MA in Translation and ImterpretingWatch
I graduated with a 2.1 in Japanese and French in 2017, and after a few years working full time in various admin and teaching roles, I am currently considering applying for postgraduate study in translation and interpreting (ACC pathway).
It’s a field that I am incredibly passionate about, especially interpreting, and the idea of being able to apply my language skills in such a way makes me really excited. However, having spent a good portion of a decade working on my languages both during and beyond my degree, I’m concerned that I am not ready or indeed suited for a role in either of these areas.
My worries mainly derive from Japanese, as it is such a different language, but still apply to my level of French too. These include:
1. That my vocabulary knowledge is too limited. I’m mainly using tv shows and memrise to build up a well rounded vocabulary relating to everyday life, rather than sticking to textbook vocabulary lists.
2. I’ve always struggled with my listening abilities, and this is something I am constantly working on in my free time. Even after living in France after graduating, there were days where I couldn’t understand anything. It’s a source of shame for me, in many ways. Nowadays, I watch French and Japanese dramas/tv shows/ YouTube videos every day, and actively listen to their contents, meaning that I make sure I can actively understand every word in every sentence. I do this to make sure i am really training my ears. It’s definitely improved my abilities significantly, but I still lack confidence. Maybe I’m just nervous haha. This also helps with vocabulary acquisition too.
3. Despite having a degree in languages, I worry that I don’t have a confident ‘grasp’ on them. There’s still so many areas of both languages that I need to work on, and this concerns me when I’m now looking to confidently apply my languages to a specific, specialised field. I’ve always been in awe of foreign students studying in the UK who can command English so well. I guess I can’t help but compare, as I wouldn’t have this confidence at all.
I realise that all language students, even postgraduate and translation/interpreting students, may have these fears. So my question is:
1. How did you know that you were ready to study translation and interpreting at masters level? Did you do any preparation prior to the start of the course?
2. This question applies to all language graduates in a way, but do you still have these doubts or fears now? If anyone else struggled with listening in particular, it would be great to hear from you.
Sorry for rambling. Interpreting in particular is something I would really like to do, but I don’t want to apply, start the course and realise that I am not ready, especially given that interpreting places so much emphasis on your listening ability and spontaneous language production.
Thank you in advance