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MatchaMacchiato

Trying to decide in which university I should go study at.

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MatchaMacchiato

Hello everyone.

 

As the title suggests, I am debating on which university should I go to study for a year chinese language.

 

I have HSK3 level, I plan on getting to HSK4 on my own before going there.

 

I was thinking on Wuhan University or Hubei University (both in Wuhan, I know) or in going to Beijing Language and Culture University to do their two-year program. I was also considering East China Normal University in Shanghai.

 

My question would be, how much can I learn with these classes? I.e up to which level would they take me? If needed, I can stay another year. I am interested in learning Mandarin for translation purposes, and as such I need to reach a high level, and the company I work at is gonna sponsor me these studies. I would still like to know if I can get a part-time job with my student visa, I heard that it has become recently possible to do so.

 

Does anyone that has gone to any of these universities know up to which level they take you, going from my current HSK3 level?

 

Thank you very much, everyone. 

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道艺黄帝

translating for a company, I would imagine you need at least hsk6 to be professional enough to work for a company and/or at least be on equal par with Chinese counterparts. I'd look for a school that specifically has E->C and C<-E translating classes too, as, not to offend, but I can tell you aren't a native English speaker. Unless of course you are just planning to translate from your L1 to Chinese. 

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MatchaMacchiato

Hello, thank you for your answer.

 

No offense, of course. No, I am not a native speaker. I would translate from Chinese to my native tongue (Spanish). I am asking in English because it's the common tongue among many of us haha

 

I work for an editorial as a translator and my company wants to license Chinese novels.

 

HSK6 is good but I am looking for an university that will take me to a level higher than HSK6.

 

 

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道艺黄帝

There are a bunch of people on here who are professional tranalators or use Chinese professionally, perhaps they can give you better advice. 

 

I remember I was studying hsk 4 and there were 2 foreigners taking the class at a different class time. Their Chinese was jumbled and toneless, so even I had to guess what they wanted to say a lot of the time. They both claimed if they reached HSK4, their company would both sponsor their time and land them a job back home (one US, one espana). So if some industry standards are that low, who knows! 

 

edit: you're Spanish but chose an Italian username😂 you fooled me

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MatchaMacchiato

Fortunately in Translation the standards are much higher. Just having HSK6 level is not enough. I need a much higher level haha

 

Thank you for your response!

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imron
54 minutes ago, MatchaMacchiato said:

Just having HSK6 level is not enough. I need a much higher level haha

HSK 6 gets you halfway

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MatchaMacchiato

Excellent post and link Imron. I read it some weeks ago but it is always worth a reread. Which is why I would like to know an university that will take me to a higher level. Mind you, I don't expect to learn 100% but to be more comfortable than with HSK6. If only HSK11 would return again...

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Lu
10 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

There are a bunch of people on here who are professional tranalators or use Chinese professionally, perhaps they can give you better advice.

I wasn't going to reply at first but now that I've been asked to... I am a professional translator (literature, mostly) and I have my doubts with the plan.

 

You write that 'I work for an editorial as a translator and my company wants to license Chinese novels.' I wonder how this plan makes sense, for your company mostly. They are going to pay you for two years of studying Chinese, so that after two years you can hopefully translate Chinese novels for them? There are Chinese-Spanish translators already, and I assume new ones graduate every year, so why spend all this time and money so you can do that work, why not hire someone who is already trained? Or perhaps it's a family company and your parents/aunt/uncle wants you to have this cool opportunity and use this method to pay for your year abroad with company money? (In which case, go right ahead and enjoy the cool opportunity.) Also, generally a company (publishing house) doesn't hire translators as regular workers, they use freelance translators. You can debate whether that is good, but it is the norm in every country I am familiar with (which is many).

 

So, these are my doubts.

 

Now as to you actually studying.

 

I have no idea what exact HSK level is sufficient or necessary to do translation. I never took the HSK and it has never come up when I talked to other translators. I do know that you need to understand not just words or patterns, but how a text works, what refers to what, what says something about what. For this, I suggest you read a lot and practice translating. But studying the language in a formal language class never hurts, of course.

 

Literary translation is more than just understanding the source language; you also have to be good at your target language; and you have to be creative in how to best convert one into the other. If you want to be a translator, it's not a bad idea to study some translation. It's probably best if you study Chinese to Spanish translation, it will be more useful than Chinese-English. I know there are some good Chinese to Spanish translators active, some of them are even attached to a university, so I suggest you search for that.

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MatchaMacchiato

Thank you for your reply, Lu.

 

There are other translators indeed but the company I am at does not have access to them. Yes, I am a regular worker there. I know it is not that common but it allows them to pay me less long-term. Yes, they will pay for it but in exchange I can't renounce or change companies for seven years afterwards.

 

Where can I study Chinese-Spanish translation? The translation career in Spain only has English-Spanish and French-Spanish paths. Asian languages are still regarded as useless around here, mostly. Or do you mean in China? Where could I study that? Can I study that without knowing the language already fluently?

 

Regardless I would be interested in knowing which of these universities is the most suitable for my case. So that question is still open.

 

Thank you very much to everyone so far.

 

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Lu
1 hour ago, MatchaMacchiato said:

Where can I study Chinese-Spanish translation?

I don't know much about the situation in Spain, but perhaps look at the UAB. Translators Sara Rovira, Mireia Vargas-Urpí and Irene Tor Carroggio work/research there. And now that I realise all three Spanish translators I know work at the same university, I almost can't believe there aren't more Spanish universities that teach Chinese and Chinese translation. What have you done so far to find them?

 

1 hour ago, MatchaMacchiato said:

There are other translators indeed but the company I am at does not have access to them.

How is that possible? I assume your company has email. The translators I link above can be reached by email. There is also translator Javier Altayó, who I'm sure also has email if you search a little bit. And that is only the translators I can think of off the top of my head, and I don't even know Spanish. Call me really cynical, but does 'no access' perhaps mean your company is not willing to pay their rates? And if so, how do you expect they will treat you once you are their translator, who cannot leave in seven years?

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MatchaMacchiato

I know about those people actually! I researched but only a few universities offer translation as a Bachelors degree and none of them offer Chinese-Spanish specialization. Some of them do offer Chinese classes but they only reach up to HSK4. UAB included (have many friends that went there) but it would be impossible for me to attend anyway for a variety of reasons (mostly my job but also lack of money and it's impossible to go back and forth to UAB in the same day where I live)

 

Javier Altayó is based in Taiwan which is actually an interesting alternative to Mainland China. I will contact him, thanks!

 

And no, you are not cynical. I have been working for them for some years. Their pay is bad and so are their work conditions but I have a family to feed and work in Spain is very scarce and hard to find and as shitty as it may be it allows ends to be met. Specially now that my boyfriend became unemployed.

 

I guess this is where the part time job part enters in. If possible I would like to save up there as much as possible so that long term I don't have to stay in this job forever.

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Lu
3 minutes ago, MatchaMacchiato said:

Their pay is bad and so are their work conditions but I have a family to feed and work in Spain is very scarce and hard to find and as shitty as it may be it allows ends to be met. Specially now that my boyfriend became unemployed.

Your plan to study in China involves two years in China (away from boyfriend - on what income will he live?) and then seven years in a company with bad pay and bad working conditions. That's nine years of your life - for what end goal? I don't mean to armchair advise, I'm not in your situation and can't decide what's best for you, but maybe reconsider this plan. If you want to learn Chinese or live in China, there are ways to do that without making yourself indebted to a shitty company. (Look for a job in China, maybe.) If you want to become a literary translator, same (you'll still not make a lot of money, mind). If you want to just make ends meet, surely that's possible without signing up for nine years of hardship.

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MatchaMacchiato

Hello Lu. Thank you very much for your concern.

 

No, there is no other way around for me. I don't have a degree (never had money to attend college, had to work since I was 18 to feed my parents when they became unemployed, they are a bit better now but not so much) 

 

It's not any end goal. I just want to keep my job and fortunately long term try to transition to other better paid jobs. My bf does have a degree so he could work there fortunately! And, even if they are shitty being able to keep a job for 7 years is already fortunate enough for me. I am in a much better situation than most people of my age just for that prospect alone.

 

Maybe I could try to go to an university in which chinese linguistics and literature i can skip a year if I get to HSK4? That would allow me to get a degree which is good. I think Wuhan University allows that, has anyone attended their Chinese course?

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