So in September I started my MA in Translation & Interpreting and it’s safe to say it has been intense.
What have I been up to?
1. Public Service Interpreting.
Every week we do role plays that will prepare us for interpreting within the public service field. The topics we have covered so far range anywhere from pregnancy to eye care. I am learning so many new words about so many different areas. One of the things I love most about this course is that I am being taught by people who are currently working as Translators and/or Interpreters. It’s not uncommon to have a class where the lecturer heads straight off afterwards to an interpreting job. The other great thing that comes of being taught by industry professionals is that you can learn about how a typical job would go, how to respond in difficult situations and so on.
2. Conference Interpreting – consecutive & simultaneous.
Every week we work on developing our consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills. Simultaneous happens at the same time. Consecutive takes place after the speech has finished. It’s safe to say these two modes are fairly different to PSI. The main difference being the use of booths:
As we are still in the early stages, we have been interpreting small speeches that have been made up by either a member of the group or a lecturer. As time goes on, the speeches will grow in complexity but for now.. we’ll stick to interpreting a speech about what someone did over the weekend. Don’t try and run before you can walk! In this class we have also been working on how to make notes in a quick and concise manner, through using symbols and abbreviations that will allow us to follow a speech with ease.
3. Translation – Institutional & Technical.
So far I have done about 10 translations, we get 2 a week.. one French to English translation and one English to French translation. Here are a few of the text types I have touched on so far: Pharmaceutical, An Estate Agent Website, A document about an X-Ray machine and Terms and Conditions.. yes, Terms and Conditions. I felt as though the universe just came around like “ha ! Remember all those times you pressed I agree and paid no attention to the small print? Well.. now is your time” (not to mention it was an English to French translation). So far I am finding the technical translations more interesting which is somewhat of a surprise, given I don’t have any background in this field but I am just learning so many new and interesting things.
4. Presentation about Québec.
Life has gone full circle. I am doing a module that covers Translation theory, the role of the translator and how the translators work directly impacts cultures, sub/nation identities and so on.
Recently I had to do a group presentation, I love group presentations ..
So as I was saying, totally love group presentations and I had to do one recently. We had a list of about 10 topics/questions to choose from and after giving them a read through.. I settled on either doing the week 4 question or the week 7 question. We were advised to do the presentation with people in our language group so I passed the responsibility over to the other girl in my group to decide. She picked week 4, which was: With reference to Brisset, explore translation’s role in creating a sense of national/ sub-national culture. Anderson’s concept of imagined communities will be useful here. I had absolutely no idea who Brisset was or what Brisset discussed but as I started the research I discovered something quite freaky. Annie Brisset is a Professor in Canada, in the text she spoke about Quebec French/ the québécois dialect and the attempts that have been made to elevate it to “language status”. One of the main discussions is centered around Michel Garneau’s (a translator) choice of putting “traduit en québécois” (Translated into Québécois) on the front cover of his translation of Macbeth.
So.. given I not so long ago spent 9 months in Québec this was a major coincidence and not only that but the examples used throughout were all plays, one of which I performed an extract of whilst doing my undergraduate studies. As I continued to read into the text, there was the mention of the Gaspésie area (precisely where I lived whilst in Canada!). To say the least it was the strangest coincidence but I really enjoyed researching and adding to my existing knowledge. Despite that a group member decided to still question my knowledge..
I have done more reading than I can fathom .. the amount of reading I am doing on a weekly basis is like.. hold up, am I an English lit student?
Please someone make them stop setting about 25 pages worth of text to read for one module (per week).. please. Or at the very least.. if we could get away from font size 8, the world would seem brighter.
And on that wonderful note..I must get back to the reading for next week.
Until next time !