It’s survey time again on My Words for a Change. Back in 2015 I ran my first survey on adverts on translation blogs (TLDR: don’t have any adverts on your blogs!). The following year I ran one on revisions (thus combining two of my favourite subjects). I spared you all my intrusive questions in 2017 and last year I ran a survey on whether blogging is dead (TLDR: no, it isn’t yet, but it really depends on the blog).
This year I want to quizz you about qualifications. As you probably know if you’re a regular reader, lots of guest posters have written about their experiences of MAs and MScs in translation for this blog, and the vast majority of them have been positive. But taking out a year or two to study a degree at university, even if it’s a distance-learning course, isn’t an option for all of us.
After being made redundant in the summer of 2016 from a non-language-based role with the Home Office, I decided that I finally wanted to return to using my languages regularly, rather than merely on holiday or for the occasional rendition. Translation, in particular, had always held an attraction and not just involving Modern Languages, as my Latin A level testifies. Translation had seemed a dream job and more realistic than my other illusion of becoming a professional snooker player.
Having been based in Sheffield since 2002, I was fortunate that there were still vacancies on the popular MA in Translation Studies (worth 180 credits) in the University’s School of Languages and Cultures and I was duly accepted. I was also confident that my languages were still pretty good and my 2.1 from Bradford undoubtedly helped.
Today’s guest post is by Lucy Williams and was originally published on her own blog. As it is currently not available on her site, Lucy has kindly given me permission to reproduce two of her posts on the DipTrans on My Words for a Change since they contain valuable information for anyone thinking of taking the exam.
If you are looking for a recognised translation qualification, there are two main options: a master’s in translation or the Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. I have chosen to take the Diploma. What is it and what are the advantages of this qualification over a master’s in translation?
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.
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.
This MA course review is written by Nathalie Verschelden. For more information on MA courses and links to other reviews, see the European MA and the non-European MA pages on this blog.
Please get in touch if you completed your MA recently and would like to take part in this series. You’ll find more information about writing for this blog here.
After three years of the Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Ghent, I applied for the Master of Arts in Translation (Dutch, German and Spanish), also at the University of Ghent. The MA was the first in Flanders to receive the European Master’s in Translation quality label from the European Commission assigned to high-quality education.