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Translation Courses?

 
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Translation Courses? Reply with quote

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend who's looking for some translation work.

Some time ago, I read on this forum (I think) somebody talk about a Japanese--English Translation course he took. He said he did so well in the final exam that the school started offering him work.

Does anyone know which school that is. Or, in general, can anyone recommend a good translation course?
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Inflames



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 416

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked into translation courses a few years ago but decided against it. For one, they're aimed at native Japanese speakers. You're (usually) required to take a basic test in order to enroll but the test is also aimed at native Japanese speakers. They're a bit expensive but not overly so. I talked to some of the teachers and they actually seemed good and helpful. They might give you work, but that's after you take several courses with them.

If your friend is considering translation, it might be worth it just to experience it before changing jobs. At the same time, any full-time translation job will have training and feedback for people without (or with minimal) experience - which is exactly what you get from the course. If an employer has some education subsidy or if your friend wants to take one of the specialized courses it might be worth it.
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hivans



Joined: 29 Aug 2004
Posts: 46
Location: fukuoka

PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the web site of the Japan Association of Translators could be a good place to get some relevant information.

I wonder if the course previously mentioned was the Masters in Japanese Translation and Interpretation at Queensland University (Australia)? I know this is highly recommended. Sadly, this is not from personal experience but I know a couple of translators who are graduates of this course and they are pretty good. I also attended a training session by one of the instructors (on pharmaceutical and medical translations) who is both a very good translator and a very good teacher of translation. However, this is a two-year course so perhaps it wouldnít fit the bill for your friend if he or she is looking to start work soon.

I have drifted into translating through English teaching and proofreading and I donít think my experience is typical enough or wide enough to give you anything over than a few broad impressions, but for what they are worth, here are a few thoughts below.

I think many people have got into translation by various routes and there often donít seem to be formal qualifications; rather you just have to demonstrate your ability in both languages in the field you are working in. Japanese-to-Engish translation does seem to be a natural step for people who have taught English here and studied Japanese (and hence worthy of discussion in an English-teaching forum!).

A good translator with a specialization may be likely to do better (in terms of income) than a generalist.

I think this is a particularly controversial area but the use of translation memory software is growing. TRADOS seem to be establishing themselves as something of the industry standard in this field. TRADOS training courses and accreditation are available, but maybe a working knowledge of this software would be enough to give you a head start with some agencies. I should add that I know some people who would violently disagree with this point. It might be a good idea to canvass some ideas from people already working in the relevant field to get a clearer picture.

I reckon a lot of translators get into their field by self-study rather than formal courses. Reading other peopleís translations is often a great way to improve yourself as a translator. It is not relevant to the work I do now, but I would always give a plug to John Besterís translation of ďA Boy called HĒ (妹尾河童 少年H) as a great reading of parallel translations, but I see I am getting further and further away from the original question!

I wish your friend good luck anyway.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 1009
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to both of you. I'll pass that information on.
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