NYU MS in Translation experience / general Masters in Translation thoughts
Thread poster: Adam Lozier

Adam Lozier  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:22
Member (2018)
French to English
May 10

I am wondering whether anyone has attended NYU's MS in Translation program and would be willing to share their thoughts.

I have been working as a freelance translator (FR>EN) for the past two years. My undergraduate degree is not in a language field, and I wondering whether completing NYU's program will be worth it (considering the relatively high cost of the program, in the 75k range) to 1) make long-term professional contacts and 2) get a degree that will be valued in the industry
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I am wondering whether anyone has attended NYU's MS in Translation program and would be willing to share their thoughts.

I have been working as a freelance translator (FR>EN) for the past two years. My undergraduate degree is not in a language field, and I wondering whether completing NYU's program will be worth it (considering the relatively high cost of the program, in the 75k range) to 1) make long-term professional contacts and 2) get a degree that will be valued in the industry.

I would also be interested to hear from other professionals about whether a Masters in Translation is a good way to go in terms of an advanced degree in this industry. I have heard from some translators that a Masters in technical writing or another field may actually be a better choice.

Thanks to all in advance.
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The Misha
Local time: 23:22
Russian to English
+ ...
In all fairness, this should have been labeled as potentially offensive May 10

Because if you ask me, 75 grand for a "program" that will have zero effect on your actual skills or business prospects is not just offensive - it's highway robbery. You will NOT "make long-term professional contacts" - for the simple reason that no one goes to NYU for a translation degree. I mean, no one who intends to actually go into this business and make a living out of it. At least in my 30+ years in it, most of them in the US, I have never met anyone who did. Besides, this is not how you m... See more
Because if you ask me, 75 grand for a "program" that will have zero effect on your actual skills or business prospects is not just offensive - it's highway robbery. You will NOT "make long-term professional contacts" - for the simple reason that no one goes to NYU for a translation degree. I mean, no one who intends to actually go into this business and make a living out of it. At least in my 30+ years in it, most of them in the US, I have never met anyone who did. Besides, this is not how you make contacts in translation. Well, duh:)

Second, you will NOT "get a degree that will be valued in the industry" - again, for the reason that no one in this "industry" gives a rat's batootie about any degrees, including those from NYU. Especially in the United States. What they want to know is whether you can actually do the job. That is, if you have skills. In a way, it's like with code writing - only you will be writing words. Oh, and to really throw a monkey wrench into your logic, this isn't even an "industry" (again, I am talking about the US). It's an excuse for a middle-aged immigrant not to have to punch the card in some godawful real estate or insurance brokerage office - and still somehow manage to pay the bills. But hey, maybe you have no better use for those 75 grand. It's your money.

Seriously though, do yourself a favor - go away for twenty years. The picture in your profile shows a relatively young man. Go do a degree in anything but translation. Your profile says you have a BA in Economics. Great! Get an MBA. Or a Master of Science in Finance. The more technical, the better. Then go work in that occupation for 10 or 15 years. Then - when you get tired of it (which you may not, mind you, and the pay is definitely going to be better) - come back and have yourself a second career in translation specializing in what you have learned on the job. You'll be golden.

Good luck to you.
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Kuochoe Nikoi-Kotei
Kirk Jackson
 

Becca Resnik  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:22
Member
German to English
+ ...
About UB's MA in Translation May 10

Being new to the field myself, I'll leave the rest of the answers to the seasoned pros. Everything I can say about how to be successful as a freelance translator would be parroting all the things I've read rather than from personal experience. My *guess* is that many of them will say you ought to instead get a degree or experience in a specialization (e.g. I'm an engineer), particularly since you already have experience translating, but I'll leave the official word to them.

At any
... See more
Being new to the field myself, I'll leave the rest of the answers to the seasoned pros. Everything I can say about how to be successful as a freelance translator would be parroting all the things I've read rather than from personal experience. My *guess* is that many of them will say you ought to instead get a degree or experience in a specialization (e.g. I'm an engineer), particularly since you already have experience translating, but I'll leave the official word to them.

At any rate, should you decide to go the route of getting a Master's in Translation, I can at least chime in that getting my MA in Translation Studies from the University of Birmingham was a great decision. It's a prestigious university, of course, and I can vouch for the program being interesting and effective. For me, a big part of the decision was that it was fully online. Translation programs are hard to come by in the US, and I didn't want to uproot for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that I worked throughout earning my degree. So it's some roundabout feedback to your question, but I hope it helps somewhere along the way.

*Edit: Or a certification to prove your expertise - that would be the other thing I'd guess will be recommended in lieu of a Master's.

[Edited at 2020-05-10 21:18 GMT]
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