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Experience sharing: LI Pingman (MA in Translation)
I chose to study translation during my master's degree out of interest. Before I took the courses, I was confused when choosing my courses. I did not know what the difference between various types of translation. However, after I began working as a translator, I realized that the courses at CUHK were very practical. The curriculums were held according to the types of translation, which bring me an intuitive impression of the translation style and requirements of various types of manuscripts. Moreover, the course content of CUHK also pinpoints the points that need extra attention in translation practice. For example, in the Legal Translation course, our professor once said that the phrase “shall be entitled to” should be translated in an imperative tone instead of a deliberative one. In the projects I took over, I did find that the translators often made such mistakes. The course helped me avoid mistakes. There were also many super nice teachers who spare no efforts to help me with my study and follow-up planning, and the interpretation teachers even asked if I had kept practicing during the holidays, so I was super touched by their sense of responsibility.
After graduation, I have been serving as a project manager in a translation company in Beijing, and my main job is to translate manuscripts, project quality control and proofreading. The workload is 70,000 to 80,000 words per month (in total). Due to the long exposure to all kinds of translations and the access to many excellent translators’ translations, I was able to improve my translation ability rapidly. Although there are all kinds of manuscripts in the translation company, the company divides the tasks according to the translator’s interests and expertise, so I was able to develop my study in legal, business, and art manuscripts with more focus.
I think translation is a very practical skill that has not only academic theories, but also practical skills that can be learned with hard work. As one of my colleagues said, there is no other way to learn, but by practice. Reading some excellent bilingual texts will be a shortcut. You can also actively participate in some translation practice, such as becoming a freelancer for translation companies which will provide suggestions for improvement after you finished. If you plan to work as a translator after graduation, you can pay more attention to the recruitment websites of some foreign language universities, which will post many language related positions.