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Does it help to have a degree in translation when looking to work as a freelance translator?

Forum: Languages
Uwe 18:34, 10 March 2011
9 Comments
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  • Nicola Nobili 18:50, 28 November 2011

    In most countries there are no legal requirements or professional registers or rolls of translators, therefore, from a strictly technical point of view, it does not help at all. Of course, like all things, learning it from people who know what they're talking about before starting can make you save a lot of time. If you study translation at a good school, it will certainly not harm you. I attended a translation school and most of my teachers, who were one or two generations older, did not have a degree in this subject (translation only became a university degree in 1980 in Italy). Many of them had learnt "on the battlefield". And yet, they were so honest as to say: "I wish someone had explained many things to me before I made a certain mistake". Nick

  • gungwe 02:12, 4 November 2011

    Yes it helps,but not absolute. Experience and knowledge are also needed. In translation, we also need to know the culture of source language and adjust it to target language.

  • amelia 11:37, 27 September 2011

    Sometime, clients also look for your qualification include degree in translation, mostly certification.

  • Chiara conte 10:12, 5 August 2011

    I completely agree with all of you guys in all your different answers. Having a Degree in Translation means nothing if you personally do not have a solid background that you yourself created going beyond the simple university lessons. It means having passion for the source and the target language (language certificates are helpful in this way, to testify your level of mastery of a language), having a strong interest and getting specialized in that. In addition, Translation and Interpreting degree courses most of the time do not give any basics regarding CAT Tools, not even when when it comes to courses of Technical translation. When I recruit translators I get excited if they have a Degree in translation since I think it means that they have a solid background of knowledge regarding linguistics but most of the times they show lack of real knowledge, no specialization in any field and lack of consistency even when they approach review tasks. Translation techniques can be taught but the personal skills are fundamental. Also, being technical means being ready to learn and to use QA tools to improve your piece of translation, having good IT skills is necessary when we deal with technical translation but they are not taught as well at the University!

  • silvester55 15:12, 24 June 2011

    To Jeff You're absolutely right ! Some people translate almost anything , which is totally and absolutely wrong .If you don't understand what the source text is about , how could you render an appropriate translation .I always decline legal , financial and technical texts .

  • shamoil ahmad 12:25, 19 June 2011

    NO...It never helps. Having a degree in translation does not mean you are a good translator. Translation means transfer of '' soul '' in a new culture.

  • Van Bakker 12:35, 29 May 2011

    It helps even more to have a proficiencey degree in the target/source language that is not your first language.

  • Fouadhassaan 16:49, 13 March 2011

    I think both are necessary for achieving a good translation job. You must have a degree in translation to have a good background of your language pairs grammar,syntax, etc. You also have to get a very good understanding about the translation field you are handling. This can be done by reading about the material you will translate before proceeding with translation. Now you have a good understanding about the material and you already have a well background of your language pairs, so you can produce a very good work.

  • jeffbarter 12:04, 13 March 2011

    Of most importance is having an understanding of the material you are translating and the ability to write in a reasonably coherent and cohesive way. For example, my expertise is financial and commercial topics so I would never undertake a tecnical or scientifc project

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