FAQs

Q: I see that the lecturers involved in the training of translators come from different departments such as African languages and French. Does this mean that I have to know one of these languages to study translation at UP?

A: No, you can translate between any two of the languages offered in the School of Languages. The School of Languages offers the following languages: Afrikaans; Dutch; English; French; German; Greek; Hebrew; IsiNdebele; IsiZulu; Sepedi; Setswana. By cooperating with colleagues from other higher education institutions and colleagues working as language practitioners, we can also accommodate (on request) those students translating into other languages not offered by UP.

Q: Will I be able to translate once I have completed UP’s translation courses or the programme in Translation and Professional Writing?

A: Yes, all our modules are practical in nature and are designed to enable you to become a practising translator.

Q: What about modules and programmes in interpreting – do you offer any?

A: At the moment, we only offer interpreting for students specialising in French. However, we are currently planning the introduction of a Masters by coursework programme in Translation and Interpreting, and hope to have this programme up and running in 2008/2009. This programme will include interpreting modules (and training) that can cover any language combination.

Q: Can you teach me how to be a translator? I have heard that translators are born and that this skill cannot be taught.

A: Undoubtedly, some people naturally translate better and easier than others. However, we can provide you with the knowledge, skills and values that you will need to enable you to become a practising translator.

Q: You say that you offer state of the art training to prospective translators, including training in the use of translation technology in translation practice. Do I need to know a lot about computers to be able to undergo this training?

A: We require a basic level of computer literacy for these modules.

Q: So why must a translator be able to use translation technology?

A: The world of the (modern) translator has changed irrevocably. Translators cannot any longer work without having access to e-mail, the Internet and electronic resources such as spell checkers, online dictionaries, etc. In order to stay competitive, the modern translator has to be able to use a range of computer- assisted translation tools and translation resources. Being trained in the use of translation technology will give you a definite competitive advantage over your peers when applying for translation positions and/or undertaking freelance translation work.

Q: And what if my target language is one of the African languages or Afrikaans – will I still be able to use this technology?

A: Yes, the technology is not language specific and there are more and more language and translation resources becoming available daily in the African languages and Afrikaans. The ever increasing demand for translation and localisation (the translation of (usually software) products) into the SA African languages and Afrikaans, means that not only are more and more resources becoming available, but that more and more translators will be needed, especially technologically savvy translators.

Q: Do you offer any short courses or workshops for practising translators and language practitioners?

A: We intend to offer one or more workshops and seminars aimed at practising translators and other language practitioners every year. Watch this space for details!

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