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Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

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Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby Nika81 » Thu May 27, 2010 9:05 am

Hello!

I'm interested in learning more about the MSc in Translating and Conference Interpreting at Heriot-Watt University. Mainly, I'm interested to find out if this Master would be a sufficient qualification for working for the European Union one day (the EU demands that all applicants have a degree in conference interpreting, right?)? I know the EU also tests all applicants. But would such a degree get you invited to test, you think?

Maybe some HW graduates could give me some advice. I have heard that HW has an excellent reputation, particularly when it comes to languages. But since their Masters is both in translating AND conference interpreting, I'm wondering how well both subjects can be taught (and mastered) in a relatively short period of time.

I'm curious to hear what you think!

Thank you!
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby mimiska » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:19 am

Hello!

I sat the exam last week in Edinburgh, I am waiting for the result. My impression was just fantastic and it would be great to study there!
have you applied for this year?

Jana
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby Aymeric » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:22 am

Hello Jana,

It would be great to learn more from you about the exam, what it is like and what your impressions were...
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby mimiska » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:38 am

Hellooo!
I was given an uncoditional offer to study at Heriot Watt!!! (http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/courses/view/197/) I am so happy! I found the exam a bit difficult but finally it turned very well:) I had two texts to translate (EN-FR, FR-EN). One was about the joining of Romania to EU and another one about AIDS in Africa. Then I had an interview that included on-sight translation in both languages and a discussion about current affairs (in my case- ecology).
I know it will be a very tough year but I am reday for this challenge:)

Regards
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby joanne » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:58 am

Hi everyone,
just to post what I know, but from what I have heard it is not the best school for CI, precisely because it is not CI.
I know someone who was offered to take the exam over the phone and do the course into their non-native language (yes you heard right: 2 languages into that person's B is what they were offered to do there!!), so hearing that I would definitely say "not so great for working at the EU".
Of course the EU may well invite you to take their test, but would you necessarily pass? That is a whole different question.
I was also told from a former EU staff interpreter that the school does not really meet AIIC criteria partly because it is T&I.....he also said the course is comparable to Salford (which is substandard, even for T&I, let alone CI- which they do not offer)
HW may well be a good university for other language-related degrees and a good one for a BA in languages, but I would be very cautious for a MA if I wanted to work at the EU later on. :!:
bye now
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby Aymeric » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:00 pm

joanne wrote:Of course the EU may well invite you to take their test, but would you necessarily pass? That is a whole different question.
And this question applies to all interpreting schools. No one can assume that they will pass the EU test simply because they graduated from a prestigious school.
Likewise, a student with potential does not need to attend the very best school in the world to become a competent interpreter.

Heriot-Watt may not meet all AIIC criteria, but since this is where you are going to study, Jana, I think you should simply focus on your priorities in terms of the different subjects you will take (ie stress on interpreting rather than on translation skills) and work on them as hard as you can. I also recommend Roderick Jones' book for general practice as well as Andrew Gillies' book on consecutive interpreting. They will help you a lot in case you feel you need more guidance than you get from your teachers.
Never forget that there is only so much the teachers can do to help their students, whose success depends in large part on their own hard work, and this is true in any school including yours.
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby markbelcher » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:57 am

Another thing to note is that in the UK the majority of courses are CI+ translation, not, as some would have it, T+I or CI. Leeds, Bath and HW all include some translation element in their Conference Interpreting Masters courses; all regularly send graduates to work at the EU or the UN.
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby joanne » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:24 am

markbelcher wrote:Another thing to note is that in the UK the majority of courses are CI+ translation, not, as some would have it, T+I or CI. Leeds, Bath and HW all include some translation element in their Conference Interpreting Masters courses; all regularly send graduates to work at the EU or the UN.


there might be some truth to what you said, but another piece of information I just got when inquiring from the EU about whether or not any graduates from Salford or HW have passed EU accreditation tests in recent years, the answer was "no".
Now whether they attempted to pass and failed, or whether they just did not take the test, that was not clear from the response and I have not followed up on it yet
I do agree with what Aymeric said earlier, of course, it is sure a valid point, but I must add that having only about 2 hours of sim and consec/week, (as opposed to, say, triple that amount or more) is simply not enough for some people. I know this from experience in a similar course.
Some might do very well with 2 hours, and some might simply need more hours to become equally prepared for such tests.
In the course I am referring to (very similar to HW), the teachers were saying that our course + some years of work experience might prepare you for an EU type of test.
Good luck to everyone, I am sure with the course and the work experience that follows you will do fine!!
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby gitanerousse » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:28 am

markbelcher wrote:Another thing to note is that in the UK the majority of courses are CI+ translation, not, as some would have it, T+I or CI. Leeds, Bath and HW all include some translation element in their Conference Interpreting Masters courses; all regularly send graduates to work at the EU or the UN.


this is true, and Leeds also offers a course with no translation element to it, for people purely interested in conference interpreting. They have a Postgraduate Diploma in Conference Interpreting,the only one in the UK, apart from Westminster. And it is very good,I heard. And for those whose next comment will be "but what about a Masters degree...", I was told since this course is postgraduate, one can apply with this qualification to the same jobs that one would apply with the MA degree - which is T&I - , the MA dissertation that would be missing from this one is no obstacle to a conference interpreting career. :wink:
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby if101 » Sat May 07, 2011 10:22 am

Just to correct one or two inaccuracies that have crept in here as a result of Joanne's question to the EU - both Salford and Heriot-Watt graduates have passed the EU accreditation tests. It is true that there are relatively few, but there is a structural reason for this. The origins of the Salford course lay in training Francophone Africans in CI in the late 1980s / early 1990s, so the course was based around A+ B language only right the way through till about four years ago when we (I'll come clean, I've taught on it for 10 years) converted the course to allow two from French / German / Spanish into English to be taken for the CI part of the course. [By the way, at least 4 hours a week + mock conferences + liaison training as well]. It is a hybrid in some ways but we have always argued that the success of our ex-students in the freelance market justifies the mix of T & I and also allows us to recruit native speakers of French, German and Spanish - without which numbers would be unviable.
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby gitanerousse » Tue May 10, 2011 8:28 am

@ if101
just a note to you:
I was also told by the EU staff interpreters that in the recent years no Salford graduates have passed EU accreditation tests. So I do know what Joanne said was not inaccurate - unless the EU interpreters I personally talked to were not telling the truth (which I doubt!!!!)
Whether or not they have tried, that was not clear. But they did some research and told me about it - FYI. and they also pointed out that 2 hours/week per language (sim and consec combined) is hardly enough to be able to pass that exam, except for select few that are highly talented themselves - not the case for most of the people who go there.
Most of the student that attend Salford (and I don't mean to badmouth the school, I just happen to know this for fact), are more suitable to learn a bit of translation and a bit of interpreting - which is precisely what Salford teaches.
And I was also told that a Salford teacher once said that their course is not at all suitable for people interested in a conference interprerting career, as there are simply not enough hours of training.
And lastly, they do not train you exclusively into your mother tongue, simply because they dont have the resources and dont' train you for the EU or UN.
they train you for the free market.
that's the story.
I know it for fact, now you might have taught there, I know if for other reasons.
cheers! ;-)
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Re: Heriot-Watt Master Translating & Conference Interpreting

Postby rita » Sat May 26, 2012 10:42 am

hi
I´ve been offered to do a test at Heriot Watt university as I applied for a master in translating and conference interepreting.
BUT, although I´m very keen on doing it and leading my career to translating and interpreting, I´m not sure about my possibilities. I´m getting too nervous and I actually don´t know whether to take the entrance exam or not.
I am a spanish native-speaker and work as an English and Spanish teacher. Let´s say that my profile is not suitable for that master since I have neither idea about translating techniques nor basic interpreting parameters. Consequently, I´m terrified!
could anybody tell me if I have any chance to be accepted? what´s the exam like? any advice?

thanks!
rita
 
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