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CI in Vienna

Schools which don't have their own forum (yet)

CI in Vienna

Postby Anna89 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:56 am

Hi everyone!!
I was wondering if anyone had studied or is studying conference interpreting in Vienna. Could someone give me an overall impression about the school and the course? Since there is no entrance exam, are the classes very big? What's the level of students graduating from there? What about professors?
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:53 pm


Re: CI in Vienna

Postby Sono » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:52 am

hi :)

I did my BA there, so I can share what I know with you, but if you're looking to assess the reputation of the MA, I can't be of any help. All I really know is that some teachers among the interpreters really are awesome (actually, the best teachers at that school usually are interpreters, or so I think) an you'd better have a German A, or else you're better off studying something else, unless you have a very strong retour into German (but then you probably won't get as good a training in you mother tongue as you should). The number of students depends on your combination: there are fewer students for languages such as Rumanian (maybe three) that for English (15 ?).
I'm not too sure about the level of students who graduate. I know that some very competent interpreters graduated from that school but I'm not sure how much the school helped them become competent. Throughout the BA, expectations can be rather low (except for German, obviously), but the MA might be something else entirely. One big advantage Austrian unis have over others is die Gemütlichkeit: the only reason you may be on a tight schedule are your expectations (and possibly the fact that you didn't study all year and have exams coming up in three days). You can take as many semesters as you want to finish your MA, you can even attend extra classes (Übungen), even if you've passed them already. In short, you could train for 4 years if you wanted to, nobody would mind.

I'll ask friends if they can add something to this and get back to you : )
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: CI in Vienna

Postby Anna89 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:59 am

Thank you very much sushi des bois for your reply! :)
On the website it says you can have another language as your A, in my case (according to what it's written on the website) I could choose Italian as my A and German as my B. Are you saying this doesn't actually happen in the end?
If you come across any other information I would be really grateful if you could post it here!!
Thank you again!
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:53 pm

Re: CI in Vienna

Postby Michael » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:52 am

Hi, I'm one of sushi's friends she invited. ^^

Anna89 wrote:On the website it says you can have another language as your A, in my case (according to what it's written on the website) I could choose Italian as my A and German as my B. Are you saying this doesn't actually happen in the end?

You can choose any language they offer as your A language. If your A language is not German, than German has to be your B language. Please note that all the interpreting and translation classes have German as one of their languages. You will always interpret/translate from or into German, so if you choose for example English–German–Spanish, you would have to interpret/translate from English into German, from German into English, from German into Spanish and from Spanish into German, but never from Spanish into English or from English into Spanish.

You can find a plethora of information about the study programmes themselves and further information on the website of their students' council http://www.stv-translation.at (Since you have to have a high level of proficiency in German to be able to study there, there is only a short summary of the most important information in English and everything else is in German only, sorry.)

If you apply for a Master's programme, you will have to send all kinds of documents to the University first. The head of study programme (SPL = Studienprogrammleitung) will then have a look at your certificates etc. and will inform you about their decision (if you have an adequate Bachelor's degree and can provide proof that you have taken classes in two languages (in addition to your 'mother tongue') they will accept your application). It is very propable that you will have to take additional classes from their BA programme which you can do during your MA studies. Please read the information about how to apply at the University of Vienna on the website of “Student Point”, which is also available in English (http://studentpoint.univie.ac.at/en/application/admission/).

The size of the classes really depends on the languages you choose. Classes for German, English and French are full (= 30 people or more) most of the time, in other languages the situation is totally different. There are lots of different types of professors (as everywhere, I suppose) but I want to point out that there is still this 'generation fight' (it's not about the age of the people but rather about the age of their approaches to translation) between those who still want to believe that language is neutral, that meaning is not something we attach, that translators have no role whatsoever in shaping reality and therefore don't have any responsibility for what they are doing … (As you can probably tell from my wording, I do not agree with that and fortunately neither do many professors there.)

I also agree with sushi on how much you can learn and 'take with you' from studying there. It really depends on you. If you don't want to do a lot of reading or research, then you won't have to do that (at least in the current MA programmes, see next paragraph). But if you do and want to, you will find the right professors who will guide you to enlightment. ;)

One more thing: The MA programmes will change, probably next year. The University is very likely to introduce entrance exams. I don't have any detailed information on this yet as the new curricula won't be finished until next year.
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Re: CI in Vienna

Postby Sono » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:19 pm

Hi Anna,
you would probably be the only Italian A in your class, meaning you'll study with Italian Bs. I expect (correct me if I'm wrong) that interpreting A>B requires a different training than B>A. As the professor will adapt the course to the needs of the majority, that is German A & Italian B (or C), the course just won't be suited for your needs, especially in regard to the quality of your Italian. It sounds like a bad idea.
Now for your C, you'll be translating solely into German, that is into your B, never into your A. I did this for four semesters for my BA (translatorische Basiskompetenz Übungen, mainly summarizing English texts in German, German texts in English), it's interesting but useless (rather exasperating, but fun in a way because there is just no way you become good at this, so why bother). I guess that if you have a German B that almost is like an A, then why not - but if you're so good, then go for ETI, not Vienna (I love Vienna, mind you. I'd study there if it weren't for this detail).

A friend posted something, but as he just registered, it will take a bit of time before his answer is published.
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: CI in Vienna

Postby Andrew » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:19 pm

As to the MA in Konferenzdolmetschen in Vienna, I've chatted with multiple students in the program who spoke disparagingly of it. I spent a semester at the Zentrum für Translationswissenschaft, and while I absolutely love the place - great atmosphere, nice professors, Vienna is a close second to paradise - if you have other options for an MA, you might want to check them out. The quality is allegedly a bit second-rate compared to a lot of other programs. There aren't many English As though. When I was there, I think there were only two. Both were German-English-French AACs who were just finishing the MA, for which they had to be registered as German-English-French ABC anyway. In the Transkulturelle Kommunikation BA, there are possibly three English As right now.
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