Become a Translator

Actively engaged in analysing and understanding the meanings of culture, this interdisciplinary MA represents a springboard to students who think about a career in translation. The modules offered by the BCS programme do prepare the ground for such a prospective undertaking, particularly the course in cultural translation taught by Prof. Mădălina Nicolaescu. Pause for a moment and try to translate ‘Britishness’, ‘commodification’ or ‘miscegenation’, to mention just a few concepts you will be working with. Tricky, isn’t it? It is tricky as long as one does not have recourse to Google Translate to do the job, nor does one translate them by missing the core meaning of such words.

Translation is the act of carrying across from a source language to a target language and vice versa. However, this does not only mean finding the right words, phrases or paraphrases that would compensate for the lack of a one-to-one correspondence. Translation implies, inevitably and necessarily, carrying across and understanding the cultural code enmeshed in the source or target language. Our programme aims to further students’ translation skills, focusing particularly on the difficulties raised by differences between cultures. It is cultural knowledge and cultural differences that are the major concerns of a translator who is sometimes compelled to invent new words by translating verbatim.

In addition to this, our courses focus on translation from one medium to another in forms such as adapation or remediation. So besides understanding how meaning travels between languages and cultures, our students also obtain the skills to comprehend the transition from one semiotic code to another: text to moving image, moving image to music, still image to interactive digital media, and countless others. Such skills are crucial for those future translators who, for instance, wish to work on subtitles or the localization of media products. 

Our faculty is committed to providing students with a solid grounding in the practice of cultural translation and to making them aware of the need to negotiate transcultural meanings and experiences in a multicultural environment and, last but not least, to get immersed in the art of mediating intercultural and transcultural meanings.     

Many of our alumni have worked as translators. Read their success stories to learn more.