Liliana Rafael Bueno gives us the lowdown on MSc Translation Technology at DCU…
It all started because…
I have a degree in Marketing and some years ago, I quit my job as a Marketing Assistant and decided to study abroad. In the beginning, this was planned only as a gap year in order to get a certification in English, however, due to a turn in my life, I ended up living for three years abroad and specialising in English; and because I had stopped working in Marketing, I had a little vocational crisis as I didn’t know what else I could do since marketing didn’t fulfil my expectations anymore.
I came up with the idea of becoming a Translator, however, I knew that I would need the necessary qualifications in order to work as a professional, and I needed to know what options I had so, once I returned home, my research started.
The right programme, the right college… it’s a match!
It wasn’t necessary to study another degree so, I had to find a master’s with the right programme structure and academic content which could help me develop my skills and improve my employability. Fortunately, I came across a list of all the programmes accredited by the European Masters in Translation (EMT) Network and the universities that offer them, then, I focused on those I considered had what I was looking for.
I ended up choosing Dublin City University, mainly, because it’s the only university in Europe that offers an Translation Technology programme taught in English. And regardless of whether it’s a young and dynamic university, it’s also prestigious and has been ranked among the top 50 universities founded less than 50 years ago (QS World University Rankings).
Are you sure this is a good idea?
“Why do you want to study translation when there’s something like Google Translate?” “Are translators still needed?” These were the most frequent questions I was asked me when I told others that I wanted to start a career in translation. The only argument I used to give was that, nowadays, all the careers related to IT are in high demand and if this would involve the things I enjoy the most like reading, writing and languages, it’d be perfect for me; however, now that I am about to finish the first semester, I have more good reasons.
First of all, translators still are needed because we live in a globalised world and the necessity of sharing information in different languages is undeniable. It’s true that the number of people who speak more than one language is increasing however, there’re still many more people who need access to different resources in their own language.
Secondly, if I have learnt one thing from DCU Translation Technology lectures it is that, even though there are online tools like Google Translate and other similar software, they are not and cannot be as good as a human translator, at least not yet.
This doesn’t mean that these types of machine translation (that is their technical name) aren’t good at all, on the contrary, they have some good features and have improved a lot recently, but in the end, they’re only that, machines.
The MSc Translation Technology course is structured in a way that allows students to learn about the theory of translation, project management, the tools that translators use and, to prove that translation and technology are a good combination, we also immerse ourselves in the programming environment.
You end up learning not only about the modules included in the programme, but also about other interesting subjects from a wide range of fields. This is because, as a translator, you must have knowledge about different areas from a linguistic point of view. This means that, while you are working on your assignments, you could end up learning something related to law, genetics, gymnastics or even wine making!
DCU offers two master’s programmes in translation: MA Translation Studies and an MSc in Translation Technology and it’s the only university in Ireland that has both programmes accredited by the EMT Network.
To summarise, if you’re looking for a programme that can help you boost your skills and earn potential in the translation industry; and also want to be part of a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment, this could be good for you. Don’t worry if you don’t have a background in technology or even linguistics (like me), as long as you commit yourself to study hard and accept the challenge, there’re no severe restrictions.