Qualified but little recent experience - next steps?
Thread poster: lgm

lgm
Local time: 12:06
German to English
Sep 27

Several years ago I passed the IoL DipTrans exam (German to English). Current job entails little actual translation work but requires plenty of language use.

I am now at the point where I could embark on a career in translation. Obviously I am a little rusty, and as technology has changed, I am wondering whether an MA in translation with a focus on machine translation would be a good idea to get back into it and bring my knowledge up-to-date, or would this be a waste of time, an
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Several years ago I passed the IoL DipTrans exam (German to English). Current job entails little actual translation work but requires plenty of language use.

I am now at the point where I could embark on a career in translation. Obviously I am a little rusty, and as technology has changed, I am wondering whether an MA in translation with a focus on machine translation would be a good idea to get back into it and bring my knowledge up-to-date, or would this be a waste of time, and would it be better to just plunge straight in and build up practical experience?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:06
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Why would an MA focus on MT? Sep 27

lgm wrote:
Several years ago I passed the IoL DipTrans exam (German to English). Current job entails little actual translation work but requires plenty of language use.

I am now at the point where I could embark on a career in translation. Obviously I am a little rusty, and as technology has changed, I am wondering whether an MA in translation with a focus on machine translation would be a good idea to get back into it and bring my knowledge up-to-date, or would this be a waste of time, and would it be better to just plunge straight in and build up practical experience?

Are you perhaps confusing MT -- "Machine Translation" -- with "Computer Assisted/Aided Translation" (CAT) tools? If so, maybe you do need some sort of a refresher as they are very different. I'm not the best responder as I don't have an MA but as you already have the Dip Trans I'd have thought it would be sufficient -- and perhaps more appropriate -- to get to know how to use CAT tools (by either attending a course or just by using DIY tutorials) and to study your specialist subject area(s) in both languages to update your knowledge. That could just be by carrying out research from your home office too.

There are far more important concerns when running a freelance translation business than having this, that and the other diploma. Clients rarely ask for anything specific. They just need to know you can do the job. So any training in addition to the highly respected Dip Trans will be for your own knowledge and self-confidence. Getting some knowledge and skills related to running a small business is at least as important. Sometimes we have to be the experts as many accountants know little about sunning such a tiny but truly international business. And standing up to some of the translation agencies can be a challenge to anyone's negotiating, risk and time management and payment-chasing skills .


Teresa Borges
 

lgm
Local time: 12:06
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
MA - CAT tools Sep 27

I did indeed mean CAT tools rather than machine translation. Most courses I've seen seem to feature use of CAT tools - and this is an area when I have very little experience. But I imagine it's not worth the time and cost of an MA just for that alone.

Business experience is less of a problem, have been involved in the day-to-day running of a small business for quite a while, so know what's involved. Negotiating skills could be something to work on.

It's good to hear
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I did indeed mean CAT tools rather than machine translation. Most courses I've seen seem to feature use of CAT tools - and this is an area when I have very little experience. But I imagine it's not worth the time and cost of an MA just for that alone.

Business experience is less of a problem, have been involved in the day-to-day running of a small business for quite a while, so know what's involved. Negotiating skills could be something to work on.

It's good to hear other opinions. Thanks for the feedback
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