and over 15 years of experience in the translation industry, coaching seemed like the next logical step in Christelle’s career.
Living and working in France for the past 26 years, when it came to choosing a training programme to acquire qualifications in translation I was faced with two criteria:
- to be able to continue my job as I worked towards getting a qualification
- to find a higher-education diploma on the French list of national professional qualifications (RNCP)
My research led me to CI3M, which met both my criteria. As I contacted them, I discussed the possibility of what is called VAE in France (validation des acquis de l’expérience). This is a system which allows you, based on your experience in a domain, to pass tests to obtain an official qualification. I did not have the three years’ professional activity required to follow this programme. This represents a solution to be looked into for anyone who has been a professional translator in France for more than three years and is looking to obtain a qualification.
We started working as freelancers in the translation industry just over a year ago. As we both have a similar background (we graduated with the same master’s degree, TSM—Traduction Spécialisée Multilingue—from Université de Lille 3, North of France) and we completed an internship in the same SME, we thought this post would be a good opportunity to look back and see to what extent our studies have impacted (and still impact) on our daily professional lives/careers.
To illustrate this point, we have decided to mainly focus on the second year of our MA, for the following three reasons:
I’d always planned to become a translator. The career seemed to fit my abilities and interests well so the die was cast on my academic path. The translation modules I did as part of my undergraduate degree in Modern Language Studies (French, Spanish and Dutch) only whetted my appetite further for continuing my study of translation. Then, as if almost by a stroke of fate, just as I was starting my final undergraduate year, the university’s Cultures, Languages and Area Studies department announced that they would be introducing a postgraduate programme in Translation Studies – with the option to study interpreting as a supplementary module. I leapt at the chance to apply for a place as soon as I could, and so began my Master’s degree at the University of Nottingham.
Today’s guest post is by Deepti Limaye and it’s our second on an MA course outside Europe.
The Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), formerly known as the Monterey Institute of International Studies, offers four degree programs in translation and interpreting—MAT (Translation), MATI (Translation and Interpretation), MATLM (Translation and Localization Management), and MACI (Conference Interpreting)—in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Some Portuguese translation and interpreting classes have also been offered since 2012. I finished the coursework for the MATI program in Spanish in May 2015, and will be graduating in December 2016, after defending my translation thesis.
As I sat on a boat to Hvar, Croatia, knowing that I wanted to leave my job and mulling over the options available to me, I had my lightbulb moment: “I know,” I thought, “I’ll go back to university to study for a Masters in translation.”
After returning to the UK, I set about researching my options (part-time vs full-time study, distance learning vs attending lectures and the like), but what was always clear in my mind was that I wanted to become a translator and I wanted to be ready to delve into the profession as soon as I left university. I settled upon the University of Westminster’s MA translation programme as it seemed to me the best and the most practical course out there – and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s why:
Since June 2015 my blog has featured guest posts by colleagues who have completed an MA in translation and/or interpreting. What started out as just an idea to provide future MA students with useful information has grown into a huge project that is larger than I am, which is why I’m now appealing for help.
If you are interested in this project and might have some time to spare between jobs, then please read on.