Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Celebrating 50 years of interpreting and translating at the University of Bath

Mon Sep 12 10:38:00 BST 2016

 

Catherine Pollard, UN Under-Secretary-General (left) with Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Peter Lambert (middle) and Alison Graves, Head of Interpreter Training and Multilingualism at the European Parliament (right) at the Fifty Years of Interpreting and Translating at Bath event.

— Catherine Pollard, UN Under-Secretary-General (left) with Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Peter Lambert (middle) and Alison Graves, Head of Interpreter Training and Multilingualism at the European Parliament (right) at the Fifty Years of Interpreting and Translating at Bath event.

 

Alumni and friends of the MA courses in Interpreting and Translating, and Translation and Professional Language Skills, gathered at Bath last week for a conference to celebrate fifty years of interpreting and translating at the University of Bath.

The celebration event showcased how interpreters and translators are essential to ensuring effective communication within international organisations and the vast private market. It also provided a forum for discussions about how Bath is helping to meet the demand for top-quality interpreters and translators around the globe.

Meeting the challenges of tomorrow

The conference was attended by former students and professional interpreters and translators to demonstrate how Bath is preparing graduates for future challenges.

Rebecca Edgington, Head of the English Booth at the UN at Geneva and former MA Interpreting and Translating student, talked about the uniqueness of the course at Bath, highlighting the vocational focus and dedicated, professional teaching staff.

Morag Neath, senior interpreter at the European Commission and fellow MA Interpreting and Translating graduate, spoke of the close links between her organisation and the MA Interpreting and Translating course, and also the benefits of studying translation alongside interpreting.

Leading the way in interpreting and translating

At the event, the MA Interpreting and Translating course was held up as an example where forging strong links with international organisations and focusing on employability has made it the leader in its field for the UN and the EU.

Catherine Pollard, UN Under-Secretary-General, said: ‘I congratulate you on your remarkable achievements and I look forward to the future with confidence. I see the University of Bath as one of the pillars of the cooperation framework we have developed for the training of language professionals.’

Alison Graves, Head of Interpreter Training and Multilingualism at the European Parliament praised the high quality of the graduates from the MA Interpreting and Translating course. Thanks to that quality and to the close links between the course and the professional world, graduates are successful in accessing international careers in highly competitive environments: 25% of the staff interpreters working in the English booth are graduates from the course.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Professor Peter Lambert, chaired a roundtable discussion on how changes in the sector can continue to be integrated into curriculum design. During this discussion, Marie Djur, Chief Interpreter at the UN at Vienna, described the challenging nature of the UN’s competitive language examinations, which led to interesting ideas on how best to prepare students for these tests.

The Head of the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, Professor Bill Durodie concluded the first day of celebrations by saying that the resounding success of the courses was ‘a tribute to all concerned’ and that, above all, ‘through an eagerness to embrace technological advances in the profession and utilise Bath’s extensive alumni network, both MA courses will certainly be able to meet the challenges of tomorrow’.

Find out more about the MA Interpreting & Translating and MA Translation and Professional Language Skills courses.