Ellie Saunderson-Darkes is currently studying the MA in Translation Studies.
You did your undergraduate degree at Durham. Why did you choose to stay?
The great staff inspired me, especially Dr Wagstaffe and Dr McKinnon. There’s a lot of pastoral care and I felt really supported.
What can Durham offer someone who wants to pursue postgraduate study in translation?
Durham is, I think, one of only six universities in the UK which is EU-accredited for translation studies, and so the MA prepares us directly for work in the EU by making us research-oriented translators. Because of the EU accreditation we have amazing conferences, such as one in November about machine translation. It was one of only two EU-commissioned conferences to take place in the UK this year. Professional translators from all over the UK came to Durham. So Durham can offer you the opportunity to make connections.
Is the MA in Translation Studies primarily aimed at students who want to become professional translators or those who are more interested in pursuing research?
No matter what path you want, the MA prepares you. It’s not just a vocational course. So if you want to be a researcher there are lots of modules for you. But if you want to be a professional translator the MA prepares you for that. For those of us who want to be translators, the end of year exams are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
What’s been the highlight of the course so far?
The module on computer-assisted translation (CAT Tools). We are being trained on the cutting edge of machine translation.