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.
The Careers in Translation and Interpreting Conference in May 2013 at Aston University in Birmingham organised by Routes into Languages inspired me to apply for the MA Translation Theory & Practice at UCL as part of a career change. The application process was straightforward: BA (Hon) results of at least 2:1, IELTS (Academic) result of at least 7.6 and a written personal statement.
Towards the end of my undergraduate degree in German and Spanish, I started looking for a masters course in translation. I’ve always been a fan of literature, but I was concerned about narrowing my prospects by choosing a Masters in Literary Translation specifically, so I was looking for a more general course with lots of opportunities to get stuck into literature. The MSc in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh seemed perfect.
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.