Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Distance education for us translators

Over the years, I have attended several ATA conferences as well as seminars sponsored by InTraDes (the ATA special-interests group for Spanish translators). Sure, I punctually attended and was awarded a nice certificate. You can collect them in the course of many years and still you will feel you haven't achieved much. That's a passive activity for continuing education.

Regardless of how much I wanted to achieve my higher education goals as a translator, I approached my pre-enrollment in the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) last year with much trepidation. I hadn't been in a classroom in more than a decade! My future college mates would surely have a huge advantage over me in terms of knowledge and understanding. Well, one has to start someplace.

The Facultad de Lenguas (originally founded to train language teachers, not translators, mind you) at the UNC requires 80% attendance at its graduate programs (master's and doctorate). These are brand new (read unproven) programs that have yet to yield master's and PhD holders. While I am still completing my master's, I thought it a good idea to pre-enroll in the doctorate program offered by Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. The nice thing about this doctorate program is that it is 80% online! Except for attending core courses in Spain during a 6-week period and the thesis defense date, you can enroll in this program from wherever you are in the world. Anthony Pym is its director, by the way.

Since my pre-enrollment didn't go as I'd anticipated, I started looking for another distance program while I'm waiting to finish this UNC's master's degree and thus qualify for the URV doctorate program. I found an interesting program, a master's in audiovisual translation at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. The program, headed by Ms. Pilar Orero, consists of virtual courses and it's inexpensive (about 3,500 euro).

If you know of other distance graduate programs you could recommend, please share it.

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