The Linguist

The Linguist 55,2

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 35 APRIL/MAY 2016 The Linguist 27 OPINION & COMMENT Follow one MA Translation student as she starts an e-learning course at Bristol University HANNAH EMBLETON-SMITH Woken by the sweet Monday morning song of rain against the window, it's kettle on, laptop open and I'm at university. In January, having taken a year to gather funds since graduating, I started a Masters in French- English Translation at the University of Bristol. And I don't even have to leave my flat. The course is part of a growing trend in e-learning, designed to reflect the working conditions of a professional translator. Blending theory with practice, it attracts students living anywhere from South Korea to just down the road. In fact, only two of us are on campus in Bristol and able to use all the services here. So why choose e-learning? Modules are accessed at the click of a button and, alongside independent study, students take part in forum-style discussions on the Blackboard platform. While forum 'banter' takes some getting used to – it can be tough to keep on top of discussions – an undeniable benefit is that everyone's work will be viewed and critiqued by our peers, as well as by our tutors. The flexible nature of the MA appeals to professionals so, as someone new to the field, I find myself learning from the experienced translators on the course as much as from the tutors. The faculty staff are supportive, sending translation opportunities our way via social media and sparking lively discussions – our Theories tutor even puts together a weekly podcast. Expertise ranges from interlingual subtitling to francophone African literature (my personal favourite). Our tasks for the latter have highlighted problems of domestication when translating postcolonial texts. Writing about native African culture in a European language is generally a conscious socio- political decision that needs to be handled with care by the translator. The result is a solid argument for preserving the source culture through a 'foreignising' strategy. Starting out on an e-learning programme can feel like a leap into the unknown and isn't without its drawbacks, but the feedback and professional skills that we are developing far outweigh the negatives. Master in the making Hannah Embleton-Smith is an MA Translation student at Bristol. TL EU referendum and democracy I was pleased to be consulted by the CIOL for a survey on the EU referendum. It prompted me to write about a strange situation that will affect a number of your readers. I have been a UK citizen all my adult life, having married a British man in 1972. Since then my permanent residence was England for 31 years and now Scotland. All this time, I have had a job, paid taxes, contributed to charities, taken part in community life, brought up three bi-national and bi-cultural children, who are all UK residents (as are my three grandchildren). As a teacher, I have helped raise British students' knowledge of languages. As a translator and interpreter, I have worked for British companies and organisations seeking to communicate with EU countries. And yet, unless the Government revises its plans, I will be barred from voting in the 'Brexit' referendum. My sin? I only have a French passport. Considering that all those in this situation (UK permanent resident and citizen, with an EU but non-UK passport) will be affected by the outcome – indeed, even more so than native UK citizens – this is outrageous discrimination. Contrast this with 2014, when those who would most feel the impact of the Scottish independence referendum (permanent residents of Scotland, whatever their nationality) were not denied their democratic right to express their preference. Even the MSP Christian Allard finds himself excluded. However, should you be an Ireland, Malta, Cyprus or Commonwealth citizen, you are eligible to vote. Claire Charlwood MCIL STAR LETTER © SHUTTERSTOCK

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 55,2