26/11/2015, by CLAS

MA Translation Reflections

A number of people have asked why, with over 20 years experience in the translation industry, I decided to apply to do the MA in translation. It wasn’t going to progress my career – I am already a company director, and studying part time was a major challenge on top of a demanding full time job. So why take the plunge?

There were a couple of main reasons, firstly, I never went to university, my degree level qualification was gained part-time, and I didn’t experience university life in my 20s. Secondly, I’m a firm believer in continuous professional development, over 20 years after qualifying, I thought the course would improve my professional practice, and give me a greater insight in areas of translation I had less experience of.

When I started the course, my husband Mike, who completed his MBA a number of years ago, said to me, “treat it as if you were at an expensive restaurant, enjoy the richness and ‘luxury’ of the experience”. As with any course, there were parts I enjoyed more than others: translation theory and the English language modules were real highlights, and I also enjoyed the dissertation, although it was very demanding.

So how have I benefitted? Well it has certainly given me greater confidence in dealing with a wide range of texts, and reinforced much of my previous professional practice. I particularly enjoyed studying the work of the American linguist and translator, Eugene A. Nida, as I find myself talking about equivalence theory a lot. Clients often think translation is literal, word by word, and miss the idea that the key is the impact on the target audience. This can be as true for commercial product packaging as for a novel or a faith text.

Beatriz Hunter

Bea is a qualified translator, and a company director of betterlanguages.com Ltd. translation company

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