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MA in Literary Translation Studies - Application FAQs

Do I need to submit a sample literary translation with my application?

Yes. Please submit a short (approximately 250 words of prose or 15 lines of poetry) literary translation into English, along with a copy of the source text and a 250-word reflection on the issues you faced while translating this text into English.

Does the MA in Literary Translation Studies offer training in language-pair-specific translation?

No. The MA in Literary Translation Studies is non-language-specific, which means that we teach translation theory, methodology and philosophy, including hands-on translation workshops, but that we expect students to come to us already feeling confident about working in their language pair as language-specific translation will not be taught. Translations in workshops are critiqued on the basis of their success as English-language texts rather than in terms of accuracy. Often, when there has been a misunderstanding of the source text, this is apparent in the translation. When a problem of this nature suggests itself, students are encouraged to go back and revisit the source text to check that their translation is accurate.

Do I need to be a native speaker of English to enrol on the MA in Literary Translation Studies?

No, you do not, but you should feel confident about your ability to translate into English to a very good standard, and be willing to take on the challenge of translating "across the grain". Preconceptions around L1 and L2 translation are changing, both in Translation Studies and in the real world. This reflects, to a certain extent, our changing and more globalised environment. One of our current PhD students is writing her thesis on L2 translation, and many of the students on the Warwick Writing Programme's MA in Writing write in a language which is not their mother tongue, so if you are an L2 translator you will feel very much at home here!

How do I know if my foreign-language skills are good enough for me to practice translation?

Applicants are often concerned that their foreign-language skills are insufficient for them to pursue a translation degree at Masters level. To this we would say: you are the best judge of your abilities; use the Common European Framework of Reference as a guide to your level; and if you have studied the language formally in an educational setting, your institution should be able to give you a sense of the level you have attained.

Do I need previous professional experience of translation to apply to the degree?

No. We are looking for interest and aptitude, but previous professional experience is not necessary (though nice to have of course).

Who do I get in touch with if I have further questions that are not answered here?

The convenor of the MA in Literary Translation Studies, Dr Chantal Wright, will be happy to help.