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Master's Degree in Translation

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Hi everybody!

I've recently completed my bachelor studies in sinology. Now I really love the language and want to continue using it in my daily life. However, I don't really know what to do and how to cuntinue study- or work-wise. I'm currently thinking of trying translation, but I'm just afraid it would be to hard on me. I've been studying Chinese for over three years and of course it's not anywhere near perfect. However, I came across some master degree studies that offer translation (English - Chinese) especially for "international students", so I thought that might be worth a try.

Does anybody have any experiences with that or can give me any tipps? I'd be very grateful :)

Thanks in advance!

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Translation is generally done with the native language as the target language, so for me, that would be Chinese -> English.  Is English your native language? Translators with more than one target language are usually at an advantage.


Where are you considering doing the course?  There are many threads on the forums about translation degrees which you can find using the search function.


From what I remember, translation degrees in China can be pretty hard on international students, even those with very good Chinese skills.


There are a few translators here who would be able to give you a flavour of what it is like, but I would recommend you at least try to get an understanding of what it would be like yourself - especially as you seem to be interested in translation for a means of maintaining your language skills rather than for any actual interest in translation.  For example, I tried translating a few things to see if I would enjoy it, and didn't enjoy it at all.  Have you considered a further degree in Sinology?

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This thread might be somewhat helpful: 



Often an existential struggle. To throw my life into this thing that is "so cool" and yet also "so challenging" (sometimes read: "so frustrating"), or to not and just literally do anything else with my life.


I think you would do well to verify whether or not the program you're looking at is a one-way translation program. Often, it's quite tough to get to a high level of translation from your native language into your non-native language. Often undergraduate degrees in Chinese do not provide as solid a foundation as one would hope for going forward into a translation career, so there might be a jump in difficulty that you should make sure you account for before, not after you get into a program.

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Thank you for your helpful reply!

My native language is actually German, but I think I could handle English as well. So I got two languages going for me haha 😉

I've not really thought about where to study translation since it seems that it's kind of "impossible" if you haven't learned Chinese in China for ... I don't know, maybe several years. And I've only tried translating once, well not translating, actually interpreting and it was such I nice experience and I loved it, but what can you really now about it after trying for just a few hours, right?

I considered a further degree in Sinology, but here (in Austria) the options are quite limited. That means you can only either become a Chinese teacher or continue studying in the kind of scientific direction. It would be interesting, but after that I'd have the same problem like now - what kind of work should/could I do afterwards? Also you can't really choose any topics you're interested in, but have to go with the topics our four/five teachers are interested in (Taiwan and Hong Kong). 😕


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10 hours ago, chinesekitten said:

It would be interesting, but after that I'd have the same problem like now - what kind of work should/could I do afterwards?


Sounds like this is the root problem here.  My advice would be to decide with a higher degree of certainty what kind of work you would like to do before you embark on further studies.  You wouldn't wan't to spend years studying translation only to find out that it isn't really for you.


You've just completed your first degree?  As time is on your side, try getting a year or two of work experience which might expose you to the kind of work you're interested in and then you'll be in a better position to decide if translation (and the degree) is for you.

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